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70000 Tons Of Metal 2020 - Day Four: Until We Meet Again

Event: 70000 Tons Of Metal 2020
Written by: D.T. Metal
Published: 30.09.2020


70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise 2020 - Day Four by CROMCarl (210)
70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise 2020 - Day Three by CROMCarl (185)
70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise 2020 - Day Two by CROMCarl (193)
70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise 2020 - Day One by CROMCarl (127)

The last full day of cruising was upon us; while always bittersweet, this year more so than ever.

Before you read what all happened on the last day of this year's 70000 Tons Of Metal, you might also be interested in checking out the prior days:
  • Day One: Ready To Rock 'N Roll
  • Day Two: With Full Steam Ahead
  • Day Three: And There Was Wind

    Ready To Party

    Taking inventory on which bands we missed and still wanted to see during the last day of the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise 2020 we realized that our schedule would be pretty light. Sweet - more time to actually socialize, catching up with folks and basically taking it easy.

    The last day of the cruise was also 'costume day' and while I can't remember when and how this all started, it has been going on for years. I do remember though that during the earlier days of the cruise the costumes were more 'homemade' and people weren't dressed up with just bought outfits for the cruise. While it might look funny dressed like a giant Pikachu, when one of those dudes is in front of you during a show - good luck seeing anything. Anywhoo, to each their own; just not my thing.

    Archon Angel were playing on the Pool Deck Stage when we headed to breakfast and by the time we walked back over to the pool deck French old-timers Sortilège were entertaining the audience. Unfortunately there weren't all that many people on the pool deck during their show. Yes it was windy, but it was otherwise a clear sunny morning.

    We headed inside to the Royal Theater to check out a bit of Edenbridge's second set while a lot of people got ready to watch the annual Belly Flop Contest in the only open pool onboard the Independence Of The Seas. Oh wow, the attendance in the Theater was pathetic to say the least and I actually felt a bit bad for the band playing in the biggest indoor venue on the boat in front of a handful of people.

    Æther Realm was a band I really wanted to check out; missed their first show in the much bigger Studio B and had to settle on the Star Lounge for their second gig. To my surprise the Lounge was actually pretty packed. I really dig their sound but I had to laugh when the singer announced "we have time for 4 more songs but we only gonna play 1?so strap in!" Not familiar with their discography I actually had to look it up for this article and the song was the almost 20min long "The Sun, The Moon, The Star " off their 2017 album Tarot. Pretty impressive, but for a setting like the cruise I might have chosen actually 4 songs instead of 1, but hey, those who were there to watch them had a great time nevertheless.

    While I haven't been at the All-Star Jam in a couple of years due to the fact that the Theater is usually packed to the gills, standing room only, I was very, very surprised that we actually found a seat this year. And yap, while it is sweet to see and hear the 'rockstars' perform some classic songs, it's meh in the grand scheme of things on 70000 Tons Of Metal. For this that it was Michael Schenker's 65th Birthday celebration I thought more people would be in attendance. We didn't stick around and maybe the Theater filled up more, but yah, not my thing.

    Unfortunately I missed most of Finntroll on the Pool Deck Stage but I heard it was fucking insane from the first note until the last. The Finns always have a great time on the cruise and this year was no different. We were gonna watch half of the second performance by Toxik after checking out Once Human in the Star Lounge but we had so much fun at the latter that we stayed for their entire set.

    I had seen them before, on tour with Xandria back in 2017 and got to know their bassist quite well during the inaugural Megacruise in 2019 when he played with DragonForce. Since front growler Lauren Hart, best known as live backup singer in Kamelot and ex and recently live Machine Head shredder Logan Mader are the main forces behind the band it was a no-brainer to watch them on the cruise. The Star Lounge was pretty packed as well and the atmosphere was great.

    Once Human played mostly songs off their 2017 album Evolution with the exception of "Pick Your Poison" off their 2015 debut. Before the band played a 'cover song' Lauren told the audience since we have one of the ex-Machine Head dudes with us, why not play one of their signature songs; "Davidian" was played and the crowd went nuts. All in all it was a great performance and I hope they will play again on a future cruise.

    On Day 4 of 70000 Tons Of Metal there are always some special events as well as artist clinics happening. This year, in addition to the belly flop contest and All-Star-Jam, Leaves' Eyes Alex Krull and some of his 'Vikings' performed or rather educated the audience on some history of Vikings with a showcase on a bridge on the Promenade Deck.

    Viking Showcase

    Soilwork, one of the last bands announced for the cruise, was already playing on the Pool Deck Stage by the time we got there. It was still pretty windy outside but this didn't hamper their performance. The Pool Deck was also pretty packed and Soilwork played a varied set and not just concentrating on their last album. Yes, they played 4 songs off 2019's Verkligheten but the rest of the set was all over the place? well, all over the decade. They did play 3 older songs and it was nice that they incorporated "Bastard Chain" off 2001's A Predator's Portrait.

    Heading back down into the belly of the beast - the Star Lounge once again to watch Striker. We really wanted to see them on the big Pool Deck Stage on Day 2 but it was way too late. I guess I am getting old or something. Anywhoo, the Canadians had the room moshing and crowdsurfing in no time. The Lounge was pretty packed also, no small task since Candlemass was playing in the Theater during the same time. At one point during the show the vocalist put up the guitarists' hairstyle to vote - mullet or no mullet - mullet won.

