0 comments / Posted by Mike Ciprari

 

 

Friday June 19th I flew from Salt Lake City, Utah to Montreal, Quebec, Canada to play the Amnesia Rockfest in Montebello on June 20th. Upon landing in Montreal a handful of us in Rancid, our crew and members of Refused and their crew all shared a van for the hour and a half drive to Montebello which is in the middle of nowhere....

The town only has one Main Street leading through the middle and is also in the heart of the festival. It's a very small road and absolute madness. It's like a punk rock/metal Mardi Gras! We arrived at the hotel that was also kind of headquarters for the festival. It's apparently the largest log built structure ever. Very unique but very cool. It all had a bit of The Shining vibe to it out in the middle of nowhere as it was. I really liked it....

It was late by the time we arrived so I missed all the bands that played on Fri. After a great night hanging with Rancid and our crew, and some good rest I jumped up to head over to the show. The day was filled with so many bands, friends I wanted to see!! To name only a few there was Flogging Molly, Unwritten Law, GBH, Suicide Machines, Thrice, Refused, Story of the Year, Tenacious D, Snoop Dog, Slayer, and so many more!! We had one of two options to get from our hotel: a golf cart down the main road, or an awesome boat ride. I did both several times throughout the day. Hahaha...
Due to overlapping schedules and timing I missed many of the bands I wanted to see. However Flogging Molly was the first that I got to watch and they killed it on the main stage!! I snagged this photo with my GoPro while they were playing...



We were scheduled to go on right after Flogging Molly on the main stage and Snoop Dogg was right after us. I rigged my GoPro behind me to snag some live shots and I love that angle when you can see all of us in the band as well as the crowd. It's so intimidating to play in front of huge crowd, I love it!!! It helps me focus and makes me want to play my very best. There was talk of around 200,000 tickets sold for this festival. However I have no idea how many were there that day and at the stage to see us play. There was talk over over 40,000 when we played. Who knows? It was a lot! Hahaha

Because it's the 20yr anniversary of the Rancid album "...And Out Come The Wolves" we are doing a handful of shows this year playing that entire album from beginning to end. So that was our 60min set we played. It was epic.... the crowd, the energy, having the stage filled with our friends and other bands hangin with us... I loved every minute of it. Here's my kit just before we went on, as well as few as a few photos from while we were playing. Loving my SJC jersey too....

Straight from stage when we were finished I rushed over to the next stage to see my brothers in Thrice play. It was so good to see them together again killing it!! Following them on the same stage was one of my all time favorite bands with one of my all time favorite drummers.... Refused. I hung with the guys and caught up a bit as they were all hangin out behind the stage for about 45min before they went on. The best part about festivals like this is the bands that hang around, watch each other play and enjoy the fact we all get to see so many incredible and diverse artists. The ones that don't hang out, close off their stage when they play.... Well, that shit is lame. So forget about those bands. The rad ones are always hangin out. I love it. It was great to get to hang with Refused again after just seeing them a few weeks ago in Las Vegas when we played together at Punk Rock Bowling. Some of the most polite, true artists I've known. This band has inspired me more than most and continue to! I took a few artsy wet plate style photos while we were all hangin around. As well as a few while they were playing. But they're a hard band to take photos of love because you really just want to soak it in and enjoy the moment. Incredible. Always.

In so many ways these shows feel like a family reunion. Getting to see dear friends who's paths don't cross nearly enough. Here I am with Josh Wills from Story of the Year, and Riley Breckenridge from Thrice. The 3 of us have toured together countless times back when I was in The Used. It was so nice to all be at the same place, at the same time, and to all be playing....


The guys in Story of the Year have truly been family to me for so long. We spent pretty much all day hangin out together and watching bands. I loved it. These guys are my brothers....


As night closed in so did the madness of the festival. Trying to get back and forth to eat, change, do much of anything was crazy. Hahaha taking the golf cart down the main road was quite entertaining....


....and the evening boat rides were beautiful and relaxing.


After dinner with my brothers in Story of the Year I went and watched Slayer for awhile. They were insanely good. It was unreal. Then I went over to watch Story of the Year play. They killed it!!!!! It was so rad to see them live again. I loved it.


All in all it was an epic weekend at Amnesia Rockfest!! A short trip in and out. I left Fri morning and was back home Sun evening. But managed to do a months worth of great things in that short trip. So much fun!!!



Until next time, keep shredding and doing what you love. Live each day in the moment and make the very best of it. As I like to say "Work hard. Play harder." Thanks for everyone's support and interest in what I do.

Much respect

-Branden Steineckert

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