1) You are definitely not required to wear a tie. Ever. Unless you really feel like it - then by all means go for it! You can show up to the formal dining rooms on any night and wear a suit with a tie or jeans or shorts and a t-shirt. The only thing they really ask you to not wear to dinner is a swimsuit. The closest thing we have to a formal night is the 80s Prom night, but that's going to be very cheesy formal, I imagine. And of course, all theme nights are completely optional!
2) He's definitely one of the hardest working people on the boat! We're super happy to have him onboard! :-)
someone mentioned this before, but is there anyway we can get idea of what weezer merchandise is available on the cruise? a picture of the shirts etc would be helpful to know how much money to budget for!
For people who can't get enough of Dinosaur Jr...
Oh, excellent opener too.
My cabinmate and musical partner-in-crime (we've roadtripped to a few Weezer and AM Radio shows over the years) Allysa Luna and I are soooo looking forward to meeting everyone at the pre-party tomorrow, and on the cruise! YAYYYY! Flying in from Los Angeles tomorrow bright and early!
now that you mention it, attending weezer and am radio shows should be a crime.
My cabinmate and musical partner-in-crime (we've roadtripped to a few Weezer and AM Radio shows over the years)
See y'all on the cruise!! Am at the Marriott Biscayne Bay right now, but am sitting in the lobby with my computer while my wife puts the kids to bed...family responsibilities will keep me away from the pre-cruise party tonight, but CAN'T WAIT for tomorrow on the ship! My 7 and 4 year-old have been prepped with repeated listening sessions to the Blue album, and are just as excited as I am!
that cruiser of the week kinda failed...
The following essay is my attempt at encapsulating my thoughts and feelings on the cruise in as thorough a manner as possible. My goal was to paint a clearer picture of the Carnival Destiny as a whole, not just the Weezer shows it contained. I hope you enjoy reading.
“We're on a giant boat. Seriously.”
Patrick Wilson, January 19th, 2012.
This befuddled and confused sentiment has been echoed by many Weezer fans for months since the announcement of the Weezer cruise. Billed as a nautical music festival, this career move has been a baffling and stunning one for hardcore devotees. And yet when this native voyage embarked on January 19th, the combination felt just right. It was, in Rivers' own words (from The Pinkerton Diaries) a “your peanut butter in my chocolate situation.”
And so, it's 3 a.m and I am on a giant boat. Seriously. Before now I never pictured myself going on a cruise, or at least not any time soon. But when one of the nights was billed as a “B-sides + Pinkerton” type show, I could feel myself being magnetically drawn to the sea.
It didn't hurt that the supporting acts weren't half-bad. Hell, between all the acts that Lou Barlow was a part of,(Lou Barlow, Dinosaur Jr, Sebadoh) you had enough great music for one day. The fact that “the Lou Crew” as I am calling it, was joined by a bunch of great younger bands (Yuck, Wavves, Free Energy) it led to an intoxicating and thematically sound nautical festival. Like any festival, there were a few odd picks here or there (The vintage covers of the Yacht Rock Review come to mind as well as the esoteric electronic drums and twangy strat sounds of The Keepaways).
The cruise ship Carnival Destiny is host to several different venues. There's the Palladium concert theater, the site of Weezer's two Pinkerton and b-side shows. Then there's the Lido Deck, located at the top of the ship. There is no better place to watch a hit-packed rock show as the Miami sky fades and gracefully bows out to make room for the beautiful nights. The more intimate Criterion Lounge is the place you can go to watch some of the lesser known bands, it being the smallest space available, with seating made up of cushy chairs and couches. This variety of choices is an ingenious way of keeping a music festival fresh.
It is also important to note that this wasn't just a festival. The primary motive of a cruise, Rock or not, is to entertain its guests and leave them with plenty of entertainment options every night. In this respect, the Weezer cruise surpassed initial expectations. Whether you wanted to cut loose and relax, or stick to Weezer-related activities, you had plenty on your docket. You could check out Doug Benson's comedy podcast or perhaps play a game of rock bingo. There were also several events offered that were far more than just entertaining.
