70000TONS 2018 HIGHLIGHT : WAKING THE (BATTLE) BEAST
It was the early morning. On any regular day, I would have been twenty minutes away from waking up, but on 70000 Tons of Metal, our whole cabin was asleep when Sagan’s alarm blared through it, waking all four of us up. I squinted to see the time, half-blinded by the back-lit phone, the other half because my glasses were on the table in front of me. The display indicated 4:41 AM. Battle Beast was to take the stage at 4:45. We had planned on getting up at 2:45 AM but the alarm on my phone had decided otherwise.
I rose out of bed quickly enough to make myself dizzy and threw on my glasses. Sagan, in the same state of panic, put on both legs of her pants simultaneously before hopping to the door while putting her shoes on. Less than 30 seconds after the grating sound of the Dethphone filled our small cabin, we were barreling through the hallway of the ship, running to not miss a second of one of the bands we were both wanted to see the most. As we were sleeping on the 9th deck, making it to the 11th on time wasn’t a phenomenal feat of athleticism, but we still ran like it was the 400 m sprint at the Olympics.
We were carefully penguin-walking on the permanently-slippery tiles of the solarium when Battle Beast’s intro music started. We could see the outline of the crowd swallowed by the early-morning darkness, illuminated only by a few purple lights, and it looked packed. Both Sagan and I cursed, thinking there was no way we would ever be able to get to the front.
Against all odds, a section of the crowd near-miraculously parted right before the band took the stage and launched into “Straight to the Heart.” We weaseled our way in, high fived, then proceeded to spend the next 45 minutes screeching like banshees along to the funky 80s-inspired brand of metal served by Battle Beast, who delivered one of the best performances of the cruise.
As is the case every single time I have seen Battle Beast live, I left wanting more. I sat on my balcony, admiring the spectacular sunrise as we approached Grand Turk, belting out "Far From Heaven". Thankfully, it wouldn’t take 12 hours before I saw the battle beasts again, though much more awake, and exponentially drunker.
But that’s a different story for a different highlight.
Spectacular sunrise from our cabin balcony — 70000 Tons of Metal 2018