On January 22, 2015 The Age of Metal stepped on board the Liberty of the Seas to embark on the 6th annual 70,000 Tons of Metal. Honored, open-minded, adventure ready, and camera in hand I was ready to submerge myself into four full days of metal at sea.
60 bands and 3000 fellow metal heads boarded the ship with me. I will admit that I was a total cruise newbee before this, so it took me a bit to get settled in and get a handle on the layout of the boat itself. Since, I had never gone on the previous trips I could not personally compare this new ship to the previous year’s, but it was quite the classy the place for all these heathens. If one decided not to spend their time at a show there were plenty of luxuries on this boat to occupy yourself with along with a rather impressive number of quality bars and beer stands. There was really no reason why you should have walked around empty-handed.
This years line-up was not only impressive in the number of bands on board, but their quality and diversity as well. There was no hesitation in getting the metal started either. The first shows began only a little over an hour after departure… Equilibrium and Helstar kicked everything off. The night’s line-up was split between 3 stages and included Therion, Annihilator, Enthroned, Arch Enemy, Apocalyptica, Kataklysm and Korpiklaani.
Even with the bands playing two sets each, decisions on where to go could still be difficult at times. My days were filled with metal, but I am still bummed about some of the events I wound up missing. This first day, was all about getting settled in and getting a full dose of black and folk metal. So my night started with Belgium’s Enthroned where they brought the dark and the occult to the Sphynx lounge, this was the ship’s smallest venue, but the most intimate.
Next up, I made my way down a deck to the Platinum Theatre (which turned into my favorite stage to shoot) to see Alissa grace the stage in her stunning new stage clothes with Arch Enemy. They were absolute precision and pure fucking metal as always. This was also my first time getting a chance to see Jeff Loomis play with them as well. His style and obvious skill fit so perfectly that it seemed like he has played with them for years rather than a few short months.
The night continued in the same fashion… shoot, watch, run to opposite end of the ship repeat until finally around 2 a.m. I decided to be a social creature. Having all this metal at your disposal is a little consuming and you don’t want to miss a moment, but this was also the first time I had ever been surrounded by 3000 other like-minded people from 70 different countries. So my empty hand was filled with a beer, socializing and shenanigans soon followed.
Day 1 was technically only a half day of events and short a stage, but still over 20 bands boarded and killed their sets.
Day 2…coming soon 🙂
Pictures: Day 1