by Amy Harris
15 days ago
Posted In: Live Music
at 04:29 PM | Permalink
Halestorm, Five Finger Death Punch, Seether, Nonpoint, HellYeah take to the high seas for ShipRocked 2016
CityBeat was on-board for all the fun of the seventh annual
ShipRocked cruise, sailing from Miami to Costa Maya, Mexico last week.
The cruise provides a unique experience for diehard rock fans to get up
close and personal with their favorite bands on the high seas.
ShipRocked is made up of a tight-knit group of fans called
“ShipRockers” They are divided into two categories: Survivors who have endured previous ShipRocked cruises, and first time cruisers called
Newbs.The ShipRocked group of friends stays in touch with each other
year-round through a Facebook forum where cruisers can support each
other and reminisce about their amazing cruise experiences.
Diehard Shiprockers start a day early on Sunday night at
the official pre-party at the Clevelander Hotel in South Beach, where
fans saw performances by The Dead Deads and a surprise acoustic
performance with Joe Hottinger and Lzzy Hale from Halestorm.
Halestorm kicked off the party playing “Apolcolyptica” off
their new album, Into the Wild Life, and continued to play their hits
for an hour as the Norwegian Pearl sailed away from Miami.
While on board, fans saw live music everyday from 1 p.m.
until 2 a.m. These fans go from show to show with no nap in sight to see
all of the bands perform live. Every band performed two to three shows
while on-board to give each person a chance to see every
show. Bands included Halestorm, Five Finger Death Punch,
Seether, Nonpoint, HellYeah, Stitched Up Heart, Red Sun Rising, Helmet,
10 Years, Avatar, We Are Harlot, Doll Skin, The Dead Deads, and many
Besides the non-stop Rock, other activities also take place, like Deck Wars, where
fans competed against each other with members on Nonpoint band teams.
Some activities were canceled due to the high winds at sea, but there
was always something to do between your favorite band
performances. Whether you started your day with Rock & Roll yoga,
participated in scavenger hunts or tried your hand at late
Cruise ships in general are pretty fancy, so you really
never get over the sight of dudes with mohawks and huge tattoos sipping
beverages and eating their four-course meals on fine china.
On Tuesday, Avatar performed as the sunset over day two.
Avatar was the most fan-requested band to be added to the ShipRocked
lineup and the Swedes did not disappoint. Their high energy show kicked
off a night of music that included We Are Harlot, Seether and an on-fire
set by HellYeah on the deck that may have been the loudest of the week.
Band members can be seen all throughout the boat taking photos and talking to fans. All
bands also participate in meet and greets, where fans can meet and take a
photo with their favorites on Tuesday and Thursday.
The cruise pulled into Mexico on Wednesday and cruisers
could disembark for a beach-party option in Costa Maya, where Like a
Storm led beach wars and fans could relax with an open bar on the
beautiful Mexican sandy beaches.
One of the highlights of Wednesday night was seeing The
Stowaways perform. The Stowaways were assembled by Danny Hill with
guitar axe throwers like Dave Ellefson of Megadeth/Metal
Allegiance, Oli Herbert from All That Remains and Bumblefoot. The
band pulled in as many artists onboard as possible and practiced for many hours on Monday and Tuesday to pull off a
show that highlighted everyone on stage. Special tribute was made to
Scott Weiland and there was also an all-hands-on-deck finale tribute to Lemmy Kilmister
There were weather issues that forced the cruise
to move live performances scheduled for Thursday indoors.
Five Finger Death Punch was one of the cruise headliners that was supposed to
close out the whole event on the pool deck stage. In true ShipRocked family
fashion, when the storm rolled in the band stepped up immediately and
said they would play two back to back shows inside the Stardust Theater so that all fans could see the final show. The band played until 2 a.m. to make sure everyone could close out the party in true Metal
fashion.For Amy Harris' photos from 2016's ShipRocked, click here.
