70000 Tons Of Metal 2014 - Day Three - Shore Leave Plus Metal
|Event:||70000 Tons Of Metal 2014|
|Written by:||D.T. Metal|
70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise 2014 - Day Four by D.T. Metal (193)
70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise 2014 - Day Three by D.T. Metal (173)
70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise 2014 - Day Two by D.T. Metal (304)
70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise 2014 - Day One by D.T. Metal (201)
Sightseeing not just in Mexico *
Day three of the self-proclaimed "World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise" is the day the ship's anchor gets dropped in a pre-determined port somewhere nice and warm. Costa Maya, Mexico, a man-made cruise port about 200 plus miles south of Cancun, was the voted on destination. Yes, voted on, since the cruise organizers gave those passengers who were fully booked and paid by a set date, the choice of destination. Costa Maya won by a slim margin over last year's tropical paradise Cockburn Town (Grand Turk Island), with Nassau (Bahamas), Cozumel (Mexico) and Freeport (Bahamas) being the other choices. Well, I have actually been in that region of Mexico before so there was no reason for me to debark the ship to see some ruins and since it was a cruise port, the place was a tourist trap from the word go.
The ship didn't get to its destination until 12.30 in the afternoon and everybody had to be back on it by 4.30pm - really? Well, not all was lost for some cruisers; some actually went on the ruins excursions while others just hung out at the facilities by the port. And then there were those who booked an OPEN BAR package on a beach nearby. Yap, open bar - as in all you can drink. The Finnish "drinking team", aka members of Finntroll and Swallow The Sun, were on hand and you all can imagine how that went.
Ruins in Mexico *
Pool at Costa Maya *
Anyhoo, I didn't go on shore but rather took the down time to just sit, relax and socialize with folks who didn't leave the ship neither; Victory's singer Jioti Parcharidis was one of them. I just did an interview with some of his old band members in Human Fortress so we talked about the band and despite the fact that he repeatedly mentioned that he can't talk that much because of his vocal cord, we ended up chatting for almost an hour. Very cool cat - make sure you check out Victory if they tour in a city near you.
Well, I was getting ready to head on to the Spectrum Lounge for the first band of the day (Gloryhammer) when I looked over the ship's railing and saw the line of cruisers waiting to get back onto the ship - holy crap! Needless to say, the scheduled depart time of 5pm was not going to happen, but thankfully a lot of people made it onto the ship beforehand and Gloryhammer rewarded those with a stellar performance. I didn't stick around for the entire set since there was no way on God's green earth that I would miss just ONE note of Obituary, the first band on the Pool Deck Stage that day.
Remember, I missed their set on the first day and since I haven't seen them in ages, I was really looking forward to experience Florida's finest in all their glory. And not just me, a lot of members from the other bands on the cruise were in the audience to watch the Tardy brothers play tight as fuck old school death metal.
Starting their set with 2005's "Redneck Stomp" and following with "Intoxicated" off their 1989 debut album Slowly We Rot, Obituary didn't just play their old stuff, but also three new songs off their yet to be released (and recorded?) album. The new material sounds sick and I can't wait for it to see the light of day. By the time they were half way through their set, the pool deck was packed and the mosh pits plentiful. Obituary ended with "Slowly We Rot" and this was also a cue for me to grab a bite to eat before the next band would play on the Pool Deck Stage.
Setlist: (most likely out of order)
Redneck Stomp, Intoxicated, Immortal Visions, Back to One, The End Complete, Body Bag, Chopped in Half /Turned Inside Out (medley), I'm in Pain, Slowly We Rot and three news songs somewhere in between.
Cynic and Hatesphere were playing while I took in some nourishment and by the time I got back to the Pool Deck, Orphaned Land had already started playing. If you have never seen them, please try to catch one of their shows. They are not only very, very skilled musicians, but also rad dudes to hang out with. Other than their stage performance, watching them sing "Hava Nagila" at karaoke was probably one of the highlights for many cruisers.
Bonfire and Unearth were scheduled to play at the same time and it was a real toss up to which gig to go since I really enjoyed both their first sets on the cruise. Luckily I decided to go into the Chorus Line Theatre to check out Unearth before heading over to the Spectrum Lounge since otherwise I would have missed it.
There he was, in a tuxedo and top-hat nevertheless, doing (or at least trying) some stand-up comedy routine before introducing the band: the one, the only - Fear Factory's Burton C. Bell. Seriously, too funny and Burton did some outstanding karaoke that night as well, with Frank Sinatra's "My Way" being one of my Top Five performances of him.
And speaking of karaoke. All musicians gave their best when they performed with their respective bands on stage but nothing can compare to their "performances" while singing along with the karaoke machine; absolutely fricking priceless and a treat for anyone in attendance.
Things like that are just one of the "perks" being part of the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise experience. You get to see the "rockstars" in their natural habitat. There is no green room, no backstage area, and no special treatment for the musicians. They eat and drink in the same places as the regular passengers and usually by day two of the voyage, even the most timid of them has figured out that their fans are on the boat to have a good time and they join in on the fun.
Anyhoo, I stuck my head into the Spectrum Lounge where Bonfire unfortunately played to a very small crowd before heading to the Pool Deck stage to once again watch Satyricon.
As already mentioned, drummer Frost couldn't get a Performing Visa to enter the States and Soilwork's master of sticks Dirk was hitting the snares instead. Just as their first set, Satyr and Co were amazing under the circumstances but his actions after the last song left a sour taste in my mouth. When you are part of a festival you, as a performer, also have somewhat duties - such as dealing with the Press or your fans. Well, Satyr blew off all (officially set up) interviews and was a no-show for the Meet 'n Greet with his fans. The latter I can somewhat understand since the band is essentially him and Frost and since Frost wasn't there it would have been kind of weird just to have him give autographs - whatever.
