Eights hours. Hundreds of friends. Nine bands. No less than ten Dramamine pills. Half a bottle of sunscreen. One too many drinks. Yeah, yesterday was absolutely amazing.
Last year, my friend DJ (of Buried Above Ground) had this crazy idea of doing a metal show on a boat as it went up and down the Mississippi river. It was such a success that it was obvious it would have to happen again. Unfortunately, I spent majority of my time last year in the bathroom puking my guts out since I apparently get super sea sick. When DJ announced that there were going to be two boat rides this year, I instantly felt my stomach turning into knots. I was dreading it but, at the same time, knew this was something I just could not miss. I came prepared this time. Bright eyed, bushy tailed and with a bottle of Dramamine in my back pocket. I was ready for whatever the day was going to bring.
The first ride was an all ages ride and families were encouraged to come. It was adorable to see some younger kids not only get excited about being on a boat, but also about seeing the type of music their parents like. The kids were running around with pops and popcorn while the parents enjoyed the music and friends. It was a perfect atmosphere to bring a kid to. There was no fear of anything happening to them because, as I always say, we are all family, and, we were on a boat, they really couldn’t go anywhere.
I loved how the bands that played during the day show didn’t really change anything about their set. There was no lack of energy, no lack of curse words, it was like a normal show and I respected that. I’ve seen too many metal bands play all ages show and act like it’s a practice. Every one of the bands that took the stage on the early ride truly had their heart in it and gave a performance, not just a show.
After four hours of enjoying the music of Nanashi, Terraform, Royal’z, By The Thousands, and Buried Above Ground, it was time to return to the dock and turn the boat over for the next show. My friend Jennifer and I rushed to the little taco shop up the street for some dinner and came back to a completely different scene than when we had left. The pops in people’s hands had been replaced by flasks and the popcorn was replaced by beer. The love in the atmosphere was still there, it was just radiating off of people who were a bit more rowdy than earlier.
As the boat left the dock, the music started and didn’t end until four hours later when we docked again. By The Thousands and Buried Above Ground pulled double duty by playing both shows and brought Reaping Asmodeia and Blue Felix along for the ride. Even though I had already seen By The Thousands and Buried Above Ground just a couple of hours earlier, there was nothing boring about seeing them a second time. Their energy had shifted to something a bit more sinister and brutal than they had during the day making it feel like a completely different show.
Just like last year, all of the bands that played yesterday were on point. They sounded great, looked great (thanks to the lighting from Sam Goldberger!) and were perfect in every way but that wasn’t what yesterday was about.
Yesterday was about the genuine smiles on everyone’s faces throughout the day. It was about every hello and hug that was shared between friends and strangers being more than authentic. It was about pulling off the unthinkable for the second year in a row and doing it successfully. It was about celebrating the fact that we have such an amazing metal scene here in the Twin Cities that we can make stuff like this happen.
Venue: A Boat!
Sausage Fest Meter- 6 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 27
Crowd Surfers- 1
Stage Divers- 0
Broken Bones- 0
Fights- Almost 1 but it was quickly resolved
Pukers- 0 (I DIDN’T PUKE THIS YEAR!!!!)
Passed Out People – 0
Celebrity Sightings- Far too many to list
Overall Score- 10 out of 10
Show on Deck- Northern Invasion– Please pray for my ginger-self!