31 years, 10 months and 15 days ago
Saturday, July 20, 1991
I was at this one, and in fact sitting next to the chap who was making the "unofficial" video of the show.
Only that wasn't where my ticket seats were. I'm not sure if this was indicative of the decline of Yes's popularity along with most other classic and 80's rockers in light of the new Nirvana thing, but the place was barely 1/3 full. Most of the upper seating was empty.
And that had me and my friends in shock, because the tickets we received from Ticketmaster over the phone were way up there, and we get there only to find every row in front of us all the way to the front of the "Red" upper section. We assumed we had the best seats they could give us...
Still, it was a good show, and from the distance we couldn't necessarilly tell if the band were depressed or down about the lower numbers.
The new arrangement of "Saving My Heart" I thought was good. Much better than the one released on Union. It would be nice if that someday made it to an official release somewhere.
I saw Yes in the UNION tour 3 months previous to this show. I saw them at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA on April 19, 1991.
I was happy to find out they were returning to the area to play. I actually won tickets from the local rock station, DC101 to attend this concert. I have NEVER won anything in my life and during this summer I won 3 things from a radio station - a Sony car CD player, a 6 foot party sub and Yes tickets! The stars and the movements of the moon must have been aligned for me. I should have bought lottery tickets!
Yes played in the round and it was killer! Watching all the guys play and trade off guitar, keyboard and drum parts with each other was something I will never forget.
I'd love a chance to say something about Yes and Yes fans here. I have been reading all of the stories from Yes fans and how many of them didn't like Trevor Rabin's verisons of songs or his song writing - they wanted Steve Howe and missed his playing and writing. Life goes on! Steve Howe was in Asia and GTR and recording solo projects. I think Trevor Rabin helped save Yes and their existence! I love his playing and writing. Sure its different - his style leans toward a heavier rocking sound and helped introduce Yes music to a whole new breed and age of Yes fans. The early eighties was a time that had Yes on the radio again - not playing classic Yes - but NEW YES MUSIC. I actually heard Yes music in dance clubs and Yes even had a video of "Owner of A Lonely Heart" on MTV. Yes was actually enjoying success and developing a new mass following. They were not writing 20 minute songs - so what! Neither was Rush - concept albums went to the wayside - it was a different time in music. It was a time that I saw the most people at a Yes concert.
I saw YES in 1991 during the Union tour--it was in the Washington DC area, and it was probably one of the best concerts I have ever seen! Seeing Anderson, Bruford, Howe, Squire, Bruford, White, Wakeman, Kaye, and Rabin together was incredible! I recall almost 3 1/2 hours of music. Lots of old and new stuff--I recall Your Move/All Good People (John asked audience to sing along, as the concert was being videoed/recorded), Lift Me Up (Squire had trouble getting his bass hooked up in the beginning), an incedible Wakeman solo, a wonderfully long, almost religious, Awaken. No solo was done by Kaye. All in all, it was great!
I attended the Yes concert last Saturday night at the Capital Center in Largo, Md (in the D.C. suburbs). Here are some observations and comments:
This was the first Yes concert I have attended after being a Yes fan for about 20 years (I got "Close to the Edge" on my 16th or 17th birthday and have been hooked ever since). I was impressed by the "in the round" setup; I was in one of the "cheap" seats (about 30 rows up from the floor) and felt that I as good a seat as anyone; I think I would have preferred being there rather than on the floor (where the expensive seats were) and being below the stage.
I think Jon announced that Trevor Rabin became an American citizen the night before.
The highlights of the concert for me were the various "solos"; Howe was incredible, stalking about the center of the stage displaying his incredible style and talent. The drum duet was spellbinding, and a excellent way to begin the second half of the show. Even Rabin's solo was impressive; his style is unmistakable. Rabin did some of the dueling banjo's stuff I had read about in an earlier "Notes"; he added some chords from the Star Spangled Banner (I think), perhaps in honor of his newfound citizenship. Squire's solo was perhaps the best of the bunch. Certainly, he put on the best show from a presentation point of view - he really played to the crowd. And, Wakeman, was, of course, Wakeman.
The song highlight for this night had to be Your Move/All Good People. Jon again announced that this was being recorded (whether he was serious or not, I don't know) and he wanted everyone to sing along. And it seemed that everyone did. It sounded great.
Jon's voice was crystal clear and crisp. I can't understand how his voice can hold up so well under such a long tour.
The band has added another song from the Union album, Saving My Heart. It was good, but I would have liked the song it evidently replaced, Long Distance Runaround, as much.
Awaken, the last song of the night (before the encore) is one of my favorite Yes songs, but it really lost something in concert. I suppose one of the aspects of that song I enjoy the most is the majestic sound of the church organ Rick Wakeman used for this song on the Going for the One album. That sound was not captured on the relatively puny electric organ he used.
The disappointments I have mainly have to do with the fact that this is only the first Yes concert I have attended; I would have loved to have heard many more songs, like "On The Silent Wings of Freedom," "Going for the One", "Parallels", "Sound Chaser", etc. etc. etc. in concert. I would have loved to hear "Order of the Universe" from the ABWH album, too. The three hours of concert time went far too quickly. All in all, though, the band did an excellent job of spanning the years with their song selection.
Overall, I am glad I went and would go to another one in a microsecond.
Among the minor criticisms I have: Aside from Squire, the band doesn't really have a lot of charisma. It is their depth of talent that makes watching them perform enjoyable; you won't get too many goosebumps *watching* them perform (unless you watch the hands flying over the key