M.O.R.C. Day 5. – Heading Home
Eclipse – Nelson – The Quireboys – Soto – Femme Fatale (Final Show) – Kings X – Queensryche
February 28th, 2019
The final day on the boat was bittersweet… The thought of dread in having to pack up, get off the boat and head back to something that resembles reality seemed daunting…and yet the prospect of SO many great shows to still see before it was all over was enough to keep the spirits high. It was a day for me that included my first taste of Swedish Rockers, Eclipse, my first chance to shoot the awesomeness that is The Quireboys,after spending a few hours in their company during the Meet & Greets, sadly the The Final show for Lorraine Lewis’ Femme Fatale and the final show of the entire cruise, which turned out to be one of the best, by Queensryche. (Right Courtney Cox?!)
So before a few Tips of the Cap at the end… Here begins…the Final Day…
ECLIPSE – Pool Stage
Erik Mårtensson – Vocals, Magnus Henriksson – Guitar, Magnus Ulfstedt – Bass, Philip Crusne – Drums
They were right, they were all right. Everyone who said that I HAD to see Eclipse were spot on. The lads from Sweden rocked the Pool Stage along with a hefty contingent of flag waving supporters who made the trip to cheer on this young band who are intent on keeping rock alive.
I don’t yet know how these guys sound on an album, but I know they can bring it live! Great, catchy songs, a ton of personality from the band…I didn’t know any of the lyrics, but I wanted to just so I could sing along and be part of the in-crowd. The next time I have the opportunity I will be part of that crowd.
NELSON – Studio B
Matthew Nelson – Vocals/Guitar, Gunnar Nelson – Vocals/Guitar
I spent just enough time with the twins to grab a few pictures before I rushed off to my next gig. Performing an acoustic set, it almost seemed like the start of a comedy show with some songs thrown in as the brothers played off eachother and told a few stories.
THE QUIREBOYS – Pool Stage
Spike – Vocals, Guy Griffin – Guitar, Paul Guerin– Guitar, Keith Weir – Keyboards, Gary Ivin – Bass, Dave McCluskey – Drums
Before the Cruise I was amazingly excited to see a LOT of the bands on the bill, but the one for me that produced the most anticipation was The Quireboys. And they did not let me down. For their first show in the Royal Theater I didn’t even bring my camera. I just wanted to enjoy everything about it.
1990 was the year I moved from N. Ireland to California and “A Bit Of What You Fancy” was one of the albums that made up part of my travel soundtrack. The raspy voice of Spike, the ivory tinkling, one of the last bastions of excess before grunge made everyone wipe the smiles off their faces, it was a throwback to good time Rock N’ Roll played to perfection.
Well here we are almost 30 years later, and Spike and the music of The Quireboys hasn’t changed a bit. They bring the party with them wherever they go and the Captain Jack Sparrow of Rock was in fine form. Spike has amassed a kick ass band over the years and if possible, they seem to be enjoying it as much as Spike enjoys a “First Drink”.
While Spike is throwing up his mic stand and running around the stage with scarves flowing, the rest of the band are hammering out pure Rock N’ Roll. The ivories are now tickled by Keith Weir, the raunchiness of the geetars are handled by Paul Guerin and the longest serving QBoy (besides Spike), Guy Griffin who killed it on the guitar. Gary Ivin had the same stare while playing the bass that he did at me during the Meet & Greets (When I thought there was a good chance he either didn’t know I was there or wanted to kill me) Nonetheless, it came off as very cool. And behind the kit is Dave McCluskey who is great skin basher and a fantastic showman in his own right.
They played everything you’d want to hear out of them in a tight hour plus set and left the crowd ready for a “(sex) Party” (Which ironically wasn’t played on the Pool Stage)
The end of the set saw Taime from Faster Pussycat repay the background vocal assist that Spike gave FP on night one of the cruise when he came out for “7 O’Clock“.
