ShipRocked: A Monstrous Final Day On the Ocean

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A few weeks ago, Rocks Off's Kevin Ramer shoved off on the 2012 edition of ShipRocked, which bills itself as "the ultimate rock music cruise vacation." These are his reports.

The fourth and final full day of the ShipRocked cruise is a full day at sea. After partying late into the night on Thursday, Shiprockers woke up Friday morning with plenty of entertainment to keep everyone busy.


Shiprocked: Hard Rock Hijinks On a Big, Big Boat

After a hefty breakfast, passengers wanting to take a moment to relax the mind and body did so on the MSC Poescia's sports deck, where Ben Moody of The Halo Method and Evanescense hosted a yoga session for anyone who cared to join him. Later that morning, Pop Evil dared passengers to try and defeat them at mini-golf, while other fun onboard games included noodle-jousting in the pool, a beer pong tournament, and the nearly famous wet T-shirt flip-cup contest.

The day's first big event was an 11 a.m. meet-and-greet in the Disco, which allowed fans to rub elbows and take pictures with members of Godsmack, P.O.D., Lit, Helmet, plus Shiprockers Geoff Tate and Gilby Clarke. Godsmack's Sully Erna even joked around about his seasickness.

The first show of the day was Filter's rescheduled set, after the band had to cancel the previous evening's midnight concert due to high winds and rain. They came out on the Deck Stage with something to prove, beginning their set with "Welcome To The Fold."


ShipRocked: KoRn Fights Seasickness but Fans Rage On

The audience seemed just as amped up to see the veteran rockers. Singer Richard Patrick got up close with the crowd during their hit "Hey Man, Nice Shot," coming down off the stage and directing fans to help him crowd-surf from the stage to the back of the deck near the people relaxing in the jacuzzis. They lifted him up and he sang with his cordless microphone as he surfed across the deck.

Patrick then ran up the stairs and sang with fans watching from the level above, quite the show to begin our full day on the ocean.

Following Filter's set, The Letter Black and Helmet performed back-to-back concerts on the Deck Stage, while down in the Zebra Lounge MTV's Matt Pinfield held a Q&A session with different ShipRocked band members, a big treat for fans with questions they had always wanted to know about their favorite stars.

Midway through the afternoon ShipRocked hosted its third and final meet-and-greet, again in the Disco, this time with KoRn, Sevendust, Pop Evil, Fuel and The Halo Method. The bands seemed to enjoy meeting all the fans, and these events made great opportunities for fans to see the entire bands together at one time without being on a stage performing.

Dave Buckner, drummer of The Halo Method and Papa Roach, sat down to describe how his new band formed and talk a little about the new music they are now writing. He said he attended ShipRocked 2011 just for fun, and was having dinner with ShipRocked owner Alan Koenig, telling him how much fun he was having.

Buckner told Koenig, "I wish I was playing this show, and had a band to play." Koenig responded, "If you put a band together, this time next year I'll have you on." With great excitement, Buckner began working and devising a plan.


ShipRocked: A Storm From Five Finger Death Punch, and the Weather

"Fast-forward to May 2012 I ran into Ben Moody [of Evanescence] in Hollywood after not seeing him for about six years or so," continues Buckner. "We had a good conversation and we conceptualized a lot of different things and agreed it might be a good idea to put a band together and write some music to play this boat."

According to Buckner, the Halo Method's new album is "sort of a concept record," he says. "Since Ben and I are huge Star Wars/Battlestar Gallactica nerds, it takes place in post-apocolyptic Earth in some future form, there is a story line to it. When we put it out we will explain more about it and it's going to be pretty cool."

Buckner says the Halo Method had already recorded seven songs to get ready for ShipRocked, and is looking at a possible early to mid-2013 release. Seeing this new rock supergroup come together and perform for the first time on the ocean was a very cool experience.

At 3:30 p.m., legendary Queensryche vocalist Geoff Tate took over the Deck Stage outside, performing solo material as well as his big hits from Queensryche, such as "Silent Lucidity," Jet City Woman" and Eyes of a Stranger." Even after more than 20 years of performing, Tate still has an amazing set of pipes and is always quite the crowd-pleaser.

Other bands that performed throughout the final day and into the evening were Fuel, Sevendust, P.O.D., Andy Wood and 10 Years in the lower deck. 10Y Singer Jesse Hasek put on a memorable show, dressed in a goofy get-up with a straw hat and a button-up shirt with hearts on it. It looked like he stepped onto the ship straight out of a barn somewhere, but Hasek put on a heck of a show nevertheless.

One of the main sponsors of ShipRocked 2012 was Cancer Sucks, and Friday evening the cruise held an auction with items up for bidding such as autographed guitars, drumheads, posters and artwork from many big-name musicians. As we neared the final hours of ShipRocked's final night, everyone headed back up to the Monster Energy Deck Stage to watch KoRn perform their final show of the trip.

Once again, they did not disappoint as they thrashed out songs dating back to their first album, new ones from Path of Totality, and even their heavy versions of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In the Wall" and Metallica's "One." Johnathan Davis once again blew everyone's minds with the blazing sound of his bagpipes during the intro to "Shoots & Ladders."

Finally ending with "Got The Life" and "Blind," KoRn's drummer Ray threw out several autographed drum heads to a few lucky fans. KoRn made sure and let the ShipRocked crowd know that they were appreciated for supporting the band in their 19 years of music. This was a perfect show to end the vacation, one that will stick with all Shiprockers for years to come.

The end of the night led to what was themed the "SHIPROCKALYPSE." Beginning at 1am, this was the final crazy party located in the Disco, with plenty of dancing, zombie costumes, and lots of booze to end the adventure.

Many people missed this trip, but may be seriously contemplating joining us next year for what will surely be another incredible time on the seas. When sitting with various band members during the cruise, I asked them, "What would you say to the fans that couldn't make it out this year but may be thinking about joining the party in 2013?" Here are a few responses:

"Do your research, know what you're getting into. You are on a ship, you can't go anywhere. This is a really cool experience and they should have a blast"

-- Fieldy, KoRn

"If you can make it, get your butt out here. It's a five-day party with your favorite rock bands and your friends, that's how amazing of a time this is. I love it, it's great!"

-- Dave Buckner, The Halo Method

"I'd say save up for it, plan ahead. It's probably one of the best vacations you'll ever have, a real adult vacation"

-- Geoff Tate

"Save up and do it. There are people from all over the world on this ship, it's doesn't seem like your average concert. It's a marriage of vacation and music. There is not much better than that"

-- Sonny, P.O.D.

That just about sums it up for everyone who experienced ShipRocked 2012. It was nothing short of epic. If you think you might like to get ShipRocked yourself, see www.getshiprocked.com for future announcements and news.

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