M.O.R.C. Day 1. – Embarkation and Sail Away

Lies Deceit & Treachery, KIX, Kings X, Vixen, Danger Danger, Faster Pussycat

February 24th, 2019

Waiting to get on the boat in Miami, the crowds in the terminal at the port were sardined into a relatively tight space but the tedium of the long wait was broken by The Rock n Roll Residency who broke out their guitars and treated the waiting crowd to what turned into a great sing along.  It started out quiet but ended up with the band and the cruisers belting out songs from Cheap Trick, KISS, Van Halen among others.  It definitely helped the time pass and was a great way to get things started.

After sipping on a glass of Champagne and dropping off bags in the room, there was barely enough time to say “aye aye, Skipper” before heading off to the first show of the cruise

Lies Deceit and Treachery – Royal Theater

Andrew Freeman – Vocals, Mick Sweda – Guitar, Lonnie Vencent – Bass, Jimmy D’Anda – Drums

D-A-D were meant to get the festivities started while people were boarding the ship, however due to them not being able to make the cruise, Lies Deceit and Treachery stepped up and kicked things off with a blast of energy! Consisting of ¾ of the original Bulletboys band (Drummer, Jimmy D’Anda, Bassist, Lonnie Vencent and Guitarist, Mick Sweda) and now joined by Last In Line Frontman, Andrew Freeman, LD&T are a major force to be reckoned with. 

Except for a couple of covers, their set was all Bulletboys songs that were given a bit of additional flair with the amazing pipes of Andrew on Vocals. LD&T announced that they would be heading into the studio to record original material and for a fan of these 4 powerhouse musicians, this is good news!

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After LD&T, it was off to the Pool Stage which was the setting for the Sail Away show and the Blackout at Sea picture where the crowd were introduced to their ship hosts, namely Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson, Jim Florentine, Nikki BlakkMetal DJ Will and Luc Carl.

Picture by Mike Savoia

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KIX – Pool Stage

Steve Whiteman – Vocals, Brian “Damage” Forsythe – Guitar, Ronnie Younkins – Guitar, Jimmy Chalfant – Drums, Mark Schenker – Bass

It didn’t’ seem like too much of a secret that KIX were the “secret” Sail Away Band.  With only one show listed on the schedule, it made the most sense and it was to be…

KIX are a band I’ve only been able to see live for the past few years as they seemed to have an aversion to traveling West for shows.  But here’s what I’ve learned…there’s a damn good reason why they’ve survived all these years and are so revered.  They are electric on stage and as well as sounding as incredible as he did 30+ years ago, Steve Whiteman is a funny MoFo. The perfect brand of Rock n Roll to set sail to as they played the entire, classic, “Blow My Fuse” album in honor of it being 30 years since it’s release.

Bulletboys Drummer, Anthony “Tiny” Biuso, taking in KIX

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KINGS X – Studio B

dUg Pinnick – Vocals/Bass, Ty Tabor – Guitar, Jerry Gaskill – Drums

This was my first opportunity to see dUg, Ty and Jerry play together since 1991 when they opened up for AC/DC in the King’s Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  And nothing has changed except dUg is no longer sporting the Mohawk.  What that means is, the same bad ass, frightfully underrated band that played back then is the same bad ass frightfully underrated band that played on the cruise. 

Watching these 3 masters at work was such an honor and an attestation that if the music is in your veins, it’s there to stay. dUg and Ty are mainly laid back which is in such contrast to Jerry who is like a snake, swaying back forth and completely mesmerizing behind the kit.  The sound these 3 make is way bigger than it has any right to be and it was an honor to watch them play.

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Don Jamieson (who wouldn’t stop following me around the boat) introducing Vixen

VIXEN – Pool Stage

Lorraine Lewis– Vocals, Britt Lightning – Guitar, Share Ross – Bass, Roxy Petrucci– Drums, Tyson Leslie – Keyboards

At this point of the day I should have been heading over to the Royal Theater see Tesla play their acoustic set, however we were made aware that Jeff Keith was ill and that the performance was to be rescheduled. Back on dry land it would be a bummer to get this cancellation notice, but on this boat there is no stopping the music and off to the Pool Stage I went to catch the foxes of Vixen!

