FESTIVAL REVIEW: Samantha Coomer was on the Shiprocked Cruise 2020 and she reviews her adventures from her time at sea with all the bad ass bands - READ IT HERE
By: Samantha Coomer
Shiprocked 2020 it's hard to simply described but I'm going to give you a rundown of my time on this year's shiprocked. This was my second time on the boat. I am officially a survivor they say. The cruise started in New Orleans so for us we had to drive from Florida to Louisiana. The cruise started February 1st and went til February 6th. This year we ported in Key West Florida and Cozumel Mexico. We were able to book an Airbnb for the day we got off the cruise in New Orleans with a nine of our other Shiprocked family. That gave us the option so we could explore New Orleans or rest before we drove back home.
Friday I had to work so I got out of work at 5:00 got home we packed up. James and I rented a vehicle and our friend flew down from Michigan and rode with us to Louisiana. We were loaded up ready to go and off we went. We got to New Orleans pretty early so my instinct was let's go check out Port see what it looks like see how in and out is going to be all that kind of jazz. We messaged the people in town that we knew that were already there seeing what was going on. We had prepaid for parking for the rental car so we knew where that was going to be already. I dropped James and our friend Joel off at the port about 10:30 a.m. went and picked up another couple and drop them off at Port went back into downtown and picked up another couple and at that point we went to the parking garage dropped the vehicle off and rode the shuttle to the port. Each time I went to Port it just got busier and busier. By the time I was there with my luggage walking in it was a madhouse. But we were on the ship before we knew it.
Day one of a Shiprocked. as soon as you walk on to the boat they ask are you a newbie or survivor so you can get your card. Walk into the atrium and it's a madhouse everybody's there. But you can start going wherever you want to go. Rooms aren't ready yet usually so you just get to mingle around, go to the bars, you can go to the pools if you got your bathing suit on, you can go to the casino but I'm pretty sure you can't start gambling until we actually get out on water and that might be the same for the bar too I don't drink so I'm not quite for sure don't quote me, foods there go. We usually go back to the back if somebody's hungry pizza's there. But within no time they call out saying that the rooms are ready. But that isn't to say that your luggage is there, your room is just ready. By this time everybody's on the boat we're about to actually set sail so here comes the mandatory safety drill. There is a good chance there is a rockstar in your safety drill with you keep your eyes open. First year Badflower was in mine. And this year I seen one or two members of Asking Alexandria in mine. Safety drill only takes 15 minutes once it's going after that you're we're good to go. The first show of the cruise is when we set sail that's 5:00 I'm pretty sure. This year was Halestorm and it was amazing. We got as close as we could for Halestorm it's James's favorite band. After Halestorm the schedule just is all over there's four stages. We had schedules made before we left but like the most important things in life we forgot them. So Saturday night after Halestorm was Clint Lowry in the theater, Ded on the deck stage, Andy Wood on the atrium stage, goodbye June in the AFT lounge. This is why you eat before the bands start too much going on to be stopping to eat. At 9:00 Living Color hit the theater stage, Of Mice & Men was on the deck stage and then they had a special stowaways show called Petty Cash. They played the best of Tom Petty and Johnny Cash. The band featured Phil Buckman from Fuel, Jason Womack from Fuel, Todd Morse, from The Offspring, and Kemble Walters & Dylan Howard, from ÆGES. Dead Sarah was on at 10:30 in the AFT lounge we had Blackstone Cherry in the theater and to end the night for official shows was Asking Alexandria. Who was my favorite from this year's lineup. Each and every one of the shows that we made it to was amazing. Even though the shows are over they have karaoke singles mingle as well as a party usually and the disco room next to the casino. Each night has a theme night or each day I should say and Saturday was gold so the disco ball party was gold theme party. I'm sure there's some people that don't go to bed I'm not one of them people I have to sleep.
