22 years, 10 months and 22 days ago
Wednesday, July 19, 2000
Holmdel, New Jersey
PNC Bank Arts Center At Garden State
John, search YouTube for Masterworks 2000. You'll find some (if not the entire) show. Oh my, Jon sounds absolutly fantastic, especially on Gates. Goosebumps listening to it!
DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE THE VIDEO FOOTAGE HAS GONE FOR THIS SHOW? IT IS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND.I WAS THERE.BEST YES CONCERT AT THAT VENUE EVER.
I have seen Yes at least once on every tour since 79, and I have enjoyed every tour (well except for maybe Talk) but like other Yes fans I had left every concert wishing they had played some more rarities. So when I heard about the masterworks concept of playing stuff we have not heard in years I was extremely excited. I purchased my tickets on line, and was able to get seats in the orchestra, closer to the boys than I had ever been before. However the website for the Arts center did not have a seating chart although I knew I was left orchestra, I did not know how far left
I like to be surprised by the set list when I see a concert, but it took a lot of will power not to check out the list on the net prior to the concert. I had mixed feelings when the Notes from the Edge web site announced they would be playing Close to the Edge, Gates, and Ritual. I was thrilled that I would be hearing gates and ritual in concert, but like I said before I would have rather be surprised.
When I got to the Arts center the first thing I did was buy a tour program. This one was the best I had ever seen. Inside the front cover it talked about what yes masterworks means. This just got me even more excited.
When I found my seat I was bummed to find out that although I was only 14 rows back, I was the last seat on the left, which gave me a view of only half the stage. I calmly accepted my fate and looked forward to the Music. I have never been a big Kansas fan, but they were pretty good for guys who looked about 100 years old. Still I could not wait for the real show to start.
When the lights went down and the opening music started, I noticed that about 20 seats to my right there was 4 empty seats. I figured what the hell, let me enjoy a good view until they get here. I moved over and suddenly had a wonderful view of the entire stage only 14 rows back. When they started with Close to the Edge I was in heaven. It still is to me the best piece of music Yes ever created. Steve's guitar in the opening section was magnificent, and Jon was in great voice. And the crowd was really into it. Next came Starship Trooper, not exactly a rarity but I thought to myself, who am I to argue with Starship Trooper being considered a Yes masterwork. Yes performed a representative version, but not the best I have heard.
When I saw Steve switch guitars to the one he used in the QPR video, I knew gates was coming. Over the years it was the Relayer material I missed hearing in concert the most, and this time Yes did not disappoint. It was a wonderful version. The battle section was great, and Jon's voice kicked butt during the soon section.
After Gates I realized I was so into the music that I forgot I was still not in my correct seat. I looked over and the seat I had vacated for a better view was now occupied. Not about to tempt fate, I thanked the Yes Gods and settled back into my new seat to enjoy the rest of the Show. Leaves of Green was enjoyable, a nice change of pace from hearing the clap for the 8 billionth time. But I would have rather heard a group song.
When Jon started rambling about sharp distance, my spirits sank. Hardly a rarity, they played this song on every tour since 87. When I was at the Yes convention in 98 a group of us were sitting at the bar discussing the most underplayed and overplayed songs. After Roundabout and All good people, the consensus was that Heart of the Sunrise was the song we would most willingly give up to hear something rare. Although listening to it now they did play a very good rendition of the song that night.
When the extra drums were brought out I knew it was time for Ritual. What can you say about Chris that has not already been said. As he had been all night, he was amazing. Who cares how silly he looked. And during the percussion section ,which I always felt had too much filler obscuring the drumming, they kept the sound effects as I call them to a minimum and let
At the Holmdel Masterworks gig, I had the pleasure of being in the presence of one of the most entertaining punters I can remember.
We were seated in the sixth row.
A few bars into CttE this dude in the 4th row sparks up, and goes one on one with it for the duration.
He sparked up 4, count 'em 4 more times and did them all solo - quite the herculean effort.
Aside from this incredible display the two things which had us laughing pretty hard were during the battle section of Gates, apparently the jams got just a bit too intense for him and he had to stand up and spaz out for a few seconds before he seemingly regained his composure and sat back down.
At the start of Ritual, it seemed someone else should have been in his seat, and he was told by the staff that he actually belonged in the 3rd row. He was midway through a smoke when it was brought to his attention, and he didn't put it out - just held it behind his back while he figured things out and was escorted a row up - hanging on like it was for dear life.
Hopefully someone else who was on Howe's side in the area got as much amusument out of this dude as we did.
