70000 Tons Of Metal 2019 - Days Four: Jam Packed Till The End!
|Event:||70000 Tons Of Metal 2019|
|Written by:||D.T. Metal, MetalDoomMaster|
70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise 2019 by D.T. Metal (82)
70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise 2019 - Day Four by CROMCarl (288)
70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise 2019 - Day Three by CROMCarl (189)
70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise 2019 - Day Two by CROMCarl (265)
70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise 2019 - Day One by CROMCarl (211)
The last day of 70000 Tons Of Metal 2019 was upon us, but there was no rest for the wicked since it was once again jam packed with music, artist clinics and much more.
Before you read what all happened on the last day of 70000 Tons Of Metal 2019, you might also be interested in checking out Day One and Day Two and Three coverage.
Some sights for sore eyes - good morning boat
Since all bands play twice on the cruise, on Day 4 I try to catch those acts I had missed on prior days; good strategy, but per usual it didn't pan out that way.
We took it easy that morning; slept in, had a long breakfast at the Windjammer buffet, soaked up the sun on the Pool Deck, walked around the ship and after catching the end of Tristania, made our way down to the Theater to check out Van Canto. A Capella might not be the usual sound one hears at a metal festival, but on 70000 Tons Of Metal it fits and the Theater was nicely packed for their performance.
I noticed some friends of mine on the side stage for Van Canto's performance, no big deal, but when Ingo went onto the stage and told the story how he met Heike a couple of years ago on the cruise… OMG… Heike was summoned on stage as well and Ingo proposed right then and there. She said YES btw
This is just one of the things you might see on 70000 Tons Of Metal. We also had a wedding on board a couple years back. I can't even count the number of people who have met on this cruise, fell in love, got married and even have kids now. AWESOME
Anyways, while we were in the Theater, the infamous Belly Flop Contest was happening on the Pool Deck. To be fair, I haven't watched this in quite a few years. Unless you get there way ahead of time, it's hard to find a good spot to watch it. Carl was present for some of it and you can check some pictures in the Impressions album. Kudos to Kamelot's bassist Sean Tibbetts who wore the appropriate costume to judge the competition.
And speaking of costume… the last day is also the day when people dress up in, sometimes ever so stupid, costumes. I don't get it, never did, never will. I guess I belong to that dying breed of metal-heads which goes to a festival to enjoy the music, company and party, and not to parade all day long like its Halloween (Fasching). But hey, to each their own; do whatever rocks your boat. On a side note, I just came back from the inaugural sailing of the MegaCruise and they had an actual costume competition event, which in this case I can see why cruisers dress up.
Back to topic. We were gonna watch Bloodbath on the Pool Deck but opted to lounge in the Lounge to catch Night Demon's set. Best.Decision.Ever. Jarvis and Co played Bryan Adam's "Summer Of '69" as their sound check and while not your usual metal song, most of the audience sang the song from the top of their lungs anyways; us included. "You want us to start early?" Jarvis ask the audience, and after a loud holler and hell yes, Night Demon started their set early with "Welcome To The Night" off their 2017 release Darkness Remains.
Since the band was already playing, ahead of schedule, more and more people came into the Lounge. The Lounge was actually pretty packed, even though the All-Star Jam was happening in the Theater. Jarvis thanked everyone with the following… and I wholeheartedly agree with him on this one: "thanks for coming early. You guys are here while others are watching 'legends' play songs from 'legends' but you are watching the future 'legends' right here."
It was an awesome set, crowdsurfers, Jarvis standing on the barrier most of the time, fun was had by all. Night Demon played their original songs as well as "Radar Love" (by Golden Earring), "Road Racin'" a Riot song, since some Riot V members were in the audience as well, Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" and ended their set with Iron Maiden's "Wasted Years". Absolutely crushing performance.
All Star Jam Group Photo by Carl Frederick
And while I was in the Lounge, Carl was attending the All-Star Jam; sans Jeff Waters and this time moderated by Alexander Krull (Atrocity/Leaves' Eyes) and Delain's Charlotte Wessels. Check the internet since there is probably a set-list and a YouTube video of all that happened and luckily Carl was on hand to take the group photo after the Jam.
