FUNuary, part 1. Matt Nathanson + Sail Across the Sun Cruise.
I got a huge dose of FUN in February…so much fun that I dubbed the month FUNUARY.
The first stop of fun was a radio gig Matt Nathanson was performing at in Modesto. My friend Karen lives there, and she gave me the heads up about the show. I entered and crossed my fingers that I’d win my way in. Sadly I did not, but happily Karen let me be her +1, so I took the day off of work and headed to Modesto. It was short, and sweet, and then we didn’t even get to say hi to Matt or anything, like most radio shows. Boo.
I jokingly tweeted him that he could not escape me on the Train cruise we were going on soon, and his reply was, “Yay I can’t wait!” Can’t wait…to the non-escaping, or for the boat? Hmmm.
Just two days later, I got another dose of the Nathanson AGAIN in San Francisco. Pre-cruise warmup?
I had plans on going up to the city early in the day and having a “San Francisco fun day” but California decided to rain on my parade. Literally. It was raining BUCKETS. I ain’t got no time for rain, so I sat around the house all day, and left late in the afternoon. The show wasn’t until 10:30pm, so I didn’t need to be anywhere super early.
I arrived to the city to rain, rain, rain. Which made looking for street parking a bitch, because it was black and wet and windy and just plain nasty. I drove in circles for probably a good 45 minutes before finding a spot, and then went off to find Jane, who was waiting for my arrival.
We went on an adventure to find food (Thanks, Trader Joe’s, you have good packaged vegetarian things for us veg heads!) then waited the rest of the night in WET. Yvonne showed up a bit later and we all complained about the rain. We should have shut up, because we were going to be in Florida on a boat a few days later. Whatever. I was cold and grumpy.
Finally we were let in and I took my shoes off because my socks were squishy. Who watches a comedy show with no shoes? THIS GIRL. Classy.
You get no pictures from the actual show, because they were super strict about it. So, here’s a photo of the sign outside. Hope you can handle it.
Matt was performing as part of Sketchfest’s Bring the Rock with Greg Behrendt, Bridget Everett, Bobcat Goldthwait, Chris Hardwick, and Karen Kilgariff.
Each person came out and told a story related to music, and/or played a song or two. Greg, Matt, Chris and Bob were on point. The ladies I knew nothing about beforehand, and I still don’t really get their humor. Sorry ladies, but it went to the guys this night.
Matt told a few stories of him geeking out about other musicians, and then told the infamous Kinks Shirt story, which I had heard a dozen times at that point. He actually looked in our general direction and said, “I’m sorry” right before he started telling it, and I just laughed. But let’s face it, “We wrote a song about you!” will never get old in my book. He then performed the Kink’s “You Really Got Me” with Greg’s band, and it was AWESOME. I wish I could have recorded it.
After the show, I nerded out when I saw Chris Hardwick talking to people. I grew up on MTV, so I needed a photo. I had just been watching Boy Meets World with the episode he is in just a few days earlier, and I told him so. “Oh man, my hair. People still tell me that episode airs all the time!”
Then, it was off to drive home. It was well after midnight and it took me longer than the 2 hours it normally takes to drive home because San Francisco was still trying to drown me. I had an 8 hour work day the following morning, and I don’t know why I do these things to myself. But, I got this in my inbox when I got home, (that “I’m sorry” was totally directed at me, wasn’t it?) and why does a little message at 1:22AM make me laugh, and love him more, and all the craziness worth it all at the same time? Ugh. Hurry up, boat. Need more shows.
SAIL ACROSS THE SUN
Five days later, it was CRUISE TIME. Matt was playing on the Sail Across the Sun cruise, which is Train’s boat. I flew into Miami the night before, and had a layover in Texas. And guess who was on my connecting flight? Pat Monahan. HA. My life sometimes…
When we got to Miami, I was waiting for my luggage at baggage claim and when Pat walked past me he said, “See you tomorrow.” I just kinda smiled and in my head went…um…OK? I guess I have “fan” written on my face? Cool.
