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So Tuesday dawned bright and sunny on the fourth day of the Sounds of the Sea concert cruise. We had spent an amazing day on Monday in Jamaica and I was not surprised that despite a generous application of sun block, we were burned to a crisp. Like not normal sun burned, but like, holy smokes sun burned. The ship was to dock that day at Grand Cayman, and I just wasn’t that intrigued by the notion of getting off on that island. Nothing against Grand Cayman, but I had never thought of going there, and I wanted to pace myself for the rest of the trip. So a day on the boat, relaxing, eating, drinking, and seeing what the boat had to offer was starting to sound really nice.
We enjoyed the food offerings at the buffet, which is super crowded during the meal rushes but you can also see everyone, which is nice. We spent some time on the pool deck, were people watching, and we also hung out on the smoking deck. That was a place that became a real social gathering spot for the concert cruisers, dominating multiple tables and making plans, both musical and otherwise for the day with our new and old friends. I tried pretty hard to avoid the sun and that was a good move. I think resting from the shenanigans that we’d had already and preventing further sun poisoning was a good move.
We explored the ship, and even participated in the trivia contest that was a mid afternoon social event. This was a good chance to meet people who were on the ship that weren’t a part of our concert cruise and while we did pretty well, there was one guy who got every single question right. Smart people be damned.
Shortly after dinner Donna the Buffalo took the stage at the Black and White Room. They put on a great two hour show, and you could tell they were getting their sea legs as well as their appetite for throwing down their particular style of music. One way I always judge a band with which I am not totally familiar is whether or not they really know what people like about them and do they give the audience lots of it. And on both counts Donna the Buffalo proves their mettle.
The mix of cajun, bluegrass, the blues, rock and jam is something that they deliver in a way that no one else does. Typically this is the point in a review where someone might easily say they are this band plus that band with a dash of this or that. But Donna the Buffalo has a sound all their own and you could instantly know their sound the moment you hear them. The alternative lead vocals of Jeb and Tara provides a natural distinction from one song to the next and it is easy to see why they have a whole tribe of fans. They threw down for a solid two hours giving everyone just what they wanted after a day of either relaxing like we did (and we noticed quite a few folks had the same idea that we did) or an island excursion. The production crew quickly deconstructed the sound system and humped it across the boat and set up for the second show of the night.
Adam Ezra Group retook the stage at the Gold Room where they had premiered a couple of nights prior. It was both the time of night and the comfort that people were feeling having been on the boat for days already that set the tone. People were now used to the daily schedule of fun and day drinking, excursions and dining, and a night of music. This 11 PM show usually had fans well lubricated, and this night was no exception.
Adam Ezra Group were warmed up too and they were firing into material that they had yet to play on the boat. Fans who were not familiar with the band at the start of the cruise were familiar now, and the dance floor filled up quickly. Two hours of AEG’s feel good music unfolded, with the band hugging the audience with their songs and the banter between them. As with all Adam Ezra Group shows the set ended with Adam and the band leaving the stage and heading into the audience, and conducting a big sing along. People were sure celebrating at this point, well after 1 AM in the morning and were making plans as to where to go to continue the party. Some hit the buffet for a late night meal, others hit the late night disco, and some of us just wandered the boat looking for a nice spot to hang. Another perfect day of vacation and music, the hallmark of the Sounds of the Sea concert cruise.
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