Feb 22

70000 Tons of Metal 2017 – Day 4


Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and the final day of this fantastic adventure had slowly crept up on me. I had intended to wake up extra “early” to go watch Serenity, but my body had decided that sleep was more important and sadly missed their set. Slightly disappointed with myself, I jumped into some clothes and swiftly made my way up to the pool deck for Amaranthe’s show.

It seems I wasn’t the only one who started the day off a wee bit late since I was able to make my way to the front with ease but of course, the thin (well, thin for the pool stage) audience filled out more right after the very first song. It was a great jump start for the day with their unique and very diverse sound overriding the humid ocean air. Ending the show with a bang, I decided to run for a quick breakfast/lunch to stock up my energy for the day to come.
The pool deck seemed to be the predominant stage on this marvelous last day as Orphaned Land was next up. A great show to watch from the beginning to end every time and they have never stopped amazing me since the first time I saw them back on 70k in 2012. And with that, they had a nice surprise guest, David Rivera of Tenebrarum with his electrifying violin skills and his distinct stage performance helped to blow our minds. With the show nearing its end I prepared myself for the next exciting event on this day, the renowned “All Star Jam’ down in the Alhambra theater.
To anyone who hasn’t been to this jam before, basically it is a collaboration of awesome musicians coming together to perform metal classics, you know the songs we all grew up with and have flowing through our veins. When I arrived at the theater it was probably the most packed I have seen it the entire trip and the closest I was able to get was just beyond the sound booth.  The set list was great with the classic sounds from Van Halen, Black Sabbath, Dio, Iron Maiden and AC/DC being sung and played by artists such as Thomas and Linnea Vikstrom (Therion), Alex Skolnick (Testament), Elize Ryd (Amaranthe), Will Carroll (Death Angel), Frank Bello (Anthrax), and of course Jeff Waters (Annihilator) is just a snippet from this superstar event.
After the excitement from the All-Star Jam, it was time for a more relaxed and intimate event which was a guitar clinic hosted by Christian Vidal of Therion. I had never been to a clinic before on 70k but was always interested in attending one, and earlier I had run into Christian himself and he spoke about it briefly, so I thought maybe it was time for me to experience one. He played us a song from his new album “Home” with a song entitled “Hormigas” and began to explain his inspiration to make the song. It was very interesting and I learned a lot (for being an aspiring artist myself) to see how someone in a band that I adore is able to explain some of their techniques used to create the music I love.
It was time for some more shows now in studio B with Omnium Gatherum ready to take the stage with doing what they do best. On a different stage this time, they changed up their set just a bit to fit in a few older songs such as “Chameleon Skin” from the album “The Redshift” one of my personal favorites. Once again with great energy and mesmerizing guitar solos, you know these guys certainly get the audience fully involved in each song. Soon it was time for another quick snack up in the Windjammer to replenish my energy to keep going through the night… and maybe a drink (or two).
Because it was the last night of the cruise and many people have been on at least one round of 70k before, a lot of people came up with a tradition of the last day being an unofficial costume day/night to celebrate and have as much fun as possible. As the night carried on I noticed more and more costumes coming to shows and stirring up attention such as an inflatable T-rex, Dragon Ball Z characters, Godzilla, Chippendales dancers and even Dr. Rockzo the rock and roll clown. On my way back up to the pool deck, I even saw a costume of a man traveling on a leprechaun’s shoulders.
Back on the pool deck, everyone was ready for Carcass to tear up the stage this nice evening. I decided to finally go to check out this legendary brutal British band because who wouldn’t? At this time I was trying to squeeze in as many shows as possible since it was 8:30 pm that meant I only had another three and a half hours left until the last show of the night I would watch began. So soon enough I was out to the Alhambra theater for one last time to see Angra because I knew I would be kicking myself if I didn’t get to watch them live at least once. With their flooring music and outstanding vocals from the one and only Fabio Lione, this band is bound to leave you in awe until the end and I am very pleased to say I finally saw them perform.
It seems this was a great day for exercise for me as I quickly made it back up to the pool stage for the final shows of the night to begin. Arch Enemy was ready to rip the stage up with their energy pumping music and insane guitar riffs. It wasn’t long into the set before the pit became a roaring vortex of flailing limbs, stomping feet, whipping hair and of course booze. Singing along to all my favorite songs is another reason why it is always a pleasure of mine to watch this band and they never disappoint. After the final song and departure of the band, I was able to make my way to the front of the line for the ending of this floating metal fest.
Slightly saddened knowing this would be the last show on this boat (well, at least for another year) I waited for Therion to take the grand finale on the pool stage, and personally, I couldn’t have asked for a better ending. From the moment they take the stage until the very last beat, Therion just brings me so much joy to watch, cheesy sounding I know, but so very true. As soon as they played “Son of the Staves of Time” it was almost overwhelming with emotion for me, such an intense and powerful song. Nearing the end of the set, our favorite Skipper came out to say a short speech and a big thank you to everyone who was able to make this remarkable event happen. With the mic handed off to Christopher Johnsson for an additional few words, the pool deck practically became silent… well, minus a few people chanting “CHRIS TO PHER” in the back which eventually caught on when he was done talking. It was incredible to see the amount of respect the entire crew had for him being on board just for this show, and for that, I think we all can say thank you Mr. Johnsson.
After a great emotional farewell from the stage, it was time to celebrate our last moments on this vessel with each other by going to the one and only 70,000 Tons of Karaoke which was set up also on the far side of the pool deck this year. Definitely, a great time to remember with various artists coming together with fans just for the sake of some good fun and drunken singing, now who doesn’t like that? Eventually, I began to see lights on the horizon and realized I should probably go back to my room to pack up my bags and prepare for my departure from this memorable metal journey. Saying my last goodbyes to friends from all over the world wasn’t so sad since I know that our paths will eventually cross again someday and with the power of technology communication across the globe is literally at your fingertips.
Now I will sit here and wait until next time to be reunited with my metal family where it is literally a home away from home! Can’t wait to see you all in 2018!

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ANTHRAX - Kings Among Scotland

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