70000 Tons Of Metal 2014 - Day Four - Metal Plus ... Fufu Drinks
|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)
The last day of the cruise was upon us and after finding those toothpicks to prop my eyes open I ventured outside. Atrocity was supposed to be playing on the Pool Deck Stage, but since they had a gig scheduled in Denver upon my return, I was just going to watch them while having my morning coffee and a smoke. And there I saw it for the first time - the weather.
Pool Deck Stage*
While, a couple hours earlier, it sprinkled just a bit during Terrorizer's performance, the Gods must have not approved of my choice to go to Karaoke (and getting stuck there; I "slept" 3 hours max), hence they opened the floodgates. This was a FIRST for 70000 Tons Of Metal - it rained and the weather turned to shits with fog and all. Needless to say, the bands that were scheduled to play on the Pool Deck Stage that morning were forced to perform in the Chorus Line Theatre, which worked out pretty good since normally the shows don't start in that venue until later in the afternoon.
Fatigued like a mofo and in need of some solid food I skipped Atrocity as well as Rising Storm, who played in the Spectrum Lounge afterwards, and wandered into the Windjammer for some breakfast. Yeah, sorry Rising Storm dudes; I was really planning on watching you since I missed your first set, but hopefully you will be on the cruise again. Pro tem Metal Storm photographer Matthew was at least on hand to bring some visuals of the performance.
Anyway, at breakfast I talked with some crew folks and was told that for the time being all Pool Deck shows would be played in the Chorus Line Theater and later in the day a decision would be made on how to handle the situation if the weather wouldn't clear up. So, halfway feeling like a human again, I went into the Chorus Line Theatre to watch Keep Of Kalessin. I had missed them on Tuesday, and since I haven't seen the guys in years, I was looking forward to see how they would sound live, now that vocalist Torbjørn left the band. Not bad I have to say, especially since Keep Of Kalessin also brought a fill-in drummer, because Vyl couldn't make the trip over the ocean. The kid - no really, the kid - 20 year old ex-Aeon Throne drummer Sondre Drangsland once again filled those huge shoes and did an outstanding job.
Keep Of Kalessin
Keep Of Kalessin
But holy crap! I get it, have some fog and smoke to set the ambience for the performance, but if you can't see the guy standing next to you, it clearly is too much fog - wow. To be honest, I felt that on this year's 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise the use, or better yet OVERUSE of the fog machine was ridiculous. Whoever was operating the knobs to control the flow of fog must have had seizures and his (or her) finger was stuck on the controls. And don't even get me started about seizures. Strobe lights; yes they serve their purpose within reason, but unfortunately whoever controlled those knobs (maybe the same person?) either had sunglasses on during work or was on an acid trip and actually enjoyed the constant abuse on the senses.
To be fair, some bands brought their own lighting engineer but most used the onboard Ultimate Music Cruise staff. While strobe lights and fog are part of most metal shows these days, overdoing it really does take away from enjoying the bands; especially in the small Spectrum Lounge. But since I know some of the light guys personally - emmm, hmmm, sorry guys, you overdid it during some gigs.
I stuck my head into the Spectrum Lounge for a minute to watch Izegrim and was positively surprised on what I was hearing. Death'ish thrash or thrash'ish death, another growling woman on the helm, the band sounded tight as can be. Really good and I can't wait to see them again, but I had an interview scheduled and therefore couldn't stay for their entire set.
After the interview with Finntroll's axe-slinger "Routa" (link will follow) we had the final press meeting of the cruise and since organizer Andy Piller usually talks about what's ahead for next year, I made sure not to miss it. Brutal Brandy, over at our friends The Gauntlet caught the Skipper's press announcement on camera where he talked about the new ship, new dates, new everything. In a nutshell the big changes for 70000 Tons Of Metal 2015 are:
And just yesterday the big announcement was made public by the cruise organizers - 70000 Tons Of Metal 2015 will finally invade JAMAICA! This had been on Andy Piller's bucket list since he started the cruise, but due to the age and speed restrictions of the Majesty Of The Seas it was never possible, but now with the new boat that dream has finally become reality.
Since there was more metal going on and I already had missed Victory's and Poltergeist's second sets (to my utterly displeasure btw), I was on my way to watch Xandria but got seriously sidetracked while enjoying some of those "fufu cocktails" the waiters were walking around with. No clue what it was, but it was good and the waiter had me sip some of the top so he could pour in more liquor. Hence, I missed Nekrogoblikon again and walked into the ass end of Death DTA Tour's video section of Chuck's life.
At this time, the weather still sucked and the decision was made that all the Pool Deck Stage acts would be playing in the Chorus Line Theatre. This of course meant that all of the staged band equipment had to be moved and a new running order had to be made. Not a small undertaking since some set lists had to be shortened, bands that were supposed to play in the Theatre were moved to the much smaller Spectrum Lounge, but after it was all said and done, the organizers pulled it off. Kudos to all involved. Another thing that didn't happen because of the weather was of course the popular belly flop contest but some cruisers didn't care and had fun in the pool regardless.