And off to the press conference with Skipper Andy I went… while my husband had the distinct pleasure of watching a crushing old school set courtesy of Warbringer. Well, you win some, you lose some.
Before we heard from Andy Piller, the Independence Of The Seas Captain as well as the Hospitality Manager spoke to members of the press. This is when we found out that the ship sailed into the wrong direction on Day 1 to erect the Pool Deck Stage on time. Folks mentioned the increase in drink prices and some bitched about the quality of the food in the buffet and/or restaurants. Then it was time for the organizer to take the mic:
The press briefing was dragging on a bit with Q&A's and Bravewords's Tim and I were (maybe not as quiet as we thought) mentioning Obituary, who was playing on the Pool Deck stage already, Skipper Andy thought we were talking about the pre-cruise video (watch here) the band released, which of course prolonged the press briefing even more. Needless to say, I missed Obituary.
Pikachu's on the Pool Deck
Pikachu's on the Pool Deck
Kalmah once again crushed on the Pool Deck and while it was hilarious to watch a herd of Pikachu's… yes, you read that right, people dressed up in a Pikachu costume, do a mosh-pit during their set, I would be pissed if this hindered me watching the band onstage.
While bands were playing all over the ship, the NFL Super Bowl was being broadcasted in the brand new Playmakers Sportsbar. Actually a great place to hang and the 70000 Tons Of Metal crew does a great job hosting this event. Apparently one can have chicken wings in the bar as well, but they are not included and are charged to your account. Screw that, there is so much free food on the ship and I can have BBQ wings anytime at home. To be honest, I haven't watched a single Super Bowl game over the years (even when MY team was in it), because there is tons of other things to do and the bands playing during the game brought their A-Game to say the least.
Ensiferum on the Pool Deck was even better than when I saw them in the Theater on Day 2 - with a complete different set list mind you. At the end of their set, Markus was starting to do some "extra" stuff (like he did on their first one, playing a GnR cover), but Sami stopped him in his track and said "today the stage is mine" while plucking on his bass guitar. Ensiferum did an acoustic tour in Europe and most Europeans knew what was coming, even before Petri came to the microphone to announce the "extra song" - a cover song by one of his personal favorite idols… David Hasselhoff. "Looking For Freedom" - dear Lord what a party. Absolutely great show, but then again, Ensiferum knows how to get the crowd going.
I did miss the Cavaleras' first set as Soulfly (with Max's son Zyon behind the kit) but there was NO way I would miss Max, and this time his brother Igor on drums, for the 1996 classic Sepultura album Roots rendition. Me and probably most of the cruisers to be honest; the Pool Deck was fucking packed. Blah, blah, get over it - I have been saying it for years - I like Derrick fronting the band - he has been with them now longer than Max ever was… but with this being said, it kicked ass seeing Max and Igor performing the album in its entire. Instead of now Soulfly bassist Michael Leon, Tony Campos took over the duties for this special set. WOW - the energy. The entire pool deck was jumping during "Roots Bloody Roots", as well as "Spit". They ended their regular set and still had time to play a few more; "Refuse/Resist", Motörhead's iconic "Ace Of Spades" and Celtic Frost's "Procreation (Of The Wicked)".
Roots, bloody Roots
Roots, bloody Roots
Could anyone top all of this? Hold my beer said Accept… probably. Oh wow, the guys around Wolf Hoffmann sure know their "unofficial" headliner status, because the band laid down a great show. All the songs you want to hear, from "Fast As A Shark" to "Metal Heart" and "Restless And Wild" to "Analog Man". While "Balls To The Wall" was in the set, they chose to end it with "I'm A Rebel". Nice touch.
We stuck around for Skipper Andy to thank everyone and announce the sail dates and destination for 2020 before heading down to the Theater to watch a bit of Fleshgod Apocalypse, but didn't stay for their entire set. Over to karaoke we went but we were too exhausted to stick around for long.
