Wednesday, December 7, 2011

ShipRocked: What happens on the ship, ends up in my blog...Well, most of it. ;)

Where do I even begin? ShipRocked was probably the coolest, craziest, starstruck, sleep-deprived thing I've ever experienced. I don't know how rockstars do it...Between traveling by cars, planes and of course a ship, and the almost constant concerts, and roughly a few hours of sleep a night for a week, there's no way I'd survive. I guess that's why ShipRocked came about, so the wimpy ones can get a taste of it for a week, which is probably all we can handle at a time. It took me at least a week afterwards to fully recover. But I wouldn't take it back for the world.

Me and Filter! Photo by April Parsons
Of course everyone knows the band I went for was Filter. And I got a reputation before we even got on the ship! Sitting in the waiting area for check in, a girl I had talked to online from the ShipRocked page spotted me and dubbed me "Filter Girl." Well I did intentionally wear my Filter shirt, signed by Richard Patrick, the first day so people would know why I was there. A guy stopped me later that evening and asked me where I got my shirt. I told him he could get it at Hopefully I got them another shirt sale! And just about everyone we talked to got informed that myself and my cohorts were there for Filter.

So the first evening, Hinder went onstage on the pool deck. They played a little while, then we got rained on and beaten by the wind. Hinder's PA blew out, so it got off to a little bit of a rough start. We did see Jonny Radtke, Filter's current guitarist, and Richard during the set. So I got my hug and I was happy. :)

Another Animal was supposed to play on the pool deck later, but their set got postponed to another day due to weather.

After that we were mainly trying to find our way around the ship and gather information about everything. We just got dinner at the buffet because it was easier. That's when I met Lajon from Sevendust. I actually didn't know who it was at first, and he was goofing off with some friends at the table next to us. Then he started dancing and shaking his butt, and he was rather close to my face. He turned around and realized it and said, "Oh I'm sorry, I'm like giving you a lap dance while you're trying to eat your dinner." It was hilarious! So from that point on, every time I saw him around the ship he'd yell out something at me like, "That's my girl!" Or he'd high five me haha. It was so funny. And he told his bandmates the story when I went to get my picture taken with Sevendust at the meet and greet. So LJ was one of the funniest parts of the cruise for me.

Later that night we saw Buckcherry at the inside auditorium. I give them credit for having a lot of energy in their performance, but they were a bit too raunchy for my taste. In my opinion there's a point where it gets annoying and takes away from the music.

We made a new friend during our wanderings because we were all kind of lost and looking for the same thing. And we all ended up hanging out with each other the majority of the cruise after that. We had a funny run-in with one of the guys from Hellyeah at the bar. He became a pretty good source of entertainment for us to just watch how he interacted with people around the bar area. Our new friend also introduced us to another friend he had made. So we all hung out and he was a gambler. I'm not much for gambling because I'm usually not lucky with things like that. But he played roulette and had us each pick a number for him, and my number won. So he gave me some of the money he won on my number. It was $25, but he won more than that haha.

Then we went to the late show to see Broken Teeth. They were pretty good. We watched them from the balcony seats in the auditorium. Living Colour was supposed to perform that night but they didn't come on the cruise for some reason. Supposedly one of them broke a finger or something, but there were other rumors floating around too, so who knows.

Broken Teeth
That was about it for the first night. Tuesday we had to get up and be ready for the first meet and greet because Filter was going to be there. Did I mention the Broken Teeth show started at 1 a..m.? So we didn't go to bed till at least 3 a.m. Then we had to get up, shower and get all girlified for pictures with rockstars at 11 a.m. They all seemed to be in the same shape we were in though haha. We got our pictures with Filter, Sevendust, Hinder, Cage9 and In This Moment. They were all really nice, saying hi and shaking hands as we walked up for our snapshots. For me it was fun to get in the middle of all those musicians for the pose. ;)

After that we went to the Rock Talk Q&A. There was apparently some confusion or a scheduling conflict because Richard was listed to be there on the schedule but he was still at the meet and greet I think. But it was still an interesting discussion. I thought Kevin from Candlebox had some very nice things to say. He was adamant about the fans being important to them. I went on ShipRocked for Filter, but when I saw the other booked bands, Candlebox was my second favorite.

