Transatlantic - Live at Cruise To The Edge Click here to discover more
Back in May Transatlantic played in this year's Cruise To The Edge. Sue Beasey was there to write a review for us...

It’s an odd thing really, but I have neither seen nor listened to Transatlantic. Odd because I have seen four of the members live several (and more!) times and am quite familiar with their various bands. Pete from Marillion, obviously, Neal Morse in his solo band and with Spock’s Beard, Ted Leonard with Pattern-Seeking Animals and Spock’s Beard and Mike Portnoy both with Dream Theater and Avenged Sevenfold. I don’t recognise Roine Stolt. I’m contemplating this mystery as we wait for them to come on. This is the ‘blue’ night, so our turn, and we’ve been told this will be a lot lighter than their usual set – a kind of greatest hits, if you will.

Transatlantic

They walk on stage with very little theatre and off we go. Neal taking the lead vocals, but Pete and Ted singing too. As a band they are note perfect and beautifully in sync with each other. It’s a little more proggy than my usual choice, a little more instrument based, but very enjoyable all the same. I’m afraid I can’t detail any of the songs, as I’ve said I am unfamiliar with them, but I’ll definitely go home and give this another listen. The setlist for anyone interested, is: Overture, Rose Coloured Glasses, Evermore, Is it Really Happening, Dancing With Eternal Glory, We All Need Some Light, Duel With The Devil, My New World (which I do recognise), All Of The Above, Stranger In Your Soul. It seems clear to me that Neal Morse has written most of the lyrics, but they sing them with a good deal of enthusiasm, and I enjoy the set.

A couple of nights later and here we are again. After enjoying the first night, we’re now guests at the ‘blue’ night. The venue isn’t quite full, so there is no problem getting a seat – our usual seats in fact. We’ve been ‘warned’ that this is a much heavier set – and indeed, they play all nineteen tracks from The Absolute Universe, without pausing. The set is incredibly complex with outstanding musicianship and a stunning video show. At one point Ted Leonard and Mike Portnoy are throwing a drumstick backwards and forwards with Portnoy catching at the top and smashing it down on the drum, throwing and catching again. Pete is singing a lot more this evening and can’t seem to keep the smile from his face.

This is a bit of a marathon for me, with each track seeming more complicated than the last – how on earth do they remember all this? Particularly Pete and Ted, who have four full sets to play on this cruise. It’s a long and overwhelming set – less so, I’m sure if it’s familiar to you – but nevertheless, complicated and exacting. We stand and cheer with the rest of the audience and then we’re left contemplating what we’ve just seen and trying to take it in.

An absolutely exceptional band.

Words by Sue Beasey

This article should have appeared in the Summer 2022 issue of The Web UK but was omitted due to lack of space and an absence of professional photographs for us to use.




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