Continuing Menno's reports from Cruise To The Edge 2022, here is day 4, covering Moon Safari, Saga, Adrian Belew, Simon Phillips Protocol, Transatlantic, and Riverside.
The 5th of May, day 4 of the cruise. The day began relatively early for us. We really liked the show by Moon Safari, so we wanted to see them again as they were playing the Pool Deck at 11 am. As we expected, there was not a large crowd at this hour. The band were playing in the sunshine, in a very comfortable temperature, and a little breeze made everything close to ideal.
Simon Åkesson's voice was even better than yesterday, no trouble shooting photographs in this clear light, exquisite sound quality so what more could we want? We were very pleased with this performance and hopefully the new album will meet the expectations of the fans. This band, often referred to as "Yes meets Beach Boys", is able to become very successful if they succeed to maintain the high level of quality of their previous albums. The new material performed sounded promising!
A bit reluctant to leave this performance untimely, we hurried down to deck 3 where Saga were scheduled to play in the Royal Theater at 1 PM. In order to have good seats we had to be there early.
Saga were playing with Dusty Chesterfield on bass and Moog-bass, who replaced Jim Crichton a few years ago. Due to the pandemic,they had not performed at all during the last two years!
Although Ian Crichton's guitar sounded extremely distorted and a bit too oud to our taste, the band rendered superb performances of tracks from the seventies and early eighties. Michael Sadler, now sporting a beard, was singing just like 30 or 40 years ago, astonishingly good!
A really great nostalgic trip down memory lane and for us oldies and fans from way back when, the choice of songs couldn't be better!
Careful Where You Step Framed Conversations On The Air Days Like These On The Loose Humble Stance The Pitchman Corkentellis Scratching The Surface Wind Him Up
According to setlist.fm, they played Don't Be Late just before Wind Him Up, but my memory tells me they did not play that song.
After this truly satisfying show by this renowned progressive rock force from Canada, we went up again to the hot Pool Deck, where The Adrian Belew trio was about to play.
Belew played with long-time bandmate Julie Slick on bass and Johnnie Luca on drums. In all honesty, we never really liked the King Crimson line-up with Belew nor The Talking Heads, in spite of the highly impressive technical abilities of Belew and this band. Although we were stunned seeing Belew play with tremendous ease and watching his wizardry on the guitar, it just was not our musical taste.
Gosh... it became so hot... We didn't envy the musicians having to play in the burning sunlight!
At the end of the afternoon, we decided to hang around the Pool deck, because the legendary drummer Simon Phillips was the next act on said stage with his band Protocol. The band consists of Phillips on drums, Ernest Tibbs on bass, the Venezuelan keyboard player Otmaro Ruiz, Jacob Scesney on saxophones, and Alex Sill on guitar.
Phillips has played with The Who and is foremost known for his long stint with Toto. The music these guys were playing was much more jazz and fusion oriented. Our musical taste ranges from electronic music, via pop and progressive rock to hard rock and prog-metal. Around the eighties we embraced jazz-rock a bit, but later on in life, we never plunged into that genre again.
We stuck around listening to a few songs, realizing this definitely wasn't our favourite genre of music and we went ahead. Knowing the superb craftsmanship of all musicians, we planned to watch the band again the next day in The Royal Theater.
So down a few decks again to see the main event of the day: Transatlantic. The time schedule had to be adjusted again, and it took ages before the band had finished their soundcheck. When the doors finally openend, over 90 minutes had passed. Roine Stolt obviously was not on the top of his game yet, and although he was standing on his feet, again, he hardly participated in the harmony or lead singing. his stage appearance was timid and held back.
In the back of the stage, guest Ted Leonard took over a lot of the vocal duties from Stolt. The interaction between lead singer and keyboard player Neil Morse and drummer Mike Portnoy, facing each other on both sides of the stage, was great fun to see. Morse, regrettably to say so, as usual, had some difficulties with his voice.
Their latest album was released in different versions, but the setlist consisted of the whole of The Absolute Universe. The huge screen behind the band showed awesome cartoons and other images, giving the show an extra dimension. The music was recognisable, and it's amazing where all these great melodies by Morse come from! Morse and Portnoy had great fun, Trewavas played rock-steady as always, and Ted Leonard did more than his usual share. The show didn't give us any goosebumps but the whole spectacle was quite okay.
Overture: The Absolute Universe Reaching for the Sky Higher Than the Morning The Darkness in the Light Take Now My Soul Bully Rainbow Sky Looking for the Light The World We Used to Know The Sun Comes Up Today Love Made a Way (prelude) Owl Howl Solitude Belong Lonesome Rebel Can You Feel It Looking for the Light (Reprise) The Greatest Story Never Ends Love Made a Way
Because Transatlantic began considerably later than planned, our intentions to go and see Nektar in Studio B had to be abandoned. A quick bite to eat and back to the Royal Theater for Riverside! Another long wait and standing in queue once more. Scheduled to start their show at 10 PM it was as late as 11:15 PM Riverside could take the stage.
Lead singer and bass player Mariusz Duda apologised for the late hour, but it was clear that nobody blamed them. The progressive rock icons from Poland played a marvellous set. Although Maciej Meller is quite a different kind of guitar player than Piotr Grudziński, who sadly passed away a few years back, the music touched the crowd nonetheless. The band got such enthusiastic response from their audience, they were getting shy and were highly emotional to get such acclaim.
This show went down really well and for Duda, Meller, Łapaj (keyboards), and Kozieradzki (drums), this performance was totally different from their cumbersome show on the Pool Deck in a storm two days ago.
The Same River #Addicted Towards the Blue Horizon (dedicated to Piotr Grudziński) Story of My Dream Escalator Shrine Left Out We Got Used to Us Second Life Syndrome 02 Panic Room
Due to the delay at The Royal Theater we could make it to the second show by Wishbone Ash, but upon leaving the Royal Theater around 1 in the morning, we decided we had had enough, went back to our cabin, and we chilled on the balcony, quietly enjoying the sound of the ocean and the light of countless stars in the crystal clear sky.