I was crashing with Nina and Caroline for the night, and it took forever to get from the airport to the hotel, because the shuttle would not arrive. I met their friend Katie once on the shuttle, who was also sharing the room with us. (“Hey, are you Joslyn?” “Yes, are you Katie?!”)
The next morning, which was Valentine’s Day, it was boarding time! We got ready and ate breakfast at the hotel, then called a taxi to head to the port of Miami. Again, it took forever. Apparently the first cab arrived and left when they didn’t see us, and it took almost an hour for a second taxi to arrive. Annoying. Once we finally got to the port, we checked in and the first people we saw? Matt’s band. Ha. I swear I didn’t plan that, boys. Welcome to your next 4 days.
Once we checked in and made our way physically onto the boat, the first thing I did was find my ladies! Then shove my face with food. Which is a common theme on these boats I go on.
This boat was awesome, because it was a mix of my favorite people in the world, and people who I barely knew but became more favorites by the cruise’s end.
After food, we got things settled into our rooms and then headed to the mandatory safety drill. After the drill, things got a little crazy because Train was playing the sail away show and pretty much everyone stampeded to the stage to get a close spot. We only joined in on this crazy because Matt’s set was after Train’s, and everyone knows where we stand for him. FRONT.
Sixthman always hands out some sort of alcohol to celebrate the sailing away, and some of us (*coughAmandatookfourcough*) took advantage of this. Heh.
Train started their set with a non-single that I had just been telling Amanda I wanted to hear, but doubted they would play, so it set my mood to excellent as the cruise officially started.
After Train, mostly everyone left, leaving the pool deck to ourselves. A crew guy handed me a drumstick and I was like, SWEETNESS, pays to stick around/be early for the next band.
Since we were planning on being there for a few more hours, we took shifts holding spots and getting food. These two ladies had arrived when Amber, Leah & I went to feed ourselves, and decided we were being totally rude when we squeezed back into our spots in front of them, even though they knew we were coming back. So, they decided to listen in on our conversations for the rest of the night, and mock everything we said and make fun of our matching tattoos. They also told everyone else around us who arrived we were “groupies.” Um, wow, you’re in your 40’s GROW UP. Haters gonna haaaaate.
I didn’t let any of that faze me though, and I enjoyed a very freezing wind, but very amazing first set of the Nathanson in the middle of the ocean.
DJ Soulman was a part of this boat, and we had WAY too much fun last year on The Rock Boat during his set’s. It was much too short, and there was maybe only a fourth of the people that were getting their groove on as on TRB, sadly. After we dance partied USA, it was way too early to go to sleep, so we grabbed a deck of Cards Against Humanity and played for an hour or so before we were ready for bed.
They still had music playing in the Atrium, and we were sitting at a table just a level up, and might have gotten a little loud when a Matt Nathanson song started playing. We were belting out the lyrics and not caring who heard us, right as Michael Franti walked past us. “I love this table!” he said, amused. “Just so you know, we’re all sober.” I told him. “I don’t care what you are. You guys are fun!” I love you, Franti…(why didn’t I ask for a photo?!!)
On the second morning of the cruise, we decided we were going to be good and work out as much as possible (you know, to balance out all the food) on the boat. So Amber, Beth, Leah, Amanda and I trucked it into the gym and got our sweat on.
We ate a late breakfast, then got ready for the day. We headed out to the pool deck to catch the first show of the day, the Dirty Guv’nahs. They were a great rock band, full of cute red-headed boys, and most of us fell in love right away. How they were dressed in full suits when it was BLAZING hot outside is besides me, as I was in a tank top and shorts and was feeling over heated.
After the Guv’nahs, we headed to the Stardust Theater to check out Chef Aaron Sanchez do a food demo. His stuff looked delicious, and I wish I could have sampled it, but being a vegetarian I just watched everyone else and lived vicariously through them.
Since we had booked during the presale for SATS, we were able to attend one of the Patcats being recorded on the boat. Patcast in Pat Monahan’s Podcast, and today’s surprise guest was Brett Dennen.
