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By: Nessa

Not every concert promoter in today’s world celebrates anniversaries of 5 or more years… specially in the metal scene. However, last Saturday, Inertia Entertainment celebrated a special event commemorating not one, but Two decades of making Toronto tremble with the heaviest bands that have come across the territory. To give some examples, they brought Testament in ’97 (along with Viciousphere and Baffald) and in 2001 they gathered in one same night (hold on) The Haunted, Lamb of God, Dimmu Borgir AND Cannibal Corpse.

They held their first event on February 29, 1996, so last February 27 was the ideal night to party with a promising lineup, well expected by a public that knew the company and its founder Noel Peters.

The date took place at The Opera House and by 7:50, the only lights on where those of the candles upon the stage. The sinister sound of Panzerfaust submerged everyone with a performance worthy of the black metal title, which included, besides the mentioned candles, a podium and a singer wearing, from head to toe, a priest-like black tunic that maintained him unrecognizable. According to some commentaries, this was the band’s best show ever.

After a small pause, Goatwhore made sure to fuel up everyone and have lots of stagedivers. The fierceness of this band from New Orleans could be felt with every drum hit, chord’s roar and each step made by Ben Falgoust on the stage. "Alchemy of the black sun cult", "FBS", "Apocalyptic Havoc" and "Baring teeth for revolt" where included in the brutal setlist that made the audience mosh during more than a dozen songs. Fists up people!

Later, Macabre´s murder metal arrived. This trio has managed to attune grindcore, death and thrash metal with histories of real-life murderers such as John Gacy, who tortured and assassinated 33 young men back in the 70s. Song after song was a headshot straight from Chicago. "Zodiac", "Chapel of bones", "Vampire of Duseldorf" (dedicated to serial killer Peter Kürten) and more ballads of insane lyrics disrupted the audience.

During the draw before the headliner band, Noel continued rewarding the lucky ones with prizes that ranged from discs sets, dvd’s and vinyls up to tattoos, a shotmeister tap machine and even an Ibanez RG350DXZ! He also took the chance to recall some episodes that had occurred during this twenty years. The work performed since 1996 had not been easy at all but perseverance and effort have paid off. One of the many evidences of this is that although having as competitors other promoters as big as LiveNation, Inertia has been awarded as the best concert promoter in Toronto. Another proof is that night’s sold out at the Opera House; and it wasn’t a regular sold out, it was one thanks to a family.

With the venue crowed to the top, Noel did a last remembrance to welcome the local thrash metal legendsSacrifice. The iconic band did not only came to celebrate the anniversary of the independent promoter responsible for bringing the noise to Toronto; but they were also here because of a debt. Sacrifice members decided to take separate paths in the early 90s, but thanks to Peters’ insistence, they got together in 2006 for a one-off show, after which they got back to the presentations and also released their fifth album ("The Ones I Condemn"). With this happening in their history, it was impossible for them not to be at this party.

The kings’ setlist was more than extreme and kicked off with "Forward to Termination" / "Terror strikes". "I think this is the most people we have ever played in Toronto... and that includes when we opened for Slayer!" said Rob Urbinati, the band’s frontman. Once he pronounced this, the crowd’s fists got high in the air at once and "Soldiers of Misfortune" got heads thrashing. At one time, Urbinati welcomed Danko Jones and handed him the mic to perform with the entire band a memorable tribute to Kilmister. "Iron fist" resonated powerfully in Queen St!

To be honest, I had never seen so many people stage diving as in that night, and I’m talking about both men as women. "Thank you very much sellin' this fuckin' place out... I wannna hear you make some fuckin'noise!" exclaimed Noel once and the crowd did not disappoint at all. The spirit, energy and warmth of the people that were felt in the venue were matchless and it was superb seeing more than one generation of metalheads united for one cause.

With the short time I have been in this country, I dare to say there is plenty to learn from this promoter and from this audience too. I mention both because they owe to each other; they are bonded. Milestones are not reached alone but as a community - as a family. Hails and metalfists for other two decades Inertia!

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