19 years, 1 month and 1 day ago
Tuesday, May 4, 2004
Saturday, February 23, 2013 5:42 PM
My third favorite Yesshow of all time! After getting 42 shows over the years under my belt I highly anticipated this show because of rave reviews from previous shows and the setlist. The song selection took me back to some of the best Yesshows that I've seen during the mid 70s, as well as songs I've never seen live before. And the Roger Dean staging was great too, even though it was considered cheesy and cheaply made by some people. Granted it didn't look great up close, but to get the desired visual effect, you have to be quite far away and with the right lighting on it, you get the desired effect. That's why I got 'nosebleed' seats and I thought the stage looked great! Alan White outdid himself this time around with his computerized Robo-drum setup which really enhanced Ritual which has always been my favorite epic, and I was freaked out that Rick Wakeman actually played it, considering that he supposedly hates Topographic Oceans. Other highlights included were: Going For The One(as opener), Sweet Dreams, South Side of the Sky (Steve and Rick's solos just rocked!), The Acoustic set,And You And I (probably the best live version ever),Ritual,and Every Little Thing. But the biggest suprise to me was Mind Drive, which I did not expect, but I thought it was kind of strange that they would skip part 2 of the song(with Rick's killer Moog solo). Soon was kind of anti-climatic for an encore, but overall, it was a great show, almost custom-made for us Classic Yes fans.
Sorry, Forgotten Yesterdays. I know that this is a concert review website, but I'm having problems logging-in to YESFANS. I just wanted to send my best wishes to the ONE AND ONLY JON ANDERSON on his 61st Birthday!!! Thank you,JON,for giving us your Brilliant voice and Music!!!! Have a Happy and Healthy Birthday!!!!! I wish I could see his solo concert in November, but I can't because of my JOB! Hopefully, he and the rest of YES will be back SOON! Take Care!
Sorry to jump in here again, but I have a question for FORGOTTEN YESTERDAYS: What happened to your "POLLS" section? I really enjoyed that. PLEASE bring it back. Thank you.
This, my most recent time seeing YES (10 tours,11th show)is somewhat of a mixed bag of feelings. But before I go any further, I should get a few minor gripes out of the way: A)If YES can't sell out an entire arena, then they should stick to the smaller theaters,especially for the sake of their live sound presentation. Maybe the problem was with the Mix, I don't know. B)The tiny seats at the Allstate Arena SUCKED, and I'm not that big of a guy in stature. C)The same group of CHUCKLEHEADS in our row kept stumbling by us to go get beer practicly during EVERY SONG! Then,of course,they would have to go by to use the washroom! I'll never understand why people plop down $65.00(or more)for a ticket,then spend half the time of the show getting beer and taking Leaks!!! D)On a more personal note: I wish my son and oldest Brother Didn't make me feel like I dragged them to this concert. Most of the time, they sat there with their arms folded acting like they were watching a boring movie.At one point,When Yes just Finished "RITUAL", my Brother said to me impatiently," How many more songs are they gonna do?" And I said," 2 more encore songs, What, do you have a HOT DATE or something?" Sorry, maybe the older I get, the Grumpier I become.
