Monday, April 21, 2014

Meister's Monsters of Rock Cruise 2014 #15-Sunday

 Wow, these daily diaries are a ton of work to do!  I've now been off the boat and back in The Great White North for more than two weeks and I'm just now getting around to day #2 aboard ship!  I'm going to try my best to condense my ramblings here in hopes that I can complete this project before 2015's cruise and besides many of you have already "heard" the highlights via the Decibel Geek Podcast episode #132 that Chris and Aaron had me as a guest for, thanks boys that was a lot of fun as well!

The morning started with some breakfast and a morning beer, of course only light beers before noon for me, not sure what time Kate started the Patron Parade!  The idea of gathering the "EH" Team was to congregate for a huge Canadian Contingent photo aboard ship and the plan was to do it at the
Some of the "EH" Team
KiLLeR DWaRfS show at noon in the Pantheon Theatre.  That show time was changed after we had set the time and place and without the ability (wifi very expensive aboard ship) to contact the group I decided to hope for the best.  We had a turn out of about 25 of the 60 person Canuck team, which is not too bad considering the time changes confusion, the ship being in the port of Nassau Bahamas, and general drunken forgetfulness!  The photo was later submitted as a countdown shot, one of the first ones counting down until we do it all again in 2015.

Janet Gardner-photo by Brian Ronald
The first live event of the day for me was Vixen in the Pantheon Theater, rescheduled from the rain cancellation the previous night.  Vixen took over the noon time slot from Loudness, who had originally taken the slot from the KiLLeR DWaRfS.  The ladies led the charge with "Rev It Up!" featuring Michael Lardie on the keys and followed up with "How Much Love".  By the time they began their third song selection of "Bad Reputation" it was apparent that the ladies were not easing up and planned to rock the theater as if it was a night show instead of the first of the day.  The memories of last year came rushing back as I recalled just how much they had impressed me on the previous cruise and obvious that they were setting out to do the very same again!  I can't wait to see Share, Roxy, Janet and Gina on two back to back nights in May when they visit The Rockpile in Toronto.  All the usual set list suspects came out
Roxy Petrucci-photo by Brian Ronald
 to play including "Cryin'", "I Want You to Rock Me" (which showcased a medley of covers in the middle like "Pour Some Sugar On Me", "Kiss Me Deadly", "I Love Rock n Roll", "Here I Go Again" and "Paradise City"), "Streets In Paradise", "Love Is a Killer", "Never Say Never", "Hell Raisers", "Wrecking Ball" and "Edge of a Broken Heart" wrapping up the set.  We were also treated to bassist Share Ross' vocal stylings on a cover of Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" that helped round out an excellent start to the day.

Having been to Nassau a few times previously and quite frankly not being impressed I chose to remain on the ship and finally take in some of the other events aside from the rock shows that are offered on the MOR Cruise.  "Cooking with Rockstars" and "So You Think You Can Shred" both took place in the afternoon, but once again I succeeded in missing the non-concert events as I enjoyed an afternoon with some newly made "EH" Team friends and of course ice cold adult beverages.  Maybe next year I'll finally get to some of these other events!

Akira Takasaki-photo by Brian Ronald
Loudness, after several ugly rumors were circulating prior to embarkation that they would not be aboard the vessel, were indeed present and accounted for, handling the sail away concert as we headed away from Nassau and back out into open waters.  A fitting song as I'm sure it's what was in store for this evening, "Crazy Nights" led the way, blazing a trail that saw tracks from early albums to recent recordings and even from the forthcoming release.  The newer material sounds a little more melodic than the past few albums and I eagerly await the new effort from "The Land of the Rising Sun".  I was able to catch the lovely Roxy Petrucci (Vixen drummer) for a quick photo as I was leaving the Loudness show early on my way to support fellow countrymen, the KiLLeR DWaRfS in their acoustic show in the Golden Lounge.

