BARGE TO HELL: Day 4
The last day on the Barge to Hell was packed with another full day of bands, starting again at 10 a.m. Yet again I stayed out way too long the night before and didn’t get out to see any bands until the afternoon (yes, I actually went to the gym on the last day too). After breakfast and many refills of coffee it was time to hit the pool deck. There were a few bands I really wanted to shoot on the last day but my plan was to take it easy, just enjoy the shows and hang out with all my new Barge friends. I ended up shooting more than I thought I would – so even though I tried to also be on vacation, working was just too fun.
Holy Moses was first for me on the pool deck. I had caught some of their show previous in the Lounge and was looking forward to seeing them on the bigger stage. Sabina Classen has a new crew with her (as mentioned previously they came out to the pre-pre-party and were very cool) and they played a killer set. The Germans thoroughly trashed their audience and Classen was all over the stage whipping her hair around – a very charismatic frontwoman. For their last song “Too Drunk to Fuck”, Classen called up some German’s from the crowd that she’d met and they helped out on the choruses. The band also tossed out a tonne of CD’s to fans when they finished their set.
Right after Holy Moses a belly flop contest was held. One of the ship’s crew acted as MC and rounded up a group of men to compete. The judging panel was made up of members from various bands like Exodus, Enslaved and Grave. The judges were given small white board panels to write their scores on for each jump and Rob Dukes was giving out everything from -1 to 11. The winner is clear from the photos below.
Rotting Christ’s second set on the ship was on the pool deck and they absolutely crushed. This was another band that was odd to see out in the middle of day playing black metal but the band was having a great time on stage and really got some liveliness out of the tired crowd.
Possessed was another band with their second set out on the pool deck for the last day. A lot of people were eager to see this set after their amazing first show in the theater. Frontman Jeff Becerra joked around with the crowd that it was “hard to be evil in the glorious sunshine” but then proceeded to deliver a snarling selection from Seven Churches[Relativity, 1985] and Beyond the Gate s [Relativity, 1986]. It was definitely one of the best sets on the Barge.
Krisiun had a much larger crowd this time around – it helped at they weren’t starting at four in the morning. Their set in the theater felt a bit more remarkable since there were more fans to get into the energy and watch Krisiun’s technical prowess.
Enslaved are impressive on their own accord. Enslaved playing on a cruise ship while a thunderstorm rages in the background just makes them even more imposing and mythical. The band completely changed their set for the pool deck show and even tossed in a cover of Led Zeppelin’s, “The Immigrant Song”.
Sepultura’s indoor set in the theater was just as crowded as their first set. The focus again was on the older material which was appreciated by the crowd, but the band of course tossed in a few songs off their newest album. Brian Warner, vocalist of Vital Remains, joined Sepultura on stage for “Propaganda”, a rare song in Sepultura set lists.
Behemoth were a menacing powerhouse during their pool deck set. Everyone came out for a second dose of the Polish metallers and the band did not disappoint. Behemoth simply put on another great show. They knew how to work the crowd and were genuine and commanding in their delivery.
The theater was packed for Sodom. The German thrash legends played another excellent set, including many fan favorite songs.
When Exodus took the stage on the pool deck, everyone started grinning. Exodus strode out in Tuxedos and delivered a set with some guest musicians coming out to help on vocals. The set leaned heavily to Bonded by Blood [Combat, 1984], and fans were thrilled to hear all the classics. At The Gates vocalist Tomas Lindberg joined Duke on vocals for “Bonded by Blood” and Andreas Kisser came on stage for “Piranha”.
After Exodus, many of us stayed up until we had to get off the ship. The karaoke lounge was full of metal heads partying and having a good time partaking in some hilarious karaoke. When it was time to disembark the hordes of metalheads clad in their black t-shirts swarmed the port again, some off to the airport and some hung out a while to get in a few last moments with their Barge mates. I stayed in Miami for a few extra days and was able to make it out to Rock’N’Roll ribs. I recommend making this a spot to visit if you are going on one of the cruises from Miami. It was about a forty-five minute drive from South Beach and not too expensive if you rent a car with four other people.
Thank you to Andy and Allison from Ultimate Metal Cruises for having metal-rules.com aboard for the inaugural sailing of the Barge to Hell. We hope to be back on the next Barge to Hell in 2014.
Thank you as well to Björn, David and Wolfgang for taking care of us press people so well.