On the positive side, I really enjoyed the performance by YES. As did our friend Gene, who came with us. I thought the ROGER DEAN inflatibles(sp.?) looked Great from where we sat. The Lighting effects were pretty good, too. " GOING FOR THE ONE" and " SWEET DREAMS" were very well done. " YOUR MOVE/ALL GOOD PEOPLE" was run-of-mill to me. THEN...entering the " MIND DRIVE" Parts 1 and 2: EXCELLENT! However, I would have preferred if they did it in one shot. But it was still Great! THEN....one of my all-time favorite Yes songs: The Incredible " SOUTH SIDE OF THE SKY"! I've FINALLY got to see YES play this underrated GEM of a song LIVE! The interplay with HOWE and WAKEMAN during the final moments of the tune was Fantastic! Too bad They didn't do " WE HAVE HEAVEN " First, as I think of those two as one whole song, but oh well I Still LOVED IT!!! " TURN OF THE CENTURY " was nice to see and hear again. The Acoustic part of the show was Fun and light-hearted for the Band and Audience alike. " NINE VOICES " with the high school kids was a nice surprise. What was that the kids were doing while singing, the ANDERSON SHIMMY-SHUFFLE?( Just Kidding, JON!). During " RHYTHM OF LOVE", JON took his somewhat RISKY stroll thru the crowd. He never would have gotten away with that in the 70's as girls and stoned over-zealous/jealous guys may have torn him to bits. I'm sure that SQUIRE ( in the 70's) and RABIN ( in the 80's) would have the same problems. But they're bigger guys than lil ol' Jon. " AND YOU AND I" was AWESOME!!! The GOLDEN lights that lit up the entire Arena in the climatic end of the song was mesmerizing! This was our friend Gene's favorite song by YES. They closed out the set with "RITUAL" which was EPIC! Jon seem to jump in a little too early with the "nous sommes du soliel" part, but it was stll Great. I also enjoyed the encores "EVERY LITTLE THING" and " SOON". I know SOME people would have rather heard "STARSHIP TROOPER", but I ENJOYED what they played.
Sorry , I know this was a bit long-winded of a review. Hopefully,YES will finally get around to releasing the dvd of this tour; the LIVE cd Box-set( rumors of some Chicago 79 songs are said to be included!); Anderson's 2004 solo tour dvd, and a remastered 9012live ( with extra footage)dvd. This stuff keeps getting delayed!!! But no matter what: YES will live to ROCK ON!!!!
Thanks for all the wonderful reviews to read and then remember what I saw and heard. I was off to Stage left side... off the main floor.
I admit The Allstate arena is a barn, and the Chicago Theatre is much better.
I thought the band showed plenty of energy and showmanship, and a light comic feel when they had to go for a cup of tea. ( intermission)
The songs they performed were wonderful,and while yes.. I heard one or two mistakes. they still played great and long enough to warrent the ticket price. The parking (15 bucks) and the Rosemont staff are rude. You are right about that. It even took me a few tries to discover where they were selling shirts etc.
I enjoyed the songs, had a couple of loud mouths who kept insulting
each and every song.. ( wasn't sure why they were there)
But it was great time.
I hope YES performs in smaller venues like The Chicago Theatre again.
Rick makes the band perform well, and YES seemed even younger than they were a few years ago.
I have the most credible attendance figure for this show since I called the Allstate Arena's administrative office the morning after and asked an employee what the official attendance was. The guy in the Arena office said approximately 5,000 attended the concert.
People saying 7,000 or more are wrong. 7,000 is probably more accurately the total number of seats offered by Ticketmaster for sale prior to the show.
All I know is that it was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed the vividly colorful stage show, as well as the pre-show partying at the Radisson Hotel next to the stadium with other fans.
"Ridiculous blowup monsters" some have complained about the stage show? Not to me. My take is that I can go see a band anywhere with no stage or light presentation at all. Nobody has big stages anymore. That's boring and all too commonplace, which is exactly what separates Yes from all the other bands out there. I want more!
For someone like me who was too young to experience the big shows of the 70's, I welcome the idea of seeing more than just musical gear on stage with 5 spotlights. This is my chance to experience a taste of the 70's legend of Yes, no matter what the scroogelike critics say.
Roger Dean did a fine job (with a more limited budget) and people are underestimating the amount of work that goes into a big stage like we just witnessed. It's not that easy.