photo by Meister
The Golden Lounge was absolutely more than packed for the charismatic DWaRfS and I was ecstatic to see the turnout for the boys.  With DWaRf skin basher, the pirate himself Darrell Millar (who by the way is no dwarf standing over six feet tall) watching from the sidelines the remaining DWaRfS, Russ, Gerry and Johnny treated the crowd to "Doesn't Matter".  Asking the crowd if we needed drums, Darrell took his position behind the kit for "Comin' 
Meister supporting the DWaRfS
Through" followed by "Driftin' Back".  At the conclusion of "Dirty Weapons", which included a sing-along-for all the Canadians, Darrell exasperated "Do you know how hard it is to play that song quietly?"  "Stand Tall" and "Keep the Spirit Alive" took us to the end of a very entertaining, as always, set from the guys peppered with Russ hilarious monologues.  With the reactions, response and turnout from the audience I can't help but believe that The KiLLeR DWaRfS will be back on board next year as least I can hope until we get the full roster announcements!

After some mingling with friends I was led against my will down to the Black & White Lounge to catch a little of Tuff's performance.  I'm not a big Tuff supporter, but certainly not offended by them
Tuff-photo by Meister
either I just wanted to make sure that I had a good spot for Doro's upcoming set on the pool stage.  None the less I ended up at Tuff's set entering on "I Hate Kissing You Goodbye""So Many Seasons" was the next selection and Stevie Rachelle regaled us with a short story of the "Dumb and Dumber" rhythm section who succeeded in losing their drink tickets the first night after only spending a few of them.  Rachelle was quite funny in his berating of his band mates and I realized that he possessed a lot of charisma as a front man, at least way more that I had expected.  "The All New Generation" and "American Hair Band" shut things down and I made a mental note to spend more time with Tuff's catalog, Aaron Camaro was right they are really good!

Doro Pesch-photo by Brian Ronald
For those of you that don't know, I have a full sleeve tattoo that depicts a guitar case "stickered" with the logos of some of the bands that have affected me throughout my life.  Doro appears in that tattoo as does Warlock (her former band) and this was certainly one of the most anticipated events of this 2014 cruise for me.  In fact it's almost as if my tattoo has predictive powers.  You see on the very first MOR Cruise the "European act" was UFO, who appears in my tattoo.  Voyage #2 saw Saxon on board, who also appears in my tattoo.  This year it's Doro and if we follow the tattoo that means that next year we would see Accept cruising with us!  And that would be an excellent choice and make me very happy as well......let's see what happens.  The German Metal Queen and her incredibly tight band ripped
Nick Douglas of Doro-photo by Brian Ronald
through a Warlock heavy set list that looked like this: "Earthshaker Rock", "I Rule the Ruins", "Burning the Witches", "East Meets West", "Raise Your Fist In the Air", "Metal Racer", "Fur Immer", "Revenge", "Breaking the Law", "All We Are", "Without You" and "Burn It Up".  In my third time seeing the pint sized beauty rock the crowd the whole band put on an excellent show and I was lucky to have been able to secure a spot right up front for the event.  If there's one person I want to meet more than any other aboard ship this year it would be Doro.  I remember back in school I took a German language class and the teacher had said that if we bring something German into class that we would spend that period discussing the item.  I brought Warlock's Triumph & Agony album in and we listened to it the whole class, even doing some translations, which did not make me overly popular with my classmates.
Doro Pesch on the pool stage-photo by Brian Ronald
Lorraine Lewis-photo by Brian Ronald
After whipping into the buffet for some much needed sustenance it was a rush back down to Black & White, arriving late for Femme Fatale's set there.  I came in on "Fortune & Fame" one of my favorite songs from the Femme Fatale record.  With regular drummer Athena being injured and unable to make the cruise Iron Maidens drummer Linda (Nikki McBURRain)
Nita Strauss-by Brian Ronald
 McDonald joined her Maidens band mates Courtney (Adrianna Smith) Cox and Nita (Mega Murray) Strauss to help out Lorraine Lewis and Femme Fatale for the cruise.  "Waiting For the Big One" brought us to the show closer of a cover of KISS' "Lick It Up" which saw Nita switch places with the audience, abandoning the stage to play on the couch out in the lounge as some crowd members were invited on stage to assist with the song.  Sad to have missed the whole set, it seemed that the ladies were on fire just like last year's impressive shows where they won me over as a fan.  Femme Fatale is certainly an awesome and fun party doesn't hurt that they're all gorgeous too!