Great Show! I was in the first 5 rows and was just completely in awe at the performance our yesmen gave. Jon's wonderful voice carried through the music flawlessly. They began with Close to the Edge and played evry favorite of mine throughout the show. Of course like most Yesfans, i was sparking up a few joints at the yeshow, when a bunch of narks behind me that were obviously not into the show, kept laughing at me and making childish comments about my marijuana ciggarette. They acted real "holier-than-thou" and kept pointing at me and waving security over at me. Then started laughing at Gates of Delirium when the grooves got too intense and complicated for their liking and one of them yelled "PLay Owner of a Lonely heart" during soon, they were sitting in the sixth row, and kept yelling "we are the sixth row-sixers" all nioght, very un-attractive behavior and really ruined most of those on our sections time with their anti-fun-living attitude. After much complaining on my end, the security gurad came over to me (while I was smoking a 'yinter') and asked If I wold enjoy a seat somewhere a little bit closer where these fools couldn't be heard as well, they started laughing out loud as soon as the guard approached. What a bunch of fools. Luckily, the guards didn't notice that I had a joint in my hand and escorted me further from them and the show became wonderful again. Ritual blew my mind. If this masterworks tour finds it's way to europe, i suggest you all see it!!!
It was an unusually cool evening for mid-July in New Jersey. The PNC Bank Arts Center is a fine venue, an outdoor amphitheater with a concrete ceiling to keep the sound from escaping into the open air. This is the third time I've seen YES play at this venue and each time is better than the last.
Last night was no exception. In fact, the last two times I saw the band play this venue the audience was just great. The crowd listened and even remained seated for the most part...rising only to provide several standing ovations. After CTTE Jon couldn't speak due to the reception the band was receiving. He was definitely feeling the energy from the crowd...I think we all were.
The setlist remained the same...the band was very tight however there were a few technical glitches. Guitars and mikes that were not open at the right moments...stuff like that. Igor hit a bum note during ISAGP which caused Steve to comically hold his chest and stumble back a few steps. In fact Steve was very "up" last night. Just as they were coming back on stage for "Roundabout" Steve ran to the front of the stage and then slid on his feet across to his guitars! His arms raised to keep balance!! It was very funny given Steve's usual demeanor on stage. Jon announce that the evening's performance was being recorded...I'd say they picked the right night with the right audience.
This tour should be remembered for it's spirit. The band asked us to vote for our favorite "epics" and they responded by coming to our towns and playing them. This is a tour for the ages.
This was my only show on this tour. After reading of the postponed shows the week before and hearing the tentative playing in the Reno mp3s posted here I wasn't sure it was going to be good, but there was nothing to fear. They were amazing! My impressions from the ninth row in front of Chris:
1. Big, enthusiastic crowd. Very few empty seats in the "shed" and quite a few folks on the lawn despite the cool, damp weather. Hardly anybody left before the encores.
2. Lots of people were there for Kansas, and Kansas' sound mix reflected this. I couldn't have cared less about Kansas and would have preferred not to have an opening act at all, but it was the best mix for an opening act that I had heard in a long time.
3. Yes' mix was very good, with Squire's bass and pedals taking up lots of space. Igor was a little obscured when he wasn't playing a lead, but the band sounded very clear in general and loud enough to have my ears ringing for a few hours after the show.
4. What throat infection? Jon eased into CTTE but warmed up quickly. He didn't just hit the notes, he sang with authority all night, spitting out the harder parts of Gates and even daring to put a slightly bluesy inflection into the melody. Howe is the main reason I go to see this band, but Jon sounded fantastic Wednesday night.
5. Squire's outfit is a howl! Big, ugly black workboots with three inch platform soles, shiny black spandex tights, and a ruffled black frock/shirt. And if the outfit wasn't enough, his movements finished the job, especially "The Stork," standing on one leg while balancing the bass on the other, usually while playing a fairly simple part with an extravagant flourish. My wife got a huge kick out of him.
His playing and sound were something else, however. I didn't catch any sloppiness or carlessness at all. He nailed everything with ease, and the tone he gets from his Rick and bass pedals was glorious.
6. Steve Howe was more experimental in CTTE (played on a red Les Paul) than I've heard recently. He also seemed to approach the material differently than he did in the '70s, improvising subtle bits here and there, but I would have to hear a tape or see another show to confirm this. He smiled and moved around more than he did last December at the Beacon too.
7. The only one of the old guys making a noticeable concession to age was Alan. No, he never got lost or screwed up significantly, and yes, the transitions in Gates and Ritual were handled well, but he didn't really take chances the way that Jon, Chris and Steve did.
8. Igor sounded very good. It's true that he doesn't quite have all the old, warm analog sounds down, but if I read one more review of this tour that says "he isn't Wakeman," I'll throw up.