Rivers' Pinkerton Diaries reading in particular was surprising in its authenticity. Every time the group laughed aloud at one of Rivers' wry observations, the would-be professor was shocked and also quite pleased. These moments of levity were well-earned between the heavy angst of other passages. Perhaps the most chilling moment on the trip occurred when, after a long silence we heard the words, “Mykel and Carli are dead.” It served to make their song's performance all the more special later that night.
There were so many well-done non-Weezer performances on this boat that I'd love to single out some of my favorites.
- Lou Barlow 1/20, Criterion Lounge
A relaxing and intimate acoustic set full of surprises and good humor between songs. Special mention goes out to Lou's cover of “Cold As Ice” as well as his closing ditty about a stray cat that used to visit him and his wife.
- Yuck 1/22, Lido Deck
In this outdoor show Yuck proved to all why they were one of the most hyped up bands on-board. “Keep Away” and a sprawling, mind-boggling take of “Rubber” will stick with me for a long time.
- Dinosaur Jr 1/21, Lido Deck
One of the most-repeated complaints about Dinosaur Jr's set in the Palladium on 1/19 was that it was far too loud. Like, too loud for the professional musicians in the VIP sections loud. They turned it down a tad for this outdoor performance (possibly to avoid complaints from the other boats near us) and played a smattering of their hits. “Just Like Heaven” being played in front of a beautiful Cozumel sky is one of the moments that made this cruise worth it for me.
Now let's get to Weezer's live show. In what ways did the cramped quarters of the Palladium and the shaky seas change their live show?
A lot of fans predicted that Rivers would spend the whole cruise hiding in his room and not interacting with fans. As it turned out, Rivers meant it when he said he was going to hang out with fans. Whether it was scuba diving for his excursion in Cozumel or having an impromptu hootenanny with a lucky group of fans, Rivers was a social butterfly on the cruise.
The most noticeable concert difference on all three nights was also the friendly and casual nature of one Rivers Cuomo. After coming out for the Blue Album set on night one, Rivers came out front and shook hands and said hello to some of the hardcore fans in the front. “It's nice to see so many familiar faces. For all the hardcore fans... this one's for YOU!” Each indoor show, meanwhile began with Rivers coming out onstage to no fanfare and kicking around his soccer ball. Though he suffered from a cough, Rivers' voice sounded great and by he gave nearly flawless vocal performances in the indoor shows.
Alright, back to the live performances. For their last performance being in October they did not seem rusty at all. In fact, the instrumental playing was tight and refined in all three shows. Even when running through Maladroit's “Keep Fishin'” and covering Wheatus's “Teenage Dirtbage” in the first rarity setlist, one couldn't help but enjoy themselves.
The task of memorizing the lyrics to nearly 40 songs proved to be only a little beyond Rivers' capabilities. Each night there was one or two little lyrical slip-ups. Despite these occasional gaffs, the shows were phenomenal. He is forgiven because his guitar playing on the cruise was the best it's sounded in years. Holy smokes, nothing beats hearing the signature Cuomo vibratos and sustained bends in person.
There was also a big difference in how the band presented the full-album portions this time around. While in 2010 at the Gibson Ampitheatre Rivers was focused on emulating his “shoegazer” stage presence from 1994, now he is more focused on kicking as much ass as possible on these albums. That goes double for Pat who had some wonderful fills every night and Brian who has confessed that he is incredibly proud of the “Pinkerton reunion shows (sic).” The way these have grown in the past year has been wonderful to watch and Scott has brought some wonderful playing and energy to them as well.
The better “Pinkerton reunion show” of the cruise was their second attempt. The first set had more rarities (“Devotion,” “Tragic Girl,” “Longtime Sunshine”) as well as a touching dedication to Mikey Welsh in “Don't Let Go.” This is not to say the first indoor show was bad, so much as it was confusing. Though it was billed as a B-sides set, it featured songs like “Troublemaker,” “We Are All on Drugs” and (most confusingly) “No One Else.” “No One Else” is a fantastic song, but I don't think any of us were dying to see it performed with Josh Freese right after seeing the band play it the night before (in a much more soulful rendition).
