Once again the Monsters of Rock Cruise over delivered with an epic voyage through the Bahamas with some of the best hard rock bands on the planet. There was so much going on this year that I didn’t get a chance to see every band or attend every event that I wanted to, but the ones that I did get to were well worth my time. As I reflect back on an amazing four days at sea, here are a few of my favorite moments.
1. The Blackout at Sea Photo – All hands on deck for an epic sail away photo with Eddie Trunk. Things got started a bit later than usual so it was almost literally a black out at sea with black T-shirts racing against the setting sun.
2. Tom Keifer in the Theater – The Cinderella front man is absolutely brilliant and his solo album is killer. He has one hell of a back up band to boast as well.
3. The Winery Dogs on the Pool Stage – I’m a bass player and I was watching Richie Kotzen most of the show, that’s how f**king amazing this guy is. Add in the super powers of bass god Billy Sheehan and drummer extraordinaire Mike Portnoy and you have one EPIC super group.
4. Queensryche on the Pool Stage – Holy hell these guys sounded amazing, in fact better than I think I have ever seen them before. Semi-new front man Todd La Torre hits every note perfectly and begs the question. Geoff who?
5. Faster Pussycat on the Pool Deck at 1am – Always my favorite show on the cruse. Overheard on the deck during the show “I’ve never seen anything like this before, this is fucking awesome.”
6 Alice Cooper Alumni Jam – Led by Kip Winger, all the folks who have ever performed with Alice Cooper joined together for an epic jam.
7. Babylon A.D. in the Atrium – Who would have thought after 25 years these guys would sound so amazing. Derek Davis had one of the top voices on the boat and their new live album is spectacular. On top of all that, the band were super cool guys and spent time hanging with the fans everywhere I looked.
8 John Corabi plays Motley Crue – The mayor of the Monsters of Rock Cruise played the 1994 self titled masterpiece in its entirety and it was brilliant.
9. Extreme – I haven’t seen Extreme live since they toured with Saigon Kick back in the 90s. These guys were amazing and probably the most animated and acrobatic band on the boat.
10. The Cathouse Lives – The legendary Sunset Strip staple returned for one night and hosted performances by Faster Pussycat, Bang Tango, and Rhino Bucket. Riki Rachman was on hand to host.
11. Poison minus Brett Michaels – The special guest at pre-party number two was Poison with guest vocalist Brandon Gibbs of Cheap Thrills. C.C. Deville and camp were absolutely on fire.
12. The Shenanigans – What happens when you get all these guys on a boat and add a bit of alcohol to the mix? I have not idea what Eddie Trunk and Faster Pussycat are doing here, but it makes for one epic photo.
13. Heaven Meets Hell – Where else in the world can you get a shot of Stryper along side of Faster Pussycat?
14. Richie Kotzen Solo in the Atrium – Nuno Bettencourt announced Richie and even admitted that Richie is the better player. Enough said.
15. Rikki Rachman and Taime Downe Q&A – Out of all of the amazing Q&A’s on the cruise, this was easily the most entertaining. It was like a script from an unreleased movie called tales from the Sunset Strip.
So how about a few more highlights from the 2015 Monsters of Rock Cruise…………………….
Another epic shot of C.C……
Young gun Gabbie Rae killing it in the Golden Lounge
Drummer extraordinaire Mike Portnoy
The Cathouse House Bands with Stryper
Legendary Metal DJ Will who was kicking out the jams poolside
The crowd at pre-part #2…
I can’t hear you……
Then there was this guy…..
Michael Sweet blessing the crowd…
And who in the hell knew that this guy could shred like this?
And finally my favorite 5 photos from the cruise:
Here’s to next year, hope to see you on the West Coast Cruse.
What was your favorite moment on the 2015 Monsters of Rock Cruise? Join the conversation in the comment section below.