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M/S Galaxy cruising between Helsinki and Tallinn for about 2.500 passengers was already waiting at the port when about 1.300 Metalheadz arrived at Helsinki Port for the first Finnish Metal Cruise. As there were still 3 hours to go some visited the nearby store to buy some nutrition and to begin partying. This is why the Finns displayed a good mood already at early lunch time – all drinks and food was included in the ticket price. The food was excellent, by the way, and after enjoying it the opener of Metal cruise entered stage.
For Selena And Sin 19:15-20:00 h, Pub Tallink
Annika Jalkanen introduced the partying guests to rather melancholic sounds that got lost in the more and more crowded bar space. This young Finnish band still managed to get through their set and rounded up with a cover version of Uriah Heep´s "Lady in Black".
20:30-21:30 h, Moonlight
A bit too much Tarja, too high and rather ridiculous stage costumes were offered by „wild animal“ (= Villieläin). But still it was fun and we should meet the singer next day at Hevi-Karaoke (singing Nightwish... which surprise). Her father informed us that it was the first concert of the band ever – quite courageous!
21:30-22:30 h, Starlight
Petri Lindroos and his gang fitted better to the crowd and the party mood, all seemed to have a lot of fun, and there was a quite impressive moshpit. When the audience demanded "Move!" from keyboarder Tuomas Planman – who is quite known for a minimum of stage action – even he began headbanging, continuing throughout the rest of the set. Quite good and Norther as you know them.
The band from Tampere who defines their style as Pop-Metal presented a female at the front, Piritta looked funny and was quite active, but neither vocally – she didn´t hit the tones several times – nor musically they were convincing. Almost the whole Norther audience rushed to the bar, only some expressionist dancers entered stage and added some weird entertainment value to the show.
23:30-00:30 h, Starlight
Entwine sounded surprisingly heavy, even their softer material turned Metal and sounded much more powerful than on CD. The band surprised with playfulness and a lot of fun on stage and offered a great show. For "Twisted" also Jules Näveri (Enemy Of The Sun, Profane Omen) joined the singer and had the moshpit going. A great gig!
00:30-01:30 h, Moonlight
First Ultra Mayhem – even their band name showed a lot of courage – had the audience wait for more than 20 min, then they didn´t seem too excited to enter stage. And their sound isn´t really worth to be mentioned. A bit Thrash, wanna-be-Death and a lot of boredom emptied the Moonlight and brought a lot of work to the people behind the bar. And you should note here that prices were Tallinn-standard and therefore quite cheap. Also cigarettes and liquors were appreciated by customers at the cruiser´s Duty-Free-Shop.
01:30-03:00 h, Starlight
After this flop, Moonsorrow saved the party mood on board. Half of the audience got lost at the bar, but the other half, quite tipsy, returned to Starlight to have a drinking break with atmospheric but not soft Pagan/Folk-Metal and to work on future neck pains. Great show!
Deadlock 03:20-04:50 h, Moonlight
Once again half of the audience vanished during the last band that day. A lot of energy and a very professional show convinced all those who were still upright and awake and not „feeding the fish. “ After rattling tired bones for 1,5 hours only the toughest met at Metal Disco.
Metal Disco bis 06:00 h, Zenith
Rather empty. The advantage of a rather empty dance floor and a nice DJ is free song choice. 10 x Slayer, 5 x Iron Maiden, 5x Pain, 3 x Krisiun – in just one hour, that is a new record. Later you could see some people in suits, rather out-of-place, without success trying to talk with headbanging girls. Obviously there were „normal“ customers on that cruise, too. And they gave up before the Disco closed at 6:00 h.
After that the party continued in hallways, rooms and stairways or lifts until the first bar re-opened at 7:00 h.
It became quiet when the captain announced in Finnish language that you had a chance to visit Tallinn. After 30 min the message was repeated, and right before M/S Galaxy left again for Helsinki, he just gave up.
10:00-14:00 h, Moonlight
The only people awake were the fans of Karaoke singers at 11:00 h at Moonlight.
Finns love Karaoke, and although some fell asleep now and then, every singer received laughs and applause.
And as every Hevi-Karaoke also this one presented a good mix of talents and threats. A lot of fun!
13:30-15:00 h, Starlight
At 13:00 h the Moonlight emptied as the ladies hurried to their rooms to add more make up, because HE was on now. Who? I asked because outside of Finland the name Ari Koivunen doesn´t mean anything. Ari won the Finnish Idol-Search – and not like German Maddin who just received contempt at Wacken, Ari is in Finland cool and a real star. But the person greeted by hysterical screeching looked like 15 years old to me, and he had never really stuck out except for standing at the microphone. Well, so this is him... Musically there was nothing to complain; also vocally Ari was quite good, backed up by an experienced band. A bit too much routine and too many poses for my taste. The audience was 75 % female, dressed to kill and ready to mutilate the lucky one who was taken on stage by Ari for a song. Great!
At 16:30 we were back at Port Helsinki, and most of the guests announced to be part of the Cruise- afterparty about 1,5 hours later. Well, but we have to announce that except one of the organizers from Germany only the STALKER-Crew and about 5-6 more Cruise veterans could be found at Inferno. Tztztz... so where were the hard partying/drinking Finns?
The first Metal Cruise might not quite satisfy the organiser´s expectations attendance-wise, but still it was a success. And as the next Finnish cruise organisers – for the annual Spinefeast Festival in January – were there to checkout the situation and get some tips, you can definitely be looking forward to this event, too.