Monsters Of Rock Cruise 2024: Day One Review

Monsters Of Rock Cruise Day 1 Review

Quiet Riot – Feature Photo by Shannon Wilk

Each year, a group of (mostly) ‘80s hard rock bands takes to the high seas onboard the Monsters Of Rock Cruise. Fans are treated to an experience like no other, eating in the same restaurants, swimming in the same pools, gambling in the same casinos as their favorite rockstars – and, of course, seeing them perform in concert on the ship.

Personally, I’ve been attending Monsters Of Rock Cruise since I was 11 years old, with this year being my 6th MORC at 17 years old. As a young rocker, it’s an incredible opportunity to see many bands that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to see elsewhere. This event was what got me into rock music as a youngster in the first place, as well as helping me get my foot in the door of the music industry.

Excitement builds as we board Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas for a week chock full of rock n’ roll thrills. As old friends reunite for this annual event, smiles become contagious among the crowd. My first stop is the Windjammer buffet for lunch, along with many other cruisers and artists. I drop my bags at my cabin and head out for the day. First stop: Quiet Riot at the Royal Theater.

After starting over an hour past the planned time, Quiet Riot hit the ground running on that stage. The 4-piece old-school hard rock band, credited as a significant influence for countless other artists on the boat, came out of the gate with a tease of Metal Health (Bang Your Head) before getting into their opening tune, Run For Cover. The band’s set consists of almost the entirety of their 1983 Metal Health album, plus, of course, a couple from Condition Critical and QR III. Rudy Sarzo takes the mic, giving a speech about his fallen bandmates Randy Rhoads, Frankie Banali, and Kevin DuBrow.

Yet another treat for the Monsters Of Rock Cruise audience was a special performance of Love/Hate’s Blackout In The Red Room, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Jizzy Pearl’s Love/Hate are embarking on a U.K. tour playing the album in its entirety; perhaps they would be a good fit for Monsters of Rock Cruise 2025?

Monsters Of Rock Cruise Day 1 Review

Quiet Riot – Photo: Shannon Wilk

Quiet Riot Setlist:

Run for Cover

Slick Black Cadillac

Mama Weer All Crazee Now (Slade cover)

Love’s a Bitch

Condition Critical

Thunderbird

Party All Night

Blackout in the Red Room (Love/Hate cover)

The Wild and the Young

Let’s Get Crazy (With Crazy Train and Eruption snippets)

Cum On Feel the Noize (Slade cover)

Metal Health (Bang Your Head)

When Quiet Riot’s set ended, I headed up to the pool deck to see if the Pool Stage was built and ready to go for the night. I found out that Firehouse’s scheduled sailaway Pool Stage show had been moved to another day, and Black N’ Blue would be the first show on that stage, set for 8:15 PM.

Being the guitar tech for the band, I arrived 90 minutes before the scheduled start time, seeing the crew working their hardest to get the stage built in time for the set. Experiencing delay after delay, Black N’ Blue finally took the stage around 9:20 PM, with their set time cut in half. Despite the late start, much of the audience stuck around and rocked out. Contrary to most bands, this one kicked off their set with their most popular track, Hold on to 18. In their current incarnation, the group features their original rhythm section and one of the most solid rhythm sections in rock, in my humble opinion, Patrick Young on bass and Pete Holmes on drums. Along with original vocalist Jaime St. James are guitar duo Brandon Cook and Mick Caldwell.

It’s always cool to see a band from a different perspective; through a camera lens, sidestage, back behind the amps, etc. For this particular show, I was stationed behind two Marshall half-stacks next to the guitar boat – ready for anything.

Shannon Wilk

Shannon Wilk

Black N’ Blue Setlist:

Hold on to 18

Stop the Lightning

Does She or Doesn’t She

Nasty Nasty

Miss Mystery

The Snake

Autoblast

School of Hard Knocks

High & Dry (Saturday Night) (Def Leppard cover)

The final show I attended on day 1 was a favorite of mine and many other cruisers, Spread Eagle on the Pool Stage, kicking off around 11 PM. With the band being from my area around NYC, it feels like I’m seeing my hometown band succeed on the big stage and it is a beautiful thing to see their hard work pay off. The pool deck was packed, full of headbangers singing every word.

Spread Eagle is one of only a handful of bands that are bold enough to play multiple songs from their recent album, as opposed to sticking to the classics, but if there’s one thing about Monsters Of Rock Cruise it’s that this group of fans will know every obscure track, every b-side, every new song from every band on the ship. These guys have gotten to be so tight and together, it’s impressive, especially with each member being from a different region of the country. After talking to people throughout the week and online after Monsters Of Rock Cruise, it seems this set was a fan favorite for many, an exciting feat for Spread Eagle, as it is their first time being part of this event.

Ray West of Spread Eagle – Photo by Shannon Wilk

Spread Eagle Setlist:

Subway to the Stars

Sound of Speed

Devil’s Road

Back on the Bitch

Switchblade Serenade

Broken City

Suzy Suicide

More Wolf Than Lamb

If I Can’t Have You/Revolution Maker Jam

Scratch Like A Cat

Don’t Change (INXS)

Monsters Of Rock Cruise Day 1 Review

Rob DeLuca of Spread Eagle

Day 1 was quite a light day when it comes to shows and goings-on, but fear not… there is much more to come with the remaining 4 days of the Monsters Of Rock Cruise, so keep an eye out for that.

Monsters Of Rock Cruise Day 1 Review

Jommy Puledda of Spread Eagle – Photo by Shannon Wilk

Monsters Of Rock Cruise 2024 – Day 1 Review article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

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