But these are minor complaints. Weezer proved the naysayers wrong and went through with a daring and shocking move and it paid off in spades. More importantly, they created a positive and fulfilling event which brought people together and no doubt created some strong friendships. The fact that they did so while playing 3 incredible shows is just the icing on top of a wonderful, nautical cake. It almost makes mustache night forgivable.
- Scott has a new bass. It sounds much better than his old Fender and he seems really proud of it. Smoother tones and it suits the band's sound more.
- J. Mascis came out to watch Weezer perform “Paranoid Android.” He left soon after, apparently not a fan of “Pork & Beans.”
- Karl's team trivia was WAY more difficult than I expected. F****** Heisel and his team won. HEISEL.
- I only went to Karl's second DJ set but I heard King (Rivers version), a new take of Mad Kow (sounded like it was the SS2k version but from the studio) and... a song I didn't recognize. Hopefully someone else got it.
Channel 39 was WeezerTV. It was mostly webisodes and the 2008 MTV promotional materials. I didn't catch much that I haven't seen before, with two notable exceptions. There was proshot footage of that 2009 concert in Korea in which Girl Got Hot, I'm Your Daddy and Can't Stop Partying were premiered. Since they were streaming .vobs directly from a computer and the videos were in random order, you could never watch a full concert. This led to my heartbreaking since I was only able to watch 10 minutes of PERFECT QUALITY 1996 BIZARRE FESTIVAL FOOTAGE.
- Rivers held a question and answer session after his Pinkerton Diaries reading. Some info gleaned from this is that Rivers' favorite songs to perform live for his fans are Pinkerton songs because they allow him to be honest and truly express himself onstage and he feels like those audiences love him for who he is. Something to that effect.
- The Weezer Q&A was a total washout (no pun intended). One girl decided to ask her question in her bikini, posing and preening as she asked the guys if they had ever received detention. To the delight of no one in particular (except for drunken dirty old men), she shared that she had been in detention many times but never served her time. Her follow-up question was asking what underwear Rivers was wearing. I'm sure she had a great time at the indoor shows listening to all the rarities. The best part of this moment was my seat was directly behind her as she asked the question. Anyway...
- Most awkward moment of the whole cruise (tie):
A poor European(?) guy struggled to figure out how to ask a question during Rivers' Pinkerton Diaries reading and Rivers didn't know exactly what to do. Each time the guy would try and phrase the question better it got more confusing. After more than a minute of hedging and awkward silence, someone was nice enough to interpret his question to Rivers.
- A member of Yacht Rock asked Weezer how drunk they and Butch Walker were during the recording of Raditude. Crickets. Then after Brian explained that he didn't drink and Pat said that Butch was into fitness durng those sessions, the guy was inspired to tell a joke. “Are you into fitness? How about fitness in your mouth!!” Boos followed, which covering up the fact that Brian said something to the effect of “Well, my tongue could use a work-out.” What in the heck? Perhaps I misheard him.
- Rivers has a picture of Courtney Love on the back of his guitar because, apparently that's its name. He said his other guitar was named Yoko (presumably after Yoko Ono).
- When asked what his favorite guitar solo was at the Q&A, Rivers responded with Falling For You (to which I gave a hearty “Yes!” I think I embarrassed him and myself. When asked what song he last listened to, Rivers responded by saying he has been listening to a bunch of new demos. He later told me on facebook that he knew I would be the only person who cared about that answer.
- Pat had a dog named Peaches Von Strudel. Brian had a pet for a little bit. This elicited a lot of uncomfortable laughter amongst the band. When asked for further details about this, Brian only grinned and said nothing.
- I got to meet some amazing Weezer fans. Mutantmanifesto, Gecaj, Dusty Bee, a girl who joined my trivia team and of course “the twitter girls” as some may know them. Everyone was wonderful and made me feel happy as a clam. Thanks for being cool to me as well as cool to my mom.