Ron Keel-photo by Meister
Keeping the rock going full force I bolted off to the Golden Lounge for the second time today to catch Ron Keel's acoustic set.  While I dearly wished that the full electric Keel band had made it aboard this trip, Ron unveiled that they will indeed be rockin' the Divina again next year!  Mr. Keel went through a selection of tracks encompassing his whole career including "Long Gone Bad" and "Just Like Tennessee" from the new Metal Cowboy release, "Serenade" from Steeler, and Keel classics like "Because the Night" and "Tears of Fire""Three Chord Drinkin' Song" included a very very cool thing for Ron Keel to do.  He invited two friends of mine (OK, well their father whose name will not appear here is a friend of mine) on stage to help him sing.  The boys, Zack and Kyle did a great job carrying the chorus of "Three Chord Drinkin' Song" (video with Zack & Kyle) which before long morphed into "The Right to Rock".  Having my own experience singing with Keel last year I can only imagine what must be going through those boys heads!

The Meister with Janis Tanaka & Katt Scarlett
A quick jaunt to the other end of the ship brought me to the Charm City Devils performance.  I was once again able to weasel my way up front for the first half of the set which included "Spite", "Love n War", "Devil Is A Woman", "Burn Baby Burn" and "Karma's A Bitch", a new composition.  The band was sounding good and the material familiar to me as I had searched out, purchased and enjoyed their two album discography prior to cruising.  They are definitely a band to watch out for in the future with their old school style rock and roll.  I retreated to the facilities and the bar before making my way up to the pool stage for L.A. Guns, but not before catching bassist Janis Tanaka and keyboardist Katt Scarlett of Femme Fatale for a photo.

Having been missing their lead guitarist on the previous excursion, due to his  neglecting to bring his passport L.A. Guns were back in full force this time with all current members present and accounted for. The set list included "Sex Action", "Never Enough", "I Wanna Be Your Man", "Over the Edge", "Gypsy Soul", "Kiss My Love Goodbye", "You Better Not Love Me", "Sweet Mystery", "Electric Gypsy", "The Ballad of Jayne" and "Rip and Tear".  After L.A. Guns rocked the pool stage with passport references peppered through out the set it was time to head back down into the bowels of the vessel to hit up Faster Pussycat, another cruise staple.
L.A. Guns on the pool stage with all current members-photo by Meister
By the time my friend from Louisiana and I got down there the crowd was sufficiently packed in and both being short of stature we could not see anything.  We made the decision to hang near the back (bar) and take in the audible portion of the presentation as well as some more adult beverages.  We were not alone as several "EH" Teamers were entranced in the same plan and we amalgamated ourselves into the group.  Faster Pussycat, a fan favorite aboard ship are the prefect band to close out the evenings festivities and their set included all the usual suspects such as "Jack the Bastard", "Cathouse", "Slip of the Tongue" "Number One With a Bullet", "Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll", "House of Pain", "Nonstop to Nowhere", "You're So Vain", "Bathroom Wall", "Pretty Fucked Up", "Shut Up and Fuck" and "Babylon".

Sometime after the show while many of our Pussycat Party group headed off to bed, my friend from Louisiana and I in an unwise decision roamed the ship for well over an hour in a drunken search for the next no avail.  Time for sleep several hours ago methinks!

The Meister (The Meister on Facebook) (Meister on Twitter)

*****Once again extreme thanks to my friend Brian Ronald for the use of his awesome photography.  From now on Brian you MUST attend only the shows that I do so I don't have to use my own photos which quite obviously pale in comparison to your work, Cheers!*****

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