Well with events running until sunrise and late night drunken photo shoot shenanigans with one of my fellow press members… Day 2 of this journey began with the dreaded but also completely expected hangover. With a full day and night ahead of me, I knew that I needed to pull out all of my remedies to get back on my game real fast.
Existence on a cruise is a strange one, because you fall into a routine…even an oddball cruise like this one. My daily routine always includes working out and somehow I had the pleasure of being on the same work out schedule as Behemoth‘s Nergal and the gents from Amorphis. This “backstage” experience is one of the major reasons why this cruise is so damn cool. Since I think gym time is pretty sacred I contained my inner fan girl and just shared the space like I would with anyone else.
Day 2 was supposed to be the first day for all four stages to be up and running, but the Pool Deck was not ready until the evening causing a bunch of bands to be rescheduled into other slots over the weekend. Even though, the stage was smaller than originally planned it was still the largest stage to sail the open seas \m/ I can’t imagine how big they were going to make it, but it turned out pretty amazing. Being on the 11th deck, there were soo many cool places to get a killer view of the stage from, and the opening night line up did not disappoint either. Only a half day of performances, it still included Venom, Behemoth, Ensiferum, Municipal Waste, and Jungle Rot wrapping things up at 6 am.
Chatting and interviewing done my photography night began down in the Platinum Theatre with Wintersun. This once upon a time side project of ex – Ensiferum‘s Jari Maenpaa and now full force band is not quite power metal and not quite folk metal either, but you can only describe their sound as majestic. Quick tempos, folk melodies and plenty of guitar solos by Jari and the photogenic Teemu Mäntysaari made for dynamic performance.
With the events overlapping, I ran up to catch my first performance on the pool deck…which of course was the legendary Venom. They were loud, raw, and did not disappoint all the long time fans with a full set list of classics and requests. Honestly, it may have ruined my ears for the night, but that is the price I paid to be able to photograph these metal gods.
After Venom, the night’s line-up did not get any less impressive. Gorgeous venue, star-studded night sky, fresh sea air, and polish extreme metal tyrants Behemoth on stage…. life as a metal head does not get much better than that. I think the only thing that could have made the experience better would have been getting blood on my press pass as a souvenir. From brutal to prophetic, they owned deck 11 and 12 for 60 minutes.
Some of the other bands that played elsewhere on the ship included Blind Guardian, Thy Antichrist, Origin, Cannibal Corpse, 1349, Napalm Death and Michael Schencker’s Temple of Rock.
Every night needs a social end and this one was no different. So I made my way back to the casino to drink vodka and enjoy some rock star second-hand smoke.
Besides photo duty, I had the pleasure of sitting down for an interview with Therion‘s Christopher Johnsson, Christian Vidal, and Thomas Vikström. Christopher covered topics from his in progress Rock Opera project, hobby mead production, and disdain for google products. Afterwards, he gave me a sneak listen to another band project that he is producing and business advice over dinner.