THANK YOU to the band for spending more than necessary to put on a special show for us fans. Complainers are acting like spoiled brats and should be ignored!
two things. i know this is not the forum for debates but.....do you really believe there was a walk up sale of 5000 tickets for this show? it appears you have some good info on seating and have the track record of attending concerts so i'm not going to argue your take on the floor plan etc. but the main floor even by your calculations holds more than 2500 and that was sold out along with most of the lower bowl well in advance. exactly my reason for whining about the people not going because they couldn't get premium seats.
secondly, the sound. this is such a subjective thing. you say you were back by the mixing board. i would have been right behind you. 2nd row sect. 115 looking over the sound tech shoulder and i thought the sound was fine after two songs. GFTO started badly, couldn't hear steve. and then sweet dreams was way too loud. but then i thought they got it as right as they could in that place. although you said the drums were fine. if anything i thought i couldn't hear them enough. especially the opening portion of mind drive. whatever, everyone hears things differently. i find it humorous that you criticize the allstate's acoustics (rightly so) but then harken back to the amphitheater for better sound. that place was the worst. a hundred dank old corridors for the sound to run away and hide in. but i loved it. spent way too much time there back in those days. it has the same place in my heart as old comiskey park for the sox.
anyway, that's just two more of my cents. i read your words correctly about 2500 the morning of the show and just knew that could not have been correct or the arena, ticketmaster and the band were all really lying about the best seats available up to the day of the show. even that guy that drove all over town the day of the show didn't get something until the last minute. oh well.
Glad you had a great time Rockin Chicago Vegas Guy. Which show did YOU see? By the way Mr. Rock, critiquing show honestly does not make one old. When paying $50-75, you are certainly entitled to a decent concert experience, and in this particular venu, as evidenced by all the reviews here, a "decent" concert experience is not provided. Pretending that is makes you naive; or maybe you're just one of those guys who doesn't know any better.
Rockin Chicago Dave AKA Rockin Vegas Dave
Short Sweet Review:
Excellent Sound & Lights. Jon's Voice was Beautiful. Rick was on KEY big time!!! Alan was Loud & Powerful. Chris was on fire!! & Steve is Just Steve w/perfection... Big time. The biggest highlight that night was Steve & Rick's Friendly Solo Battles.
The concert program was worth the money!!!
As for the bad reviews from other people: YOUR GETTING FUCKIN OLD, QUIT BEING A BITCH...DEAL WITH IT!!!
This is just to answer Tim's review of the reviews! Hey Tim, if you read what I posted, I said that as of the morning of the show, they had only sold 2500. If you completely read what I posted, I did say that the evening's turnout was much better than that, not what it could have been in an 1800+ seater, but certainly much better than 2500. As for the acoustics, sorry buddy: they sucked everywhere. Sound is notoriously bad in arenas, but Yes, like Rush, is one of those bands who tended actually to benefit from the sound of these places. Having seen Yes many many times at the International Ampitheatre in Chicago (sadly gone now), and having seen them at the Rosemont (now the Allstate Arena), as well as their recent shows at Riviera Theatre, this show was without a doubt the worst sounding show I've seen Yes perform. I sat in row 50 on the mainfloor (almost the last row, quite near the mixing desk which should have the optimum audio view) and it was horrible. There was no articulation in the vocals or the keyboards or the bass. You could hear Steve Howe's guitar quite clearly (thank you!), and the drums, but other than that...sorry. Don't make excuses for what has become the Yes practice: shoddy production because of lack of funds. Every other touring band doing arenas like this puts small near field monitors at the front of the stage to aid in the listening of the concert. They're not high powered as they are practically in your face. But they put out more high end than anything else that aid in the articulation of what you are hearing. I didn't see those at the Yes show. "Take a bad song, and make it better." Please!
The stage was set almost to the middle of the arena. A fact that bears this out is the seating plot. If you to to ticketmaster and click a concert at the Allstate Arena, the main floor seating chart shows you 3 large mainfloor seating sections with 2 more sections adjacent to the mix site. I've been to many shows here, and that first SEC 1 is always 50 rows, with no aisle. The Sections 2 & 3 are usually 40-50 rows each with an aisle seperating them. This Yes show had ONE mainfloor section of 50 rows, and the other mainfloor sections were incorporated into one more section of 10 rows behind those first 50. They still retained their "Section Numbers", but the fact remains there were 60 rows on the mainfloor total. When the Yesspeaks DVD came out (yet another ridiculous faux pas in the Yes canon of the last 15 years), Jon talks about the upcoming arena tour with magnificent Roger Dean sets. Watching that, I could only think "are they out of their minds??????? Who will pay for this?" I love this band, I really do. I've been seeing them since I was 15 years old in 1977. The fact remains that they do not draw the numbers they used to; they are very unfashionable. This does not mean they are not good or great or highly desirable to what we would term a "more discerning audience". (Funny thing, that very line appears in Spinal Tap when they approached a similar point in their "career."!) But facts is facts, and the fact is Yes doesn't warrant this kind of business. They overstepped the mark taking on this arena tour, and would have been better off with 10,000 seat theatres of which there are plenty across the US.
