Voivod Bell Stage, Quebec City QC, July 14

Voivod Bell Stage, Quebec City QC, July 14
Photo: Rick Clifford

It's a rarity these days for a festival to shine a mainstage spotlight on metal unless the event is explicitly billed as a headbanger's haven. But Voivod showed the horde that descended upon the Plains of Abraham that their billing was well deserved, as one of this country's most unique metal exports.
Wasting little of his hour behind the mic, frontman Denis Bélanger guided the band through a career-spanning set that kept the audience's devil horns held high. Animated in commanding their attention, Bélanger asked the masses for a dance to "The Prow" (they moshed instead), and called upon each section for their loudest "heys" and "yeahs" during the rhythm section mastery of "Psychic Vacuum."
Playing on home turf undoubtedly put a little extra spring in every member's step. Guitarist Daniel Mongrain was rarely seen without a wild, wide-eyed look on his face as he raced through dazzling solo sections, hamming it up for the cameras when he wasn't headbanging in sync with bassist Dominique Laroche. Bélanger also made sure to celebrate the brotherhood of metal, all smiles as he threw his arms around his aforementioned bandmates while they tore up their fretboards.