Saturday January 23rd, 2015, Day 3 at 70000 Tons of Metal proved itself to be pinnacle and easily justified one’s investment and traveling around the world to attend. Not only was there the live music overload, but that morning, the not so metal, Ocho Rios belonged to 3000 metal heads.
After spending two nights on the cruise, functioning on too little sleep and the constant nag of a hangover, the change of scenery and pace wasn’t necessary, but was most definitely welcomed. My fellow passengers, drinking buddies from the night before, and myself all unloaded into the port of Ocho Rios. Honestly, my companions and myself had pretty simple aspirations; lay out on a white sandy beach, drink a red stripe…maybe two, and fill up on jerk chicken. Maybe stereotypical, but still good. For the more high energy sort there were plenty of excursions and activities that one could sign up for to fill their morning.
As expected, tourism is the main source of income for this small little port town and once off the boat where the onslaught of taxi and rum offers commenced. If you haven’t been to a place like this before, it can be a bit abrasive, but as long as you accept it for what it is and why they are so aggressive it is way easier to start enjoying the town and the scenery around you. I am sure the locals keep the most beautiful parts of Jamaica for themselves, but either way Ocho Rios, even though not very metal, was still stunning. The beaches close to the port were pristine white sand accompanied with clear turquoise water that you could just float in for hours, but alas all good things need to come to an end. so with all with our goals easily accomplished; we came back aboard with some awkward sun burns to return to the rhythm of cruise life.
Not sure if life gets much better for a metal head than having it start with a beautiful beach, well except wandering through the fjords of Norway but I’ll take it, and knowing that you have at least 12 hours of live music ahead of you. The line up of Day 3 was no less epic than the previous with copious amounts of both folk and black metal. Due to the pool deck stage’s rescheduling from the day before it was a bit more dense than originally intended and ice hockey championships was cancelled as well.
Trollfest, Pretty Maids, Artillery and Jungle Rot kicked off the day’s sets at their respective venues around 4 pm and the metal continued until 6 am with Gama Bomb and Einherjer to close out the night. Since the night was going to be a late one, I waited until Arch Enemy‘s performance to start jumping into the photo pit again. Not quite sure how many miles I walked this day running back and forth between the Pool Deck stage and the Platinum Theater, but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see the bands in the day’s line-up even if some of them were second performances.
It goes without saying that the windblown pool deck performances by Arch Enemy, Wintersun, and Apocalytica were nothing short of powerful and majestic experiences to behold, but there was so much else to be seen and photographed. The pool deck stage made every performance larger than life with blowing hair and gorgeous lights, but there is something intimate about metal in smaller venues. On the opposite end of the spectrum though, two of my favorite performances I caught that day took place at the two smaller venues, Colombian Thy Antichrist at the The Sphinx Lounge and In Extremo proving metal can be fun at the Ice Rink. Antichrist 666 is an absolutely mesmerizing black metal front-man. Obviously, it starts with his unique corpse paint display, but he captures you with his fluid movements and haunting yet piercing vocals.
After indulging in the small venues a bit, it felt like an absolute must to catch Behemoth one more time especially at the smaller Platinum theater. With limited time to shoot the show it was great to sit back and watch their entire performance. The set was a blend of new and old with key tracks from The Satanist and the crowd especially going crazy for Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer. Trollfest kicked off the folk metal for the night, but was thoroughly finished with folk and viking metal with Ensiferum, Equilibrium, and at around 4 a.m. with Einherjer. Ensiferum, in promotion of their new album One Man Army, the set was a high energy onslaught of epic battle metal led by Petri Lindroos. Even at 4 am. Einherjer delivered the technical viking metal for the handful of dedicated night owls still up.
Even though it was a busy line up there was still time to get a chance to meet Corpsegrinder of Cannibal Corpse, watch a few songs from Monstrosity‘s set with 1349‘s Archaon, and finally wrapping up the night with beers, vodka, dancing at Sunrise Metal Karaoke.