TVD Live: The Monsters of Rock Cruise, Day 1 with Cinderella, Faster Pussycat, and More

On Saturday, February 25th, The Monsters of Rock Cruise set sail from Ft. Lauderdale on its maiden rock ‘n’ roll voyage, packed to the gills with heavy metal bands and the rabid fans who love them dearly. I was one of those fans, and I have to say it was the second best weekend of my life (the first being my wedding, of course).

We boarded the ship with thousands of other metal fans and prepared for three days of rock ‘n’ roll chaos that would take us back to a time when big hair and loud guitars were all that mattered. This edition is dedicated to Day One.

The ship pulled away, and fifteen minutes later Faster Pussycat took the stage. Here’s a band that kind of got mislabeled as a hair band. They were like an ’80s metal version of the Stones crossed with the MC5. Their brand of sleaze-infused rock ‘n’ roll still stands up today, and they proved it. Lead singer Taime Downe is the epitome of a good frontman: engaged, animated, and true to his game. He’s a fucking rock star from another planet.

They tore through classic barn-burners such as “Slip of the Tongue,” the always memorable “Bathroom Wall,” and the lyrically updated “Cathouse.” While other bands fail at playing newer material in front of a dedicated crowd, Faster Pussycat excels. “Number One With A Bullet” and “Sex, Drugs, Rock ‘n Roll” are modern classics in their own right, with a sound that makes you want to hear a new record from Thrill Kill Kult.

On my way to the next big show, I stopped mid ship to see Jamie St. James and Black n Blue bringing back the metal at the Zebra Lounge.

And now, your headliner. Please welcome… Cinderella.

Next up, the ship’s big headliner of the night, the never-disappointing Cinderella. It felt like the entire ship had packed into the massive theater in the front of the ship to see one of the most overlooked rock bands from the ’80s. These guys are the CCR of “hair” metal and could kick Bon Jovi’s ass in a second. Better songs, better showmanship, better everything. Tom Kiefer and company put on a show for the ages and proved that they are the clear front-runner of the crop.

They brought the house, or ship in this case, down hard, blasting through classic songs such as “Somebody Save Me” and “Once Around the Ride,” then gave everyone a shot of gasoline with the masterpiece “Night Songs.”

Other highlights included “Coming Home,” “Heartbreak Station,” “Shake Me,” and “The Last Mile.”

If that wasn’t enough metal for one night, I stopped by to watch Bang Tango.

One of my all-time favorite records is Bang Tango’s debut Psycho Cafe. They took the metal and injected some white-boy funk into it, and it worked. These guys sounded pretty amazing as they blasted through “The Attack of Life,” “Love Injection,” and their signature hit “Someone Like You.”

So that was just Day One! Stay tuned for Days Two and Three when the party really got going. More photos, more metal, and more insider views from the maiden voyage of the Monsters of Rock Cruise.

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