That was it for us. All in all it was, per usual, a great experience and I had a hard time nailing down my top 5 performances of the cruise; but here it goes anyways:
1. Sodom - Pool Deck Stage
2. tie Ensiferum and Soulfly's Max & Igor's Return To Roots - both on the Pool Deck Stage
3. tie Night Demon - Star Lounge and Mors Principium Est - Pool Deck Stage
4. tie Rage & LMO - Pool Deck Stage and Dragony - Star Lounge
5. Perpetual Warfare - Star Lounge
Check out the Day 4 recap video below:
And now for a special treat; long time Metal Storm member MetalDoomMaster was on board as well (and no, we didn't meet) and jotted down some thoughts through the eyes of a 1st time 70000 Tons Of Metal cruiser:
Notes by MetalDoomMaster:
This past January I was one of the lucky 3061 metal fanatics to board the Independence Of The Seas, and set sail with 60 bands and enough alcohol to keep the spectacle afloat. This was my first time on the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise and had been anxiously anticipating for months whether or not the voyage warranted the price tag. In short, I am happy to say that I'm already counting down the days to 70K 2020.
It didn't take long for me to realize what I was getting into. As soon as my buddies and I stepped off the shuttle to the pier at Ft Lauderdale and saw hundreds of people dressed in black, some headbanging to the metal blaring on the loudspeakers, and others chugging their reserves of alcohol on the foyer to customs, I knew I was in for an unforgettable experience. Once through customs, (which really isn't a big ordeal), we made our way onto the boat and found our cozy stateroom and had just enough time to get situated with the band lineup before participating in the mercifully short obligatory safety drills.
As soon as the drills are over, the party starts in full force. Since it was our first time sailing we really had to get our bearings of the ship layout as to not miss any shows in the four different venues. Fortunately, we had some time to do just that, as the first band I wanted to see wasn't set to play until later that night. After the fact I feel this was a big mistake, since there were some bands I saw that blew me away and I would never have known if I hadn't gone out on a limb and seen their set, so if you find yourself on the cruise, go see something new!
Touring the ship is nothing short of spectacular. Nearly every deck has something entertaining to offer, from Pools and Jacuzzis on the 12th deck all the way down to the Casino and Ice Rink stage (Studio B) on the lower levels. While all of that may be fine and dandy for a normal cruise, the organizer UMC and Royal Caribbean have certainly gone out of their way to cater to the metal fanatic. The metal music heard earlier at customs makes its way into every public room of the boat, including restaurants, bathrooms, and stores, which really drives home the surrealistic notion of actually cruising the Caribbean on a ship dedicated to metal music.
After a couple of pummeling performances from Dark Funeral and Bloodbath we made a stop to the expansive buffet in what's known as the Windjammer. The Windjammer would continue to be a frequented stop for us in the next few days, as who doesn't love an unending and free buffet sandwiched between trips to the bar? Speaking of bars, the ship is jam-packed with them. One cannot walk 30 steps in any direction on 70000 Tons Of Metal and not find themselves a drink at either a makeshift cart, or one of the many more established locations peppering the ship. This makes it very easy to ride a drunk between sets. Other than the ocean, this is what separates 70000 Tons Of Metal from any other festival. Whenever you're feeling spent, instead of going back to your muddy tent or driving to a hotel, you can simply stumble back to your clean climate controlled stateroom and grab a nap or a shower before the next round.
Accept on the Pool Deck
Accept on the Pool Deck
By the morning of the second day, we were pretty well settled into the cruise experience and were excited to see the opening of the pool deck stage. Gloryhammer was the first band to christen the pool deck, as well as the first band to play on any stage that day, so the deck was packed. The wind was blowing hard and the sun was beating down, but it didn't stop Gloryhammer from delivering one of my favorite sets of the cruise. The band has a certain way of embracing their silliness with stage antics and general immaturity that is quite charming as compared to a lot of other power metal bands that take themselves too seriously.
As quick as the Gloryhammer set had our moods flying high however, the merch line would soon crush our spirits. This is by far the worst part about 70000 Tons Of Metal. The system is utterly dysfunctional, as some cruisers would have to wait days before their number is served, only to wait hours in line. I ended up missing four sets I wanted to see, including Bodyfarm, which I may never be able to see again (RIP Thomas Wouters). Unless the buying process is changed, I will not be buying merch again in the future. But hey, this was the only low point of the experience, so let's get back to the good stuff.
