70000 TONS OF METAL 2019 HIGHLIGHT : HEIDEVOLK
I love to see intense and involved performances, but I especially enjoy when the crowd is having an obvious incredible time. Saturday night on this year’s voyage, we got proof that Heidevolk was long overdue to come back on The Boat™.
T’was the night before last, and throughout Studio B (the ice rink turned venue), fans gathered to see the Dutch band play their second set of the cruise. They weren’t even done sound check when misfortune struck and singer Jacco de Wijs took a nasty fall backstage which landed him at the medic’s. Thankfully he didn’t get injured and was able to come back to the venue on time for the show, and performed seemingly without problem.
Before the 2019 edition of 70,000 Tons of Metal, that is this very cruise, I had only ever been able to see this band once, playing a 30-minute set when opening for Arkona on a North American tour a few years ago. And after seeing them in full force on the Friday night, I was aching for more of the heathen folk’s unique sound to be delivered straight to my brain. I left out my earplugs. Oops.
Heidevolk kicked off their second show with “Winter Woeder” (they had started with “Ontwaakt” the first time, a fitting first song considering they were on a 2:30 AM and some of us had just awakened from a nap before making our way there). They also played “Een Wolf in mijn Hart”, swapping the last chorus for the English version, “A Wolf in my Heart” — they had done the opposite on night 1. They kept pumping out crowd pleasers like “Saksenland” and “Walhalla Wacht” and each piece made us more ravenous for more Heidevolk. The conveyer belt of crowd surfers would just not stop.
They thanked the bar staff for keeping us hydrated(!) and dedicated “Het Bier Zal Weer Vloeien” to them. On night one they had played one of my favourites, “Drankgelag” which they unfortunately didn’t replay on night 2, but I was glad to hear a beer song regardless!
A crowd of mostly drunk, mostly rowdy heathens started chanting “AH-HU! AH-HU! AH-HU!” demanding their obvious favourite, Heidevolk’s ender “Vulgaris Magistralis”. After more songs, more beer, and several more times pushing someone in a Cthulhu costume over my head, the band obliged and played their final piece. The venue erupted and I couldn’t tell if it was swaying because of the boat, or because of all the stomping/jumping that was happening. I got to SEE about half this song because the other half of the time I had to watch out for the eternal crowd-surfer tsunami. But I heard it all, and I saw the crowd, and the band, and it all was majestic as a warrior riding atop a mastodon.
Heidevolk bowed out and left us sweaty, and tired but smiling, and the chant of the mighty Vulgaris Magistralis echoed from the crowd long after the band had left the stage.