Chainmail Santa impromptu belly flop*
Chainmail Santa impromptu belly flop*
Because of moving the bands around, Raven, who were originally scheduled to start the day in the Chorus Line Theatre were naturally delayed quite a bit and therefore I went over to the Spectrum Lounge to watch The Church Of Pungent Stench instead. Then the lines got a little blurry with all the delays and while I think I watched some Death Angel in the Theatre I know for sure I had a great time during D.R.I.'s set in the Spectrum Lounge.
Not only were the venues changed for some bands, the set times were changed as well and since I was invited to dinner with the Skipper at 8pm, I was glad they switched D.R.I. and Vicious Rumors since otherwise I would have missed the "Imbeciles" for the second time around. I was wondering if they told the bands about the switch since the ship's PA system was calling for a D.R.I. member to come to the Spectrum Lounge ASAP.
So, Press Dinner with Skipper Andy and members of Metal Hammer, Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles, and Aardschok among others and therefore I missed the second sets of Soilwork, Vicious Rumors and Twilight Of The Gods but was able to at least catch some of Finntroll's set in the Chorus Line Theatre.
Fill in touring guitarist Brandon Ellis (Arsis) went all Troll this time and sported the band's signature glued on ears which made him look the part in addition to giving regular shredder "Skrymer" his run for the money. If you had the pleasure of seeing Finntroll when they toured in the States, you know what I mean. While the band's first performance on the Pool Deck was peppered with crowd-surfers (Gloryhammer's Chris being one of them), their second set was even more so. At one point, there was a sea of people coming over the barriers and the security had more than their hands full.
And here it goes - a quick word about the pit security. Most of the dudes were cruise veterans and worked on prior cruises. It did show which of them also work event security during bigger land based music gigs or festivals; they know how to interact not just with us Photographers in the front but also with the crowd - sadly not all of them. Yes, the security has to make sure the crowd doesn't interfere with the performers on stage but the actions of some security dudes during Finntroll's set became almost dangerous. I have no clue who thought of this, the organizers or the event staff coordinator, but apparently the standing orders were: help the FEMALES over and push the MALES back into crowd.
While I have to say that this year's crowd surfing activities were the most I have seen during shows on a 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise the fact remains that these days, crowd surfing is part of a metal show - period. Normally the security will catch (and help) those who come over the barriers and send them on their way out of the pit; safe for all, no harm no foul. But since the male surfers were either pushed back into the crowd, which was extremely dangerous for those in the front, or when helped, were handled roughly by the security guys it was a powder keg situation waiting to explode. Thankfully there wasn't a physical altercation among all involved and hopefully someone can look into a different practice for next year's cruise.
On a side note, and more of a pet peeve since this was the first time it happened as well - there is NO need for the security to be standing 10 men strong in the photo pit. You don't only make our work more difficult but also block the view of the fans in the front row. Rant over and back to the music.
With all the delays it ultimately meant some bands were playing at the same time which I believe is the reason I missed The Haunted playing in the Spectrum Lounge. From what I heard, it was a great time for all and I could kick myself in the ass for missing it - apparently vocalist Marco Aro was in the mosh pit, singing while moshing, during one of their songs. Regardless, now that The Haunted is back in writing mode I assume them doing a full-fledged tour is just a matter of time.
Crowd Surfing during Finntroll
Crowd Surfing during Finntroll
Then once again, things got blurry on my end. I know I was sitting outside by the Chorus Line Theatre, probably waiting for Symphony X or even Overkill for that matter before getting suckered into drinking some more of those earlier "fufu cocktails" and it went downhill from there.
Some moments I do recall are: talking with Finntroll's singer Mathias and Swallow The Sun's Kai and Mikko in the Schooner Bar while sipping on that darn drink; sticking my head into Overkill's gig, but missing the Skipper's address and thank you before Bobby and Co played "Fuck You" and somewhere in between I also watched Freedom Call rock the boat in the Spectrum Lounge once again.
My apologies to Dino and Matt for missing Fear Factory's gig - at least I think so. I vaguely remember being in the Karaoke bar hunting down that waiter with those "oh-so-delicious-fufu-drinks" and the next thing that comes to mind is getting woken up by the voice of a very loudly speaking woman announcing over the ship's PA that it's time for those with only carry on luggage to leave the ship.
I survived another 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise and while it was bitter sweet knowing that we won't ever be cruising on her Majesty Of The Seas again, I believe we, fans as well as bands, gave her a proper "Good Bye".
While I enjoyed all of the bands on the cruise, some of my highlights this year were:
That's all - the End - until next year.
Make sure you check out the Photo Gallery from Day Four or click on the individual band galleries below.
* Pictures by Pit Art Photography with user permission granted
|Death-DTA Tours||Death Angel||D.R.I.||Finntroll|
|Izegrim||Keep Of Kalessin||Raven||Rising Storm|
If you want to be part of this epic adventure in 2015, make sure you check the 70000 Tons Of Metal home page for more information. The website should be updated frequently as soon as the first band announcements roll in, but in the meantime, you will have the opportunity to subscribe to their newsletter so you won't miss a beat.
Written on 02.03.2014 by
Professional concertgoer ... dangerously armed with a camera!
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