2024 Monsters of Rock Cruise Pre-Party Review In Miami, Florida

2024 Monsters of Rock Cruise Pre-Party Review In Miami, Florida

Feature Photo by Shannon Wilk

Each year before boarding the Monsters of Rock Cruise, the organizers host a pre-party for both those that are attending the Cruise and those who just want to buy a ticket and come rock out. This year the event was held at the amphitheater at Magic City Casino in Miami, as it has been in years past. Over 1000 hard rock fans pile into the venue, lining the barricade as the hot Florida sun beats down.

The evening could not have had a more fitting start, with MORC “Captain” Ted Poley kicking things off. The frontman performed a set full of songs from his longtime band Danger Danger. His happy, energetic movement was matched by guitarist Neil Zaza, bassist Marc Dube and drummer Paul Del Boccio. Despite being the first act of the night, Poley performed to a pretty packed house. As the group performed Don’t Walk Away, from DD’s first album, Captain Ted ventured out into the crowd, singing to concert-goers, making memories that will last their lifetime.
Ted Poley Setlist:
Horny S.O.B.
Monkey Business
Bang Bang
The Star-Spangled Banner
Don’t Walk Away
Don’t Blame It on Love
Neil Zaza Guitar Solo
Everybody Wants Some
Purple Rain
Naughty Naughty
2024 Monsters of Rock Cruise Pre-Party Review In Miami, Florida

Feature Photo by Shannon Wilk

Next, I headed up to the small pavilion stage to see Jeff Scott Soto and Jason Bieler. This duo is not one to miss. I’ve never been a big fan of broken-down acoustic sets, but these two could not take things less seriously, making it such a fun watch. Not only do they sound incredible, singing beautiful harmonies together on countless songs, but between songs, they are two of the most hilarious performers, cracking nonstop jokes. With the ongoing internet drama between original Saigon Kick vocalist Matt Kramer, Jason Bieler jabbed his former bandmate by playing Taylor Swift’s We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.
L.A. hard rockers Rhino Bucket perform one of their annual gigs during the pre-party. The AC/DC-esque group welcomed new band member Sean McNabb, holding down the low end with his Fender Precision Bass. McNabb gave an impressive double duty performance, playing with both Rhino Bucket and Soto/Bieler in one night. Like many bands from that era, Rhino Bucket features just one remaining original member, vocalist Georg Dolivo – who is still delivering his raspy, screamy-style vocals over 30 years later. Along with founding member Dolivo and fresh blood McNabb, KIX guitarist Brian Forsythe brings his bluesy licks on the lead guitar to the group and hard-hitting drummer Dave DuCey behind the kit.
Rhino Bucket
One Night Stand
The Hardest Town
Hey There
Who’s Got Mine
Beat to Death Like a Dog
I Was Told
She’s a Screamer
Hammer & Nail
Ride the Rhino
Next up, the “surprise band” for the evening, MORC fan favorites, Hardcore Superstar. Just before MORC, the band’s drummer of 25 years, Magnus “Adde” Andreasson, parted ways with the group. Johan Reivan, who did a fantastic job on such short notice, is filling his spot temporarily for both the Cruise and the band’s remaining Swedish dates. The newest host on the Monsters of Rock Cruise team, Heather Leather, introduced the beloved Swedes while decked out in full glam metal attire and teased hair.
Hardcore Superstar brings a harder, aggressive edge to the pre-party lineup with songs like “Sadistic Girls,” “Electric Rider,” and “Dreamin’ In A Casket.” As a treat for their U.S. audience, the band performed “Have You Been Around,” which frontman Jocke Berg says has not been performed outside Sweden in over 15 years. As the crowd pounds their fists, singing every word, Hardcore Superstar gives it their all on the stage – not staying still for more than a second.
Hardcore Superstar
Sadistic Girls
Electric Rider
Have You Been Around
Above the Law
Last Call for Alcohol
Dreamin’ in a Casket
You Can’t Kill My Rock ‘n Roll
We Don’t Celebrate Sundays
Headlining the 2024 Monsters of Rock Cruise pre-party were rock legends Y&T. The sole surviving member, vocalist/guitarist Dave Meniketti, continues to keep his band’s legacy alive, performing the classic songs on stages worldwide. Y&T is a group that has riffs and hooks for days, and amazingly, Dave Meniketti can still sing as he did 40-50 years ago. The band creates a dynamic and captivating set featuring songs from half their lengthy discography. “Since this is our anniversary, we want to dip into every period we can for you,” says Dave Meniketti. Playing hit after hit, the audience sings along with the hooks that make up the chorus of each Y&T tune.
Black Tiger
Rock & Roll’s Gonna Save the World
Struck Down
Don’t Stop Runnin’
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
Long Way Down
Midnight in Tokyo
Mean Streak
I’m Coming Home
Winds of Change
Summertime Girls
With a dynamic range of bands coming together to celebrate the week to follow, the Monsters of Rock Cruise has outdone itself with their pre-party experience. Despite being the end of February, the warm weather, the palm trees and the rock n’ roll make it feel like an old school outdoor summer concert… and this is only the beginning.

2024 Monsters of Rock Cruise Pre-Party Review In Miami, Florida article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

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