The first ever Axes & Anchors cruise got under way on Feb. 20 as rock fans and guitar enthusiasts boarded the big and beautiful Carnival Victory in Miami. There were numerous concerts and workshops with the musicians, with fans experiencing a floating music festival and school of rock all in one!

Although there was a slow start due to some rain on the Pool Deck Stage, rock act Adelitas Way performed a lively set for a memorable sail away show. It wasn’t only rock fans on the ship though, Carnival Gold members got the cruise at a steal and decided to cash in on the fun, as well. An older couple at lunch was going over the schedule, the woman said, “Oh there’s bingo” while her husband questioned, “Metal bingo?”

Former Megadeth axeman Marty Friedman was nearly two hours late on the outside stage due to power supply problems but the guitar virtuoso and his band were well worth the wait as they stole the show. The band as a whole showed incredible musicianship and their energy is completely infectious. Throw in a legendary guitarist like Marty Friedman on top of that and you have a spectacular show.

Founding member of L.A. Guns, Tracii Guns also performed with his band on the Pool Deck Stage which got fans pumped and they even cranked out a “newer song” which ended up being Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train.”

There aren’t many rock and metal musicians who can go from being a hair flying metal head to a soulful piano player but Zakk Wylde does this without a fuss. His bandmate Dario Lorina took over guitar duties during “Road Back Home” and proved to be a mini Zakk Wylde as he cranked out a serious solo of his own. A significant musician of this generation, Wylde can show off his guitar licks on electric or acoustic and even though he didn’t perform with the full Black Label Society crew, his acoustic set always has a certain grit and melodic depth, more so with Lorina by his side.

Over in the Caribbean Theater, Motionless in White ripped apart the venue for a small group of passionate young fans. Breaking Benjamin took the stage later in the theater after a very fun Q&A session with fans.  For any guitar geek or music lover, the cruise as a whole is a dream, as the shows are intimate and the workshops are nearly a one on one experience and this was only day one!

Check out our photo gallery of some of the acts who performed on the first day of the inaugural Axes & Anchors Cruise! Stay tuned for day two coverage of the cruise!

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