The Monsters of Rock 2014 Cruise is only a few weeks away and I could not be more excited. This will be my second time on the voyage and the line up looks better than ever this year. I thought I would share my top ten reasons why this cruise is going to go down in history as one of the most epic metal gatherings of all time.
Let’s get started.
1. Cinderella – Probably the most commercially successful band on the boat and in my opinion the most versatile and hard hitting of the bunch. Tom Keifer and company will blow the roof off of this place with their brilliant mix of hard rock, blues, and classic metal. I would recommend seeing them multiple times. Check out my interview with Tom earlier this year.
2. Faster Pussycat – Arguably the best band from the legendary Sunset Strip. I saw these guys three times on the cruise, they killed it with each set. Taime Downe and company sound absolutely incredible as they mix their classics with a new modern sound.
3. John Corabi – One seriously talented musician who brings his signature rootsy voice and brings down the house on several occasions. If I remember correctly, I believe he even threw in a few Crue songs from the self titled masterpiece. I would love to hear “Love Shine” and “Misunderstood” on the acoustic front. For a sneak preview check out his brilliant Unplugged album.
4. Tesla – Not really too much to say about these guys except that they are one of the absolute must see bands. Whether it’s full blown electric or their stripped down acoustic set, this is essential. Plus frontman Jeff Keith is always hanging out poolside and one of the coolest guys you will ever meet.
5. Ron Keel – Tried and true this guy keeps it real. Although he’s going to be solo this year celebrating the release of Metal Cowboy, I am sure there will be some Keel classics in the mix. Oh, and he’s got a new book out as well called Even Keel: Life on the Streets of Rock N Roll.
6. Great White – I saw these guys last year and let me say, they were incredible. Probably the tightest and most refined band we will see in the ship, I expect great things from these guys. I was lucky enough to speak with Mark Kendall as well, check out the interview here.
7. The Winery Dogs – When it comes to supergroups in the modern sense, these guys take the cake. Billy Sheehan on bass, Dream Theater’s Mike Portnoy on drums, and guitarist extrodinaire Ritchie Kotzen leading up the trio. These guys can do no wrong. Check out my interview with Ritchie Kotzen where he tells a hilarious story about being on That Metal Show.
8. Ritchie Kotzen – He’s being billed with both the Winery Dogs and solo, I would expect some serious shredding as he is likely the most versatile guitarist on the ship.
9. Slaughter – These guys delivered one of my all time 80’s metal classics, the masterpiece called “Stick it to Ya”. Mark and Dayna are still going strong, and I would really love to see Mark’s voice hit some of those notes from back in the day.
10. Kix – Last but certainly not least, these guys were on fire. The energy from Steven Whitman is incredible and Kix definitely had one of the most memorable performances on the cruise. These guys has so many songs that should have been hits it’s not even funny. Don’t miss them as they blast through what is a terribly underrated catalog of timeless high voltage rock n roll.
As an added bonus, one of my favorite metal personalities will be hosting again this year. Eddie Trunk is what I like to call the torch bearer of classic metal. This guy has kept the genre alive and well while continuing to support some of the finest artists of our time, while also introducing new ones into the mix. Although Eddie pretty much gets mobbed when he’s walking around the boat, he’s super cool and takes the time to say hi to fans and take photos. Looking forward to running into him again this year, and I hope he brings more books to sell because last time he ran out : (
Other can’t miss highlights of this year’s cruise:
1. Ratt – Stephen Pearcy and Warren Di Martini still together. Enough said.
2. Tuff – These guys should have been much bigger, they had a fantastic debut album called “What Comes Around Goes Around”. If they cut out the ballads, these guys should be amazing to see as well.
3. Dangerous Toys – Jason McMaster is a metal god. These guys will rip your face off with their Texas sized metal sound, I think they might take the crown of best overall performance this year.
4. LA Guns – I fucking love this band. Their debut is probably the best sleaze rock album of all time (or at least closely tied with Faster Pussycat). Their latest album Hollywood Forever is equally as brilliant. I will be at each one of their performances and I hope that Phil breaks down and does an acoustic set or two.
I could go on forever about how excited I am about this upcoming cruise so I will cut it off here. Which artists are you most excited for this year?