Day two is a full day at sea super bowl Sunday it was a day to remember. Super bowl was Sunday's theme. I wore my Green Bay Jersey James wore his Steelers jersey. There was a little bit of competitive talk there was a lot of funny things people said and a lot of nice things people said. I would definitely say super bowl theme was my favorite seeing whose people's teams were and some people had fun with it they really did. So shiprocked isn't just about the music we also have other things to do. Early Sunday morning they had yoga set up they had bloodys & bingo and then the day started with meet and greets. In between meet and greets there was Dead Posey playing and they had deck wars games. Hands Like House's was at 2:00 and some more meet and greets were going on. The meet and greets are included you just got to stand in line. At 3:00 p.m. they had a touchdown celebration contest with Ice Nine Kills as the judges. Hyro the hero started back up the bands at 4:00 p.m. on the deck stage if you haven't seen Hyro the Hero it is a must he is wild on that stage. Then after they got the deck ready for the super bowl which was a special they just had the super bowl playing on the deck for everybody. Or you could have been going to the theater to see Ra. Aeges was after them at 8:00, at 9:00 p.m. in the atrium they had a surprise debut show and honestly at this point I can't remember who it was I'm pretty sure we showed up but I'm not for sure. Beartooth was on at 10:00 p.m. in the theater, then Shvpes at 10:30, Hellyeah was on the deck stage after the super bowl. They're amazing Chad was on last year as a stowaway so I was stoked to find out that the whole band was going to be on this year it was amazing. At midnight Maria Brink did her special Mother Maria's Midnight Mass. It took a while for her to come out but it was all worth it it was such a beautiful piece something I don't know if anybody else will ever experience. And again I have to sleep so I went to bed early No staying up for the party with Chad Nicefield's the fuckery prep rally or the karaoke in the casino.
Day three this is Monday everybody hates Monday well this is actually a day not at sea for us. Key West Florida was our first port that we came to. Now mind you we were on the ship's time which is where they port from so that's New Orleans so they were Central Time. So we are in key West from 7:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m. Luckily for most there were bars open don't worry about that. My fiance and I went off and found some bikes to rent and rode around the little island. We don't drink so none of the bars were on our list to stop we wanted to see things do things that we could in a little bit of time. First stop southernmost point of Florida. We got to stand in line and talk to a few other shiprockers obviously other people were there so they took our pictures when we got there and we took their pictures when they got up there. Next we went to probably my favorite was the lighthouse. Climbed that bad boy and enjoyed the view!!! Back down to the bikes we went. The next stop was the museum with Robert the haunted doll. That was a nice 20 minute bike ride down the coast. It was absolutely perfect out. Everything about it was perfect, riding our bikes down the coast. we had to be back on the boat by 1:30 No messing around you don't want to miss the boat. So right after the museum we rode bikes back, returned them and got on the trolley to head back to the pier where we got on the boat. 2:00 p.m. was a stowaway show so couldn't miss that. Stowaways are one of a kind show. This is Shiprocked people (ask4) bringing in random band members to make a collaboration on stage for us is great. So back on ship horn honks and we leave port. That's not the end of the day either. After the stowaways 2-hour show we have Cane Hill on the deck stage Ice Nine Kills in the theater. There's a special VIP party and meet and greet with We are Band Nerds. Did I mention all meet and greets are included. Okay so Royal Tusk was in the AFT lounge at 6:00 p.m., Dead Sarah, Of Mice and Men, Dead Posey and We are Band Nerds we're all playing while meet and greets were going on at the same time for Cain Hill, Ra and Dead Sarah. The casino had a blackjack tournament going on. But to end the night we had Blackstone Cherry, Asking Alexandria, Alter Bridge and Belle & the Dragon (debut show). The last show of the night was the Mother of Maria's Midnight Mass by Maria Brink at midnight. But that isn't the end of the night they still have the DJ lippy rage that's the theme party and Monday's theme was 3 is the magic number. And as usual karaoke kicked off in the casino at midnight as well. And I bet everybody loved this Monday.
Day four Tuesday February 4th which was tacky tourist theme day. Bright and early some people wake up and go do yoga. There is also a 666 club ceremony which is for survivors of shiprocked 6 years or more. You get a freaking black robe and some other stuff. I can't wait to get my robe. Today is another port day and we are in Cozumel Mexico. We actually get some time here we're going to be here from 12:00 to 7:00 p.m. In Cozumel they have the paid private beach party hosted by ask4 of shiprocked. But that included two performances as well as food and drinks like booze. This is our second year and we haven't made it to the private party we don't drink so we feel like it's a waste of money. But this year at the beach party they had Joyous Wolf and Hyro the Hero. Somewhere in the time that they are at that beach party there is a beach wars games so that's always interesting to see the pictures and videos of everybody having a blast. We did an excursion in Cozumel where we rode/drove a 4x4, speed boat and snorkeled. There was three of us in our 4x4 so we all took turns that was great. We drove the 4x4s to the spot where we got in the boat. We drove the boats ourselves came to a spot on the coast and suited up to snorkel. Snorkeled for a little bit then we all got back in our boats. Drove back to the spot where the 4x4s were. Thats where we got lunch provided and let me tell you them fajitas were amazing. So we got to enjoy lunch and then we got back in the 4x4s and headed to where the bus was to get back to port. The port is walking distance from this little shopping area tourist area I should say. So we were just walking around for a little bit I got my hair braided and seen famous people you know just people watch for a little bit. But we knew stowaways were on at 7:00 so we wanted to get back on the ship get showered and be ready for the show. Ooh I think we ate too. It's kind of all a blur that's why I'm going through it the way I am I don't remember when we ate I know we ate, we ate a lot the food's there it's just always there. So the stowaways kicked off at 7:00 for another 2-hour show. Badflower, Ice Nine Kills, Dead Posey, We are Band Nerds, Cane Hill Alter Bridge and Beartooth all played for the rest of the night. Also had two more meet and greets with Royal Tusk and Aeges. We actually got to meet Royal Tusk up on deck in the back of the boat one morning just hanging out. We sat there and chatted with them for a good half hour they are some really cool dudes great music. Really just a great group of guys they really seem like they get along you know sometimes you don't get that vibe. There was something going on in the aft lounge The quest I don't know what that is. There is always too much going on there is no way you can do everything but you can try. As usual the DJ's playing in the disco ballroom and the karaoke is going on in the casino as well at midnight the party never stops.
