Monsters Of Rock Cruise
Reviewer – Dan Mann
I guess it’s time I wrote a quick review of this year’s Monsters Of Rock Cruise.
Having heard from chums and band members alike as to what to expect, it’s still somewhat a shock as to how big the MSC Divina is! If you intend on going on either/both of next year’s cruises, expect a lot of walking. No complaints about the food, with a decent variety on offer depending on how much weight you wanted to gain! The cabin was fine, apart from horrible pillows, with a very friendly steward who kept things clean & tidy.
And so to the important part, the bands & artists.
It’s fairly easy for me to pick what were my ‘stand out’ moments band wise.
Danny Vaughn (Tyketto)
Kicking off with a band who were the main reason my better half booked us onto the cruise. And they are the mighty Tyketto!
Back on the cruise after their first appearance on MORC last year, they were given the pool stage to play on. Yes I’m biased somewhat but they gave one hell of a performance, and made some new fans in the process.
Chris Green (Tyketto)
Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme)
Next band will without question have to be Extreme.
I managed to see them in the theater and also on the pool stage. After what was an exemplary performance in the theater they went and topped that with an electrifying performance on the pool stage.
This was a band back on top form and enjoying every minute. Okay there was one segment I didn’t enjoy and regular listeners to my radio show will know instantly that I’m referring to ‘the song that shall not be named’. For those of you not clued up I will only say that it’s a ballad and leave it at that.
The next band I’ll pick will be Europe.
I was really looking forward to hearing material off ‘War Of King’s’ performed live and boy I wasn’t disappointed. If anything the new tracks were even better!
Joey Tempest (Europe)
This is a band who are firing on all cylinders and showing why they’ve remained a constant in the music biz for all these years. Once again this was a performance that was superb in the theater, but was even better on the pool stage. Again this was a band that a lot of the other acts came to watch.
Speaking of bands other acts watched, The Winery Dogs showed a level of musicianship that really shouldn’t be of surprise considering the combined talents of Messrs Kotzen, Portnoy & Sheehan.
Billy Sheehan (The Winery Dogs)
As we baked in the hot sun, the band were red hot on stage. Very enjoyable indeed.
One band I did not want to miss on this cruise was Babylon A.D.
I’ve wanted to see them since the release of their first album all those years ago, and unfortunately was unable to see them at Firefest.
Robb Reid (Babylon A.D.)
My only disappointment was the venue. They played in the Black And White Lounge which was for many a difficult place to actually see the band play due to the low stage. It was obvious that the band were thoroughly enjoying themselves and it was a real pleasure to watch their set.
One band whose live set is known to be rewarding is Y & T.
Dave Meniketti (Y & T)
A band I’ve been a fan of again for many years and a band who should of been so much bigger then they are. My only disappointment was that both performances started past midnight and so I only saw them once due to the early disembark the morning after their second set. If you have never seen Y & T then your missing a class act.
Another band I wanted to see again after seeing them last year at the Frontiers Festival in Milan was Night Ranger.
What a monster of a live act they are with energy levels of teenagers.
Jack Blades (Night Ranger)
A bugger to photograph as they won’t keep still! They performed a mixture of songs from not only their own catalogue but also Alice Cooper & Damn Yankees tracks to the delight of the packed audience.
One band I had managed to catch at Firefest a couple of years ago was Heaven’s Edge.
Singer Mark Evans sounded fantastic, as did the rest of the band.
Reggie Wu (Heaven’s Edge)
I’ve been told the guys are working on some new material, so fingers crossed we’ll see a new album some time in the future.
So there we have it, although don’t think for one minute that the other bands I watched weren’t any good. Far far from it.
If there was but one suggestion when it comes to the cruise, it would be to extend it by a couple of days to give people a better chance of seeing all the bands & artists. But you’ll have one hell of a good time and leave with many more friends then at the start.
More photos can be viewed here