There was lots happening Day Three aboard Megadeth’s metal MEGACRUISE, starting with ‘Among the Brewing’ with Charlie Benante of Anthrax… yes — Charlie has coffee, too! ‘Sip and Paint’ with comedian Don Jamieson and Megadeth’s Dirk Verbeuren was also going on, as well as ‘Mega Clinic’ with Megadeth member Kiko Loureiro, Q & A’s, ‘Vic’s Garage’ for Megadeth memorabilia… lots to do.
I thought for sure I’d wake up in time for coffee, but staying up ’til 4am… this girl took a few extra hours of sleep. A friend and I decided to up the food game and try the dining room for a brunch. Imagine sitting at a table for two with a view of the ocean, served a made-to-order omelet, a mimosa and metal playing overhead. Now, that’s how you do cruise ship dining! I definitely took advantage of the dining room meals when we could squeeze it in; it’s much tastier than the buffet food and included in your cruise fare.
Every song just sounds better as a metal song.
Suicidal Tendencies started up on the deck at the Pool Stage. They are maniacs! A little A.D.D. comes in handy when trying to capture a photo of these guys: Mike Muir and bassist Ra Diaz jumped right over my head to get closer to the fans. Lead guitarist Ben Weinman was finding anything he can to climb on and jump off. Classic ST: “You Can’t Bring Me Down”, “War Inside My Head”, “Institutionalized”, “Possessed” — the pit was spinning. Fuck yes! I have seen a lot of shit go down in the pit, but I had to do a double take on this one. Is that dude naked in the pit? Well, not totally. He was wearing a skimpy banana hammock. Everyone was cool, high-fiving him around the circle. I found out later, Evan Radford is a quite a legend for his nakedness on rock cruises. He’s a pretty fun, crazy dude, enjoying his life! I love metal people.
‘Fan Photo Experience’ with Armored Saint, Corrosion of Conformity, Metalachi, and Toothgrinder followed after. I was set up with Toothgrinder right by the window, with a gorgeous clear view of the ocean and about halfway through the fan photos, we noticed the horizon seemed to be moving up and down. That made it a little more interesting for taking photos with a random drop in my belly. Time to grab a beer and roll with the waves.
I ran down to the Stardust area to catch Dragonforce. I’ve never seen them before and was blown away. Hermann Li gives guitar licks a whole new meaning… that is one lucky guitar! Did I write that out loud? Hermann Li and Sam Totman had some fun guitar banter. Marc Hudson had centerstage, with hair blowing in the wind, singing “My Heart Will Go On”. Every song just sounds better as a metal song.
It was another cool, breezy, gorgeous night on deck for Queensryche. Todd LaTorre came out looking like a sharp-dressed man with dark sunglasses. I admit, I am an old-school Queensryche fan and wasn’t too excited about the breakup at first. I saw Queensryche in 2017 and I was amazed by Todd. On MEGACRUISE, though, I was just in complete awe of him. Todd LaTorre is one cool dude, out there mingling with fans, jumping in jam sessions, playing drums with Kiss All-Star band and being a fan himself. That right there is what makes me a bigger fan of any musician on top of amazing talent.
Anthrax was next in the Stardust. It was awesome to have a bit of a different setlist than the first show. “Caught in Mosh”, “Indians”, “AntiSocial” are the must-play songs, but we also got “Medusa”, “A Skeleton in the Closet” and “In My World”. Frank Bello had his signature look of mouth wide open and hair flying. Jon Donais seems content to fly under the radar on lead guitar, giving the old-school guys their glory, albeit being amazing and fun to watch him. It was rad witnessing him catch some Frank Bello energy, both rocking that hair in sync.
Right after Anthrax, it was the Megadeth Beer Party. Everyone double fisted as many $5 beers we could get in an hour. I met so many cool people from all over the world, just hanging out by the bar, downing those beers. As I was cruising down to the Bliss, I could hear the distinct sound of beanbags hitting boards. I looked over the rail and saw an indoor cornhole tournament and I somehow missed jumping in on that. There are a million things to do on this boat. You can never be bored on a MEGACRUISE.
Everyone double fisted as many $5 beers we could get in an hour.
Rare Hare was fun! Who’s hanging out? Opus Lawrence from Dead by Wednesday, Tyson P. Leslie of Vixen and Todd LaTorre all jumped in to sing “Wasted Years”. It was just musicians jamming and having fun. I love that shit!
This is where it got a little tricky. Overkill, Metal Church and Death Angel all at the same time. I had to go with Death Angel in the theater. I could have hit all three for a few songs each, but I couldn’t peel myself away from Death Angel, even though saw them last night. Mark Osegueda fueled up on the fire, flying off Rob Cavestany’s guitar. Big congrats to Death Angel for their song “Humanicide” being nominated for a GRAMMY!
I then headed over to karaoke to see what’s up. It was another crazy fun night of who’s brave enough to get up there. Mosh pit karaoke on a cruise ship. The cruise ship staff seemed to be loving all us metalheads. They were definitely entertained. Despite my best efforts, it was another 4am close-the-bar night. Every night, okay, every morning, I’ve gone to bed thinking how can it get any better than today? What’s in store for Day Four? Well, waking up in Mexico!
Photography by Heather Vandemark