Day 2 continued with nonstop drinking and concerts. All four stages were cranking until 6am, when Night Demon played on the Pool Deck with the sunrise in the distance. I had heard many things describing the morning sets on 70000 Tons Of Metal but there's nothing like witnessing it for yourself. I had never heard Night Demon before but a buddy recommended we stay up for their set and holy shit I'm glad we did. Their brand of heavy metal was a perfect cap to the day and was my favorite set of the cruise. The band played with tons of energy for 6 in the morning and the sound was crystal clear. If Night Demon is playing near you, it'd be a disservice to yourself to not check them out.
I was pretty wiped after the nearly 24 hour metal binge from Day 2, and was having doubts about waking up for docking at Labadee, Haiti. That all changed when I woke up and saw the mountains and crystal waters out the stateroom window. Labadee was absolutely beautiful, and I couldn't think of a better way to get rid of a hangover than sitting on an island in the Caribbean with a few whiskeys and a metal party on the beach. It was a welcomed break from the headbanging and ear ringing events of Day 2.
After a few hours of sun and relaxation in Labadee, it was time to board the ship again and get back to the bands. Dark Funeral was the first set we saw that day, and while they played a great set, I couldn't get over just how awesome it was to be seeing a black metal band play in front of a setting of Jacuzzis and tropical paradise. With 3 days of being on the boat the spectacle was still sinking in for me. There really is nothing like this cruise. On Day 3, the 60 bands begin to play their second sets for the journey back to Ft Lauderdale so after a few shows I decided to turn in early to get ready for a full Day 4.
Fleshgod Apocalypse - last band of the cruise
Fleshgod Apocalypse - last band of the cruise
Since Day 4 is the final day, it seems that most of the sailors go all-out with the drinking and shenanigans as a last oo-rah so naturally I followed suit and started early. By the time Ne Obliviscaris started at 2pm I was on my way to being completely shitfaced but I do remember them putting on a set to rival the Night Demon set two short days prior. For the complexity of NeO's music they play incredibly tight. It is really beyond words how accurate to the studio versions they play live. I'm not their biggest fan of their studio albums but this is another one of those bands that really need to be seen to be believed.
After Ne Obliviscaris came a pretty good blackout period so I can't get into too many details but I can say Bloodbath on the Pool Deck was another one of those "I can't believe this is happening" moments. I must have either cooled off at some point or started having buyer's remorse from all the drinks (they aren't cheap) because I remember Accept's show clear as day. Accept were the last band to play the Pool Deck for this round and they played a lengthy set of classics and their more modern onslaught of thrash. I skipped the Skipper's sendoff speech to find a good spot for the last performance of the cruise, Fleshgod Apocalypse, who played an absolutely pummeling set with a few new songs from their newest album. It was weird to see Paoli back behind the mic instead of on the kit, but they performed admirably.
The "70k Tons Of Karaoke" kicked off right after the last set of the cruise and continues pretty much all night, although I was far too exhausted to witness the many hours of hilarious covers done by musicians and fans alike. I awoke the next morning as many do on board the final hours of the cruise with an overwhelming depression knowing that I will have to wait another year to experience the entertainment value that only 70000 Tons Of Metal can provide. It was an amazing 4 days of sheer partying and metal mayhem across the Caribbean and I am happy to say that my tickets for 2020 are booked, and I'm ready to fucking go! Cozumel here we come!
And that's a wrap. Public Sales for 2020's 70000 Tons Of Metal have already begun. Don't miss the boat, go to their booking page and follow their social media sites (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) for up to date information on next year's line-up and events.
See ya on broad in 2020
Last but not least I would also like to thank our photographer Carl Frederick for the tons of visuals during the cruise. Check out some of the highlights of Day 4 below as well as the galleries listed on top of the page.
Written on 29.10.2019 by
Former boss lady. Now just a professional concertgoer... dangerously armed with a camera!
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