Case in point: On "Open Your Eyes" tour, Yes played the World Theatre in Tinley Park, ILL. This outdoor venue holds anywhere from 15,000 to 25,000 depending on how full the lawn gets. I paid $75 apiece for tickets to see this show, and took my 9year old son. I was very happy to get 35th row seats for this show. Day of show I get phone calls from my favorite record stores, all telling me they have free Yes tickets for me because I'm such a fan. I was told that all I would have to do is pay $3.50 for parking (this venue normally charges $15-20). I took a couple of the vouchers and called some friends. Even with all the free tickets they gave out that day, Yes co
no need for another review of the setlist or how bad the arena acoustics are but people have to get realistic. 2500 people??
c'mon man. the main floor held that. crowd was anywhere from 6-7000 based on the sections that were sold. was it a disappointing turnout i would have to say yes. but too many picky fans are to blame for that. "gotta be in the first ten rows, i can't bring binoculars" buy the tickets that are available and go to the show. and i'm sorry, the sound is always going to be better further back. do you listen to your home stereo with your ear just next to the right speaker?? that's the way it goes at a concert.
finally, again on the turnout. you can't look at this as even 7000 out of an 18'500 seat venue. the show was set at half house. that makes it a 9000 seat venue. 3/4 full. not too bad for a concert that had LITTLE TO NO PROMOTION OR ADVERTISING WHATSOVER ON LOCAL OUTLETS.
sorry this is not much of a review. more of a review of the reviews.
I also sat 2nd row center and next to John Higgs. Who just posted his review. I don't know Mr. Higgs but he was getting upset mainly about the room in between the rows which I agree him. His ranting was mildly distracting from my enjoyment. John is entitled to his view. One view I came away with was Chris Squire stage persona has done a 180. Gone is the drunken showboating, now I wonder if this new approach is a Chris's idea or a band mandate?
I have some good things to say about the show and a lot bad things to say so if anybody doesn't want to hear any criticism, please pass on this review.
A majority of my ire is toward the Allstate Arena. The place is just one big dump. The attitude of the employees, the parking fees ($15), the refreshment prices, etc.... It all just sucked. The sound was terrible and is was in the 2nd row center directly in back of Jon's wife, Jane! Another huge problem was that the seats on the floor didn't have a middle row so if your tickets were in the middle like mind were, you had to wait until an intermission to get up. Absolutely unacceptable. I was really upset at the venue which interfered with my enjoyment of the show. Now I don't know whose fault it was but I could not hear Rick. I've seen Tony Kaye, Igor, and Tom Brislin behind the keyboards and I heard them a lot better than I heard Rick. Yes is notorious for turning down the mix on temporary members in the band but keeping Rick from being heard, especially from the standpoint of 2nd row center, is ridiculous. Yes is a rock band, if not one of the very best ever, and I demand it to be loud and crisp. The show was neither. Maybe I was born too late to see them with their big PA systems back in the 70's but hearing a muffled Yes is one of the biggest travesties a fan can experience.
Maybe it is me or my high expectation of Yes, but the set list was just subpar. Now mind you Sweet Dreams was incredible along with South Side of the Sky, but there was so much filler. Also, why is Soon an encore number? It's not even a complete song. If you are going to finish with that just finish with Gates of Delirium and be done with it! Or give Wakeman something to shine with like Awaken, Close to the Edge, or Parallels.
