Today is Friday, and regular It's Alive in the Lab readers (like Adam Hockley) know that means that I'll blog about something besides Autodesk technology. Since I just returned from a five-day vacation, I'll write about each of the days on the next five Fridays.
The Rock Boat is a five-day floating music festival. Bands play concerts as the ship travels to its destinations. This year, our cruise went to Key West and Nassau, The Bahamas. Believe it or not, the destinations do not matter. The trip is all about what happens aboard.
This was our (my wife, Sheryl, and me) eighth Rock Boat. What set this year apart from trips past is that I was extra-prepared. Using Spotify, I had listened to artists' songs from A through Z. This gave me a well-informed opinion as to which artists to go see (see last week's blog post). What was surprising is how an artist's catalog can differ from the live performance.
Ian Moore is a guitarist and singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas. His Wikipedia entry notes that his music contains elements of psychedelic rock, soul, folk, rock and roll, world music, and blues, with deep literary influences. This was an acoustic set played in the ship's atrium to serenade us as we boarded.
Sister Hazel is the band that started The Rock Boat. They have been the hosts for all 19 Rock Boat voyages. Since this year's theme was the circus, they started our sail-away show with a cover of The Greatest Showman. They were joined on stage by members from other bands that included Red Wanting Blue, Aslyn, David Ryan Harris, Hannah Wicklund, Dan Rodriguez, Sarah Potenza, and Matt Nathanson. Although their sound is a little more country than my taste, they always put on a good show, and this was no exception.
Saran Potenza came to fame as a contestant on The Voice. She often sounds like Tina Turner or the late, great Aretha Franklin. This performance was an album release party with a theme. All of her songs reflected her anger at society because heavyset women are not treated nicely. The show included costume changes where she stripped down into lingerie and eventually, a skimpy bikini, where she was crowned "Miss Worthy" because all women, regardless of size, are worthy of dignity and respect.
David Ryan Harris
Based on my advance listening, I knew David Ryan Harris had a great voice. His show in the Spinnaker Lounge did not disappoint. He was even better live than in the studio. He even taught the audience how to "soul clap."
Andy Suzuki and The Method
I was really looking forward to seeing this band. I liked their songs. To my dismay, the live versions were more talky than sung. The delivery was more like Eminem than modern rock. We didn't stay for the entire show. That's one of the benefits of The Rock Boat. At any given moment, there are four or five live shows to choose from. All are free with open seating. If one show does not suit one's taste, one can go see another performance at a different part of the ship.
Dan Rodriguez and Wild Adriatic
Dan Rodriguez is a solo artist with an acoustic sound. Wild Adriatic is a band with a heavier rock sound. Months ago, these musicians got together, wrote and recorded an album, and released it only on The Rock Boat. This was a fun set full of surprises, as naturally, I had not heard any of the songs in my pre-travel listening. The crowd danced to show their approval.
I had a moderate interest in this band before the voyage. Live, their sound was more Irish than I expected, with the fiddle player being prominently featured in many of the songs.
This marked the end of day one. In retrospect, day three was my favorite day. Stay tuned to the next four Fridays to see how the voyage unfolded. Previous voyages have been documented in The Rock Boat category.
Rocking is alive in the lab.