Feb 21

70000 Tons of Metal 2017 – Day 3

It was a nice four-hour rest until I woke up to some heavy turmoil from the waves of the sea rocking the boat (literally this time) and realized we had arrived at Labadee, Haiti. 

Sluggishly I was able to motivate myself enough get ready and go to explore this island. I have always enjoyed seeing our crew of metalheads temporarily take over the beach just to relax, socialize and splash around the ocean for the day. Luckily it was not a very far walk and soon we were on to explore this beautiful land in the Caribbean. It has always been a tradition of mine to go and find a local place with some island cuisine, but this time I decided to switch things up given that we were all provided a nice BBQ provided by Royal Caribbean on the island. Sitting in the warm ocean, watching various metalheads come screaming down the zip line and drinking my mango pina colada was great relaxation, but I was sure everyone really wanted to get back on the boat and continue the heavy metal fest on board.
Soon enough I was on my way back to the Independence, thirsty for more of the music we all crave and the first show I was ready to see was once again Draconian, this time in Studio B. It was a great performance, and hearing them play a slightly different set with many of their old favorites, I was a very happy camper. When the show came to a conclusion, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a lyric sheet from Lisa Cuthbert (temp singer in their performance) had handed me. Another memorable show and I can’t wait to watch them perform again someday.
Next up I was headed out to the Alhambra to check out Haggard and their wondrous show that I have heard so many rumors about. Needless to say, they are certainly a unique band to watch live combining the elements of violins, viola, cello, flute, oboe, and keyboard with a great range of vocals and of course who could forget the guitars, bass and drums. Truly talented and with great style, the crowd was fully indulged into every song and of course still rocking the ship with each beat until the end. Now it was time for me to head out to see Kamelot for their performance out in the open ocean winds on the pool deck for round 2.
It was only 10 pm and the pool deck was crowded with long hair and metal shirts readying themselves for Kamelot to take the stage. With a heroic entrance, the band got into position and took the stage by storm. In addition to a great drum and keyboard solo, they played a similar set in order to utilize the convenient availability of Elize and Alyssa joining them during this floating metal festival. The pool deck seems to be a magnet for crowd surfers, I even noticed a few people going from the hot tub in the center straight to crowd surfing. Also, if I remember correctly there was a guy crowd surfing flailing around a giant and frighteningly realistic uhh… dildo. Just goes to show that you never know what surprises will be in store on this boat.
Approaching midnight, some friends of mine convinced me to go check out the band Einherjer down in Studio B. I was very pleased with this Norwegian metal band with the influence of folk-ish symphonic metal with very Viking inspired vibe, certainly a new-found treasure for me. Something else that is always great about this (or any) large music festival is being introduced to new bands, even if they have been around for a while just waiting for you to stumble upon. Following up this folky atmosphere, I was soon headed out to the Alhambra to see the upbeat and enjoyable sounds of Equilibrium.
It was a pleasure to welcome back Equilibrium to 70k as they went on the voyage once before a few years back in 2015. I have personally been quite a fan of their new album “Armageddon” and of course they had to play a few songs from it. This is the kind of music that just makes you want to grab a beer and sing along to the jolly folk metal tunes, even if you can’t sing (like myself) at least makes you want to try, something about folk metal I suppose.
It had been a long day and I was just about ready to call it a night but decided to go check out the last few minutes of Xandria on the pool deck right before I called it a night. Personally, I feel that many bands enjoy the pool stage the most since it is very unique compared to any other ordinary stage. I mean how many bands can say they not only played on a ship but also in the open elements with a hot tub mosh pit?
And now for me, it was time for bed.

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