The Host, Kevin from Candlebox, Joshua from Buckcherry, Geoff from Queensryche and Whitfield from Another Animal
We got lunch after that because we missed breakfast, which ended up being a theme for the whole trip. We actually never made it to breakfast all week haha. Then we just kind of lollygagged around until Filter's set on the pool deck that evening. It was kind of funny, because normally when I'm just going to a Filter concert, there's all the build up and excitement. But we had been so distracted by everything else up to that point, it took a minute to sink in that it was time for a Filter show! It didn't really hit me till we started getting ready for it.

My friend let me borrow her little flipshare camera. They said we weren't supposed to record the shows, but I saw other people doing it so I tried it too. No security guys stopped me, so I got a few videos and took some pictures. One of the funny things is, we noticed a notice on the stage floor in front of the singer's spot that said "NO CUSSING!" I assume it was because other passengers who didn't sign up for ShipRocked could be out on the pool deck and might not want to hear any of that. But it made me laugh when Filter opened with "Welcome to the Fold" and the part when Richard normally says one cuss word, he stopped himself and looked to the side of the stage like a kid afraid of getting in trouble or something.

The setlist was:
Welcome to the Fold
The Take
Trip Like I Do
Take A Picture
No Love
Best Things
So I Quit
Hey Man, Nice Shot

We managed to turn our new friend into a Filter fan that evening. And by the crowd response and overhearing comments from people later, I think Filter made quite a few new fans. The girl in front of me was headbanging like crazy most of the time. I'm surprised I managed to get any pictures or video haha. But she was having a good time and hopefully is or now is a Filter fan.

The guys put on an in-your-face performance. The pool deck stage made for a new feel for a rock concert. Richard crowd surfed during "Best Things." They didn't take him far at first and took him back to the stage. But he said he really wanted to go and jumped back in for a better ride. Then during "So I Quit" Richard ran up the stairs to the upper deck and ran all the way around through the people up there. He stopped to talk to one lady and did some funny improv covers, including a little Bette Midler. He also climbed up and was hanging over the railing above the stage. Some people next to me were saying, "Loco, loco..." I thought that was funny. Yes, Richard is crazy, and that's what makes the show great!

We talked to the guys briefly afterwards and we had dinner and went to see Queensryche inside. Now I don't want to bad mouth them. The quality was there, they had a lot of excited fans who ran to the front, but for some reason I just wasn't into it. I don't know if it was muted to me after seeing Filter, or just not my taste in music. I listened to maybe about five songs and ended up leaving because it wasn't holding my attention.

So we wasted some time until Sevendust's 1 a.m. show. I had to see my buddy LJ haha. What was funny is, during their set I realized I'm pretty sure they were at HFStival in DC when I went in 2001. I had forgotten until then. They put on a great show and the place was pretty packed. We sat in the balcony part again for that one since it was crowded in the main part. So after that and some time to wind down at the bar, again I'd estimate we went to bed around 3 a.m.

Wednesday was the only day we slept in awhile. It was our first port at Costa Maya. We slept past breakfast, then ended up spending the day at the pool, sipping on drinks, napping in the sun, and splashing in the pool. We didn't have any excursions so we took advantage of it while more people were off the ship. Candlebox played their set on the pool deck that evening and we were still in the pool. So I had a brand new concert experience, watching and listening from a pool. And it actually sounds really cool if you float around with your ears in the water. Candlebox sounded great and it was my first time hearing them live. I was impressed by their performance.

That evening we decided to actually eat in the nice dining room instead of at the buffet. The entree I got was a bit odd and very rich, I didn't even eat half of it. But the chocolate gelato I got for dessert was amazing. The food on the buffet was mediocre most of the time. The food wasn't that great compared to the other two cruises I've been on. But luckily I was there for ShipRocked, so I wasn't that concerned about the food.

After dinner, we mingled about until the main show that night, which was Hellyeah. I was kind of surprised by them. I really liked their performance and it was my first time hearing them too. Then it was our usual killing time until the 1 a.m. show which was Filter!

