Yes, I took an extended break from blogging, my first since October 31, 2007. It was for a good reason-I was out in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, on a chartered cruise liner, enjoying the second Cruise to the Edge.
We've been off the ship for 36 hours, and I'm still blown away by the experience. Everywhere you went on the ship, progressive rock played overhead or live, by groups I'd been listening to for years (and some by musicians I've been hearing since infancy). The bill featured 26 musical acts, I saw eleven-and if time had allowed, I would have attended more. We met many other devotees of this musical genre and many of the musicians, too.
Over the next few days, I'll recap some of the shows and introduce some of the bands we enjoyed, as well as give as much feedback as I can about the ship, which has been berthed in Miami since November. The experience was far better than we ever could have dreamed.
For anyone considering this type of event and is having sticker shock at the cost: just go. Seriously, whether it's Monsters of Rock, Prog Nation, the Moody Blues Cruise, or any other genre-based event, book it and go. The way I looked at it is simple: for any event by one of these artists, we'd be driving to Tampa or Orlando at the very least. This involves gas, parking, a meal out, and sometimes more.
However, some artists rarely come to the US, because they're not well known. I don't think we would have seen several of these acts if they had to worry about visas and the logistics of transporting their gear around the US and filling smaller venues versus what they'd clear after expenses. So, that would mean flying to Europe, or at the very least, NY or LA. You can't do that for the fare we paid.
A nice side benefit, I got to take lots of pictures and video, which I will edit and share a few. Only one group did not permit any photographs or recording. We kind of expected it, as they did the same last year when Ed saw them in Miami. It will be a great way to relive the experience.
So, we are back-and planning for next year...