    Epica was already knee deep into their Design Your Universe set on the Pool Deck stage when we headed back upstairs. Still very windy so we hung around for a bit before retreating to our usual hang-out spot. The wind carried Epica's sound and depending on where you stood, it either sounded great or distorted. It wasn't any better for the Emperor show which followed. It was very, very windy. After some dinner, we watched half of the first song and decided to head down to Studio B for another dose of party metal, courtesy of Kissin' Dynamite.

    Kissin' Dynamite
    And wow, it was pretty packed. And here we go again, during their first gig the Germans had to compete with Devin Townsend for viewership and now the mighty Emperor. And wouldn't you know it, both of Kissin' Dynamite's show were really well attended. I guess after people heard what kind of a party it was during their first show they didn't want to miss the second one.

    "I've Got The Fire" off their latest album Ecstasy got the party started and it was full steam ahead from there on out. Frontman Hannes Braun had so much fun on stage and it showed. He thanked the audience plenty of times for supporting the band, especially since this was their first time in America and on the ship. It really showed how appreciated he was and it reflected in the band's performance. "Let's make Arena Rock great again!" They flat out kicked ass.

    After the last song ("Flying Colours") we headed back out the venue and were waiting for our friends on the bottom of the staircase. Upon seeing them and everyone smiling from ear to ear, yours truly started the chant from the song and all of the people, standing around or on the stairs already, chimed in. Folks said they heard the chant all the way up the open staircase, almost to the Pool Deck. It was awesome. Kissin' Dynamite made a post on their Facebook page about it as well. You are welcome.

    Exodus was tagged for the last show on the Pool Deck Stage. Playing their 1985 debut album Bonded By Blood in its entire the band sounded tight around new/old singer Steve Souza. A lot of artists were present on the Pool Deck as well to hear this thrash classic being played live. Once Human's Logan Mader was unstoppable with his crowdsurfing and to be honest, he seemed to have a great time during the entire cruise. Well, maybe since he plays live with Machine Head now he can convince Mr. Flynn to play on a future 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise? not holding my breath though.

    Skipper Andy came on stage during Exodus to give his yearly speech where he usually also announces when and where next year's cruise will take place. After apologizing about the lack of communication on his part throughout 2019, apparently he was going through some health issues; he acknowledged that this was not an excuse, but rather an explanation why everything was announced so late last year. Once again he told the audience that they are the best fans in the world and that they are the United Nations of Heavy Metal with guests from 71 different countries around the world attending 2020's 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise.

    He said that there will be a round 11 of the cruise and it would go back to Jamaica. He did not give dates for the sailing, but a couple months later it was announced that the 2021 sailing, the 10th Anniversary of 70000 Tons Of Metal will take place from January 7 - 11, 2021 out of Fort Lauderdale to Ocho Rios, Jamaica and back. Wellllll, about that.

    Exodus ended their set with covers of "Motorbreath" (Metallica) and Saxon's "Princess Of The Night" before inviting everyone to do "The Toxic Waltz".

    After watching about half of Carach Angren's set in the Theater we waltzed our way to bed and called it a night.

    My Top Three bands for the day were: Kissin' Dynamite, Once Human, Striker

    And my overall Top Five performances of this year's 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise were:
    1. Kissin' Dynamite at Studio B
    2. Omnium Gatherum on the Pool Deck Stage
    3. Bloodbound in the Royal Theater
    4. Candlemass on the Pool Deck Stage
    5. Epica in the Royal Theater tied with Possessed on the Pool Deck Stage or Devin Townsend

    Regrets on this year's 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise? Nah, we saw everything we wanted to see and had a great time hanging out with friends. Now going forward; I have no clue if the cruise is going to happen in 2021. The organizer hasn't given any indication that it won't, but several other music cruises scheduled to happen in the first quarter of 2021 already threw in the towel; they canceled, rescheduled or made other plans.

    Another rumor going around was that the cruise might be on another ship and/or cruise line altogether. To be honest, I wouldn't mind a change of scenery. We were lucky enough to score a free cabin on the Megacruise in 2019 which sailed with Norwegian Cruise Line and I have to say that the cabin comfort and food was a notch better then on any Royal Caribbean ship. But again, the change of ship is a rumor and the 70000 Tons Of Metal organizer hasn't indicated to make any changes.

    As of press time, the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise is still on for 2021; leaving the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area on January 7th en-route to Ocho Rios, Jamaica and returning on January 11th 2021.

    To Be Or Not To Be

    Would we go even if the cruise would happen? Not sure to be honest. I bet most if not all non-American bands will have issues traveling to the US and the diversity of bands would be dramatically decreased. And I wouldn't be interested to attend a cruise with just American bands playing. No disrespect here, but a major draw for me is that I can watch and/or discover bands who will never tour the United States.

    Let's wait and see I guess.

    But while we are waiting, check out some visual highlights of Day Four below:

    Click for more Day 4 pictures →

    Written on 30.09.2020 by Former boss lady. Now just a professional concertgoer... dangerously armed with a camera!

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