Ahhhhh the time is once again descending upon us at an alarming rate and by the time you’re reading this blog I shall most likely be well ensconced in the adventure. Due to time constraints (…and building this brand new Decibel Geek Website you see before you) I’ve not been able to facilitate my annual blog series examining the upcoming Monsters Of Rock Cruise in the weeks leading up to the event, but rest assured The Meister is just as ridiculously uber stoked to be involved as ever before. It seems like soooo very long ago now that I attended my very first Monsters Of Rock Cruise, so fortunate to have been aboard that magical floating rock festival in it’s inaugural voyage. That first time I went totally alone, knowing no-one, but now throughout the resulting years I have become part of the family that is MORC. As a direct result of MORC I now have friends from around the globe and even right here at home in Toronto that were made aboard the three previous sailings. This year the Decibel Geek staff aboard grows again and I’m looking forward to meeting in person Decibel Geek staff writer Derik Novak as he makes his inaugural MORC voyage, joining The Meister, Brain Ronald, Kate Campbell and Shawn “Animalize” Irwin. Now the cruise creators have announced not one, but two different voyages for the 2016 experience (one East and one West Coast departure) and come hell or high water The Meister will be a part of both, but that’s another story!
Last year I began “The EH Team“, a group of Canadian cruisers that started at about 20 folks I knew personally from the Toronto area. We made t-shirts for the occasion and participated in a “countdown photo” with Ted Poley. By the time we set sail we were over 60 in numbers, from all across Canada, all sporting an EH Team shirt! With that type of success and more friends made, 2015 saw me once again undertaking The EH Team t-shirts and what a bloody fiasco it turned out to be this time around! The shirts took an immeasurably long time to arrive and that was not the least of the issues with the shirt printer (all the ladies tanks appeared in purple instead of black)! Now instead of shipping shirts individually to everyone across the country (which due to the lateness cost a helluva lot more than originally anticipated), some orders were filled or half-filled and the reprints have (I’m told by email confirmation) arrived at my hotel in Miami. Now to track everyone down in Miami…perhaps I’ll just set a 3hr window at a comfortable bar and say come get ’em!
Now as I prepare to head out for my fourth (but by no means last) Monsters of Rock Cruise, the craziness and hectic past few weeks and months have blurred into the background. The packing has begun and I really don’t care if it only ends up being a few pair of boxers and a t-shirt in a plastic Wal-Mart shopping bag, I’m ready to cruise and pronto!
The plan starting Tuesday April 14th after leaving my house north of Toronto and enduring the 1.5 hour public transit trek into downtown starts with dinner with friends followed by the completely sold out Delain/Sabaton/Nightwish concert in Toronto. What a better way to start 2015’s MORC? From there it’s to the airport Wednesday morning and off to Miami for a few days of relaxing (drinking), meeting friends (drinking), exploring Miami (drinking), and MORC pre-party events (drinking) before embarking the beautiful MSC Divina on Saturday. Four days of total concert bliss aboard this luxurious vessel as we hobnob with the rockstars and heroes of our youth making lifelong friendships through the beauty of music. Upon disembarkation for me it’s off to Nashville to drop in on Decibel Geek headquarters for a couple of days to round out the adventure.
The biggest question looming over me for this 2015 voyage: will Tyketto live up to it? In 2014 I was so totally blown away by their two shipboard performances that when I got to Nashville and we recorded the MORC Memories podcast episode with yours truly as a guest I named them “Best Show On The Boat”. An accolade that I’ve been touting to all who have not yet experienced the Tyketto live event. Can they top what they did to me last year? Can they even match it? It remains to be seen, but I have no doubt that they will deliver a fantastic, emotional performance once again and I’ll be there! There are other bands on my definite “hit list” of course such as Krokus, Keel, Rhino Bucket, Heavens Edge and Babylon A.D., but I’m not going to be (as I have done in past years) trying to “do it all”. If we look at the roster of bands there’s only two bands (not including solo artists) that I’ve not seen previously, many having been seen every year on the cruise, so I’ll definitely be catching more sets but not going to push the limits. The schedule was unveiled today (Monday April 13, 2015) and wouldn’t you know it: why is it that the bands I most want to see are conflicting yet there are other times where I have gaps of three hours or more? Welcome to the cruise and the agonising choices that go hand in hand with this adventure!
I’ll have my video camera with me this year and taking videos of myself, friends, artists, and cruisers to edit together into a 2015 MORC video diary. So if you want to appear in a video on the Decibel Geek YouTube channel make sure you stop and say hi!
many reviews and stories to follow upon my return home….well after M3 maybe