The final part of Menno's reports from Cruise To The Edge 2022, here is the last day, covering .
Day 5. It's the 6th of May, the last day of the cruise. The ship harboured at CocoCay (Bahamas). Our plans to attend the second performance by Protocol were totally frustrated because of me needing acute medical attention. It took a couple of hours before I was back on my feet, and we were able to go to the Pool deck and see how The Martin Barre Band was doing.
He was scheduled to play from 2:30 PM. The weather: clear blue skies, hot, hardly any wind. Standing in the sunshine must have been a tour de force for musicians and audience. The set-list was different from the previous show in the Royal Theater, although many Tull songs were performed now as well. With that great recognisable guitar sound by Barre, there was a lot of enthusiasm on the Pool deck.
Martin Barre Band Setlist
Hunting Girl (Jethro Tull cover) New Day Yesterday (Jethro Tull cover) Back To Steel Minstrel In The Gallery (Jethro Tull cover) Thick As A Brick (Jethro Tull cover) Nothing Is Easy (Jethro Tull cover) Song For Jeffrey (Jethro Tull cover) Aqualung (Jethro Tull cover) Cross-Eyed Mary (Jethro Tull cover) My God (Jethro Tull cover) Hymn 43 (Jethro Tull cover) Locomotive Breath (Jethro Tull cover)
Unfortunately, we couldn't stay until the end of the show because we really wanted a front row seat in the Royal Theater for British prog-metallers Haken, who were to start their show at 3:30 PM.
Waiting for the band to start their performance, part of the audience received a plastic pair of spectacles, to be put on later on during the show. Pushing a button, lights began to flicker. Quite original!
Especially in the front of the theatre, the number of decibels was extremely high. Even with hearing protection, we thought the sound was a little too loud to be comfortable.
The band decided to perform tracks that had rarely been performed or never at all, so that was a nice surprise. To our musical taste, two songs stood out: 1985, which included a really nice cover of a large part of Owner Of A Lonely Heart, and Cockroach King, obviously inspired by the fantastic music of Gente Giant. The crowd thoroughly enjoyed the show and there was wide support for Haken. Unfortunately, the band didn't get a green light for an encore.
Prosthetic (live debut) Invasion (live debut) Nightingale (live debut) Cockroach King Nil By Mouth 1985 (with part of Yes' Owner Of A Lonely Heart) Carousel (live debut)
The time schedule was a bit tight, but we managed to get to Studio B in time to have front row seat for the next gig on our list: Pattern Seeking Animals.
A sort of "super group" consisting of (former) members of Spock's Beard, a well-known soundtrack and TV music composer, and also producer John Boegehold, who wrote many songs for Spock's Beard in the past. Just after 5:30 PM, Pattern Seeking Animals took the stage and Ted Leonard, fronting Spock's Beard for the last decade, proved to be an excellent frontman in this band too, as well as an accomplished guitar player.
With Spock's Beard band-mates Dave Meros on bass and Jimmy Keegan on drums, John Boegehold chose not to go on tour with the band. The additional musicians were Dennis Atlas on keyboards and Walter Ino on guitar, keyboard and background vocals. Though it seemed Dennis Atlas thought he was playing in a hard rock band, the five musicians were all playing really well and all the PSA songs, mostly from their latest album Only Passing Through, were performed flawlessly.
This is the sound of progressive rock we like for sure. We hadn't seen the band before, so this first encounter was quite successful!
After a quick stop at one of the many excellent restaurants on board, we went up to the Pool deck where we wanted to see Saga again, at 8 PM.
The atmosphere was very nice, a smooth summer breeze, twinkling stars had replaced the bright sunlight, and many fans had come to the Pool deck.
This time the sound was even better. Sadler was in absolute top form and Saga had another great set list for those who like the band's earlier works.
While we had been confronted several times on this trip that bands were not able to start their show at the designated time, all of a sudden now Saga were told they were not allowed an encore because of the schedule. Shameful, really, since the large crowd, as well as the band, were enjoying themselves to great extent.
Careful Where You Step Framed Conversations On The Air On The Loose Humble Stance The Pitchman Scratching The Surface Don't Be Late (Chapter 2) Wind Him Up
Well, then it was down a few decks to Studio B to see Dave Kerzner play with his all-star band. Besides Matt Dorsey (ProgJect) we saw some more familiar faces, like Nick D'Virgilio on drums, Billy Sherwood on bass, Durga McBroom on vocals, and Fernando Perdomo on guitar.
As with Lifesigns, even though played extremely well, Kerzner's music (including all its wondrous samples) was just not it for us. Kerzner's vocals are a bit flat and monotonous and the music was too recognisable at "déjà vu" level.
The show that would close the cruise for us was the second Flower Kings show. Fortunately, Roine Stolt had recovered enough from whatever he was suffering from that he could at least stand up. His voice remained a bit of a problem and was again, though partly now, taken care of by Hasse Fröberg.
We were sitting closer to the musicians, which made it better for us to see that brother Michael Stolt on bass was lacking a bit in the quality compared to Jonas Reingold, who is now playing with Steve Hackett. Add to this that one song had to be cut short and started over due to something not being completely right, and the conclusion has to be that The Flower Kings without an optimally performing Roine Stolt, this line-up cannot reach the levels of yore.
From many people in the audiences, it was clear they loved the bands on the bill for this cruise. To us, the number of "pure" prog acts left a bit to be desired. The number of technical problems, long queues, and sliding schedules, made us feel that this cruise, despite the excellent culinary levels and perfect service of the cruise's personnel, did not live up to our expectations. Jon Kirkman announced a next edition, but that one will most likely take place without these two people from the Netherlands.