Day five it's bittersweet it's the last day. The theme is voodoo gras you know because we're in New Orleans and it's almost Mardi gras time. This is a big day there's a lot going on there was Captain's quarters meeting and thats where you get all the good information. We should have went to that. We were in line for meet and greets. Other than meet and greets they had beers & bingo and messy twister going on during the day. Joyous Wolf was the first band to start the day at 2:00 on the deck. They had the newlyband game which was hilarious. And right after that was the artist q&a. This was really awesome. We did miss a band or two because of this but Goodbye June and hands like houses were playing during them. But the best part is we had other opportunities to see them so we didn't fully miss them. Badflower, Shvpes, Living Color, Ded, Royal Tusk and Ra were all jamming during the last day of performances. At 7:00 p.m. cancer sucks did their charity auction. The amount of stuff that is given by fans and artists is amazing. This it's hard to describe how wonderful it feels to see the amount of people that want something done. That are willing to help get something done. Cancer sucks everybody knows that but to actually put effort into doing something is one of a kind. Couple more meet and greets during the night; Goodbye June and Ded. But the last three shows for the night we had Halestorm, Hellyeah and Aeges. It's so bittersweet when you know the last few shows are wrapping up and all you have left is the disco party or the casino where they're going to do karaoke later. But the best part is knowing there's next year.
So let's wrap this up real quick Saturday we got on the boat started off right with Halestorm. Sunday we got to watch the super bowl on the boat in the middle of the ocean. Not even sure tickets to the actual game would have be better. Monday ported in key West Florida for some day activities. Tuesday ported in Cozumel Mexico. Some of us went to a private beach party and some of us went and did excursions. Wednesday we enjoyed a full day at sea with all the bands. It's really hard to sum up this cruise shiprocked. It's honestly not even always about the bands. We book and pay for this vacation before we know who's on the cruise. It might not even be your favorite lineup and you're still going to go. Some of the closest people to me right now in my life are people that I see on that cruise once a year. It's a family reunion at this point. So as we say on shiprocked 'Rock hard vacation harder'. After we get off that cruise all I wanted to do was sleep so tired and drained nothing about this vacation is relaxing. But it is by far the best vacation of my life.
CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY: Blacktop Mojo at Lefty's in Des Moines, IA and Evan J. Thomas was there to capture the show - CHECK OUT HIS PHOTOGRAPHY HERE
NEW MUSIC: Brick, NJ based Heavy Rock band SLAVE REVOLT has released the official music video for "Organic Robot (feat. Jim Acevedo)." - WATCH IT HERE
FESTIVAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Tool & Deftones take over headlining Sonic Temple after Metallica backs out. Slipknot, Red Hot Chili Peppers and MORE announced! - READ IT HERE
NEW MUSIC: The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are kicking off 2020 with the release of their first original new music since 2018, a nod to their emo roots called “A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Called LA.” . This is the first song off their forthcoming The E
NEW MUSIC: New Delhi based Indian Metal Band Bloodywood drop their video for "Machi Bhasad (Expect a Riot). This song is in rotation on SiriusXM Octane and see them at Sonic Temple Festival - WATCH IT HERE
CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY: Al was at the Gramercy Theater in NYC to cover the Sons of Apollo show along with Tony MacAlpine - CHECK OUT HIS PHOTOGRAPHY HERE
NEW MUSIC: Code Orange drops the video for their single "Swallowing The Rabbit Whole", off of their new album Underneath due out March 13 - WATCH IT HERE
NEW MUSIC: STATIC-X has released the first single "HOLLOW," while announcing that their long Awaited, 7th Studio Album PROJECT REGENERATION will consist of more than 20 tracks, which will appear over 2 volumes, to be released separately - WATCH IT HERE
Look here for the newest releases and news in the Rock, Metal and Alternative genres!