But apparently the cruise organizers moved mountains to accommodate Satyricon so they could practice with fill-in drummer Dirk while already on the boat. So, after they played "K.I.N.G.", which I assumed was the last song anyway since their allotted time of 60 minutes was up, Satyr told the audience that "it was great for you to come out" and "you will see me around the ship" and that "this was the first and last time I will ever play on 70000 Tons Of Metal again" - what? Rumor has it that they were going to play one more song but were told no, since their time was up. Oh Kay - hmmm, I for one enjoyed both of their sets and hope Satyr will reconsider his statement. Moving on.
While Haggard and Massacre played on the indoor stages, I took a little breather and was hanging out on the almost empty Pool Deck to recharge my body for the mighty Carcass. And mighty they were.
Once again, the band had two big canvases on either side of the stage to project images while the show went on. Pretty cool to look at but apparently there were issues with the software and Jeff Walker told the audience that "Windows sucks and Apple rules" - first world projector problem.
Carcass played an awesome show (setlist here) but the highlight was right before the end of their set. I was actually heading to get a drink when I heard the intro to "The Pursuit Of Vikings" - whaaaat? Jeff apparently found out that the majority of the cruisers were German and said: "let's see the Germans dance" and I shit you not - the entire Pool Deck was throwing the metal horns, cheering and headbanging to one of Amon Amarth's most recognized songs. Afterwards he said: "I bet some Germans got real excited though" - funny as shit and if you google it there is a video on YouTube.
Side note: Amon Amarth played in Denver a couple weeks ago and I asked both Olavi and Johan if they heard about this and if something had happened between the bands since they toured together in Europe the end of 2013. While both of them heard about what Carcass did, they had no clue why but thought it was funny. It was actually one of their road crew guys who gave me the best explanation. According to him, Amon Amarth are a tough act to beat and Carcass wanted to have the same crowd reactions and that's why they played "The Pursuit Of Vikings". He was joking of course, but I will get to the bottom of it and will ask Jeff Walker himself when Carcass comes to town in April. Stay tuned.
Next I split my time between Dark Tranquillity who played in the Chorus Line Theatre and Leaves' Eyes in the Spectrum Lounge, who unfortunately had to compete with the Swedes in regards to audience members. Nevertheless, those who were in attendance saw a kick-ass show by Liv and Co and her husband/vocalist Alex recorded some segments of the gig for an (I assume) upcoming live DVD. Leaves' Eyes sounded great and played a mix of new and old songs to the liking of their fans.
Over at the other venue, Dark Tranquillity utilized the big screens in the Theatre to the max and this was actually pretty cool to watch. They also played a mix between new and old and I really liked "Misery's Crown" off their 2007 album Fiction since the entire room was jumping up and down during the song.
Off to the Pool Deck Stage I went to watch German thrashers Cripper since I missed them during their first set. Yes, somehow Day three of the cruise was playing catch-up with missed sets; at least for me. Actually someone told me that the Spectrum Lounge was rather packed during Cripper's first set and it was nice to see that the Pool Deck Stage was getting there as well. People were still pouring in from the other venues by the time the Germans started their extremely energized set. Well, it's thrash (modern that is) after all and going ape-shit is just part of the deal with this genre.
Angela Gossow who? Cripper's front screamer Britta Görtz sure as hell can give the best (women) in the genre a run for their money - girl got pipes. And since Cripper were a repeat band from a prior cruise, most of the audience was familiar with them and showed their support with relentless moshing. Kick ass set and during one song, even Britta got the crowd surfing bug and let the fans carry her from front to back.
After this very, very energetic set it was kind of somber to watch Swallow The Sun play their death'ish doom but I loved every minute of it. Listening to "Cathedral Walls" in the bright sun during their first set just doesn't have the same effect as it does listening to it in a small club setting.
Funny story; it must have been before I headed over to Cripper on the Pool Deck when I was standing outside on Deck 7 to have a cigarette. Swallow The Sun's Mikko was there also - drinking a can of Sprite. After inquiring on how he was feeling he told me that he just woke up, luckily in time for their set which was about to start in 45min or so. LOL - yap, remember the Finnish drinking team comment earlier? Well, apparently him and Finntroll's Mathias got a little carried away while on shore with the "all-you-can-drink" accommodations - enough said.
Anyway, after their set I got stuck in the Spectrum Lounge and the Karaoke bar, but since I didn't wanted to miss Terrorizer, who were the last band of the day (morning!) on the Pool Deck stage, I kept the boozing in check until afterwards.
Holy crap - now I knew the weather went a little sideways, the sea was very rough and therefore the ship was moving side to side more than usual. But seriously, even a completely sober person looked intoxicated while trying to walk. So, trying to take pictures of Terrorizer at 5 in the morning while the boat was swaying in the waves was not an easy task. I managed to shoot a couple nevertheless and just tried to hang on for part of their set.
For this that the weather really wasn't all that good, it had started raining a bit as well, there were a good amount of people on the Pool Deck to watch them play. Even though Lee Harrison was brilliant, I took the high road and left before Terrorizer finished, planning on hitting the sack - well - I managed to crawl into bed around 6.30 in the morning - damn you Karaoke Bar.
Stay tuned for Day Four and make sure you check out the Photo Gallery from Day Three or click on the individual band galleries below.
* Pictures by Pit Art Photography and Photo Jagla with user permission granted
|Leaves' Eyes||Obituary||Orphaned Land|
|Satyricon||Swallow The Sun||Terrorizer|
Written on 23.02.2014 by
Professional concertgoer ... dangerously armed with a camera!
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