The stage design has to be one of the cheapest I've seen from a band that has sold 30 million albums worldwide. I mean how could rock stars like Anderson, Squire, Howe, Wakeman, and White not see that their stage was pathetic. I don't get it. What happened to my band? Where did the artistry, the theatrics, and the atmospheres go to? Maybe the guys are just trying to save money. I don't know.
OK, some highlights were Alan and Steve. Alan White has never let me down in a concert and watching him play is always something special. Steve was definitely on and seems to enjoy himself again. Throughout the last several years I thought he may be burning out permanently but I was happily mistaken. Jon still has his voice which is remarkable. I can't comment on Rick too much because I couldn't hear him. Chris was jovial as usual.
I'm just being honest with this review. This was not a blow you away Yes concert. I've been to a lot of shows and have had the spine tingling feeling afterward and I had nothing but annoyance after this show.
Reporting at 2:30 AM, May 5!
After hearing a CDR of an earlier concert from the 2004 tour, I wasn't that excited about the YES concert in Chicago. However, I was pleasantly surprised to be smiling from ear to ear after only the first few songs.
My day started early-- left Wisconsin at 8 AM and got to Chicago at 10:30. I tried to get a ticket at Tower Records but nothing good came up, so I went to Indian town (Devon Street) and gorged on paneer makhani, onion kulcha, and rose lassi. After hanging out on the street for a while and buying some icons and Indian CDs, I went back to Tower but found that the available tickets were even worse. I was getting worried. I headed back out and spent some time at a metaphysical bookstore, and then returned a third time to Tower at 4:30 PM. BINGO-- I scored a 2nd row seat in front of Squire. I then headed up to Evanston to visit Vintage Vinyl (scored a cool Beatles DVD focusing on 1968), and then headed to the concert.
There were some drawbacks to the show-- the return to the stadiums means the return to bad acoustics (oh how I longed for the last few shows at the Chicago Theatre). Even though I had scored a 2nd row seat, I was still struggling to hear what was going on. I quickly devised a tactic of cupping my ear and pointing it at the band member I was trying to hear-- it would improve the treble sounds coming from their instrument. I even had to do this with Squire, and I was sitting right in front of him! Pathetic. Perhaps it sounded better if you were farther back; I would imagine 10-15 rows back would be ideal.
The Roger Dean staging was worthless. The inflatable "thing" behind Steve Howe looked like a penguin that was falling over dead. The one by Rick Wakeman looked more Dean-like and was a little more interesting. And the crab-like thing that raised and lowered had no dramatic impact at all. The word "Spinal Tap" is coming up frequently, but to me it's not even funny enough for that-- you just end up ignoring the things because of how boring they are. At one point, they actually got in the way of the light show. If I were in the band, I'd suggest cutting their losses and deflating those things at once and for all.
"Going for the One" was a strong upbeat opener, with Steve's slide guitar and Jon's relentlessly high vocals being the obvious highlights. "Sweet Dreams" showed an earlier, poppier side of Yes that was quickly abandoned as the band became the champions of progressive rock in the mid 70s. "Your Move/All Good People" continued the show in a surprisingly mainstream trend, but Steve's lead guitar solo was as infectious as usual. Then came "Mind Drive," which is a mixed bag. Despite a strong performance, the epic is bizarrely cut in two and separated by two other songs. Even worse, nearly one-third of "Mind Drive" isn't performed at all, including some of the best moments-- Steve's jazzy guitar solo in the middle, and Jon's verse starting with 'And so it comes to this now/ When you walk into the bliss that..." are both completely deleted, as our two other verses and even the songs acoustic intro. It was a confounding concert debut for one of their best epics. They even added a new segment to it. However, it's relative obscurity in their mid-90s catalogue works in their favor-- I don't think most people realize what sections are missing. To those of us who know and love the piece, it's a bit disappointing.
