Friday, October 22, 2010

Tribute Series: Cygnus And The Sea Monsters

As I was researching the horrible news of Mike Pornoy leaving Dream Theater I stumbled upon a series of tribute shows he, and several other musicians, took part in in the 2000's. I have not been listening to these in order (instead opting to listen in the order that most appeals to me), and so will not be reviewing them in order, but they are pretty sweet, and fairly unknown. So I think they deserve some sort of mention.

Cygnus And The Sea Monsters is a Rush tribute one-night-only supergroup consisting of Paul Gilbert (Racer X, Mr. Big), Sean Malone (Cynic), Jason McMaster (Dangerous Toys) and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater).
Out of the group i listened to this one first, as I am a huge Rush fan - more then The Who or Led Zeppelin anyway - and I think it is fitting that Mike Portnoy is sitting in for Neil Peart, as they are both amazing percussionists. The group hits all of the progressive rock classics (opting out the more mainstream successes like "Tom Sawyer" or "Spirit of Radio") and the band plays them all amazingly.

My complaint is that of the singer, Paul Gilbert, and that he just can't do Geddy Lee justice. He is a fine singer by himself (on his works and the other tribute albums) but when he tries to emulate the high-tuned vocal style of Lee, his voice just can't take it. Other then that this album is superb, if only I wish there was more to it. All of the other tribute albums in this series (more to come on that later) are at least 2 discs, but One Night in Chicago is only one. A seemingly small concern, but I want more Rush!!
If you're a Rush fan, this is a decent representation of the group - die-hard fans may want to skip it because of the shaky vocals - and worth a listen.

Track Listing
1. Intro
2. 2112
3. Cygnus X-1
4. Hemispheres
5. YYZ/Drum Solo

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