What would a metalhead, former biker and eternal youngster like myself be on a cruise to the Bahamas? “It’s for old people,” “It’s cheesy”…people say. Speaking of a cruise, only two things come to my mind: “Titanic” and “Love Boat.” Well, that was before I heard about Motörhead’s Motörboat Cruise.
Imagine a pirate ship full of like-minded individuals, braving the waves on their quest to be the loudest boat ever. Starting to sound interesting? Now imagine an incredible lineup led by the legendary Motörhead, and including sets by Fucking Slayer (formerly known as Slayer), Anthrax, Hatebreed, Exodus, my personal favorites Suicidal Tendencies and many more. I bet it’s not simply sounding interesting, but a must attend. Get ready, we’re sailing soon!
Miami – Under The Blood Red Moon
At the port of Miami, we didn’t see a pirate boat (which was a relief, to be honest) but instead a massive ship that we were hoping would be big enough that it wouldn’t sway too much!
After a quick boarding process, it was time to take a look around, head to the pool deck and get a beer… or six. Buy five get one free? Why have one beer when you can have a full bucket, right? Metalheads were taking their marks, ready to burn some tattoos.
It was time to unleash the noise. Exodus took the pool deck stage during a beautiful afternoon in Miami. Corrosion of Conformity then followed. The next show we hit up was indoors at the biggest venue onboard, the “Stardust Theater” which is obviously not used to dealing with metalheads, since the seats were fully covered in plastic for the occasion. This is also where Hatebreed and Slayer would play later that day. I was actually expecting an outdoor set for Slayer as the show had been advertised as being “Under The Blood Red Moon.” Honestly, once they started, I couldn’t care less about the moon. Impeccable “in your face” set led by Slayer veterans Kerry King and Tom Araya and supported by gutiarit Gary Holt, who was playing his second set that night, and drummer Paul Bostaph, hidden behind his impressive drum kit.
Great Stirrup Cay
The next day we reached the Bahamas. In case some metalheads didn’t realize they were on vacation, the cruise organized a lot of activities, starting at 9AM (I missed the metal yoga session). Early afternoon, it was time to head to the beach with my friend Eric Moore, who you might know as the drummer for Suicidal Tendencies. The Dead Deads were raging by the time we reached the beach and we were just in time for beach wars.
Back on the boat, Corrosion of Conformity had started their second show, but by the pool this time, while Slayer‘s King and Bostaph followed with a 30 minute Q&A session. Then, it was time to get in line for a picture and meet-and-greet with Motörhead!
Soon after, Suicidal Tendencies hit the inside stage. Unfortunately, at that exact same time, Exodus were playing the outdoor pool stage (for the second time). It’s difficult for me to say anything unbiased regarding Suicidal‘s performance since they have been my favorite band for decades, but according to the number of ST OG Flip Up hats in attendance, I would say I wasn’t the only person who enjoyed the show.
Right after, Slayer took to the stage, and it was the second day that the indefatigable Holt played twice in a row. Our day ended by the pool with Motor Sister, Scott Ian‘s rock ‘n’ roll band.
On Wednesday morning we reached Nassau in The Bahamas. The weather was lovely and we chilled at a shaded booze joint by the beach (it was beginning to pour rain…and beer). The beach was charming though and there was enough time for us to check out the local market as well as your typical “Harley Davidson,” “Hard Rock Cafe,” “Starbucks,” “McDonald’s” and “Burger King” franchises. What did we end up buying? An “American Dad” T-Shirt. Makes sense.
Back on board, the schedule had changed a bit due to heavy rain. Hatebreed‘s set was pushed back until after Anthrax, which gave us more time to chill on board and check out glam rockers Santa Cruz.
There was no time to breath after that, since Anthrax, Hatebreed and the mighty Motörhead were playing one after the other. This was my first time seeing Lemmy on stage and it was great to see him in a rather good shape and mood after his recent medical issues. Their set was complimented by MH vet and lead guitarist Phil Cambell who played with his own band on the two previous days and who also took part in the live band karaoke.
Day At Sea
Thursday was the last day and also the only day that we spent entirely on board. Again, I missed metal yoga that morning but I made it to the Monster Energy Drink-sponsored meet-and-greet, where hordes of metalheads lined up to take photos with their favorite bands.
Anthrax played again that night and had an amazing set list, though unfortunately two songs were cut at the very last minute due to time constraints, but seeing them perform “I’m the Man” live was definitely my highlight of the day.
Bummer of the day; Motörhead was scheduled to go on while Suicidal Tendencies were in the middle of their set. I figured droves of people would leave the pool deck and head to the main stage were the captains of the ship were playing. But by the time Motörhead started, ST were in the middle of an incredible set, inviting skateboarders on stage for “Possessed to Skate.” Most people got caught and enthralled by their electrifying energy. I thought they delivered the best performance of the cruise (and I’m not just saying that because I’m a big fan, others onboard were saying the same, I swear!)
We still had time to catch the end of Motörhead before their 40th anniversary bash that featured a memorable roast and was followed by sets from The Shrine and Motor Sister.
The incredible out to sea festival ended with a live band karaoke jam with, among others, Phil Cambell on guitar and Joey Belladona covering AC/DC!
Check out more Motörboat 2015 coverage on Metal Hammer, Rolling Stone and Loudwire and get ready for Motorboat 3! I was even featured on Noisey along with ST‘s Mike Muir and Lemmy in an article about style (those are my feet in the first picture). The description of my ‘old-school Vans’ made my day; “those ingenious, worrisome, and altogether enchanting deconstructed Converse sandals covering the brave feet of this American hero.”
Make sure to check out a ton of more photos from my trip below!
Exodus by the pool:
Hatebreed at the Stardust Theater:
Slayer at the Stardust:
Suicidal Tendencies at Stardust:
Motor Sister outdoors w/ ST playing b-ball:
Anthrax @ Stardust:
Hatebreed @ Pool Deck:
Meet-and-greet with fans:
Suicidal Tendencies by the pool:
Motörhead at Stardust: