With that out of the way, it's time for my epic post of epicness about the Barenaked Ladies cruise I just got back from. If you want the short version, then here are my YouTube videos and here are my photos on flickr. Or you can read the rest of this entry and get the same videos and photos, but with lots of added exclamation points and such.
My original plan going on the cruise was never to eat and to see every band playing once. Then I actually decided to eat and I saw the Mountain Goats three times, so that plan kind of fell apart. I kind of don't know how after the Mountain Goats first show you could have skipped their other two, but maybe that's just me. I missed seeing some of the other bands due to whatever (we didn't see Christine Fellows, Mike Evin, Boothby Graffoe, Gaelic Storm, or Great Big Sea), probably eating and seeing second and third Mountain Goats shows. So I guess the easiest way to organize this is by day.
That would be the boat we were on. It was kind of unusually cold for Florida/Mexico and it was always crazy windy, but I mean, you're not really on the boat to enjoy the weather. I also didn't really understand the mentality of wanting to see every main stage BNL show, because I can't think of an unenjoyable band on the cruise and if you saw BNL every night they played, you would have missed a ton of great shows. I've seen them 9 times before, so only seeing one actual concert didn't exactly bother me.
The first thing we saw was BNL's sail away show, which was fantastic (Straw Hat and Old Dirty Hank video from the sail away show), though I was right behind this gigantically tall man who seemed completely uninterested in them. It was super annoying. I think the BNL shows were the only times we didn't get "front row" seats for anything. Every other show we were sitting almost right in front of the band.
Then we saw Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland who were really great. We never got to see their solo sets, but they were fantastic together. This is them playing The Day Rick Danko Died from Luke Doucet's album Blood's Too Rich.
The Mountain Goats first show was in this tiny, tiny section of these wine, whiskey, and martini bars and we were sitting right next to this huge speaker like right in front of the stage and it was amazing. Not that I disliked any of the bands, but they were so the best part of the cruise. John Darnielle is amazing, but his band is fantastic too. Having never seen them before, I don't think I realized he'd have a band for some reason (and they're all pretty hot, like John Darnielle is cute and good-looking, Jon Wurster is beardy and hot, and Peter Hughes is tall and super hot). Steven Page was standing right next to the stage making googly eyes at John Darnielle basically all night. I enjoyed his googly eyes immensely. In case you missed my flailing over it the other night, Steven sang Lion's Teeth with them and it was the greatest thing ever. Because I'm sure I've said it before, but I'll say it again, Steven Page is my favorite person in the world.
We watched about 20 minutes of the Great Big Sea show that happened after that, but I don't know, they're kind of not my thing anymore? Lots of people seem to adore them and I used to like their albums a lot, but they didn't seem like they type of thing I wanted to watch for an hour and a half. We saw Brothers Creeggan and Thinbuckle that night too, but I don't have photos or videos of them. I enjoyed Brothers Creeggan a lot more than I thought I would, they did a lot of BNL songs, so I wasn't completely unfamiliar with what they played. Thinbuckle is Kevin Hearn's band and I sort of can't stand his singing voice. Like he's totally awesome and I think I like his songs, but I'm just not that enamored with his voice. I did enjoy his show, because he had a lot of guests come out and sing with him.
So you can get naked and have a weird, naked photo taken and I didn't want to be the only person in the room to pussy out, so I was as prepared as I could ever hope to be to do it. Suffices to say, I secretly was totally happy when we got to the pool deck and realized we had mistakenly set our clocks back an hour and missed the entire thing. I think I would have puked or thrown myself overboard had we actually done it.
I saw Sean Cullen's show in the afternoon since my roommates were at this artist trivia thing and he's totally hilarious. I had seen him on Last Comic Standing, but I don't think his humor really worked on that show. There was also a rather excellent BNL show that afternoon where they played songs off their kids album Snacktime. I had not listened to it before, but it was actually one of the highlights of the trip.
We tried to see Butterfly Boucher that night, but they definitely won't let you play outside during a lightning storm. Which sucked for her, but was kind of nice for us, because we ended up seeing her in the Spinnaker Lounge the next night, which was a really nice place in general to see people.
Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald often introduced bands, which was very cool. Dave Foley also often had drunk girls clamoring to get their pictures taken with him, which he seemed to enjoy because he often seemed drunk too. It was kind of awesome to see that little scene take place every night. So, the Weakerthans were awesome. They were up there with the Mountain Goats and maybe Butterfly Boucher as my favorites of the cruise and I'm kind of sad we only saw them the one time. Here's video of them doing Virtute the Cat Explains Her Departure.
Finally, we saw Kevin McDonald (with Craig Northey from the band the Odds) do a show which was basically the one-man comedy show equivalent of the Mountain Goats' The Sunset Tree, because it was mostly about his crappy childhood and his drunk father. But it was really, really hilarious.
We went to Cozumel, which was really nice, and my roommates and I rode ATVs which was maybe the funnest thing ever. It would have maybe been funner if someone from one the bands was on our tour, but you can't stalk them everywhere. We went to Senor Frogs after our excursion was over and it's an awful hellhole. Like, I can't imagine wanting to get drunk there, because it's really kind of an awful tourist trap. This server came over with jello shots, so we were like, yeah, whatever we'll get one, and then she blew a whistle and forced them down everyone's throats and yeah, it was an uncomfortable experience. DON'T GO TO SENOR FROGS! We did see John Darnielle walk through it, so that was vaguely worth it.
BNL played another sail away show where they covered other bands songs and Steven tried to play This Year by the Mountain Goats but it really didn't work (if Barenaked Ladies bust up, I think he should form a Mountain Goats cover band). I did, however, find this video of him performing This Year on last year's cruise. P.S. I LOVE YOU, STEVEN PAGE.
Sean Cullen's show that night was the most hilarious thing ever. They even stopped showing Barenaked Ladies concerts 24/7 on the TV in our room and started showing an endless loop of his show. He had special guests at each show and one of them was Ed Robertson from BNL and I think I nearly died during this "ad" for Pina Coladas.
Then we saw Sloan, who I hadn't listened to at all before the cruise, and I thought they were fantastic. I don't know what bands (aside from Guster) went on the previous cruises, but I thought the line-up on this one was really fantastic. I have a bunch of videos of them performing, but I have no idea what they're playing in several of them, so I've only uploaded them doing I Am the Cancer. At least I think that's what they're playing. In that video you can see this nutty old lady in front of us who seemed to be completely drunk and in love with them, despite the fact that she came late and left early.
I was highly impressed by Butterfly Boucher, mostly because I had seen her open for BNL several years ago and I didn't think much of her performance. But she's really kick-ass and has a hot guitarist (she's kind of hot too) and her new album is great. Buy it when it comes out! You can see her do one of her new songs, For the Love of Love, in this video.
The last thing we saw that night was Acid Wish. This is basically just the Odds with wigs and weird costumes, drinking a lot of alcohol and performing cover songs till about 4 in the morning. And then anyone from any band can get on stage with them and drink more alcohol and perform more cover songs. It's hilarious. I have a video of Steve performing some song with them, but I have no idea what it is, and I'm kind of obsessive about knowing the song titles before uploading stuff to YouTube. Sort of how I was obsessive about trying to tape entire songs, like if I turned on my camera too late into a song, I wouldn't tape it.
Wow, that went on way too long. If you got through that, I'll be amazed. I will maybe post about the last two days of the trip tomorrow or whenever and hopefully it won't be quite as tediously long.