You’re sitting on the deck of an amazing cruise ship. You have your favorite beverage in your hand and good friends by your side. Suddenly the scene morphs into a fantastic rock concert with bands across the hard rock and metal genre to entertain you for days: on the beach, in intimate bars, and in a fantastic theater stage.
What a dream……NOT. It’s real and it happened on the recent ShipRocked Cruise which left Port Canaveral, Florida in January 2018. Fans of bands like STONE SOUR, SEETHER, IN THIS MOMENT, ARANDA, SHAMAN’S HARVEST and more spent 4 days in the Bahamian sun soaking up friendship, music and perhaps a drink or two. Here’s just a sample of the line up.
SEETHER started the party off with a rocking Sail Away party on the main deck as the ship left port. Opening with “Nobody Prayin’ for Me,” the band confirmed that the crowd was ready to rock and roll. Playing a good mixture of favorites and new music, SEETHER set the mood on ‘max’ and got the fans ready for the musical feast to come.
SHAMAN’S HARVEST was up next on the main deck. Facing 40 mph winds (think singing with your head out the car window!) lead man Nathan Hunt’s voice held steady and strong, whipping the crowd up so high the weather didn’t matter. Nathan and fans were both belting out favorites like “Dangerous,” “Here It Comes,” and “In Chains,” as well as some from recent album Red Hands Black Deeds. True to form, SHAMAN’S HARVEST kept the energy high and the entertainment quotient over the top.
ShipRocked fave IN THIS MOMENT filled up and closed down the main deck with the final performance of the night. Mother Nature was no match for Maria Brink in a true to fashion, rock spectacle throw down. Hard music, gorgeous costumes and amazing performances from all members would have brought down the roof, had there been one.
Need a break? Ready to sit down and enjoy a quieter act? Many ShipRocked venues provide a more intimate stage and brothers Dameon and Gabe Aranda along with Mike Walker of Oklahoma-based ARANDA offered up an acoustic set in the ship’s main lobby. Fans new and old sat on the floor, relaxed in chairs, leaned on railings and stood on stairs for three floors above the band to hang out and enjoy the show. ARANDA didn’t keep it light, though. They pulled out songs from bluesy “It Ain’t Easy” to upbeat “Whyyawannabringmedown” to fan-favorite “Satisfied.” Interacting with the crowd all the way, ARANDA easily demonstrated how they have developed such a loyal, and growing, fan base.
For those not ready for a break, ShipRocked came through in spades. The Venetian Palace was the venue for true metal devotees to get their head-bang on. Multi Grammy-nominated NOTHING MORE broke the seal on the Palace Sunday night. There wasn’t a bad seat in the house (not that anyone was sitting down) as the band blew the doors off with a stunning set. BLACK LABEL SOCIETY was up next followed by Central Ohio-based up and comers BEARTOOTH and STONE SOUR on Monday. All bands lived up to outrageous expectations, proved rock stars are fans too and brought the house down with performances to seats loaded with not only cruise passengers, but members of many other bands. RED SUN RISING and STARSET followed suit on the cruise’s last night providing performances that will live in the memories of ShipRockers for years to come.
Want to try something new? Shiprocked showcases smaller bands and one of this year’s highlights was DOLL SKIN, based out of Phoenix, Arizona. These young women may look like 20-something padawans, but spend five minutes at one of their shows and you’ll soon discover they are hard-rock masters. Check out Shockwave’s Interview with DOLL SKIN here.
Other bands like HE IS LEGEND, JOYOUS WOLF, PALISADES , OTHERWISE, THE LETTER BLACK, and KALEIDO also proved their rock-n-roll worth by giving outstanding performances, gaining new fans along the way. If it’s possible to have too many choices, P.O.D., LIKE A STORM, DED, BAD FLOWER, ADELITA’S WAY, AND STEREO SATELLITE rounded out the prospects with whom to rock the night away.
No ShipRocked cruise in complete without the STOWAWAYS, a band made up of members of many of the groups on board and some who are just ‘visiting.’ This year’s co-op blew everyone’s collective mind with 2 performances. The first was on ‘Retro Future Prom’ night with covers of from VAN HALEN’S “Jump” to DON HENLEY’S “Boys of Summer” to GUNS N’ ROSES’ “Paradise City.” Age was not a factor when it came to jamming to the classic hits the group covered in a two-hour trip down memory lane.
The second performance proved emotional and moving with homages to the rock stars we’ve lost in recent years. Prince, Malcom Young, Dolored O’Riordan, Chester Bennington and more were honored in a tribute that included almost as many tears as it did fist pumps. The songs gave fans a safe place to pay respects to the music greats who have given us so many amazing experiences over the years.
This was our fourth ShipRocked cruise. Each time we think, “It can’t get any better.” The people, the music, the ShipRocked family we’ve met and love are a part of our lives now each day. ASK4 Entertainment works hard each year to provide an experience like no other: favorite bands, new music to discover, new places to see, new friends to make. This year was no different and, ‘yes’, it does get better each year. Thank you to the Captain and all the bands, production crews, Carnival staff and ASK4 personnel who made ShipRocked 2018 the hardest-rockin’ vacation out there!