One of the phrases you'll commonly hear around Sixthman is “moments that make life rock,” and I’ve been lucky to witness a lot of these moments first-hand. I’m proud to admit it’s not just a cheesy slogan… these are real moments in real people’s lives, and it’s fun to set the stage to make them happen. There are thousands of moments like this, and depending on who you ask here at Sixthman, you’ll get different answers when it comes to the favorites. If you asked me on a different day, I’d probably even have different answers!
To date, I’ve spent 216 days aboard 48 events. Out of all of my time at sea, here are my personal favorite top 5 “Moments That Make Life Rock”:
5. The Surprise Wedding – Simple Man Cruise, 2012
It’s fairly safe to say that scoring an invitation to your favorite artist’s wedding is highly unlikely in the real world.
Guests didn’t know it, but Gary and Dale Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd were going to renew their wedding vows on the Simple Man Cruise. And not a simple vow renewal… there was a dress, flowers, a wedding party, a cake, a red carpet, a reception… pretty much a full-blown wedding. Dale even filmed an episode of “Say Yes To The Dress” while in search of the perfect gown for the occasion. (Watch the full episode.)
She made her grand entrance right after Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Q&A on the Pool Deck, an activity attended by everyone on board, so we knew guests wouldn’t miss out. Needless to say, everyone was shocked and excited to be included in such a personal moment with the band they’d been following for nearly 50 years.
That's the official wedding video Lynyrd Skynyrd released that covers the day’s festivities. Unfortunately the music has been removed, but it still gives you a visual of what happened. Congrats, Simple Man Cruisers! You’re now officially part of your favorite rock star’s home movies. Quite the role reversal, huh?
4. Paraoke with Paramore – PARAHOY! 2014
A 14-year-old singing one of the biggest hits of the day with THE BAND THAT SINGS IT sitting on stage with her? And then knocking it out of the park? That sums up Paraoke, Paramore’s spin on traditional karaoke. Guests called a special phone number and sang their hearts out to audition. The chosen finalists performed a Paramore song live on board, competing for the Paraoke title.
Here’s the winner:
If that wasn’t enough here’s the runner up:
I still can’t believe the incredible talent we found hidden within our PARAHOY community. This was a first-year event, and it was inspiring to watch the entire crowd support their fellow guests. Our staff had a hard time working this activity… we were in such awe of the contestants.
3. 311 goes incognito - 311 Carribbean Cruise, 2012
The theme night was simply called “Costume Party,” and 311 band members were the ultimate participants. They roamed the ship while wearing full-body black ninja outfits and carrying blinky swords (complete with sound effects). They even entered their own costume contest! No one could see their faces, and they interacted with guests all night without anyone knowing they were partying with their heroes. They revealed their secret afterwards. Kudos, 311 dudes.
2. An impromptu hootenanny with Rivers Cuomo – The Weezer Cruise, 2012
On the last night of The Weezer Cruise 2012, a group of fans wanted to jam together and sing Weezer songs, and they wanted a designated place so they could spread the word among other interested fans. As the Warrior of that cruise, I knew about it, but wasn’t sure if it was actually going to happen, so I worked out a plan with our Production Manager to let them use a small lounge just in case. Turned out, we ended up needing the room I promised them for a last-minute Sixthman meeting but I had no way to tell the Hootenanny group since it was so late in the evening already. We went about our Sixthman-y stuff in the room, and all of a sudden a bunch of Weezer fans and Rivers Cuomo walked in carrying instruments, ready to sing.
I realized what was happening, sprinted to the other end of the ship in search of an available room and was REALLY hoping I could find something open. I stationed a Sixthman person at the door to the original room to send people my way, even though I had no idea where I was going yet. The ship’s Library was empty, so I opened the doors and started rearranging all of the furniture so the chairs, desks, and tables were arranged around the entire perimeter of the room. (Fun fact: Cruise ship furniture is EXTRA heavy, since it’s made to withstand swaying.) Right when I was done re-arranging, the parade of Weezer fans found me and entered the room, already singing. Rivers was still with them, and everyone sat in the Library singing Weezer songs for HOURS. We bought buckets of beer for everyone, and the empty buckets quickly turned into drums. There were actually people crying because they were so ridiculously happy. It was such a bizarre, organic and amazing moment. And the lead singer of everyone’s favorite band was in the room, absorbing every last bit of it.
Were we any good? No way. (To be fair, we started strong. But once it dwindled down to a few of us left at 4:00am, the drinks were all gone, we could barely keep our eyes open, and you could probably classify us as terrible.) We just didn't want it to end. I’ve never felt so connected with a group of people I’ve only known for 4 days. And an all-Weezer song Hootenanny in a Library? Can you BE more appropriate? (Read that in your best Chandler Bing voice.)
I never made it back to that Sixthman meeting by the way… #sorrynotsorry
1. Wideawake in the Atrium - The Rock Boat, 2006
You really had to be there, because nothing I type will ever live up to it. But here’s a picture, which is hanging up in the Sixthman office to this day.
Attempted Explanation: It started raining outside, so the afternoon shows needed to move indoors. Brand new TRB band, Wideawake, had to move their outdoor set to the Atrium on the fly. There wasn’t even a real stage there, and we had never used the atrium as a venue. But the show went on, and when they sang “Not So Far Away,” you could barely hear the band over the crowd singing every word. Wideawake was playing their first Rock Boat ever, in a venue that had seemingly been created out of thin air. It was pretty incredible, and the expressions on everyone’s faces (band and guests) were those of pure joy and complete amazement. I wish there was a way to capture the energy we all felt that day, because it was absolutely electric. This video can help you visualize the setting, but it still doesn’t do it justice. (It was filmed on the same Rock Boat, but covers a repeat performance of the same song during the finale on the last night, rather the original rainy day performance.)
So, what’s next? That’s up to you! Cheers to many more of these moments in Sixthman’s future – and in yours. I can’t wait to experience them right alongside you.