by Amy Harris
Halestorm shows everybody out there that a female can rock with the guys. Lzzy Hale, Revolver Magazine’s reining “Hottest Chick in Hard Rock,” along with her brother Arejay, started the band back in 1999 and they have been on an upward trajectory ever since. This past February, the band received its first Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance for the song “Love Bites… (And So Do I),” which made history as the first song by a female-fronted group to top the Active Rock radio airplay chart. Halestorm has been headlining shows across the country in support of The Strange Case Of…, the band's second studio album. The group will be performing at this weekend’s Rock on the Range in Columbus on Saturday, playing the Main Stage alongside Papa Roach, Bullet For My Valentine, Three Days Grace, Stone Sour and The Smashing Pumpkins. Click here for full Rock on the Range info.CityBeat: A lot has happened since I saw you guys in the fall. My first question is … where are you keeping your Grammy?Lzzy Hale: You know what is funny — we actually don’t have them yet. It’s not quite real. We have been on the road so they have not been delivered yet. We have to sign a contract to make sure we aren’t going to do anything stupid with it. I have no idea where I am going to put it. My mom thinks it should be at her house. I’m like, “No, Mom, it comes with me.” CB: You could put in your bunk (on the bus). That’s where you live anyway.LH: Yeah. Very true.CB: I know you just collaborated with David Draiman (of Disturbed) on the classic Ozzy and Lita song “Close Your Eyes.” What was the best part of doing that for you?LH: It is such a cool thing. David Draiman has been such a champion of our band for the last couple years. He has been holding the Halestorm flag high. What a nice dude and always there for advice. He has sort of become this pseudo-big brother of mine the last couple years. It is kind of surreal, a little bit, because I know this guy, but after singing with him and doing this duet, I find myself talking to my little brother and saying, “Remember when The Sickness came out and we went out and got that record, and we knew every word on that record.” We were huge Disturbed fans when we were kids. We still are, I should say. It is such an amazing honor to be asked to do that and what an incredible lineup on the entire record. Being the new kid on the block as far as the guest vocals are concerned is quite humbling, honestly.CB: Were you nervous about re-recording that song?LH: A little bit. There is always something in the back of your mind when you are recording a classic like that. You don’t want to ruin it. I am such fan for Lita Ford and Ozzy Osbourne and that whole era of music is really close to my heart. I was only hoping that we could do it justice. It was really David who put my mind at ease with that because as soon as I heard what he was doing with (it), I realized it was special, really special. It is so weird, but when we were listening to the final mix of it, both David and I got goosebumps in the exact same spot of the song. We were like “Whoa! There is something about this song. We did something right.” I am happy we did it. I just sang it live with him for the first time at Carolina Rebellion. We are going to be doing it together again live. It’s truly magical. Not to sound cheesy, but it does hold a special place in my heart.CB: Can we look forward to that at Rock on the Range?LH: Oh, yes. Hell yes.CB: I have seen you guys many times at ROTR over the years. What is your favorite Rock on the Range moment?LH: Oh my God. The people that put that on are such nice people. We have been asked back for many years. The first time we were ever playing at Rock on the Range we were at the Jager Stage, then we were on the second stage, then last year we were first or second on the main stage. I am telling you this, to be a part of this event, I am speaking for myself and all of my peers, we look forward to this festival. Not only is it a hell of a lot fun to play, but we get to see each other. I get to see all of my friends perform that I never get to see because we are all out on the road. It is this huge family reunion and this party from like 9 a.m. to whenever people decide to go home. It’s so wonderful and it keeps getting better every year, like last year was the best ever for me, but then the year before that was the best. I look forward to this time because maybe it will top last year. It is such a well-run event and the highlight of festival season.CB: Are you going to be able to keep track of Arejay during the event?LH: Nobody can ever keep track of Arejay. Are you kidding me? The phrase “Where’s Arejay?” is the phrase of the millennium. It’s awesome. He is the most incredible human being because he will be standing next you and you will be talking to him, you (turn) around and you’re talking to somebody else and you turn back to where Arejay was once standing and, poof, he is gone. He is a little Houdini. I love him. He is legendary. I am sure there will be many stories about Arejay at Rock on the Range.CB: I saw recently you did an interview for a Playboy series online. Would you ever consider posing for the magazine if they asked you?LH: I haven’t really been asked that a lot. I was thinking about it the other day. I guess I would have to cross that bridge when I come to it. It depends what it is and what it is for and how tasteful it would be. I am not