I think this might be my most memorable Filter show to date...First off, Richard said he took a nap and he looked kind of  like he had just rolled out of bed for the show haha. I think that made him that much crazier in his performance. He apologized ahead of time, saying his voice was hoarse from the dune buggy excursion he did that day in Costa Maya. That was part of the Cancer Sucks fundraiser, fans paid to go on the excursion with several band members. Apparently Richard gave his passengers their money worth...It seems he was treating it more like a racecar with the other dune buggies, and yelling and having fun, which made him hoarse.   He even pointed out one of the guys in the audience who rode with him, and borrowed his hat.

The setlist was:
Welcome to the Fold
Drug Boy
The Take
Trip Like I Do
Take A Picture
Gimme All Your Lovin
Best Things
No Love
So I Quit
Hey Man, Nice Shot

My friend helped me get right in front and center, and I held my spot too, despite a few women who were trying to take my space later. I think it was because they were jealous hehe. One thing that made this show more interactive was the fact that the stage had steps in front and no barrier like a normal concert. So Richard took full advantage of it and came down to the crowd several times during the show.

One of those times was during "Drug Boy." He latched onto me in a hug and then I'm not sure if he intentionally jumped or if he accidentally tripped, but he ended up being off his feet and just kind of hanging onto me. I held onto him because I was afraid he was going to fall on his face! So he ended the song like that, halfway singing and almost falling. So I may have actually caught him and saved him from getting hurt haha. I definitely won't forget THAT moment!

A little later, during "Dose," Richard came down to me and handed me his guitar pic and showed me how to make the scratching noises he does on his guitar in the breakdown of that song. I started out doing it too fast and that's when he started teasing me. I'm not going into detail, but he embarrassed me to death! It was really funny though too. I think I'll giggle and blush every time I think about it from now on.

I accidentally hit the button and stopped recording for a second.

They played "Skinny" too, which made me very happy because it's my favorite Filter song. The dynamics are amazing live, and it's just one of those magical songs that makes me feel connected. I requested it awhile back, but I'm not sure if they played it for that reason or if it was coincidence. Either way, I was pleased.

During "Best Things" Richard attempted to crowd surf again, but instead it was more of a crowd hover. The way the seats were arranged in the auditorium, it was kind of difficult to pass him along. So I got my second time of actually helping to hold him up. It was funny because we were just holding him and he wasn't going anywhere.

Then in the latest tradition of "So I Quit," he ran out into the audience and mingled with some people who were sitting toward the back. Earlier in the set, he beckoned them to come down to the front and join the rest of us. So he decided to go to them instead haha. He didn't let them off the hook that easy!

They ended the show with "Hey Man, Nice Shot" and he pointed the mic at the crowd for the chorus, encouraging more participation to scream along with him. The interaction with everyone throughout their performance is one of the main elements that makes a Filter concert so awesome.

Mika, Richard, Jonny and Phil
After that excitement was over, we meandered around the ship for a bit, trying to find something to get into. But it was 3 a.m. and most of the bars and such were closed. We wandered into the Zebra Bar and it was empty except for Richard and Jonny hanging out with a few people, including one of the guys from Cage9. Richard introduced me as one of his top fans, and the bass player of Cage9 handed me the Filter setlist he had gotten from the show. At first I thought he was just showing it to me, but then I realized he was actually giving it to me. I was very surprised, it was a sweet gesture. Then Richard wanted to sign it for me but didn't have anything to write with. Luckily, I was prepared with a Sharpie in my purse for any such opportunities. Then I was flattered by the message he wrote. Moments like that are the reason I like musicians so much. They make me feel special. ;)

The twist about Cage9 is, one of my online Filter Friends actually recommended the band to me awhile back and I listened to them on Facebook. Then when ShipRocked started a voting contest to select two bands to perform on the ship, I posted about it just to pass it along to any bands I knew. My friend told Cage9 about it because he is friends with them. And Cage9 ended up winning the contest! So it's one of those strange connections in life...between my Filter Friend telling me about them, to them getting on the ship, then the bass player giving me his Filter setlist, which Richard signed and is now a keepsake for me. :) I will frame it at some point, along with some pictures.

