The Heavy River Stage, Montreal QC, August 3

The Heavy River Stage, Montreal QC, August 3
Photo: Pat Beaudry
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British neo-soul septet the Heavy may have looked small on the massive River Stage, but their sound made up for it. Featuring a guitarist, bassist, drummer, two saxophonists, and the raspy vocals of Kelvin Swaby, the band swelled the stage with funky blasts of rock and blues. The earlier songs, mostly from 2009 album The House That Dirt Built, were groovy, but once the band started to play some of their newer material, from 2012's The Glorious Dead, the band's talents were truly showcased. Weaving guitar riffs, bass licks, drum fills, horn flares and Swaby's commanding voice together, the band proved that they had the weight to command a main stage. Back-to-back singles "The Big Bad Wolf" and "What Makes a Good Man?" were draped in hooks and audience-led choruses, with every band member giving it their all. The set ended with the band's biggest hit, "How You Like Me Now?," merging funky instrumentation with pop sensibility for a thumping finale.