We were having such a good time that we both never bothered to arrange for any ship excursions and we were both pretty drunk and seasick the night before, so we slept in a little and hung around the ship. Did some work in the internet café (like my bloggieblogs so far?) and while the missus did her thing, I sauntered off to the cigar bar and hung out with some other fans. Hung out with Alan White at the bar while I was getting a drink and then headed off to the Pigalle Lounge to check out IO Earth’s performance. They had a much more stripped down setup, the guitarist playing acoustic and the keyboardist sticking mostly to piano. It was a Storytellers-type show, where Jon Kirkman again took questions from the audience. We got a lot of insight to how the band was formed and what their range of tastes were. It was gratifying to hear that the influences I could hear while I was listening to them last night were right on the money. They seem a humble bunch who made a good record and then were offered sweet gigs, like this one. Really dug the softer acoustic side of this band.
Steve Hackett’s Storyteller session was right after that and we were treated to a couple of classical pieces on nylon string guitar. Hackett seems a humble, down to earth kind of guy, with a wicked English sense of humour. He spoke fondly of his days in Genesis and is still up for a reunion. Any time. Sure. He spoke of upcoming plans for his Genesis Revisited project and we were told that Squire “might” show up to talk about Sqackett. Sensing it was a false alarm, Hackett started to go on with out Squire, who eventually did show up. The two had an easy and friendly rapport together. There was a little discussion about how Hackett emigrated from Vancouver and Chris Squire had nearly been born there. Squire remarked that if they’d both been born there, who knows? THEY could have been RUSH!! Awesome, funny moment. While the two didn’t actually perform together there were hints dropped that Hackett’s set on Friday “might” include some “guests.”
Carl Palmer’s set had already started by the time Hackett’s set was done, but we only missed the Bach Fugue in Dmin that we heard the night before. They did change up the set quite a bit from there. While their rendition of Carmina Burana started with the same Debussy piece, the bass solo was instead Stairway To Heaven. Now while I normally hate covers of Stairway, this is a prog show so it’s OK, and besides, He did the whole thing: vocal melodies, guitar solo, electric piano bits, using chords and tapping harmonics. It was something to see. Unfortunately the weather had been pretty rough and Palmer was having trouble balancing on stage. He asked the crowd for a seat belt for his drum throne and they had to leave the gongs off the kit because it was way too windy, though the did haul them out for the drum solo. People were yelling out ELP tunes, of course.. Some guy behind me shouted “Tarkus,” and Palmer asked the crowd, “Hey someone yelled out Tarkus, whaddya think? Now? Right Now?? OK. So they launched into a cataclysmic rendition of Tarkus. My inner 12 Year Old completely soiled himself. My outer 47 year old may have as well. Holy Sweet Hot F@ck in Heaven, it was that good!!
After dinner we saw Yes for their second show. A little disappointing to hear Close To The Edge for a second time, but with the boat a little calmer, they were able to dig in and really enjoy their perfomance. It was a little looser and jammier and Downes nailed all his stuff!! Of course Nu Jon was amazing. Squire proclaimed, “That was the second ever complete performance of Close To the Edge on the Caribbean Ocean!!” They then launched into The Yes Album. While I have seen many performances of YIND, this was the most energetic rendition I have seen in easily 10-15 years. Of course we heard Clap and Starship Trooper (second time-even better and more fun). All Good P