Thursday we slept in a tad, then about 11 a.m. we were hungry. But we had missed breakfast time and lunch wasn't being served for another hour. So we discovered that the ice cream bar was open...I think it was my idea initially hehe, but we ended up sharing a banana split for "breakfast." And it was the most decadent banana split I've ever had. My justification for it was, at least it has fruit in it right?

After that we went to Cozumel for awhile, just strolling around the shops and stuff. I got a nice tiger eye necklace, which I have a thing for...I bought one in St. Kitts about 6 years ago, and it's about to fall apart. So I was happy to get a new one, and it's a nicer one too. We also got a nice surprise and got to hang out with Richard Patrick some, and got to play with parrots for a few pictures. It was a fantastic day in Cozumel. :)

When we got back on the ship, I kind of caused a little confusion that threw us off haha. They had told us ahead of time that at the ports our phones might get signal but would be an hour behind based on their time zone. They wanted to make sure we weren't left behind. So I was an hour ahead until dinner time, thinking we had to hurry up and shower and get changed and everything for the evening. We missed Sevendust's set on the pool deck. Then we missed Hinder for some reason, I can't really remember why haha. But I did want to see Cage9, so we went to see them in one of the smaller lounges. They were great! There was a good turnout for their set, and they had lots of energy. I really enjoyed their performance. I didn't get any pictures because the stage was floor level, and we sat at one of the tables toward the back. A crowd of people stood in front of the stage, so we didn't really "see" the show haha, but we did hear it. I also spotted a few of the Filter guys in the audience, so I think they liked them too.

When they finished, we hurried over to the auditorium to see the rest of Candlebox. This was my only complaint really, that some of the smaller bands were scheduled during other shows by the bigger acts. So I missed some of their second show, plus I didn't get to see three of the bands at all. I missed Lynam, 3 Pill Morning and The Voodoos. I got video of my second favorite Candlebox song, but apparently missed their main hit, "Far Behind." So I recorded a different song instead. They sounded awesome, despite the singer Kevin being displeased with some of the provided equipment. He mentioned getting a mic stand that actually worked, and at the end of their set he beat the mic stand against the floor of the stage in true rockstar form. He also gave a shout out to Filter, which I thought was really cool, complimenting them on their performance. Unfortunately I think Filter was still in the other lounge. But I did tell Richard about it the next night at the lead singers dinner and he said he had heard about it. It made me glad that the two main bands I wanted to see on the cruise were admirable of each other.

Friday we strained to get up for the meet and greet, because I wanted to get my picture with Candlebox. Nevermind the lack of sleep! This time we got there later than the first time, so we had to stand further back in the line, which extended out to the deck. It was very windy as we got closer to Florida again, so we were fretting over our hair getting messed up for the pictures. By some miracle our hair looked fine in those pictures after we tried to smooth it over with our hands once we got inside haha. I also joked that ShipRocked must have Photoshopped out the dark circles under my eyes. We met Another Animal, Candlebox, Buckcherry, Lynam, and 3 Pill Morning. Might I add that we skipped the second of the three meet and greets earlier in the week. We weren't as hyped about those bands and it was too close to the first Filter concert for us timewise.

Another Animal
3 Pill Morning
Later we caught In This Moment on the pool deck. I wasn't sure if I would like them, but they were another band that I surprisingly got into during their show. They're a harder, mainly screaming band, but their set had a lot of energy and got my adrenaline pumping.

In This Moment
Then it was time for one of the most anticipated events on Shiprocked for me...The lead singers dinner, which was also part of the Cancer Sucks fundraiser, and was limited to 5 singers and 15 guests. We weren't sure what to expect, but we dressed up and sat at the table with Richard Patrick and Austin from Hinder. Another table had Geoff from Queensryche, and the third table had Kevin from Candlebox and I think another singer. I would have liked to sit with Kevin too, but I think we ended up with the best table. Chad from Hellyeah showed up a little late because they were playing right before the dinner. He ended up sitting at our table too. So we not only got three singers at our table, but we also got the best personalities and seemed to have more fun than the other two tables.