Since the Patcast was in the Stardust, we pretty much decided to just make ourselves comfortable there since Matt was playing a few hours later. But let me tell you…the Patcast was one of the highlights of the entire cruise. Brett is HILARIOUS. I was practically falling out of my chair, I was laughing so hard I cried.
“I told them I was in Train. I’m the guy in the back, the caboose.”
“I think they put stool softeners in the food.”
“I only agree to play on cruise where I know I’m the most talented, and good looking.”
After the Patcast, the next act up was the Secret Sisters. Earlier in the day, the staff had tried to deliver dry cleaning to our room when Leah answered the door. She was all, “Um, these are men’s shirts?” and turns out, they were our neighbor’s clothes. So…the Secret Sisters walk out onstage and Leah goes, “I recognize those shirts…those were the ones they tried to deliver this morning!” HAHA. Well, shit. Ooops.
After the Sistahs, some of the girls ran and got us food so we wouldn’t get hangry. Because trust me, I get the hangrys and no one wants me around them.
Full of guacamole, we powered through another awesome Matt set. Matt shows are so much better when the girls are with me. Oh, and apparently the bitch you made fun of us the night before complained to security that we were in the front row two nights in a row. UM. GET THERE EARLIER IF YOU WANT TO BE IN THE FRONT.
Now, after Matt, was what we all agreed on being the best part of the cruise. SHARKHUNTER.
What the hell is Sharkhunter, you ask? We saw it on the schedule and thought the same thing ourselves. Leah had talked us into going earlier, “Their name is SHARKHUNTER. We have to go just for the name.” and when Matt was walking off stage, he mentioned something about it. OK, interested raised even higher…
We frolicked back to the Spinnaker Lounge to discover just indeed what this was. ONLY THE MOST AMAZINGNESS EVER. Turns out, Sharkhunter is a band made out of Train’s crew members, and they covered a bunch of amazing old school rock songs. Pat & Matt came out and sang a few songs, and it blew our minds. We screamed lyrics on the top of our lungs, and danced until we ran out of breath. SHARKHUNTER.
That’s the way to end a night.
The following morning we got to debark, and our destination port was Grand Cayman. I am a nerd and didn’t realize, DUH, I’ve been to this port until I stepped off the ship. Too many music cruises, man. But, this sparked my excitement because the Cayman Islands was one of my favorite places we had visited on past boats!
Last time I was there, it was tropical storming, and we got drenched in rain. This time, clear blue skies. After working out, we got ready and headed off the boat. We shopped around at the port for a bit, and then decided to take a taxi bus down the road to one of the beaches to relax. We got on the bus, and who was sitting there? Brett Dennen. I wanted to talk to him about all the things, but instead just pretended he didn’t make me cry by laughing the night before.
We wandered around the beach for awhile, and then decided to get drinks. And then guess who showed up?
Jocelyn asked him, “Do you want to be in a Jo(s)(ce)lyn sandwich?!” and we all got way too excited for this photo. I made the comment, “I sleep with her everynight!” to which his face did this thing where I know it went to the wrong idea for a second before I said, “…she’s in my cabin, dude.”
We felt bad for monopolizing his time, “If anyone deserves my time, it’s you guys.” So we kept it short and let him be on his way. But I had honestly thought he’d hide once again, and I wouldn’t see him besides onstage the entire boat. So, you know, getting a photo on a tropical island? Pretty damn sweet.
After the Nathanson left, we were graced by the presence of another Matt. Matt Pinfield. And by graced, I mean he was totally shit faced and we uncomfortably watched him stagger all over. I swear he was on the verge of passing out any second. Hot. Mess.
We hung out for a bit longer, then caught the boat back to the port to get back onboard to enjoy a sit down dinner.