Now lead by (Former) Femme Fatale frontwoman, Lorraine Lewis, Vixen hopefully have nabbed the person they need to head into to the studio to lay down some new music (Which is meant to be a reality sometime later this year). Having been a huge fan of Femme Fatale, I love the idea of her joining, Share, Roxy and Britt and driving the band into the future. 

Lorraine is great on stage, and even though the wind was battling for mic time, she showed that the Vixen catalog is in good hands. This 5 piece (with the addition of Keyboardist, Tyson Leslie) rocked out a set of Vixen’s best.  This is the first time I had the chance to see Britt Lightning with the band and she is a shredder!  Love the energy and effortless looking guitar work she brings to the band.  Share and Roxy have spent a lot of time together and it reflects in how tight Vixen are.

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Nikki Black bringing out Danger Danger

DANGER DANGER

Ted Poley – Vocals, Steve Brown – Guitar, Steve West – Drums, Bruno Ravel– Bass

One of the bands I was most excited to see, Danger Danger!  They did NOT disappoint!  No, Ted Poley isn’t hitting all the high notes, but he’s found an amazing mid range that lets him belt out all those double named DD songs, like “Bang Bang” and “Naughty Naughty“.  

Steve Brown (Trixter) was slinging the six strings for the show and you can see why bands like Def Leppard utilize his talents.  He’s an incredible guitar player and so animated.  He fits right in with Ted, Steve West (Bashing the hell out of the kit) and Bruno.

I sang along to every song in this set and I would have watched them another 50 times if I had the opportunity.  I’m going to start a petition to get these guys out to the West Coast.  I can’t be forking out all that money to watch them every year on a cruise! (Although every penny would be worth it).

I also want to mention that It’s possible no one had as much fun as Ted Poley on this Cruise.  I ran into him several times and he was always up and ready to talk to the fans, take pictures and had the biggest grin at all times.

Ace and Don having a moment pre-show
Eddie Trunk introing FP with customary Jack Daniel Shots

FASTER PUSSYCAT – Pool Stage

Taime Downe – Vocals, Ace Von Johnson – Guitar, Xristian Simon – Guitar, Chad Stewart – Drums, Danny Nordahl – Bass

The last act of Sunday evening (at least for me) were the Sunset Strip’s own, Faster Pussycat.  I’ve seen FP a ton of times, so what made this experience so great?  LIGHTS!  They couldn’t hide behind their usual smoke and blue lights so I got to actually SEE them Rock the Boat!  Every member cool and different.  Ace menacingly stalking the stage while rippin’ out solos, Xristian on the other side, steady and rhythmic, Danny, expressionless, cool as fuck with his long hair blowing sideways, Chad just hammering out the beats and Taime… Stood Front and center, Legs spread shoulder length apart and screaming those Pussycat classics into the wind.

If you listen to Eddie Trunk you know that when he’s around the Faster Pussycat Crew it usually ends up messy for him.  Well he came out and took charge of the partying by pouring Jack Daniels down everyone’s throat while they were jamming.  (Except Taime, who’s keeping it clean).  The funny part was when Eddie practically blinded Chad with Jack Daniels while trying to administer a shot during some drum fills. 

Another cool moment is when Spike from The Quireboys came out (With his “first” of many “first” drinks of the cruise in hand) to sit down beside Taime for “House Of Pain”.  Marq Torien (Bulletboys) also jumped on stage to lend some backing vocals.

As a fan it was great seeing them play outdoors and filling up the stage like the rock stars they are. (And as a photographer, I was excited as shit to shoot the band in living color.)

(Click Dates/Links to be directed to that day’s coverage) 

2/23/19: M.O.R.C. Pre-Party 2 – Magic City Casino, Miami, FL

Diemonds – Black ‘N Blue – Kingdom Come

2/25/19: Day 2 – At Sea

Soto – Pink Cream 69 – Brighton Rock – Skid Row – LD&T – Tom Keifer

2/26/19: Day 3 – Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Femme Fatale – Extreme – Richie Kotzen – Bulletboys – Rose Tattoo – Y&T – Saxon 

2/26/19: Day 4 – Labadee, Haiti

U.D.O. – Mike Tramp – The Rock N’ Roll Residency – Tesla – Tom Keifer – Y&T – Saxon – Tora Tora

2/28/19: Day 5 Coming Soon

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