The maiden voyage of the Parahoy! cruise finally came back to shore yesterday. The four-day excursion to the Bahamas might have been filled with angsty music, but that didn’t stop the good vibes from dominating the Norwegian Pearl. Billboard was on hand chronicling each day with a daily diary entry and photo gallery, but to sum up all the highlights, here are the ten most memorable moments from the cruise:
1. Paramore Play the Deep Cuts (And the No-So-Deep Cuts)
As headliner and host of a first-time cruise, Paramore knew what they had to do. It came as no surprise that they delivered in the performance department; despite frequent lineup changes over the years, frontwoman Hayley Williams oozes a contagious onstage confidence, which spreads to the other musicians onstage. And for the cruise there were plenty of them — six to be exact, including Williams — and a pop-punk band with three guitarists had better deliver. They most certainly did, dazzling an already wide-eyed crowd for two sets, and probably winning over some dragged-along parents in the process. Brownie points go to their challenging set lists; on day three, they played seldom-seen songs like “Franklin” and “Never Let This Go” from their 2005 debut “All We Know Is Falling.”
2. Tegan & Sara Rock Three Sets, Spread the Good Vibes
Paramore may have been the headliners, but Tegan & Sara had a whopping contingent onboard; as one fan-made t-shirt suggested, it could have been called the “Sarahoy” cruise. The Quin twins mixed in nearly every song from their sparkling 20013 album “Heartthrob” into their three sets amongst a smorgasbord of tracks from their 1998-2014 lifespan. Aside from their charming onstage presence, they held down a second home in the ship’s casino (Tegan revealed in an interview with Billboard that blackjack and roulette are her games) and stopped by a screening of their documentary “Get Along” in the ship’s lounge.
3. Musicians Hanging Out Around the Ship
Musicians taking the elevators and moving about the buffet lines like common folk — this is the intimate appeal of a music cruise like Parahoy! The men and women of Paramore were understandably kept under wraps (aside from planned appearances) but the members of the other bands were out and about. New Found Glory were spotted frequently in the buffet (they confessed their love for the soft-serve ice cream onstage), Bad Rabbits and Tegan & Sara popped up in the casino, and mewithoutYou were seen pretty much everywhere, especially at the buffet, like everyone else on board.
4. mewithoutYou — Hayely Williams’ Favorite Band
mewithoutYou were the pleasant surprise of the cruise, as the under-the-radar, Philadelphia-based indie rockers delivered a pair of riveting performances in the ship’s indoor theater. They play a heady band of left field music that sounds like a more rock-driven Neutral Milk Hotel, fronted by a singer (Aaron Weiss) who sounds a bit like the Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle. With booming backing vocal arrangements and an array of instruments (bells and accordion made appearances) they surely opened some minds in the crowd. One mind that had already been opened was that of Hayley Williams, who called them her favorite band during Paramore’s set and joined them onstage for the final song of their first set.
5. The Legend of Rainbow Beard
Hayley Williams shouted a burly, baldheaded dude out onstage during Paramore’s cruise-opening performance: “Hey, there’s a guy with a rainbow goatee watching us!” This man became known as “Rainbow Beard” (it’s really just a goatee but “Rainbow Goatee” doesn’t have the same ring to it, apparently) and soon after, his legend began to grow. On day two, he was the hands down winner of the afternoon’s bellyflop competition at the pool deck. So resounding was his victory that he received straight 10s from the judges (comedian Doug Benson and Paramore’s Jeremy Davis) and was asked to perform an encore flop into the water. The crowd erupted into chants of “Rainbow Beard!” and Benson announced, “He pretty much owns this ship.”
6. A Stop at the Bahamas
On the morning of day 3, the Norwegian Pearl made it to its destination of Stirrup Cay, Nowegian’s private resort island in the Bahamas. Aside from a game of flip cup with the band Bad Rabbits, there weren’t a whole lot of organized activities, but who needs organized activities when you’ve got a beach in the Bahamas? Guests enjoyed a day of relaxation prior to Paramore’s much-anticipated headlining performance on the pool deck that evening.
7. Pop-Punk Pogo-ing with New Found Glory
Constantly out to prove that pop-punk is not dead (it isn’t), genre veterans New Found Glory played three sets onboard the cruise, giving fans plenty of opportunities to experience MTV hits like “My Friends Over You” and “Head On Collision” and songs from their movie-themed cover albums like the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris” and Sixpence None the Richer’s “Kiss Me.” It was their first string of shows as a quartet after dismissing guitarist Steve Klein in December, and they hardly missed a beat.
8. Interview with Tegan and Sara
Tegan & Sara have been spreading wholesome goodwill throughout the music world since they began in 1998, so by now, it’s common knowledge that they’re one of the best interviews out there. On the ship’s top deck overlooking the ocean and setting sun? Even more wonderful. The Quin sisters chatted about their adoring fans onboard, playing the NHL’s Winter Classic and what their follow-up to “Heartthrob” might sound like. It was glorious. But don’t take our word for it; check out the interview here.
9. DJ Set from Paramore’s Jeremy Davis
At midnight on Parahoy!’s third evening, Paramore bassist Jeremy Davis joined the ranks of DJs on board (along with Ladytron’s Ruben Wu) and did his best to get the alt rock kids to dance from midnight until 2 a.m. Early cuts in the set ranged from contemporary EDM to Daft Punk, before Davis’ love of hip-hop revealed itself and dominated the end of the set. It was a welcome break from the rock-dominated cruise, particularly for Drake enthusiasts, as Davis played a lot of Drizzy. He was joined onstage by Williams and mewithoutYou’s Aaron Weiss, who danced before a crowd decked out in white attire (“white out” was the theme of the night) and fluorescent glowsticks.
10. Comedian Doug Benson
Comedian Doug Benson provided the comic relief with a pair of performances and constant appearances throughout the cruise. One of his most memorable anecdotes told the story of a man several years ago who tried to wow his fellow cruisers by jumping into the ocean off the smaller ship transporting passengers to the island, and swimming to shore. He was banned from Sixthman cruises for life.