Once again on the 4th week of January the most moving Heavy Metal festival on Earth begun – the 70,000 Tons of Metal.
Put out for the first time on 2011 (read the review), the few changes for the 2012 edition was the destiny – this time to Cayman Islands – and the bands, none were on this festival before. The friendship vibe was the same, but this time with some known faces from the last edition and some good ol’ pals who will be in memory for a quite long time. Also there were present travellers from everywhere, 49 countries represented including our beloved Brazil.
There were again 40 bands plus 2 extra ones, informally headlined by Nightwish on their new formation with Anete Olson and Venom, the masters of black metal Chronos, Abaddon and Blasrts. With those bands leading the cast you can have an idea of who also was present.
For Rock Express the festival begun before leaving Brazil. At Guarulhos International Airport, just after Eluveitie presentation in São Paulo and a few days before boarding to the festival, the band’s vocal commented this excitement with the festival format and he believed he will find plenty of fun on the boat. He also confessed being afraid of flying, and asked me if Avianca is a trustful company. If he asked me after the quest to return home, he will certainly hear a big “NO” as the answer.
Another guy who talked to Rock Express just after the festival was Fabio Lione, tour singer for Kamelot. He said about how much he liked it and hope he can return on another opportunity. He also told about the situation with Rhapsody of Fire, and said that they are still friends and this year both bands may start composing the new songs.
Talking about the festival, the most difficult thing is point the weak and strong points, as everything run really fine. All bands were impeccable, from Candlemass to Hammerfall, passing by My Dying Bride, Cannibal Corpse, Vicious Rumours, Stratovarius, etc. But for me the show who went overboard was Therion, who bring 4 singers on stage and made 2 amazing shows playing their classics. If a word can precisely describe it, beautiful is it.
Edguy with his talkative singer Tobias Sammet also bring lots of classics on stage and made the day of people who didn’t heard their old songs. Even having a strong name worldwide, their members seems to live on a parallel reality as some people were disgusted with the on stage chit-chatting, arrogance and harassment to the crowd. On the last night people leaving the show was targeted to Mr. Sammet acid humor. Nothing really bad if you go to stand-up comedy presentation, but far away from what people expect for a Heavy Metal show.
Some delays were also present, especially on the first and last day on pool deck stage. The first day the stage wasn’t ready on time, making some bands to delay or postpone the show. Not a really problem, as the final result was perfect and everybody played as promised. On the last day the opposite situation happened, the excessive wind was trying to disassemble the stage cover which was removed for the last show. Also there was some delay jumping off the boat to Cayman Islands, caused by a big amount of ships anchored and the small quantity of “tenders”- boats who transported people land.
Talking more about the shows, Hammerfall had different set lists for both shows with songs from all albums of their career. Another one who took the dust over the old songs was Stratovarius, with two different and exciting shows on the fall of the fourth day, a real Twilight Symphony who crowded the pool deck. On those shows Jörg Michael was invited playing with them, after quitting due surgery and cancer treatment.
Venom was something unexplainable. People stopped what their were doing to for the show, for example in front of me there was Oscar and Joacim from Hammerfall with their fellow Snowy Shaw, invited to sing with Therion. It was a 75 minute unforgettable event where even the drum solo was cool. Cannibal Corpse also made incredible performances, even after partying every day. Yeah!
Aside from the shows, there were some side events to cheer up the metalheads. First of all the classic Belly Flop Contest, where the winner is the one who’s take the biggest amount of water out of the pool on a belly diving. The winner is decided by the public and dynamic computed by cruise team. Another event is the daily Karaoke Night, where anybody can jump onstage and sings world music classics. From time to time a famous face joined the party, as Alexi Laiho from Children of Bodom singing Stayin’ Alive from Bee Gees. This year there was a new event where you were able to play anything with the Annihilator Jeff Waters’ guitar. People were shy in the beginning, but in some minutes there were people on the drums, bass and mic on a 70,000 people jam session. Too bad there weren’t keyboards for me.
During the cruise it was also confirmed the brother festival named Bardge to Hell, who will use the same structure of the current festival but counting with Extreme Metal bands only. There weren’t many details, only it will occur on the first week of December 2012.
The official 70,000 Tons of Metal website gives some evidence of a 2013 edition, but nothing further. Anyway if they deliver the same quality of attractions of both editions, their motto “… trip of a lifetime” will still be true.