Phenomenal review Dennis, agreed w/ everything you so eloquently wrote & glad you had a blast! About 1700 of my excellent pix are at http://www.musicphotographics.com/jam_cruise_2010_photos.htm. There's probably about an equal mix of bands (literally 100s more than I've seen anyone else post anywhere) & crowd shots. I hope that's not considered spam! Here was my much more elemental review:
It was definitely one of the best weeks of my life and worth every penny!!
Everything about Jam Cruise was as good or even better than I expected and my xpectations were rather lofty!!
* All the music was jaw-droppingly good - highlights of the highlights for me were:
* The Motet's all-Talking Heads show had even better musicianship and more energy than the Stop Making Sense film, which is my favorite concert on film or video;
* Galactic in the theater - they had a huge horn section of Karl Denson, Skerik, Corey Henry, Trombone Shorty and his two sax players, plus George Porter, Robert Walter, Luther Dickinson and Ivan Neville sat in
* George Porter all-star jam w/ about the same folks and then some
* Trombone Shorty's sail-away show had me wondering if anything might top it, but as Vince Herman says, "Just when you think it can't get any better, it does!"
* Honorable mentions, roughly in order, but who's counting?:
* the last late night Jam Room show
* Dragon Smoke w/ Stanton Moore, Robert Mercurio, Eric Lindell and Ivan Neville, w/ Lee Oskar literally blowing it up on harmonica sitting in
* Maceo Parker on the pool deck
* Fantastic Four (Adam Deitch, Robert Walter, George Porter, Eric Krasno) + another five or so
* Railroad Earth on the pool deck - best show I've seen of theirs by a long way
* Lotus's theater show
* Hot Buttered Rum, but what else is new?
* KDTU - ditto
* The Word - 1st time I saw them and Robert Randolph, John Medeski, Chris Chew, Luther and Cody Dickinson didn't disappoint
* Oodles of the best musicians on the planet sat in on virtually every set
* Ran into most of the musicians in the cafeteria, restaurants, halls, elevators, venues, bars, airport
* Food was available 24 hours a day and it was better than it had been reported; I certainly didn't expect lobster, which I thought was better than some folks' opinions; pizza was great and most pasta dishes were good; breakfast (eggs, bacon, little sausages, bagels, muffins) is breakfast and is nice at 5 a.m. after the festivities; lots of salad choices & fruit
* There was actually time to eat! At every other festy I've been to that's been a big problem b/c there's never a break in the music & I think it's sacrilegious to miss a minute of music
* Got three nights of rather good sleep in a comfortable bed and wasn't awakened by the sun, heat, yapping dogs, music or loud wooks as in a tent @ every other festy or another
* Relaxed in a perfect-temperature jacuzzi (could have even listened & seen bands from two of them) for several hours on the two island days w/ the nicest peeps
* Aside from some feedback at a couple of shows, the sound was excellent
* Fabulous light shows and stage decoration
* Aside from light rain one night, none of the venues were too hot or cold despite the crowds at a couple of indoor venues
* Venues were 5 minutes or less from one another
* No problem at all getting right up front for every set no matter when I got there or which venue
* Almost every set started on time
* No sand, dirt, mud, gravel, uneven grass to wear out my feet
* Could actually sit at every venue now and again and be close to the stage or even see it!!
* The entire ship and venues were extremely trippy (especially the disco)
* Full bars with good beer, reasonable prices and very little waiting (shhhhh, but it's possible to bring a lot of liquor in small plastic bottles in the luggage porters bring to your cabin; my bar tab was $40 & a few peeps gave me beer tix they had left on the last day)
* Hot, private shower w/out a long walk or waiting as other festies
* Private, clean bathroom always stocked w/ toilet paper minutes away from wherever I was w/ no waiting (rather than porta-toilets w/ the contrary)
* Bunches of cool costumes the entire week
* I didn't even get off the boat at either Jamaica (woke up at 2 p.m. & it poured that day) or Cayman Islands (got up at 1 p.m., had to take a 30 minute ferry boat to get there and heard snorkeling wasn't happening much anyhow b/c the water was too rough and murky) - those were the days I sat in the jacuzzi
* Weather could have been much nicer, as it was windy, c as I expected
* Sunsets on Wednesday and Thursday during the MOFRO and George Porter pool deck sets were two of the most drop-dead gorgeous I've ever seen and I took a few dozen of the best pix I've ever taken to prove it!
* Everyone made me feel like I'd been on the cruise for years - exceptionally cool, hard-partying, late night JCers!! Wish I could have spent more time w/ all my friends who I hardly ran into, but a bunch of folks on Facebook and the JC Forum were real nice to meet in person