SOTO – Royal Theater
Jeff Scott Soto – Vocals, Jorge Salan – Guitar, Behjae Behjae – Keys/Guitar, Tony Dickinson – Bass, Edu Cominato – Drums
Another great set from vocal beast, Jeff Scott Soto. Where the first set on the boat was almost all “Soto” material, the 2nd show included a more diverse list of songs from the JSS catalog including, Talisman, WET and of course, The Rock Star soundtrack.
They also brought out some guests to join the fun that included, Joel Hoekstra, Erik and Magnus from Eclipse and Howie Simon from guesting on other stages with everyone, everywhere.
FEMME FATALE – Studio B
Lorraine Lewis – Vocals, Courtney Cox – Guitar, Nikki Stringfield – Guitar, Katt Scarlett – Keyboards, Janis Tanaka – Bass, Athena Bass – Drums
All good things come to an end, and if this was the end of Femme Fatale, then they went out on a high note. A great show of FF’s best saw the band firing on all cylinders. The set was similar to their Pool Stage show, except this time they invited up Lorraine’s husband, Erin, to jam out to his punkish, “10 Beers A Day“. It also saw them finish off their set as they tried to on their first show, with the hit, “Waiting For The Big One“.
If there’s ever a lengthy break for Lorraine in the Vixen schedule, hopefully she’ll spend time putting together some new material for another Femme Fatale Rebirth. Until then, keep an eye on Courtney, Nikki, Janis, Katt and Athena, for we know there is way too much talent among this group to stay silent for long.
KINGS X – Royal Theater
dUg Pinnick – Vocals/Bass, Ty Tabor – Guitar, Jerry Gaskill – Drums
Do not make dUg mad! Get it right! Man, the start of the set was plagued by some issues with his monitor and he was, rightly so, pissed! Regardless, it didn’t put a swerve in his step at all. Even if he couldn’t hear himself, he sounded great to us. Another amazing set by the Texas Trio.
QUEENSRYCHE – Studio B
Todd La Torre – Vocals, Michael Wilton – Guitar, Parker Lundgren– Guitar, Eddie Jackson – Bass, Casey Grillo – Drums
The finale of the Cruise so to speak and Queensryche KILLED IT! Their first set on the boat was heavy on a lot of their newer material which is how this show started, but eventually they blistered out a bunch of their classics. “Queen Of the Reich” ,”Walk In The Shadows” “Take Hold Of The Flame” complete with a full Studio B crowd chant of “TAKE HOLD“.
I can’t write enough adjectives to describe how fucking on point Todd La Torre was belting out the classic Ryche songs. Studio B was buzzing, hot, and standing room only.
From the wings I could see Courtney Cox (Femme Fatale, The Iron Maidens) ripping out air guitar solos and singing right along with the band.
The set then ventured to the great “Empire” for “Silent Lucidity“, the chugging bass of “Jet City Woman” and the title track before leaving the room an out of breath, sweaty mess with Operation: Mindcrime’s,”Eyes Of A Stranger“.
Always leave ’em wanting more…and they did. We didn’t want it to end, but it had to.
Such an amazing ending to a Cruise that was chalk full of highlights each and every day.
Lastly…and certainly not leastly (?!) before the memories of the cruise slide off into the Horizon…I mentioned at the start that this was my first cruise. It was one of the best experiences that I could have hoped for. From the security and boat crew who did a phenomenal job in keeping things running smoothly with great attitudes in tow… To the bands that spent a few hours of their time (at the very least) waiting, while hundreds of fans cycled through, grabbing their pictures during the Meet & Greets… To the Hosts who took time away from their valuable drinking sessions to introduce the bands and events… Metal DJ Will for keeping the rock music blasting in between bands…
The fans on the boat who were all there to rock out and for the most part have the best time possible… And especially the incredible photography crew, a lot of whom were strangers when I arrived and friends when I left.
And certainly to Larry Morand who put together one hell of a party.
See you on M.O.R.C. X
(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
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
2/27/19: Day 4 – Labadee, Haiti
U.D.O. – Mike Tramp – The Rock n’ Roll Residency – Tesla – Tom Keifer – Y&T – Saxon – Tora Tora