70,000 tons of Metal Cruise (Days 1&2)

70,000 Tons of Metal day 1&2

A day like any other at the airport. Flight to Chicago, Chicago to Miami. I changed my clothes in anticipation for the climate change. How welcome it was compared to a rainy Vancouver and a freezing Chicago. The band arrived around 130 am, (the flight attendant seemed to be in a nasty mood and told us the local time was 1130). We get a sketchy cab ride to our hotel. Sketchy being our driver speeding over every bump he possibly could. Our hotel check in was interrupted by a army vet telling our check in girl to ‘Call 911’, because someone had parked in a handicap spot. His apparently. The girl was a little more rational about the solution to find the person and ask him to move (no one even suggested finding a tow truck) her suggestions didn’t satisfy so he went off to ‘go call 911’. Just imagine that call.
 A shuttle picked us up the next morning going to port. It was a massive ship. The Majesty of the Seas is the vessel name. My bottle of Makers Mark and I make it through check in and get our room. Shane, Justin and I in one, Cam and his wife Sara in another and Byron with friend Kiel in another. Small rooms but cozy enough. It’s about 11am, we don’t play till 4:15 am the following morning. So we start into spending our 50 charge cards towards drinks, which I had spent by the end of that night.
There were familiar faces all over too which was great. Holy Grail, Cryptopsy as well as some people I recognized but haven’t yet met.
The layout of the boat was pretty neat. The pool deck had two big salt water pools, and two hot tubs. One pool had been drained, that is where the ‘Pool deck stage’ was being built. Constructed from  scaffold, planks, cable, supports etc. The big stage had been erected with all the amplification and lighting to go with it. It was truly impressive.  As another cruise boat leaving port passed by, our boat, as is tradition I’ve learned, yelled out multiple times, “Your boat sucks! Your boat sucks!” to the passing vessel.
It came time to set sail. We embarked at 6 pm, just before sunset. The slowly descending sun in the distance beside the Miami skyline gave a peaceful feeling of the journey to come. It was a sunset and surrounding that makes me appreciate something Bryan Seely said, “This is what our rocking pays for.” I’ll never forget that and he is right. Money isn’t always around in this business, but unique experiences like this are quite priceless. All made possible through music.
Come dinner I realized, holy hell this inclusive buffet is awesome.  Asian foods, salads, pasta, meat, fish, desserts, coffee, soups, even fruit soups like cold strawberry bisque or pear soup. They kept the menu pretty interesting.
All that sun, food, drinks and metal could be tiring, not mention we played at 4:15 in the morning, so it was time for a nap.
I was more or less expecting a low attendance for that time of night. But to our surprise it was a fantastic turnout and fantastic crowd. Cam was almost late to the show, not to mention it was a big ship we still weren’t familiar with. We barely got away with writing out what songs we were gonna play too. But things all came together as they do. It was a triumphant gig.
Gene Hoglan had mentioned to me the strange feeling of sitting behind and playing your drum kit, while the boat sways softly in the ocean moving everything with it. It was indeed a new sensation behind the drums, as well as the sea air blowing the cymbals upwards away from its resting angle. But again it was a great show and was also the first time we played our cover of Accepts “Restless and Wild” live.
Oh boy the night had just begun. It should have ended with me playing the show and going to sleep. But hindsight is 20/20.
Turns out our pals in Holy Grail were on that boat as well, and it was Blake’s birthday. So I grab 1/4 of my liter bottle of Makers Mark and poured my first sizable drink. Which led us to Karaoke, and many more drinks mostly bought by fans (bonus). After several hours of excess and my karaoke version of Dina-Moe-Hum by Frank Zappa I stumbled up for breakfast when the sun came up. Shitfaced, got to my room for prompt vomiting and a subsequent squandered following day of hangovered sea sickness, with all food being kicked out of the stomach when presented. I heard Oliver from Cryptopsy pulled a similar move. Brothers in Barf!