According to its creators, the word Rombello doesn’t really mean anything. It was something that they thought sounded cool and had good energy attached to it. But in real life, it’s a cruise from Tampa, Fla. to Cozumel, Mexico that features bands that included Citizen Cope, Michael Franti and Spearhead, and Slightly Stoopid. Paste tagged along for the ride, and here were some of our favorite moments on the cruise:
10 - The creators of Rombello held a Q and A session where attendees could ask whatever they wanted about the business side of Sixthman Productions. Sixthman CEO Andy Levine led a funny and informative talk about the business side of the cruise and talked about working with Kid Rock, the Barenaked Ladies and Sister Hazel.
9 - The ship had a dessert called chocolate melt cake. We’ve been gone for a few days, but we still miss it.
8 - Brett Dennen played on the deck of the boat as the sun started to set in the background. What could have been moving turned hilarious when Dennen stopped playing mid-way through a song to tell the audience he forgot the lyrics to a song he wrote. It was Sunday, the last day of the cruise, and he was tired of being on this boat:
“I like all of these artists, I like you, but I’m ready to get off (the boat),” Dennen said.
It’s funny, tongue-in-cheek moment, but that’s just kind of the way the guy is.
7 - Closing out every night, Trailer Park Ninjas stormed through a nostalgia-inducing, cover-heavy set that included classics like Weezer’s “Say it Ain’t So,” Sublime’s “What I Got” and Violent Femme’s “Blister in the Sun.”
6 - Stone-washed jeans, high-cropped t-shirts, suspenders and Britney Spears headsets: On the last night of Rombello, the Paste crew experienced the best (and worst) of the ‘90s with the Rombello ‘90s party. More than one Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder were spotted.
5 - One of the upsides of seeing bands on a boat is that you’re most likely to run into them at some point — and Rombello was no exception. As we walked into the casino of the ship, Trevor Hall and his friends were celebrating around a blackjack table with stacks and stacks of chips lined up in front of them.
4 - Our own “Best of What’s Next; band Little Tybee played a great set to an enthusiastic crowd. The Atlanta natives won a Paste-sponsored contest to be featured on the cruise. Here’s what Paste’s Max Blau had to say about Little Tybee last April, and it still rings true now:
Brock Scott, Josh Martin, Nirvana Kelly, Ryan Donald and Pat Brooks possess, the members of Little Tybee rarely outshine each other, striking a delicate balance that’s greater than any of its individual parts. For instance, Martin intuitively understands both the physical and theoretical intricacies of the eight-string guitar, yet remains content to fit into the ecosystem of Little Tybee’s sound.
3 - Maybe it was Michael Franti, the tank-topped dreadlocked crowd favorite of Rombello, who set the stage best for the four-day cruise from Tampa, Fla. to Cozumel, Mexico as the opener of the main stage of the event.
“Did anyone here have to work yesterday?” Franti asked, fielding a sea of raised hands, boos and laughs. But that’s what Rombello was about — it was the anti-job. A place to forget responsibilities, live in the moment and enjoy some live music. And Franti’s kick-off show reinforced that state of mind.
2 - Rhett Miller of the Old 97s played one of the best shows of the weekend to about 20 people in a dark, tucked-away theater.
“It’s noticably more rocking (on this side of the ship). I’ll try to be appropriately rocking myself,” the songwriter said to the sparse, but enthusiastic crowd. The fact of the matter was, Miller was an odd fit at the festival. His quirky songs with garage-rock roots didn’t have much in common with easygoing bongo-toting bands, and he shone in the club-like Parisian lounge.
1 - At the end of the day, what really took the cake was the fans that were there to support their favorite acts. All acts were well received by people that were simply there to have a good time, and that’s what these kinds of things are really about.