A Cruise to the Edge Sampler By Nick Tate Photographs By Jennifer Fisher
Four days. Thirty artists. Fifty-plus concerts and performances. Dozens of Q&A sessions, meet-and-greet events and after-hours gatherings. By sheer numbers, the fourth-annual Cruise to the Edge (sailing this year from Tampa, Fla.) Feb. 7–11 was a massive musical smorgasbord, overwhelming in scope and variety. Consequently, taking in the seafaring progressive music festival was like trying to sip from a firehose.
The biggest challenge for any fan (or reviewer) attending such an event is recognizing that it must be sampled and savored in small bites, buffet-style, rather than consumed whole. The fact is, you just can’t take it all in; too many things are happening at once on various stages across the ship. This is no small challenge for the serious prog aficionado: How can one possibly choose between Patrick Moraz
and Yes, Haken and Tony Levin’s Stick Men, Anglagard and Steve Hackett, or among honorary host Mike Portnoy’s multiple ensemble incarnations?
You have to do both and neither, by alternating between stages and events without lingering for entire shows or gatherings. It is the blessing and curse this extravaganza poses.
With that in mind, what follows is one reviewer’s take on standout performances and noteworthy moments from Cruise to the Edge 2017 (with apologies to artists whose presentations were shortchanged because of time and scheduling conflicts).
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