going to say no, but I would have to cross that bridge when I came to it. CB: I know you guys are recording a second Covers EP. Why did you guys decide to record a second covers record?LH: We just recorded a few months ago and are starting to get mixes back now. We love doing that stuff, just being able to re-create your favorite songs, break them down and build them up as your own. Regardless of how fun it is, you learn a lot as a musician, about how you work and you’re learning your favorite songs and how to rebuild them from the ground up in your own way and try to find a new way to approach the songs which is kind of a challenge. We had a lot of fun doing it. I don’t know when it is going to be released yet. It is probably going to be a couple months. When you see the final list of what we chose for this one, there will be probably some that you could predict and there are a few tracks you are going to look at the title of the song and the artist it’s by and you are going to go, “What? Why did they choose that song?” Then you can judge for yourself whether you like what we did. Either way it is going to be fun to see what everybody thinks about it.CB: Are there any habits you would like to break?LH: Yes, daily. My procrastination; I should practice more; I shouldn’t have had that cake at Josh’s birthday. I’m one of those people that does not care what everybody else thinks, but I do care a lot about how I feel about myself. I go through phases where I will have tunnel-vision and be determined and then I will be in the middle of tour and be like, “Screw it, I am going to finish this bottle of wine.” I think this time in my life I am starting to get my shit together and have more control over my vices. I am starting to exercise more and starting to be a little more responsible in my life, which is a battle, because I think I am perpetually 14 years old inside. I’m trying to be a grown up but still hold onto that fire.CB: I love the story you have behind the “Rock Show” song and how you got inspired by it. Could you talk about that a little bit?LH: Of course. To start that off, we got a lot of physical letters from fans, not the tweets and Facebook posts but a lot of handwritten letters — who does that anymore? — with a pencil. We get a lot of letters every day and it has increased in the past couple years. They are so incredibly inspiring. You get to see how you affect these people. You get to see and hear their stories. It is really, really humbling and really exciting for me because those stories start seeping their way into my subconscious. A lot of the new songs I have written have been for a specific fan or another because it is interesting to see what these people go through in daily life and relate it to your own. It makes me feel less alone to be a part of their lives and they have welcomed us with open arms into their private life. I respect the hell out of that because it takes a lot of guts to do that. Specifically for “Rock Show,” we received this letter. I don’t know how this little girl got the address to our studio, but she did. She wrote me this beautiful letter about her first Rock show, which happened to be Halestorm, and it was because of that show she picked up guitar and, long story short, she really shreds. She can play Eddie Van Halen’s “Eruption.” It is really cool to see. She was like 13 years old at the time. It is beautiful, almost like that show was a religious experience. It changed the course of her life and she finally knows what she wants to do and is starting a band. I remember taking this letter into the studio and telling the guys we have to write a song for her. The title was called “Rock Show,” and we literally built this song around this letter we received and then we ended up thanking her in the notes as the next surprise so she will forever be in the artwork of our record because of that. It is wonderful to do that for those people, to give back, because it is a give and take. We wouldn’t be able to do what we love without these little girls and little boys and everybody that comes to our show. It is wonderful to be able to do small things like write a song for them or thank them.CB: What are the characteristics that make a great Halestorm song?LH: Lately, it has been more about honesty. What I never thought I would accomplish in this band, we kind of have in the last couple years. Halestorm is becoming the identity for some of these kids. It is something to stand for. It is something to look up to. I’ve been much more free to let more people into my life and trying to be a good example and be that shining beacon of empowerment for some of these people. I needed that when I was a kid. I looked up to a lot of my parent’s music because it was tough not to find anybody that wasn’t singing about death or “I hate my parents” when I was a kid. I remember needing that. I needed somebody that I could say, “I am going to be like that. If they can do it, so can I.” I think there definitely always has to be an element of empowerment in what we do, in the music we write, but then you have to pair that with the honesty that you are human and that we are all the same. You are encouraging people to take the risk and to carve out their own path and be themselves. It is all we have learned about diving right into this business. We have learned so much about ourselves and how to be comfortable in our own skin. If we can pass that along, that’s something we strive for.