Me and Richie at dinner. Photo by April Parsons.
I had been extremely anxious about this dinner, spanning from what to wear to being afraid of dropping food in my lap. And one of my friends made sure I got to sit next to Richard, which was awesome for me, but also made me nervous. Turns out they had bottomless wine, so I had a little to calm my nerves. But the waiter kept refilling my glass, and I'm a lightweight, so before I knew it, the wine was really kicking in. So then I was trying to make sure I didn't act stupid haha. My friend told me later that I handled myself well, because she didn't know I was quite a bit tipsy. The food that evening was the best I'd had on the ship all week. It was in one of their fancier restaurants that costs extra. The dessert was amazing. Of course I got the chocolate torte with vanilla pudding and strawberry garnish.

The singers pretty much led the conversation for the whole dinner. They were great at bringing up things to talk about for the six of us ladies sharing the table. It was one of the top experiences of the cruise and the perfect ending. It kind of summed up the main theme of ShipRocked, the opportunity for fans to mingle with rockstars on a personal, down-to-earth level, and of course rock out to awesome music for a solid week. It will be a lifelong memory for me.

My full ShipRocked photo album

Footnote: I just want to put out a special thanks to my friends who made ShipRocked awesome for me. They only enhanced it for me, by making some extra things possible for me. I also want to sincerely thank all of the musicians for their awesome performances and their openness and friendliness to all of us fans. And of course thanks to the organizers and crew who thought of this crazy idea of getting a bunch of bands and fans on a boat together! Last but not least by ANY means, I want to especially thank Richard Patrick for always being so awesome to me and all of his fans, and making me feel like a million bucks! I don't care if I spent all my money on this trip, it was worth every penny!

Please support all of these bands! They're all on Facebook, so give them some Likes!


Check out for updates! They are playing two dates in Alaska Dec. 9th and 10th. Then Dec. 12th-19th they will be performing  in Kuwait for the troops for their third time.


One of my favorite local bands is releasing their 4th CD on Jan. 1st!
Mindless Faith will have their first CD release party on New Year's Eve!
Come check it out at the Warehouse Loft in DC: BOUND New Year's Eve PervBall!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

4th Time's the Charm: Duran Duran AND Filter 10/16-10/17

I had my rocking weekend with my two favorite bands back to back! First Duran Duran and then Filter! It was my fourth time seeing each of them in concert. I saw Duran Duran in 1999, 2001, 2005 and now 2011. I've seen Filter in 2008 and now three times in 2011. And in about two weeks I'll be seeing Filter for a week on Shiprocked! I did also see John Taylor solo in 1998...But I digress.

My man John Taylor: Favorite Bass Player in the World!
I became a Duranie at the age of 11, and considering I'm now 29, I think you can consider me a Duranie for life. Duran Duran STILL puts on one of the best live performances I've ever witnessed. They are true pros. After years of playing together, they seem even more tight, perhaps even flawless as a band.

I had a blast dancing and cheering with the huge crowd along to all the fun hits. And I had my typical heartfelt moments with some of my favorite songs that have comforted me since I was 11.

John Taylor is still hot at the age of 51, and his bass playing is perfection. They were all sharply dressed and had a spectacular light show and video screens to enhance their catchy music with visual stimulation. I'll always have a soft spot for Duran Duran.

My pics and vids of Duran Duran are rough quality, but I'm still sharing them.

Click to see the full album: My Duran Duran Pics

My favorite song EVER.

I was most excited to hear this one live for the first time. It was off their very first album.

This is my fave song off the latest album.

Also my first time hearing this one live! 

You can hear me squealing like a school girl when they introduce JT haha.

Nice audience sing along intro...

Neon Trees opened for Duran Duran. They were very entertaining, especially the singer. 

Now unfortunately, Filter added a headlining show the same night as my Duran Duran concert. So I saw them the next night when they opened for Bush and Chevelle.

Me and RP take 3!

Filter really should have been the headlining band for this show. I know I seem biased, but they rocked the hardest, out of the three bands. The show felt in reverse dynamically. It started out on a high note and then tapered off with Chevelle and Bush. They are still good bands too, but the stage presence was just not as strong.

I got special attention again...haha. Some people probably hate me now, but oh well. For the first 2 or 3 songs of Filter's set I got trapped in the middle of the crowd. The show was sold out and there were a lot of Bush and Chevelle fans taking up space from the loyal Filter fans. But my friend rescued me and got me toward the front. 

