February 24th, 2013
by J P




Review By JP
Photos by Randy ‘Thrashmaster’ Benoit & A.G. Babin is proud to present our feature on one of the most unique interesting Metal events of 2013, the 70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise. Staff member JP was on the cruise and with him two special-guest photographers, A.G. Babin and Randy ‘Thrashmaster’ Benoit.

Our plan was, much like last year, to see and photograph every band at least once. My personal goal was to knock off 20 bands (of the 41) that I had never seen before. By ‘knock off’ I don’t mean it is a contest, but it is really fun to enjoy the live performances of bands I had listened to for over 20 years but never seen such as Angra and Doro. I was also anticipating seeing veteran European bands that have very little exposure in North America like Gotthard, Die Apokalyptischen Reiter and Subway To Sally. In addition I was looking forward to seeing some newer bands live for the first time that I have not heard their music, such as Fatal Smile and Etecc. Lastly, I was looking forward see bands that I had not seen in 20 years like Metal Church and Lizzy Borden. The lineup was a perfect blend of old and new for me.

Day 1 – Date: January 27, 2013

Location: Calgary, Alberta
Time: 4:30am
Season: Winter (Full moon)
Temperature -10oC

Randy and I hopped the plane in Calgary Alberta excited but considerably more relaxed as we had attended 70,000 tons Part I in 2011. After an uneventful flight and change over in Denver we made it to sunny Miami Florida. The 35oC increase in temperature was nice to say the least.

A room with a view

A room with a view

After settling into our hotel downtown near the Seaport we headed to the infamous South Beach. We had heard of a pre-cruise Beach party and decided to check it out. At first we were wondering how we would find the beach party on the huge stretch of beach that runs for many miles but that was not a problem. Looking in one direction we saw a mass of black t-shirts gathered in the distance.

The Black Hole of South Beach, Miami, Florida

The Black Hole of South Beach, Miami, Florida

It was a bit cool and overcast, as a few hundred metal heads, (I dubbed the ‘black hole’) had gathered. There was a lone ghetto blaster cranking some Metal as thrash notes scattered across the beach in the blustery late afternoon. The assembled masses were drinking, socializing, comparing shirts and asking the all-too common question, ‘Who are you here to see’? The amused locals wandering by staring at the black pollution, as we said hello to few people and bumped into members of Kreator who were enjoying the atmosphere.

Beach Party

Beach Party

Beach Party

Beach Party

Beach Party

Beach Party

After a nice dinner we headed back downtown to Grand Central, a big club that was hosting a pre-cruise concert with several local bands as well as Helstar and Flotsam & Jetsam. While waiting in line we bumped into Ken Nardi (Vocals, Guitar) and Mike Owen (drums) of Anacrusis. The Thrashmaster was stoked because they are one of his all time favourites. We made their acquaintances and hung out for most of the night.

We arrived just as Florida’s premier metal cover band Made Of Metal hit the stage. These enthusiastic, young guys busted out a great selection of old hits such as…

Helloween – Eagle Fly Free

Judas Priest –Between The Hammer and The Anvil

Iron Maiden -Be Quick Or Be Dead

Dio – The King Of Rock And Roll

Dokken-Dream Warriors

Helloween-Twilight Of The Gods

I was in old-school heaven. Up next was Helstar! (Must see #20, the countdown had begun!)



James Rivera was in fine form and they even busted out ‘Good Day To Die from MULTIPLES IN BLACK. The sound was good, the set was good and it was great to see this band finally.

Helstar.... Live At Grand Central

Helstar live At Grand Central

Flotsam & Jetsam were the headliners of the night’s festivities. They opened with the title track of the new album, UGLY NOISE and played another three more new ones over the course of the night. I wandered over to the merchandise booth and bought a copy of their latest independent album to support the band.

Eric A.K.  of Flotsam & Jetsam

Eric A.K. of Flotsam &Jetsam

Tired and happy we made our way back to the hotel for our last good nights rest before the pandemonium and sleep-deprivation of the next four nights.

Next>> Day 2






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