Photo Credit: Heaven Bassett
When I was a newbie people told me Shiprocked would become about the experience, not just the music. I kept thinking that was bullshit. But, they were right. It’s the connection to the music through the community, the intimacy of the tunes, the collective love of the genre, that’s what makes it Shiprocked. It’s not just a festival on the water, it’s a celebration of rock and roll.
I woke to the steady rocking of the ship in my surprisingly spacious interior cabin, stretched, and remembered it was Tuesday.
Tuesday; the day of video interviews and the number one shows on my roster to witness. I let out a squeal of excitement, surprising my cabinmate out a coma-like sleep. Her shock was not due to my thrill, but the raspy noise emitted from my throat.
I had lost my voice in my concert sing-a-long shenanigans of the previous night. Being I had a list of rockstars to speak with, this presented a minor hiccup in my day’s agenda. Nonetheless, I promised myself to rest my voice while I ran off to play in the bounty of Shiprocked activites. Of course, with the thrill of seeing the friends of years past, I broke my oath immediately, knowing full-well my interview partner was going to chastise me for my antics.
I made my way past Rock My Yoga, envious of the healthy mentality, and preceded to one of the café shops available on the glorious Carnival Victory. After injecting myself with caffeine and calories, I scampered back to my cabin to smudge on black eyeliner and scuttled off to find my Shockwave Magazine partner. We had prepping to do for the would-be glorious interview with Breaking Benjamin (stay tuned with Shockwave to witness it for yourself).
The interview came and went in a whirlwind of comedy, camera antics, and an invite to photograph the show later that night. However, the immediate moments after was either my greatest memory or my most embarrassing fan moment.
Feeling mighty cocky about the video’s execution, despite my lingering voice, I exited the hall to find myself on an outer deck. Yes, in my euphoria I used the wrong exit, but I took the moment to ogle over the footage. To my left, I saw Breaking Benjamin step outside. This is where I may have overthought my actions and made a fool of myself, or was adorably charming. It’s all about perception of self.
I didn’t want to harass them in accidental stalker fashion after I already said my goodbyes, so my buddy and I proceeded to walk past them with purpose. The conviction of our steps did nothing, as we found ourselves at a dead-end; a lucky outcome for the fangirl inside me, not so much for my self-pride. We turned to find Ben standing by the only door accessible to the interior of the ship from our location. I strutted up, attempting to hide my embarrassed panic, faux-casually joked about being lost and attempted to open the door. I failed the simple task and covered with a proclamation that the door was locked. With a smirk and nod, Ben opened the door with ease. For the sake of my ego, we will say he had the strength of a Greek God.
Moving on, for the sake of my confidence, I shoveled buffet grub into my mouth and headed to the Shiprocker Feud activity hosted by Ralph Sutton, the mighty talkative, comically infused, Shiprocked human mascot. The game was full of laughter, shame, winners, and a very enthusiastic crowd. There is always something happening on the boat, whether it be music or ridiculously entertaining activities.
Next up on my agenda was the depth-filled interview with Lacey Sturm. She’s so passionate and open, I was revitalized by the conversation (another video soon to come). With a revitalized skip in my step, a girgling voice, and thrill in the air, I made my way to Raveneye.
It’s never a mistake to see the pumped up, crowd igniting band, but singing along to their catching lyrics with my scratchy voice was probably a bad idea. I quickly switched gears and danced instead. Not that my moves rivaled that of Oli Brown. The man slams upon the scene with vigor and freedom. The intimate stage was his, as was the crowd and our experience. The Adriatic Lounge was Raveneye’s. In fact, I referred to it as such from then on; Raveneye’s Lounge: The Heart of Ship.
There is where I must have joined the foray of Another Lost Year. I wasn’t quite sure what night it happened, but I knew I’d never forget the performance. The powerful instrumentals, the tenor beauty of the vocals, Another Lost Year is the reason I have rock and roll embedded in my soul.
It was time to join my Shockwave partner, Deanna, for Breaking Benjamin in the massive indoor theater. I wanted badly to get the picture of the century, but Breaking Benjamin is just too damn good to watch through a camera. The laughing bandmates, the ode to notes of the past, the friendly-fire flip off towards our media corner, which we didn’t capture due to the delay of our awestruck minds, made for the camera to rest momentarily forgotten at my side while the performance embedded into my mind.
Photo Credit: Heaven Bassett
The night ended with a meetup with two fellow Shiprocked veterans, Joe Loiacono and Emilie Rae. We shared stories and antics. They laughed, I rasped. This is where I learned how to be an adult and drink tea to aide my voice. Well, I sipped the tea and drank the honey straight. However, I tried it, and that’s the beauty of this journey; trying new things whether it be tea or a new band and immersing into the experience.
I may have missed a few bands on Tuesday, but that’s the variety of the cruise. What I didn’t see that night, I was sure to on the second sets. No way would I miss the next opportunity to witness the awesome lineup that made the Stowaways roster; ahem, Sonny from P.O.D.
Those who did catch Tuesday’s whirlwind of fun on the rest of the ship had plenty to say:
“I was shocked to find out that some of the [Stowaways] artists had only been able to rehearse once, the day before going on. They still killed it! Bumblefoot is always awesome to watch. Gabe Aranda’s voice was a nice addition to the Stowaways. His brother [Dameon] can wail on the guitar too.” -Sean F.
“Raveneye, holy shit!” -Angie Grange
“Monster Truck…Wow! WOW! Blew me away!” –Lisa T.
“Art of Dying got bumped from Monday night’s main deck due to delays and moved to Tuesday in the theater. Their show was fantastic! Great energy, beautiful harmonies, and kick ass songs!” -Carol S.