M.O.R.C. Day 2. – At Sea
Soto, Pink Cream 69, Brighton Rock, Skid Row, Lies Deceit & Treachery, Tom Keifer
February 25th, 2019
Monday signaled the start of my assistance at the Meet & Greets. I was the photographer for The Quireboys on this day and although I was stressed at getting it all right and making sure the pictures turned out great for everyone (still TBD), I had the best time with Spike and the Band. He showed up with his “First Drink” of the cruise in hand. (He admittedly had many first drinks and many second drinks too…) Hey, if you don’t remember your last drink, then the one in hand must be the first… As I counted everyone down for the pictures, 1..2.. he inquired several times if I knew what came after 2. I had to be honest, I told him know one really knows what’s beyond 2.
Rick Allen (Def Leppard) / Brian Wheat (Tesla) Gallery
Right outside the Star Lounge, Rick Allen and Brian Wheat had an amazing art gallery set up showcasing selections of their artwork. I spent a bit of time staring at the images and really appreciating the time and effort and thought that went into these beautiful pieces.
SOTO – Royal Theater
Jeff Scott Soto – Vocals, Jorge Salan – Guitar, Behjae Behjae – Keys/Guitar, Tony Dickinson – Bass, Edu Cominato – Drums
I’ve seen Jeff Scott Soto with Sons Of Apollo, singing with The Boogie Nights and at several local LA Jams, and regardless of the band this man is fronting, he is spectacular. Jeff is a showman and what Dave Lee Roth would aspire to be these days. He brings emotion, soul and passion to all of his performances and that’s all on top of his phenomenal voice.
Getting to see him with Soto for the first time was a damn treat. This band rocked both their performances on the boat. The first being a Soto material heavy set and the second involved more of Jeff’s other projects. Both shows ended with amazing performances of “Steel Dragon’s“, “Stand Up And Shout“. I’m still singing it!!!
PINK CREAM 69 – Royal Theater
David Readman – Vocals, Alfred Koffler – Guitar, Uwe Reitenauer – Guitar, Dennis Ward – Bass, Chris Schmidt – Drums
I had not heard of Pink Cream 69 before I had booked the cruise. (Nor had a lot of other people, I came to find out), but those days are long gone and I and they are big fans. Finding out I was going to be shooting their Meet & Greet, I hit YouTube and watched as much of them as I could… Research turned to fandom. These guys are so great and put on an amazing show. How the hell were they not on my radar all these years?! (Same for Eclipse!)
Anyway… Do the right thing and go check out their extensive back catalog. (Fun Fact, their original singer was current Helloween singer, Andi Deris). With 12 albums under their belt, they’re a band with catchy songs and hopefully a larger audience. This is another great reason to thank Larry Morand for putting such a diverse lineup together each year.
BRIGHTON ROCK – Pool Stage
Gerry McGhee – Vocals, Greg Fraser – Guitar, Johnny Rogers – Guitar, Stevie Skreebs – Bass, Mark Cavarzan – Drums
I caught Canada’s own, Brighton Rock on the Pool Stage and finally got what all the Canuck’s had been trying to tell me. That the 90’s probably ended something special for the band. Brighton Rock are almost the thing of legend in their country, having released only 3 studio albums in the late 80’s early 90’s. They seem to get together for a few shows every few years, and like a fine wine, they are to be savored and enjoyed for as long as you can get them.
SKID ROW – Royal Theater
ZP Theart – Vocals, Scotti Hill – Guitar, Dave “Snake” Sabo – Guitar, Rachel Bolan – Bass, Rob Hammersmith – Drums
HOLY. FUCKING. SHIT! Possibly THE show of the boat! Skid Row hit the stage like a sledgehammer and didn’t stop pounding until everyone had been hit squarely in the face! I saw Skid Row a few years back (2 singers ago!!!) and even though I enjoyed the nostalgia of hearing the SR classics, I thought it was a fairly uninspired performance. Fast forward to the boat and a big Middle Finger in my face! The chug of “Slave To The Grind” started and out poured the band from the wings like an invading army. Scotti Hill looked like he had an axe to grind and wanted to blame everyone.
The Royal Theater was packed to (beyond) capacity as this would be the only Skid’s show on the boat due to other obligations. Outside the theater I saw Marq Torien (Bulletboys) and Tony Higbee (Keifer Band) getting denied access due to the amount of people already in the theater. Hit After Hit played with a renewed intensity. I can only imagine that part of this shot of adrenaline is from new frontman, ZP, who handles the Skid Row catalog like his bitch. If you were there you know. If you weren’t, you’ve probably already heard.
LIES DECEIT & TREACHERY – Pool Stage
Andrew Freeman – Vocals, Mick Sweda – Guitar, Lonnie Vencent – Bass, Jimmy D’Anda – Drums
Another great set by the clothing optional Lies Deceit & Treachery. This time under the lights outside on the Pool Stage. Everything I said before still stands. Great performance and the promise of new material with this band makes my mouth water!
TOM KEIFER BAND – Royal Theater
Tom Keifer – Vocals/Guitar, Tony Higbee – Guitar, Kory Myers – Keyboards, Billy Mercer – Bass, Jarred Pope – Drums, Savannah Keifer – BV’s/Percussion, Kendra Chantelle – BV’s/Percussion
One of the most anticipated shows on the boat didn’t disappoint. Tom’s vocal issues have been well documented and he’s done an amazing job of doing his best to take care of his instrument. No back to back shows and for god sakes, do not perform on that wind tunnel of a pool stage. Two great shows on the boat with an amazing band of talented musicians that make up #Keiferband. The set is predominantly Cinderella songs and they’ve never sounded so great live. Always a crowd favorite, the cruisers sang along to every song.
(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
2/24/19: Day 1: Embarkation, Sail Away
DL&T – KIX – Kings X – Vixen – Faster Pussycat
You Lose Count Already? You’re Looking at Day 2!
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 – Heading Home
Eclipse – Nelson – The Quireboys – Soto – Femme Fatale – Kings X – Queensryche