There were about 3 layers of people in front of me, and Richard Patrick came down in front of the crowd as usual. He saw me and put out his hand and pulled me to the front to kind of lean on me for a moment. Some of the girls around us were looking at me funny after that. Then a little more into their set, he came down in the center area and I got a hug. And after he crowd surfed, he gave me his Filter wristband. I also scrounged up one of the guitar pics he threw in the audience.

Richard came out to sign autographs again, so I got one on my Filter shirt I was wearing. Then I forgot to show him my tattoo, so I went around again. I wanted a picture of him with my tattoo, and he got all silly haha.

At 2:00 you can see Richard handing me his wristband. This is a video some random person got.

At 2:00 I hugged Richard, but the person moved their camera.

At 1:09 you can see him just stick out his hand to pull me up front. But the camera moves. You can see me about 3 people back and then I'm not there.

DC101 had this voting contest for the greatest bass line in modern rock. 15 songs were nominated by listeners and one of them was "Hey Man, Nice Shot." I found out about it and rallied up a few Filter fans to help with the voting. They played it on the radio while we were in my car driving to the concert. Filter made #1! 

A few new tour dates:
12/7/11 Vice Ultra Lounge Walnut Grove, Ca
12/9/11 Chilkoot Charlie's Anchorage, Alaska
12/10/11 Blue Loon Fairbanks, Alaska
12/12/11 - 12/19/11 Kuwait Kuwait

ZZ Top signed a copy of ZZ Top "A Tribute from Friends" for Richard Patrick and Richard returned the favor and signed a copy for ZZ Top!!

I really liked this picture from the Monster site.

Brand new song from The Cranberries WITH a free download!

Now everyone have a Happy Halloween and I'll be back with a bangin blog after SHIPROCKED!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Tour Tidbits: Filter and Duran Duran and a little bitta randomness

First off, it's rather amusing to me that my two favorite bands, who I'll be seeing in two weeks, seem to be traveling on similar tour paths right now. Not only are they coming to my area at the same time, but they have both already done some gigs in Cali as well as Vegas. I wonder if they'll run into each other at any point...


Exciting news in the world of Filter...They surpassed their goal of reaching 90,000 fans on Facebook. I also noticed they gained about 400 MORE fans since they began touring with Bush and Chevelle. I'm happy to see that because I was hoping this tour would bring them more exposure that they deserve!

Richard Patrick celebrated his 9th year of sobriety on 9/28. He brought his daughter onstage that night (video below) and then got a tattoo for his son! I'm very happy and proud of him!

Rich with his daughter Sloan

Richie's tattoo for his son: "Ridley, It is not flesh and blood but heart which makes us father and son."

Videos yo!

Sweetest thing in the world! Richard Patrick brings his daughter onstage during Take A Picture. Also it was his 9-year sobriety date.

Entertaining interview, as always...

Rich and Jonny headed to the radio station, with pimpin sunglasses.

This remix of Take A Picture is cool. The first time I heard it was maybe a few years ago when I watched that movie "Valentine" for the first time. This played at the end. And you can buy the mp3 on amazon!

I never watched CSI regularly, but I did catch this episode and I remember the background music catching my ear...It's You Walk Away.

Chevelle caught the speakers on fire the second night of the tour.

Anew Revolution Interview: They opened for Filter in NC when I saw them.

I wish I could go to this show too! There are VIP packages available.
Linkies: Click, click, boom!

Buy VIP packages for Filter headlining shows!

Anaheim Show Review

Pics by Amber Stokosa

Vegas Show Review/Pics

Current pic of MSC Poesia, where Filter will be rockin me on ShipRocked!

Follow the Filter Fellas on twitter for fun tweets from the road!

As always, check for tour dates and updates at


Check out John Taylor's new facebook page and subscribe to see his updates!

LA Show Review

San Diego Interview with Nick Rhodes

Vegas Show Review/Pics

Vintage JT!

My buddies in Mindless Faith won the Jane's Addiction remix contest! And now please vote for them again in this She Wants Revenge remix contest!

Why R.E.M. are calling it quits

Old skool eboy