Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Cruise To The Edge
10 years and 4 days ago
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 2:29 PM
Cruise To The Edge Day 1
Let me begin by saying that I am a huge Yes fan. I have been looking forward to this cruise for many months and it’s finally here. Everyone on this boat is psyched to be here and want to have a good time. Let’s face it, we’re all getting a little older, maybe a little thicker in the middle and a little light on top, so I regard all these bands I grew up with as that friend you haven’t seen in a long time. No matter how grey the hairs, or how many pounds someone has put on, you always give them a hug or shake their hand and say, “Gee, you look great.” Therefore my perspective on this comes from these bands being like friends I grew up with. I am not going to quibble over missed notes or technical glitches. They are part of the performance and then they are gone and forgotten, or they become that curiosity that makes the performance special and unique. This is also my honeymoon, so there are a lot of good vibes going around as I hit this boat for the first time.
Getting situated today was kind of a confusing mess, given the festival nature of the cruise.. I am still having trouble finding which part of the boat my cabin is located. We got some cool VIP swag: A t-shirt, a commemorative plaque and a gift bag. Our cabin is pretty nice with a balcony and everything and yes, the toilets seem to be working just fine. The food is standard cruise ship buffet fare, but with some Italian specialties like several different kinds of Gelato and pasta, and more desserts than you can shake a chapman stick at..
The first band to play was Zebra on the Pool deck, right in front of the pool, in fact. Now you’re going to hear a lot of this phrase from me: I usually hate it when_________, but it’s a prog show so it’s ok. Some of those crazy, over the top things that annoy me as a musician, because I am a jaded, cynical old fart, are just OK, when it’s part of a prog rock show. It kind of goes back to the “seeing an old friend” thing. Zebra were tight and energetic, but in all honesty, I can’t remember any song that they do other than Who’s Behind The Door. That said, I often had a giggle when they would say, “Hey we’re gonna play something from our third album.” Had no idea they made that many. Still there are people wearing Zebra shirts that know all the words. I do feel embarrassed that I’m not one of them. Zebra always reminded me of Led Zeppelin. Their singer sings a lot like Robert Plant, but today I am also reminded of the band Triumph. Great 3-part harmonies, inventive guitar riffs, bass player doubling as keyboard player and Rik Emmet’s natural falsetto. Of course the drummer has a double-kick with several rack toms and a couple of chinas.. Usually I hate double kick because it reminds me of cheesy bad metal, but it’s a prog show, so it’s ok! Their drummer got to play a drum solo five songs into their set. The first drum solo of the cruise!! Their lead singer asked the audience for permission and they were only too happy to oblige. I almost missed their rendition of Who’s Behind The Door (which totally rocked btw), the only song I actually know because I am at the bar waiting for the overburdened waitstaff to get to my order, but I am drinking frozen drinks, and enjoying the brain freeze. It is a perfect day and everything sounds great. I got a better view of the whole scene from the first balcony overlooking the pool. I look to my right and there’s John Wetton. He doesn’t shake hands (carpal tunnel) so we give each other an elbow rub. He seems in good spirits and I told him how much I was looking forward to UK’s set tomorrow. The band leave the stage and come back and fire up the crowd with some Zeppelin covers, starting with the Immigrant Song and ending with an amazing version of Kashmir, the lead singer doing a better Robert Plant than Robert Plant had ever been able to do. Oh and I met a dopplganger for myself, perhaps two.. Here and I thought I was unique.