What a way to kick off 2011 in METAL style!
If I were to say to you man, I would love to go on a cruise ship for several days and hear nothing but Heavy Metal bands play you would’ve thought I was crazy right? Well, that was before January 24th of this year.
This is definitely in the running for one of the most unusual “Metal Festivals” ever. I mean, what can you compare it to?
It seems as though it was a raging success despite all the naysayers and some early reports from bloggers that were saying that this event was a scam! I read several posts from supposed “hipsters” who thought it was cool to make fun of the idea, talk down about it and generally trash talk throughout 2010. Not quite sure who those peeps were [you know who you are], but I suppose if you are desperate enough then some people will post about anything to try to get some exposure in the blogosphere. It’s funny now that the event proved to be a success, most of the naysayers are retracting their comments and jumping on the bandwagon. Priceless.
As far as we know, this was the only Metal Fest. to be held on a cruise ship —that’s right folks, I said cruise ship, which set sail from Miami, Florida to Cozumel, Mexico on January 24 and returned four days later. Hopefully there will be another in 2012 as I know a lot of peeps out there took a snooze on this first round.
I love their tagline:
“The World’s Biggest Floating Heavy Metal Festival”
Although the ship departed from Florida (U.S.A.) it was indeed an international Metal event as fans flew in from all over the world to attend. *I surely hope that some U.S. promoters will get wind of this killer event and see that the [virtual] “stigma” that seems to still be associated with Metal events here in the states is exaggerated and pointless. Wake the fu** up, it’s time for us to start organizing more similar events just like our European brethren manage to do successfully each year.
Who is that stranded band member?
Another cool thing about this event was that the normal boundaries between bands and fans was non-existent. Heavy Metal fans were able to wine + dine and mingle in the same areas and basically hang out together all over the ship! I am sure there will be some amazing pic’s floating around as it was quite easy to get front + center and or score some quality face time with your favorite bands. So this was a dream come true for the some 2,000 Metal fans who attended.
4-days – 40 bands!
- AGENT STEEL
- AMON AMARTH
- BLIND GUARDIAN
- CIRCLE II CIRCLE
- DARK TRANQUILLITY
- DEATH ANGEL
- FEAR FACTORY
- GAMMA RAY
- ICED EARTH
- ULI JON ROTH
- SONATA ARCTICA
- THE ABSENCE
- TWILIGHT OF THE GODS
That’s an impressive list of bands there.
Kudos to Andy Piller (who’s actually from Canada) for coming up with this idea and for having the balls to go out on a [major] limb and make it all happen. I am sure there were some incredible risks involved to take on such an event.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that there were pro film crews aboard who documented this monumental happening. So far, I’ve seen some great photos being posted, but no high quality video footage [not-to-mention audio] of the shows.
An all-access DVD would be wildly popular for most of us who were not able to attend. I’m sure there is more than enough crazy footage to fill up a 2nd DVD with “extras”! I’ve seen my fair share of “hotties” that were running around in bikinis as well.
I was really happy to see that SANCTUARY pulled it together and played a “reunion” show. I’ve been anxiously awaiting their return. They were a very talented band who did not get their due in the 80’s IMO. We will be posting a special photo slide show gallery from them in a separate post.
It was great to see some other legendary old dog favorites of mine represented, from VOI VOD to SAXON and even ULI JON ROTH.
It was a rare feat to see German bands such as SODOM and RAGE on these shores as well. And AGENT STEEL back together playing live in 2011? Who would’ve thought.
Extra respect goes out to heavyweights: DEATH ANGEL, TROUBLE, FORBIDDEN, EXODUS and last but not least TESTAMENT, for their continued lifetime Metal legacy. The band was to play two very unique shows while on board. At the first show they proved their “Thrash legacy” by playing The Legacy album in its entirety; at the second show they performed The New Order album in full!
Many folks told me I would “grow out” of Thrash Metal or Metal in general, but at 43 I still enjoy each and every one of these bands as much as the first time I heard them.
Thrash or Power Metal riffs will never die or fade away —at least not in my head!
Enough of my rambling, enjoy the excellent TESTAMENT photo slide show from the cruise! – Kinger \m/
*Special thanks to Andrei Tokarev for the amazing pics (that’s him in the last fan photo) .
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I had some friends who attended and said it was pretty awesome.
Shiprocked happened pretty recently as well, but it wasn’t quite as “heavy” as this.