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Concert Reviews
Kid Rock Cruise 2010
('I'm on a Boat, Mother****er!' - May, 2010)

Many of the folks who travelled on the recent Chillin’ the Most Cruise with Kid Rock were educated in what exactly a Detroit Party was.

The cruise was promoted by Sixthman, founded in 2001 by Andy Levine, who started the first Rock Boat as a thank you for fans of the band Sister Hazel. Things have grown now from that first cruise that took up part of the boat to 9 separate cruises ranging from Elvis, Music of the 50's and 60's to Electronic Music and easy listening from Lyle Lovett and Emmylou Harris.

This year's cruise took place on the Carnival Inspiration from Tampa to Grand Cayman Island. This cruise was noted as being the fastest cruise by Sixthman to sell out in only 3 days.

I must say that I am biased towards Sixthman, this was my fourth cruise with them, the other 3 being the popular Ships N’ Dip with the Barenaked Ladies. As in the past, Sixthman along with Kid Rock has designed an itinerary that was to keep everyone in a party atmosphere from the pre-event party the night before to our arrival back in port. From the High-Fives from Andy and his staff while waiting to board to answering the same question for the 500th time with a smile, those folks were amazing and helpful.

The crowd was diverse with fans from all corners of the US with the same goal, to celebrate and enjoy the music of Kid Rock, and his musical friends and guests. There was a very varied concert schedule that involved all of the acts and a number of different venues, from the Paris Theater that sat half of the boat, the lido deck outside by the pool for all to enjoy to the small stage in the casino.

The acts that were on board included Paradime (DJ in Kid Rock's band, Twisted Brown Trucker), former member Uncle Kracker (who has went on to acclaim in the pop and music circles), Rehab, Ty Stone, Pop Evil, Mickey Avalon, DJ Mark EP, Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights, Leroy Powell, John Stone, Yacht Rock Revue, Scott Munns, Heather Luttrell and the tribute bands Dan Halen and Appetite for Destruction.

You could interact with the bands as besides their shows, a number of them sponsored various activities such as bingo and trivia. Later on there was a Q&A session with the folks at Sixthman to gain insight on the cruise process and voice any opinion. Can't sleep? The Lido deck provided a welcome escape into the wee hours with a DJ, Dance Contests and other fun. Perhaps Beer Pong or the men's Wet T-Shirt Contest could have been your thing?

Our Host for the event was Kid Rock, who is extremely proud of his Detroit heritage, as evident by the large Michigan contingent who was equally proud of their native son. As much as he was proud of his music and his influences, he was also proud of his fans which he humbly thanked on numerous occasions. As a thank you to those fans, Kid Rock had his photo taken with everyone right after they boarded the boat, which took around 4 hours to accomplish. Right after the lifeboat drills he then took the stage where he lead the boat in a Jim Beam Toast to the cruise - that's over 2000 shots!

He then performed for everyone an unexpected set that included such boating songs as "Sea Cruise" and "Proud Mary". Things were not dampened as he also announced that the boat's course was being diverted to the Bahamas from the original Grand Cayman itinerary. During the trip, Kid also performed 2 intimate shows for half of the boat, and one night announced over the boat's PA system that he was going to the Lido Pool Deck and DJ'd for 2 hours until the early hours in the morning.

There were a number of events onboard that there was a small charge for (Bingo and the Lap Dancing Classes) and I am sure that some were surprised to hear that the proceeds from those events went to charity. There was a Q&A session planned for 800 random fans in the lounge, however that was moved to the pool deck where the entire boat could participate in the roughly 90 minute discussion. No question was left Unanswered and Kid was open, honest and humble about various questions that included topics about his family and politics, things which don't come up in the mainstream media.

Right after the Q&A there was a meet and greet with the Twisted Brown Trucker Band in one of the Dining Rooms. These folks do not get enough praise for their talent and hard work and in return they were signing autographs and spending a moment with everyone and making the fans feel special. There were many events that Kid attended as a fan and the thankful fans gave him room to enjoy things after he took a few moments to sign a few autographs and spend time with some of his most loyal fans.

Even coming back to the boat from Nassau (the boat was diverted there as there was weather problems expected in the Caymans and there was a better chance in the Bahamas as there was a physical dock rather than transporting people to the island in rough weather), there was Kid greeting folks and taking photographs as they returned onboard.

The fans were so amazing, from the 3 small kids (around 4-5 years old) with Kid Rock shirts watching from the upper decks with their parents to some of the more seasoned fans. Everyone had fun, especially at the theme nights that included Pimp/Ho, Mustache/Miniskirt and Pirate nights. Everyone liked to socialize and people watch the myriad of costumes that emphasized the creativity and openness of all the participants.

The food is worthy of its own article. From the dining room to the Buffet, the food was plentiful and good. Enough alcohol flowed that made us wonder how bad the bar bills were for some, it was said but not confirmed that this was the highest volume of alcohol sales for a Sixthman cruise.

The chances to shop on board were endless, from the normal cruise line and luxury items to the well presented cruise merchandise shop in the ship's library. The prices on the merchandise were well priced to allow those with tight budgets a chance to purchase items from their favorite onboard artists, including a number of Cruise only items. Kid Rock Cruise Suncreen anyone?

If there was anything to be selfish, it was us the fans. We took and took from all of the many talented artists who performed for us and gave our applause, love and adoration in return. That pales in comparison to what the artists gave to us that trip and we will be forever in their debt with our photos and memories for their sacrifice to us and to the music.

Many of us have passed one another on the shuttles, in the airports and in some cases at work knowing that we are all of one band who's anthem for the weekend was supplied by Kid during his 'boat' version of "Cowboy. That being, 'I'm on a Boat Mother****er!'

Review & Photographs by:
James Keller





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