70000tons of METAL



January 24 – 28, 2011
Miami FL – Cozumel MEXICO – Miami FL

Daily updates from Metal-Rules.com‘s own JP


DAY FOUR-A Day At The Beach / Conquering Mexico

The fans stormed ashore clad in Black T-shirts much to the surprise of the locals. We looted, pillaged, plundered (and maybe some sight-seeing too) and gathered our supplies for the journey home. By dusk we were running wild and ready for boarding and with the damage done, set sail for the Americas. After 15 hours (4:00am to 7:00pm) without live metal music, we were thirsty for more.

Cripper: Likely the least known band on the trip, had an unfavorable time slot earlier in the trip but a 7:00pm slot helped bring a larger crowd. This germanic power/thrash act brought the heaviness to warm up the crowd after a day beach. Cripper were a nice appetizer for the evening ahead.

Gamma Ray: With everyone fed and watered and the boat pointed back towards America, Gamma Ray delivered another high-octane performance at the outdoor pool stage.  ‘Rebellion In Dreamland’ was temporarily retitled ‘Mutiny On The Cruise’ and finished with a couple of old favorites from Helloween, preceded by a humorous monologue from Kai about sharks, helicopters and sinking ships.

Agent Steel: The band was on a smaller stage this time and played mostly the same set as the previous time. However, I could never get tired of hearing their version of ‘The Ripper’.

Rage: Due to commitments during their first show I was able to hear their first concert, but not see it. I was NOT going to miss this show, Rage being one of main reasons we came on the trip in the first place. Rage did not disappoint playing many songs old and new. The mighty Rage must have woken grumpy old Poseidon himself, as the oceanic turbulence was the most energetic that we had felt so far. To finish the set the band invited Steve Smyth (Forbidden, ex-Vicious Rumors) and they all did a cover of AC/DC’s ‘Highway To Hell’. A once in a lifetime event!

Saxon: Once again, Saxon hit the stage late. To avoid the domino effect and back-log of set times the band cut their set 20 minutes short. However they rocked the entire, packed main ballroom and played ‘Strong Arm Of The Law’ in it’s entirety. Just past midnight Biff announced (for the first time) to everyone assembled that the name of the new Saxon album due in 2011 will be ‘A Call To Arms’. I overheard someone say the two shows were some of their best ever.

Unleashed / Ensiferum / Tyr: It was now past midnight (again) and I was in a bit of a Viking kinda mood so I passed on watching Iced Earth and Marduk for a second time each. I had seen Iced Earth many times before and seeing Marduk outside on a warm night, by the poolside while drinking a Corona doesn’t seem very grim or necro, so I strapped on my horns and off I went. I’m glad I did because I got to see Pat from Swashbuckle get on stage and do a cover of S.O.D.’s ‘United Forces’!  Allan from Primordial also did a guest vocal spot as well. Ensiferum rocked the main room at 1:30am and at about 2:30am I finally got to see Tyr!!  Great band, great fun to round out the triple viking attack before the final merciless show of the night. You can never hear too many songs about the heathen hammer!

Destruction: Another fine show and the attendance was much better than Raven the night before, as it seemed people had a chance to rest and recharge for the second half of the cruise. The band mixed the set up a little and despite the late hour they still gave 100%.  Schmier later remarked to me it was the latest show they had ever played!

Although it was late for us on the way back to the brig to get a mere 4 hours sleep before the next concert we passed by the surprisingly popular Metal Karaoke and reports that we had just missed seeing Lee Altus (Exodus), Tom Hunting (Exodus) and Blacky (Voi-Vod) singing ‘YMCA’ by The Village People!!  We will assume they were drunk and will not deduct metal credibility points from their account at this time. Another late night the head hits the pillow at 5:00, cringing at the thought of our 9:00am alarm, the pain prospect of morning eased only by the fact that the tune on the iPod alarm, (the first thing we will hear in the morning) will be ‘Fighting The World’ by Manowar!

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