- I got to meet Scott from Magic Hugs (one of my favorite youtube comedy groups). He did the best Youtube Invasion video in which Chazz, his dangerously idiotic fratboy character, does nothing but make fun of Rivers and co. Typical Chazz. He was an awesome, awesome guy and couldn't have been more welcoming to me. Even when I told him I was a mod on Weezer.com
- I got to have a nice chat with Rivers Cuomo on the last night after he led a group of hardcore fans and myself to the Criterion to check out Ozma's last song (“Friends of P” by The Rentals). I was lucky enough that he approached me and couldn't have been more of a class act (and kept his patience as I pestered him about his new demos). To my opening remark of “That's the best Friends of P” has ever sounded Rivers said in surprise “I was just thinking that!” The surprise hootenanny which followed was pretty cool. Jamie ruled. Me not bringing my guitar will now be a regret for the rest of my life though, imo.
- I sat next to Yuck's drummer and bassist at the Keep Away show (they sat next to me after I got there. I do not follow the musicians around, although this section of the report sure makes it seem like I do). I wanted to tell them how great they were but I was too shy because the bassist is such a cutie imo.
- Kept running into Shawn Everett. Didn't really know what I could say to him but he seems like a cool guy.
Fellow cruisers: I'd love to hear about your moments with the band or other musicians/famous persons on-board.
Best songs on night one, greatest hits & Blue:
- A soaring performance made even better by the appearance of the classic “Weezer flag” from Vegas (I believe). Rivers gave the flag a salute as he sang the chorus.
Only in Dreams
- Pat jumping on the drum riser as he and Rivers exchanged licks for the instrumental interlude is one of the cooler things I have seen this band do in recent years. Despite his cold, Rivers did not puss out for the big “Only in DREEEAAAMS.”
- Rivers throwing a bone to the hardcore fans in the audience. Disappointed in the reaction to this one but I suppose it's hard to go from watching Rivers triumphantly descend down a water slide to a song from an abandoned space rock opera.
Best songs on night two, Pinkerton & B-sides:
I Just Threw Out the Love of My Dreams
- The first non-f***** up performance of this classic b-side. Rivers played the keyboard leads in unison with Brian (on his guitar) along with chugging the rhythm guitar and belting out the lyrics with passion.
Mykel & Carli
- “Take your time. We have to do this right,” Rivers said before Brian, equipped with a harmonica and guitar, began this tribute to fallen friends. Anyone who didn't get choked up watching Brian, Pat and Rivers sing the chorus is a robot.
Can't Stop Partyin'
I know, I know. When I heard that Rivers was practicing this on ustream I was... eh... confused. But this performance was surprising in that it was the Alone I arrangement and one Patrick Wilson played drums. Almost felt like an attempt to make hardcore fans like it more. It sure worked on me, but I am a notorious sucker for this band.
Tired of Sex
- A surprisingly ferocious version of this song for being played by a bunch of 40 year olds. Rivers absolutely ripped the solo a new one unlike he has in years.
- This is the point of the night when I realize that Pinkerton's final chapter is beginning. The double solo is always amazing to see live but it reached a new level of amazing as the ship shimmied back and forth to its pulse (the boat was a bit bumpy on both of these shows).
Best songs on night three, Pinkerton & b-sides
- Barring a rather unfortunate lyric mistake in verse two, this was a real corker as Karl and/or Matt would say. Much better than that Tokyo version. Vocals were on point as was the solo section.
- Possibly even better than Austin's performance. Felt more developed and thoughtful. The double-solo is still awe-inspiring.
Don't Let Go
- A singalong treat which everyone seemed to get a kick out of. The dedication to Mikey Welsh was classy and helped the performance really take off and become something special.
Across The Sea
- A magnificent rendition of what should be a concert standard. Rivers' guitar crackled and screamed during the money-shot moment that is this song's solo.
Falling For You
- You could feel the whole room quake with emotion as the band played its last song of the cruise. As he played the solo (the same solo he chose as his favorite in the Q&A), Rivers took to the very front of the stage and held his SG (Courtney) close enough so that the lucky fans in the pit could touch it if they so wanted (thankfully none of them did).
God I need to shut up.