Yesterday, HeadCrusher bassist Gustavo Calderon detailed his top bands on Barge to Hell’s maiden voyage, a Dec. 3-7 cruise to the Bahamas with metal deities. Here, the Austin thrash quintet’s guitarist David Coloma waxes metallic – to hell and back.
“Hell and Back”
by David Coloma
I want to begin by stating that Barge to Hell organizer Andy Piller and his crew accomplished the true definition of a good time. The whole experience on the cruise was incredible.
First off, there was no V.I.P area, so everyone was treated equally. It was like watching a group of good friends reunited after a long time. There was a lot of respect and good times. It sounds too good to be true, but the camaraderie was everywhere. The first night we caught several bands, but the ones that killed it in my opinion were Bonded by Blood, Enslaved, Lock Up, and Sodom.
Next day I was recovering from partying and preparing for our first gig on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 2:45am. The only band I caught in its entirety on Tuesday was At the Gates. Glad I saw them. They were on fire and they had the crowd going. Their execution was straight to the point, a great band as always.
To our surprise there were a lot of Central and South American metal heads on the boat, a few fellow Colombians as well. They all came and supported us. Some members of Behemoth, Bonded by Blood, Krisiun, and Municipal Waste also watched our set, and we got a great response from everyone. It was awesome.
What do you do after a morning like this? Go and celebrate in the karaoke lounge. Lots of drunk people attempting to sing Queen, ABBA, you name it. The drinks were flowing; everybody was a having a good time. We arrived in the Bahamas around 6am. After sleeping a few hours, we spent time venturing around the island.
The Bahamas are beautiful, the locals were great to us, and the food was amazing. It was awesome to see Necrobutcher from Mayhem sporting his Miami Vice swimming trunks proudly.
When we got back to the ship, we were determined to see more metal. I was able to catch Grave, who delivered pure death metal. Afterward, I spoke with [frontman, sole constant] Ola. He’s a really cool guy. I mentioned to him that my favorite Grave disc is Hating Life and he said he was very proud of that album.
Exhausted from our schedule, the band slept. Thursday morning, heavy metal on the TV woke me up. I forgot to mention that metal is streamed everywhere on this boat, in the fancy restaurants, casino, restrooms, guest services, etc.
I got something to eat and then headed to the pool deck. I grabbed a chair and enjoyed the performance of Solstafir. They’re an Icelandic band whose sound isn’t heavy but rather doomy. I think a lot of people in Austin would like their sound; they’re a very interesting band.
At this point, it was time to get ready for our second and final gig at 1:45pm. We brought everything we had to this performance and the longer we performed the more the crowd and energy level grew. It was great to play for an audience that was willing to mosh and bring everything too.
After the gig, we returned to our drinking schedule, but with a sadness looming because we knew it was coming to an end. I can’t complain. I met some of my favorite musicians. I made new friends and shared very special times with my old friends too.
Later in the day we headed to see Sepultura. It got me by complete surprise when I saw Andreas Kisser sporting his HeadCrusher T-shirt onstage. I was so excited to see one of my childhood guitar heroes supporting my band. It really was a special moment for everyone, we couldn’t believe it.
Then we went to see Exodus at the pool deck. Every time I see Exodus they always deliver intensity. They had Tomas Lindberg from At the Gates join them in “Bonded by Blood.” Right after, we went to catch Brujeria, and to our surprise again, Shane Embury was sporting his HeadCrusher T-shirt.
At this point we were really drunk, obnoxious, excited, and loud; just enjoying what metal has given to us. Our singer Kike and bass player Gustavo were invited to join them on “Matando Gueros.”
It felt like we were baptized in metal.
Once it was over, we slept for a few hours before returning to reality – our Hell!
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