Tired of seeing concerts in Amphitheaters? Bored with Indoor venues? Stadiums? Tents? Dive bars? Open fields? For the jaded concertgoer, Rocks Off Concert Cruises offer a buoyant alternative. Relieve your boredom by boarding a dual-level boat - equipped with a full bar - and cruise down the East River into New York harbor while a band plays and a shifting New York City skyline provides a panoramic backdrop in perpetual motion.
On the evening of July 13th the band, hometown heroes (and former HIGH TIMES Unsigned Band of the Week), U-Melt, played for nearly three hours out at sea aboard the Half Moon. The improvisational four-piece managed to dominate the attention of the crowd with their intricate, soaring jams and trance inducing electro-funk – no easy task when you consider the sights they were competing against (a lambent Statue of Liberty from the harbor - which the boat circled for a half-hour - was awe-inspiring).
Attending a concert at sea requires an entirely new skill set. For starters, being on a boat for three hours is a commitment. There’s no ducking out early or running down the street for a pack of smokes – unless you consider doggie paddling to the Brooklyn shore a viable option. Beyond that, there’s seasickness to contend with. The boat rocks (literally/figuratively) and you’ll find fans who’ve had a bit to drink migrating toward the starboard railing. Also, ladies, heels? Really? On a boat? There were several casualties...
Once you get the hang of it, however, the concert cruise is a great time. People danced-swayed-crashed into one another on the vessel’s upper-level where U-Melt played (and somehow remained remarkably stationary). The majority of U-Melt staples were busted out and executed to frenzied perfection. Highlights included a near twenty-minute Red Star, which seemed to change the ship’s course, and a cover of Floyd's Syd Barrett elegy, Shine on You Crazy Diamond.
U-Melt continues to grow, making noise and building a reputation with complex songwriting, high-energy live shows and a relentless touring schedule. With their inclusion in several major festivals this summer (including 10K Lakes Festival in Minnesota and the 7th Annual moe.down in Turin, NY) U-Melt remains the up-and-coming jam-band to watch on land or sea.
Click here for U-Melt's tour dates.