Tuesday, May 7, 1991
31 years, 10 months and 14 days ago
This is what I wrote (for the most part) after I got home from the concert.
May 8, 1991. Just got done seeing Yes at the Target Center in Minneapolis. The were absolutely fantastic. (At the time I wrote the set list I didn't know "Lift Me Up" was the title of the tune from Union).
Concert started at 7:46 and ended at 10:53 with intermission and call back.
Like the last time I saw YES (April 10, 1984), Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite" was the prelude and they opened with an oldie "Yours Is No Disgrace." They never sounded tighter than they did tonight and most of the evening the group sounded very passionate. These men love to play music. The guitar solos of both Steve Howe and Trevor Rabin on "Yours" were utterly amazing. Howe has added so much depth to his guitar solo on this song; it was an excellent jam. And without even a thought of objection, Trevor Rabin took over the soloing on this song and we weren't disappointed. They didn't outplay one another; they complimented each other. They're two very distinct guitar stylists and both virtuosos. And of course, Anderson's vocals, though somehwat more gruff than in the early days, were in peak form. He chatted nicely with the audience and seemed genuinely pleased with the response. Perhaps they knew there were putting on a good show.
There was a point in Rabin's "Solly's Beard" where he hit a very sour note on the end of a melody line that sounded like someone falling off a cliff, but he went right back into it as though nothing had happened and finished brilliantly by not finishing at all. He broke into a bit of "Dueling Banjos" much to the dismay of keyboardist, Tony Kaye, who just laughed and stopped playing. And during the first verse of "Changes," Rabins own tune, he forgot the first verse. We forgave him because his vocals did shine thereafter.
Wakeman and Kaye were in top form, and Kaye was a lot of fun to watch. He bounced all around his keyboard letting his white hair flop everywhere as he became one with the keyboard. Wakeman walked around the stage and encouraged everyone to join in with the group by clapping to the beat when he wasn't blasting away on the keyboards. His performance was outstanding.
It was great to hear Alan White's jungle voracity on the skins once again. The perfect compliment to Squire's supersonic finger slapping and picking the crap out of his bass. Whitefish was incredible, though not as amazing as it was the first time I heard it back in '84. Perhaps this was because during the '84 show Squire was facing us for the entire solo.
This show was in the round, which was a marvelous idea becuase the view was excellent, if not better than some of the front rows. Even though some of the time the group was facing the other way, the energy was there; you'd think these guys, who are all greying, thought they were twenty-five.
"Owner of a Lonely Heart" lacked the life it had when it was new, perhaps the vocals had something to do with that; it was a different way to do that song. But "Hold On" and "Changes" were spell binding. And "Lift Me Up" was one of the absolutely best new Yes songs I've ever heard coming from that particular line up. It's got that chorus that's so singable and it's such difinitive Rabin and Anderson.
Bruford and White had their spot at the beginning of the second set, reminiscent of the Drums section of a Grateful Dead show with midi and all. A super preamble to the fantastic version of "Hold On." During the break, both Ansderson and Rabin must have decided to come out and blow us away when they came to this song. It certainly worked. Steve Howe played so magically with everything he did, though it seemed like he was a little shy at times because a lot of the time he just strummed on the old acoustic while Rabin took the lead. It was also interesting to see Anderson pick up the guitar and sit on the drum seat for a time tapping the cymbals and adding to the song.
I saw the UNION show at the Target Center, a few weeks later, after it had been indeed cancelled, so I am confused that there are no responses here to verify that it DID happen..I lived in Grand Forks, N.D. at the time and drove 5 hours to get to Minneapolis to see it. I remember being afraid that I would get lost finding the venue, but actually, I drove straight to it. This show WAS re-scheduled.
@1991 Target Center, Minneapolis, MN..UNION tour(in the round)
What a treat to get to see all of them on the same stage. Rabin was a show hog with all the Al DiMeola licks and Howe looked like death warmed over. My poor wife, Lois, was with me and had a terrible sinus condition. How mean of me to put her in a room with Chris Squire playing a bass...
Thought you'd want to know that the May 1 date listed for St. Paul is almost correct--they are actually playing Minneapolis in the brand new Target Center (yes, it is a lousy name). They will be playing in the round. Unfortunately, of all the venues in the Twin Cities, Target Center is notorious for having the worst sound, so hopefully the roadies will compensate.