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It was a sunny day in Miami Florida and we were riding in a van on our way to the port - 5 band members and 2 parents and 1 super blessed photographer.  Liliac was in the house.  We were extremely excited as this was our first time on an actual cruise and to top it all off,  we were going to be with KISS on Halloween.  To say the least, we were all on cloud nine!

When we finally arrived at the Port of Miami, we were immediately stopped as KISS had just arrived and was currently boarding the ship.  Based on security, one might have thought the President himself was boarding but go figure.  As you might imagine, everything came to an immediate standstill.  We were standing there in awe as KISS walked by and even more surprised when they stopped to say hello to all of us and the surrounding staff.  What a cool start to what we now figured would be an adventure of a lifetime.

We get all checked in and settle into our rooms and then set out to the artist lounge for safety instructions a mandatory part of checking in.  The lounge, from what we heard, was set aside for the artists as a place to relax, unwind, as well as to ask any and all questions as needed.  As we entered, it was filled with artists such as the band Warrant, The Darkness, Steven Adler (Guns & Roses), Bruce Kulick, Brent Fitz (Slash Band), Todd Kearns (Slash, Bruce Kulick Band) as well as others.  It was truly amazing to be in such amazing company as the cruise finally got underway.

From the start of the trip, Liliac received a very warm welcome from fans as well as other artists on the cruise.  There were people from all over the world and knew everything about them.  Everywhere they went they were stopped and ask to take pictures and sign autographs.  The band was used to this but this was at a whole different level - simply incredible. 

Fast forward to Friday's soundcheck.  The band is tuning up while we were all wondering what the night might have in store.  The line starts forming early which was fine with us but we had no idea just how big the crowd would eventually get. There were people everywhere!  As the soundcheck ended, fans could hear Black Sabbath's "Heaven & Hell" in the background as Liliac finally hit the stage.  They open with Iron Maiden's "The Trooper" and the place goes wild!  Liliac had finally arrived and they were showing all in attendance that they  meant business!!  As the night went on,  they had the crowd dialed in and ensured that all in attendance had an amazing time.  

The next day, the initial reviews from Friday's show were pouring in and Liliac was on cloud nine.  Fans continued to stop them as they made their way around the boat and energy surrounding the band seemed to be at an all-time high.  Fans were dialed in and knew they were seeing something really special.  The second evenings show was solid, but obviously crowds were lighter as headliners like KISS scheduled to play at the same time.  Again, another solid performance that took their game to a whole new level on the KISS Kruise.

Now fast forward to the third night.  Word had definitely spread around like wild fire about the band and this was their time to shine on the big stage. This was it and Liliac knew what they had to do.  Crowds again lined up early and people were getting their spots in the front so they could get the very best view.  As the show gets underway, we we look around and see tons of celebrities had arrived to see what the hype was all about.  Eric Singer of KISS,  Todd Kearns, Brent Fitz, (just to name a few) were standing on the side and loving what they were hearing and seeing.  This was the night that Liliac had imagined it to be and they were taking full advantage.  What an honor to have these amazing artist watching the show!!

After the show most of the crowd followed the band upstairs to the merchandise area to take pics and sign autographs.  This night was incredible and would be topped off by the band going to the private artist lounge and being surrounded by the likes of Eric Singer and others praising them for a job well done.  The whole experience was AMAZING!!

And just when you thought life could not get any better,  the band goes home for a couple of weeks of much needed R&R and then turns around for a quick trip to Las Vegas.  They were going to play a special show at Vamp'D Vegas owned by Danny "The Count" Koker and his lovely wife Korie.  We arrived in Vegas and immediately headed over to Count's Customs and were given permission to look around at all the amazing cars and motorcycles.  We see a coffin that was converted into a couch and a hearse that was made into a limo.  Unbelievable.

Saturday night comes and the band completes soundcheck and sounds great.  The staff at Vamp'D were wonderful and probably a little surprised at what they were hearing from Liliac. One lady tells me "They look so young and then you hear them play and your shocked!"  Now comes show time and the opening band took the stage.  They were called Every Woman Band and put on an amazing performance for the now growing crowd.

Then its time for Liliac. The room starts to fill up and you can feel the anticipation from fans all over the United States.  The back music starts to play and the room goes absolutely crazy.  The fans were ready and they let it be known!  The band was firing on all cylinders and crushed their set like no other.  It was fun to see them standing up on risers and commanding the stage like seasoned pros.  If these two shows aren't a foreshadowing of things to come for Liliac, I'm not sure what would be.  They are a band that's on the rise and one to be reckoned with in 2020 and beyond!  


Thomas Coffman

Photojournalist - Houston

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