All Aboard The Weezer Cruise

Ever hear this one? Three guys walk into fluorescent purple disco bar. The Antlers’ Peter Silberman takes a look round, surveying the wreckage and girls in cute outfits. Rivers Cuomo from Weezer stands in an oversized white US Navy uniform and hat looking down at a liquor-covered dance floor.

Pic: Mikala Taylor/

Later, Lou Barlow – your 1990s indie rock boyfriend and hardest-working man with nine shows over six days – dances barefoot in the middle of the floor to ‘Pump Up The Jam’ and ‘Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)’. The crowd is dressed in 1980s prom outfits. And we’re all on a motherfucking cruise ship. But this is no joke. Welcome to the Weezer Cruise.

For four nights between January 19-23, 2000-plus indie and rock fans from around the world rolled onboard the massive Carnival Destiny for one of the most surreal holidays in history: a cruise from Miami to Cozumel with Weezer, Dinosaur Jr, Sebadoh (men with beards, rejoice!), The Antlers, Yuck, Wavves and more.


Music/booze cruises aren’t new, but they’re usually teeming with crappy mainstream US rockers, DJs or KISS. But this, this was different. Imagine: J Mascis on a boat, open to the elements and Bud Light-holding fan boys? The Antlers playing on the Lido Deck? Sebadoh caning ‘Rebound’ and ‘Careful’ in front of some initially confused Weezer fans? Where do I sign up? Oh, right, I did already.

Pic: Mikala Taylor/

Bands lined shoulder to shoulder for the safety drill, then watched each others’ sets. On night one, Rivers donned a lifejacket and climbed the waterslide. Yuck’s Max Bloom threatened to wear Speedo’s but never followed through (though singer Daniel Blumberg actually did when they went snorkelling).

The Nervous Wreckords chilled ashore at Paradise Beach in Cozumel, Star from Ozma taught yoga, The Knocks hosted a Flip Cup tournament, Jason and Bob Sebadoh presided over the Cannonball contest, Wavves scoured for pot, and music fans became instant friends as they all geeked out together. Plus, folks were so friendly. During Dinosaur Jr, one couple was even shagging in the sixth row. Yunno how romantic ‘Feel The Pain’ is, and all.

Epic’s an overused term, but in this case a spot-on descriptor. Sure, Rivers and co hid a bit between events (and Brian Bell glared when approached at the fast-food buffet line), but the rest of the bands mingled and sets were generally stellar. Weezer kicked off with ‘Hash Pipe’ as the ship left port, then did a double-duty B-sides/’Pinkerton’ show (including Patrick Wilson singing ‘Los Angeles’ by “the Blackest of Francises”) with drum hero Josh Freese in back.

The Antlers’ ‘Burst Apart’ tracks sounded majestic. Even the bloody cover band, Yacht Rock Revue, impressed the crap out of punters and bands alike with their pressed polyester loungewear and note-perfect versions of ‘Caribbean Queen’ and the like.

Livers were damaged, but Rivers was happy. Was this everything he hoped it would be, I asked, when we hung out in the Criterion Lounge on the final day? “More than anything, it’s just been so so much fun,” he said smiling, and still wearing the hat. Aye, aye cap’n, yer right, it was.