After dinner, we headed to catch Trivia. Which was SUPPOSED to be hosted by Matt Pinfield. Yeah, can you guess what happened? You had one job, Pinfield…Chef Ryan Scott filled in as the host, and he was HILARIOUS. The Dirty Guv’nahs were the contestants and half of the band had named their group, “Where the Fuck Is Matt Pinfield?” vs. “Washy Washy, Happy Happy.” PERFECTION.
After Trivia, we went to our rooms to change and then headed out to watch Train play their second set. Not only were the Secret Sister’s our neighbors, but Matt’s band as well. Oh, hi pretty much everyday. Walking out to head up to Train, I ran into Shiben and we chatted as we shared an elevator on the way to the Pool Deck.
We sleepily headed to Ben Rector’s set after Train, and he is so so good. I’ve been on all three boats he’s performed on (Vh1 Cruise, TRB 13, SATS…) and everytime I forget how much I enjoy him. Need more Rector.
Monday morning was the day that the entire boat got to take their photos with Train. Yeah. That was fun. Yvonne had joked around at Sketchfest that we should all wear Matt shirts in the photo and that is brilliance, so we were all assholes and did it. Haha. Pat told the first group jokingly, “Nice shirts. Not.” *thumbs down* and I think just ignored the fact that we followed. Ha.
We changed out of the shirts because we were headed to the pool deck to catch Ben and Matt’s sets. It was hot. I was melting. We were squashed. I didn’t want it to be the end.
During Matt, John Oates & Franti came out and this epicness happened.
We attempted to go and watch Vicci Martinez after, but her set was PACKED so we just sat inside and listened. And then…the magical PEANUT BUTTER, BANANA, MARSHMALLOW FLUFF AND CHOCOLATE SANDWICHES HAPPENED. (There was bacon on them as well, but Amber and I peeled those off.) Omg, Ryan Scott, thank you for that deliciousness.
I’m surprised Sam even got this photo, because we were total fat kids and had been looking forwards to this for the entire four days and shoved them in our faces after 2.5 seconds.
Monday’s costume theme was 80’s movie night, and this was the only one that we had decided to participate in. UM, WHAT UP FLASHDANCE. What a feeeeeeeeling… and apparently I took no photos in said costume, so sorry. Wah, wah.
We headed out to see Jim Breuer, and again, another laugh until I cried moments. If you ever get to see his comedic act, DO IT. Dude is HILARIOUS. The words Koala and flip-flops will never be the same again.
After Jim, we stuck around for John Oates’ set. I had also been looking forwards for days for this, seeing as Hall & Oates is my jam and I am always playing their songs on the jukebox at my second job. Yeah, well. It was dark. And we were tired. And Oates played acoustic. I leaned towards the girls and I said, “I’m falling asleep. I need coffee and ice cream. Now.”
So off we were to caffeinate my addiction, and who do we run right into? Matt and Aaron. We talked for a few minutes, and then we headed into the dining hall to eat some ice cream. Matt and I had a funny conversation about ice cream being the reason my pants don’t fit and him telling me to shut up and…well, that’s all I can say to the sake of saving some reputations of other people. Hahaha. Classic final words on the boat from the Nay that I will laugh about always.
After we fueled ourselves, we went to catch Brett Dennen’s set. And then Pat Monahan came outta nowhere and performed a song with him. Pat was notorious for popping into pretty much everyone’s sets, and Brett made the comment, “He’s like a song ninja. He just appears…then leaves.”
After Dennen, we headed to Stardust to watch Michael Franti. He’s not the greatest vocalist, but man is he FUN!! I enjoyed his happiness and love.
Sadly, the cruise was in it’s final hour, and we went to watch the Guv’nahs play the final set of the boat.
I peeled the flashdance costume off myself and crawled into my bunk for the last night. But, I couldn’t be sad (except for when we dropped the girls who weren’t continuing onto TRB with us and I cried my eyes out) because we were walking back onto the same boat five days later for the start of The Rock Boat.
Throw some Universal Studios in between for 2 days between, and February was just winning.
Coming up next…FUNuary part 2. The Rock Boat & Scars on 45 after party shows.