In between parts one and two of "Mind Drive" are "South Side of the Sky" and "Turn of the Century." It's hard to complain about anything here. "South Side" has quickly become a concert favorite since being performed for the first time when Wakeman re-re-re-joined the band a couple years ago. Steve and Rick's dueling improvisation really got the crowd going. "Turn of the Century" is a beautiful, extended ballad-like epic with an actual story line-- unusual for Anderson who prefers free-form lyrics. Steve used
Saw the Rosemont show (Allstate Arena), and the band played really well. The vocals did sound very good. The acoustics rendered a lot of the music indecipherable, but that is the nature of that horrid venue. After 15 years or so of seeing concerts there I vowed I would never go back, but there was no way I would miss Yes coming back to arenas. Unfortunately, by the morning of the show, they had only sold about 2500 seats in an 18,000 seater so that was disappointing. I was lucky enough to get mainfloor seats day of the show at the box office, and obviously they had sold many more tickets that day; the venue was not quite half-full, but that is much better than 2500. The "unplugged" set was a nice change, although contrary to previous post, I thought Roundabout sounded downright strange that way...it doesn't lend itself to this presentation, but I can definitely understand them needing some way to make it palatable for them to play it. My only complaint of the show: that stage set looks like giant Malevolent Marshmallow Menaces that just appear totally ridiculous. The "figure" on Steve's side of the stage looks a giant White Marshmallow Man with warpaint that threatens to beat Steve down at any moment. And the "nebulae" above center stage looks like a herd of dolphins in midflight. I know it's supposed to be Tales-like, but they really missed the mark with this one. I can't imagine they don't walk onstage every night shaking their heads. I'm sure Rick has some funny things to say about it if asked. Anyway, it's a small quibble in relationship to the music. SEE THE SHOW!
Right on, brother! I just returned from the Chicago show (after driving 420 miles) and must say the band really has its act together. More than any other tour I've seen, they are total friends, simply enjoying their time together on stage.
The acoustic set was sheer brilliance! Not only from a sound quality perspective, but also in general. All 5 members were sitting within several feet of each other, instead of spread across the giant stage. What a fabulous way to hear Yes songs. I would sincerely hope they consider doing their next tour completely in this 'semi-acoustic' set up. Their treatment of "Roundabout"---a song I'm sure they're a bit tired of playing over and over---was fantastic. It was worth hearing again in this style.
Jon's voice hasn't sounded this good in years. It almost sounded like he got some of his range back...And Chris' voice was great as well.
Their two early surprises "Every litte Thing" and "Sweet Dreams" caught most people off guard, but really fit nicely into the setlist. The encore ended with "Soon"---a stunning, moving, transcendent finish to a great evening.
Just got back from the Chicago show, and it was really an enjoyable evening.
I was hoping to see the Rosemont Hori.. er, Allstate Arena a bit more full, but the floor & risers were full and and a fair number of folks in the upper balcony, where I was (got tickets for the show way late, was the best I could do). Very enthusiastic crowd, and the band seemed to really be enjoying themselves.
The set list was very similar to the other shows on this tour, but they included Nine Voices with about 40 high-school aged kids singing on stage with them. A very nice touch!
Sound-wise, Jon and Chris' vocals seemed right on the money from start to finish. Overall, though, I wasn't totally pleased with the sound--I'm not sure if it was the acoustics of the venue, but there seemed to be a lot of reverbation in the lower middle of the audio spectrum, and a lot of parts seemed to get lost in there. I particularly though it affected Going For The One, where you could barely pick out Steve's pedal steel, but the sound continued to improve as the night went on.
Highlights: South Side Of The Sky was killer, Steve and Rick were just tearing it up trading solos at the end! The acoustic set was fantastic, Rick was flying over the keys the entire time, and the sound was much clearer for that entire portion of the show--you could pick out all the parts easily. Rhythm of Love was really powerful, and Jon walked through the audience on the main floor while singing it, getting kisses and high fives from the crowd. And You And I was really strong, too; I don't think they could possibly play it better, and it was great watching Steve switching between two racked guitars and the pedal steel. Ritual was great, as was Soon--brought back great memories of when I used to listen to Yesshows over and over and over again.
The only other time I saw Yes perform live was on the 90125 tour, in the same venue just over 20 years ago. That show back then just, well, not good. This show was infinitely better, the setlist really covered their career nicely, and having Rick and Steve with the band makes all the difference.