70,000 TONS OF METAL 2018 Day 3

Words: Bonnie Archer

We arrived in Cockburn Town, Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos by 8 a.m. and many cruisers and bands took advantage of the opportunity to go ashore and enjoy the beautiful weather and picturesque island.  Meanwhile, husband and I did something we had not done on the prior two 70K tons of Metal Cruises: We signed up for an “excursion.”  Specifically, we signed up for the “Gibbs Cay Beach and Stingray Encounter with members of Meshuggah.”  Woo hoo!

So at 8:45 a.m., we walked off-shore to the meeting point, where we and a whole lot more people than I expected proceeded to board three small tour boats and take off towards Gibbs Cay.  We were given brief instructions on how to operate snorkeling equipment and in short order, were able to get in the water and do a little snorkeling along the coral reef. It was a pretty neat experience, even though I hadn’t seen any band members by this point.  We got back in the boat and headed toward the island where the boat staff “summoned” the stingrays who seemed to respond to the noise the boats made (these stingrays were pretty used to tourists), and were allowed to pet and take pictures with them.  Cute as they were, I let husband do the honors.  He happily obliged and claimed they were a bit on the “slimy” side.  We did see Mårten Hagström, Meshuggah guitarist, on the beach – he was on one of the other three boats – and he graciously posed for a picture with me.  All in all, it was a very fun way to spend the morning.

Back on board the ship, I decided to check out Battle Beast, a band formed in Helsinki in 2008 with a power metal sound.  Ever see a band and think, “You guys really need to pick an image?”  That was this band.  Vocalist Noora Louhimo was clad in her finest black stage wear and with her soaring vocals and grand gestures wowed the crowd, but next to her stood keyboardist Janne Björkroth in bathing trunks and flip flops.  While the crowd seemed to like their music, it presented a confusing visual.

I watched Exodus’ second show, this time on the Pool Deck.  Members of Benediction were there, at the bar (grin), thrashing along to the music, and George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher was checking them out as well.  The band brought out Andreas Kisser from Sepultura to perform “Piranha” with them, which was a nice treat, while Brian Warner from Vital Remains helped sing “Bloodless.”

Sepultura’s second set, also on the Pool Deck, was just as good as the first.  Green asked the crowd how many of them had gone off shore.  Once again, he was full of gratitude, and once again, the band looked as though they were fully enjoying themselves.

I ended my night checking out Cannibal Corpse’s second set.  Hate to say it, but this one felt a bit dialed in.  The band started to play the same set (not unusual, most bands follow the same set list), except that they played at least 4 songs before George said, “How the f*ck are you doing? That was a terrible response. I’ll ask you one more time: how the f*ck are you doing? (Roar).  All right, we have a few more for you.”  A few more songs followed before he said, “This next song is about shooting blood from your cock. It’s funny until it happens to you. I cum blood.” OK, that may take the prize for most humorous song intro. And then, “Are you alive or dead? You’re probably too drunk to make any noise. ‘Stripped, raped and strangled!’” Overall, not a bad a performance, but one got the feeling they were going through the motions for this one.  And with that, I was ready to call it a night.