Feb 11

70000 Tons of Metal 2017 – Day 1


The day was finally upon us all, the official day one of 70000 Tons of Metal 2017! Having boarded this legendary metal cruise before, I had decided to show up a bit early to Port Everglades knowing that the lines can be tediously long. Within a record time of about 30 minutes in line, I was able to grab my sea pass and was soon on my way to board the ship… only to find everyone in line ahead of me were also still waiting to get on board as well. 

Guess I had shown up a little too early out of eagerness to get on with this metal journey, but who wouldn’t be excited? Anyway, wandering about in the waiting area gave me the chance to catch up with a few old friends and only about an hour later we finally were permitted admission onto the vessel!

About 1:15 pm I had finally arrived on board and being so full of exhilaration I hadn’t even realized that Nalle Påhlsson of Therion was in front of me this whole time trying to navigate to his cabin as well. After finding my official place of (some) sleep for the next few days, it was time for a late breakfast/lunch in the Windjammer, a bloody Mary, and some good old chatting time with some new and old friends. Soon after it wasn’t too long until everyone’s least favorite part of the trip came along, the mandatory muster drill. Now, in reality, a muster drill on a boat with 3,000 metalheads really isn’t so bad and can be a bit entertaining if you ask me, especially since the crew takes note of the crowd and shows us how to inflate the life vest like playing an air guitar.
Then the time was here, the boat was ready to set sail with Scar Symmetry and Trauma rocking the boat into the waves of the ocean. Shortly after I was scrambling take a break to retrieve my luggage, get settled in my temporary living space, grab my gear and headed out to Moonsorrow in Studio B which was, of course, fantastic as expected. Typically, on a traditional family cruise Studio B serves as an ice rink, but on 70k it is turned into a nice venue with a lot of good seats and floor space. Personally, to me, it seems a bit colder than any other indoor venue on the boat but maybe it’s just me stuck with the idea of it normally being used as an ice rink, I don’t know. Anyways, watching Moonsorrow play brought back great memories of them back a few years ago, in 2012 on my very first 70k experience and as I remember they were also one of the first bands to play after we left port. At this time everyone was still getting warmed up including the bartenders and the crew readying to quench our thirst as the waves of metalheads hit the different bars nearby venues.
Next up was Serenity at the Pyramid Lounge. For those who have never experienced this venue before it might have been a tiny bit… well… tiny. To put it in the simplest way possible, the Pyramid Lounge is a bit like an overcrowded can of sardines (somewhat sounds like you are in a can too) and if you are not in the center floor of the venue it can be like an obstacle course of chairs, tables, and people falling asleep in couches. But of course, this will never stop us to see our favorite artists perform and have a good old time. Anyways, I had noticed during the first few songs of Serenity the venue had a difficult time projecting the audio from the guitar, but nevertheless of they kept rocking it like crazy. Also on the plus side, this was a great opportunity for me to hear the true talent of the bass player loud and clear (being a former bass player myself I can appreciate a good bass solo). Eventually, the audio cleared up and everyone was heard loud and clear… I mean really loud and clear, especially if you didn’t have earplugs.  
At this time I was ready to run over to see the mighty Arch Enemy in the Alhambra Theater. This theater is the largest indoor venue on the ship and has a fantastic light show which seamlessly suits each band’s personality. Always a great set full of energy by these guys, I’m not sure how they are constantly able to pull off such a ravenous show each time. After such an energetic show, I decided to pick up one of my favorites at the Dog and Badger pub on deck 5, a double white Russian and then head out to the fine dining for a nice classy dinner with a few good friends. Oh, did I mention you are traditionally obligated to dress formal to this type of dinner and not wear a metal T-shirt? Well… not on this cruise!

Just in time for our classy dinner, I headed out once again to Studio B for some Pain! I was very impressed with their show, saying this as a newbie for watching them. The singer had straightjacket with the long sleeves loose and whipping them about on stage, even into the crowd. Finally, the last show of the night (for me) was Marduk in the Alhambra Theater. Though I have had the chance before to watch Marduk but have never been able to see them actually play, I was very excited to see them for the first time. The theater had a very dark and ominous lighting to set the mood and some super bright strobing lights to give that real shocking effect to the crowd. Needless to say, after the show was over it was 4 am and I was beaten and ready for a good few hours of rest until the official morning to let the new day of metal begin…

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