9. The Mullet Factor was precisely what you would expect for a Yes/Kansas show in *Jersey*.
This show was recorded and filmed by the band, but they may have to do another one. There were a couple tech gaffes, such as Howe having some kind of monitor problem(?) in Wurm and Jon's acoustic not being plugged in for the end of Ritual, resulting in the band having to play on for a few bars before Jon was ready.
Finally, this was miles away from those Reno mp3s many of you have heard. They aren't just playing this stuff by rote. They (Jon especially) were appreciative of the large crowd and the warm reception and responded accordingly. It was intense, and it seemed like genuine good vibes onstage. Even the encores sounded good, and fresh.
If you have the chance to see one of the remaining shows, go!
Just like when the Rangers won the Cup in 94, I can now say ďNow I can die in peaceĒ because Iíve heard Gates and Ritual live. If you donít like superlatives, donít read onÖ..
I know itís hard to be objective because Iím writing this the morning after the concert, but this is the most amazing concert that I have ever seen. I cannot believe how the band has aged like fine wine. They get better and better. Here is a list of observations:
1. The statue like description of Steve Howe that Iíve been reading throughout Forgotten Yesterdays is not the one that showed up last night. Steve appeared to be incredibly intense and focused. Itís true that he doesnít have the facial expressions that Chris does, but thatís just him. His plastered smile was the same 25 years ago. And he moves when he plays. Itís just that he doesnít have that long hair to exaggerate this slight head bobs.
2. The battle sequence in Gates was (I canít think of a word here). I sat there and just shook my head at how hard this was to play and how incredibly tight the band was. I was waiting for the missed cues that Iíve read about, but there where none to be found. I suspect that some of these reportedly missed cues are just people who do not fully understand the number and itís constant changes of tempo and texture.
3. Iíve seen Yes in the 70s, 80, 90s, but its been about 7 years since the last time Iíve seen them. Iíve turned 40 since then and in that time I thought maybe my perspective on progressive music changed a little. Maybe Chris Squire and Yes were the epitome of what are called ďdinosaurĒ bands. (Derek Smallsí Jazz Odyssey - was that based on The Fish? (Harry Shearer call me, weíll talk, Chris can do a free form jazz improvisation in front of a festival crowd)). After tonight my answer to that is NO! NO! NO!. Chris Squire is a God. Chris is and artist and musician of the highest degree. No one can create the sounds and integrate them into complex pieces like Chris. And youíre a brave man to wear that spandex, Chris. Typical bassist: Play one note at a time and hold it (Adam Clayton, I love your band, but basically here, Iím describing you); Chris Squire: fingers never stop moving.
4. I would like to sit Greg Lake, Keith Emerson & Carl Palmer down with me during a Masterworks show and let them do some soul searching. I would tell them that Yes is a band that realizes what they are, they are not kidding themselves into thinking that they can be something other than the premier prog band around. Greg called off the last tour because of his ďother projectsĒ. Greg I love you man, but what is your other commitment: doing nothing? I want that Yes/ELP thing to happen.
5. I donít know who the keyboard player for Kansas was, but I will say that I enjoy watching someone who really enjoys what they do, and that guy really did. Kind of reminded me of, umm, Chris Squire.
6. Someone earlier posted a review that said he never wanted to see Alan White again, because he lost it. All I can see is not at this concert. Alan, like the rest of the band, was as good as ever. Although I think Rick Wakeman is a God just like Steve, Chris, Jon and Alan, Igor was a very capable replacement and one that I can truly say I was glad to see. Igor reminded me of that Star Trek character in the original TV series who was that young kid that did strange things with his eyes.
7. Seeing Yes yesterday was like couples that renew their wedding vows. I annointed Yes as my favorite band 25 years ago, and last night as I sat just 20 feet away from them, I just thought what a smart choice that I made back then, and that until I die, Yes will be #1. (Alright, Iíll be honest. I have what I call the Holy Trinity: Yes, ELP & Genesis).
8. Here are my suggestions for the next tour: Open with Sound Chaser, Then, Wondrous Stories, To Be Over, the entire Ancient, Future Times/Rejoice - and then play the entire same set I heard last ni
I've been a long time YES concert goer but this is my first contribution to the site so here it goes.......an unbelievable unforgetable night. Started off with meeting great YES fans before the show. I missed Kansas again but I'm sure the reviews will be great. For all those who said CTTE was not a good opener-you should have been there tonight. Words are inadequate-just let me say that after they finished it Jon could hardly get a word in-the ovation and adulation they got was the most I've witnessed in over 20 years. He said something like- " I guess we're in New Jersey" and they immediately went into Starship Trooper. Gates of Delirium was again fantastic. The setlist was exactly the same as at Jones Beach. The rest of the concert was enjoyable save for the slight harassment I received from a certain PNC "security" member who acted like a member of the KGB but even his stupidity could not ruin it.