I won't write any long review since it has been 21 years since I was at this show.......... I will however say that this concert will always hold a special place in my heart as it was my first live Yes concert, actually my first live concert of any kind. I have seen the band many times since this first show when I was just 13 and it still is up there as one of the best I have seen. I still have the two shirts that my Dad bought for me at this show. I remember the end of Endless Dream being particularly amazing. A great night I will forever remember.
The Talk show at Detroit(Pine Knob) Cloudy and rainy all the way down to the show until the intro then the sun comes out and shines directly on to the stage. Chris being the only smart one to bring sun glasses. Great show opening with excerpt from Perpetual Change into The Miracle and I Am Waiting (Excellent song) Rythym Of Love sounded weak as well as the balance of the first half of the show. Intermission then Cinema into City of Love- would have liked to here Leave It. Nice little tune Where Will You Be with nice poses by Chris, Trevor and Jon. Lights were exceptional especially in the finale (Endless Dream) Encores: Hold On and Roundabout nice job by Tony and Alan. I like the power sound of Alan's drums. Billy Sherwood played a lot of fill parts and picked some of Chris' vocals. Very good show lacking a little bit of production value but it was a very enjoyable evening. I do remember Jon leaving the stage during Changes and returning in time for his cue. Trevor's keyboard skills were quite impressive.
I've seen Yes many times over the years...One amazing and revealing moment for me was the beginning of the 'tin jesus" section of "Endless Dream" onstage at Pine Knob, Detroit for the Talk tour. What sounds on the CD like an over-processed try at an interestingly weird sound was absolutely !awesome! live. Stereo panning, a massive tone to grab your ears and brain, TR in full control of the whole space with his six strings, lighting, the full concert whack....it was nothing like the CD, and remains one of my favorite Yes -live memories. Trevor may always have that "hired -gun" rep., but he is an incredible musician and guitarist.
Last night was my 6th time seeing YES live since the summer of '84. I deeply enjoyed the show; however, this experience made me think a bit about the group, and where they have been in the past 26 years.
As Jon Anderson introduced songs from 90125, he introduced them as songs from a long time ago. I feel that many of us YES fans consider these songs as the newer stuff. It relatively is, but they are 10 years old. Therefore, songs like Owner of a Lonely Heart and Hold On may be considered "Classics" now. And, songs from the early '70s are definitely from another time. While, I would have preferred to hear more older material, YES should best be playing newer material if they want to evolve. Anyone who has seen the Moody Blues since 1986 knows that they have been playing the same set list every year with minor changes. This is not the state that YES should fall victim to.
Hearing Hearts played for the first time since the '84 tour was a delight. It seemed that the band would enjoy playing this classic more than playing additional songs from the "Roundabout" era. The current YES lineup has been around for over a decade now, and I feel that they should do whatever they need to do in order to evolve as songwriters. Playing more of the newer material keeps this lineup tight during performances- I agree with a recent submission to NFTE that said that this was the tightest performance they had seen in a while. I thoroughly agree.
In short, I feel that the band played the songs from the new album quite well, and they will probably sell many more CDs because of the tour. I'm content with the present state of YES, and am glad that they are in a position to continue composing a new era of YES music - rather than being in a state where bands from the 70s currently exist (e.g., The Moody Blues, Chicago, etc...)
Yes' set list for June 25 was identical to June 18 and 19 except for the addition of "Hold On" as an additional encore before a slightly shortened (no slow section) "Roundabout" which featured Tony Kaye on organ. Before "Changes" Jon introduced Trevor and left the stage coming back just in tome for his verse.
The crowd was apparently exceptional. Jon Anderson mentioned on a number of occasions how wonderful the crowd sounded and how we seemed to respond to every note and beat. The band seemed energized by the audience. The venue, 30 miles or so north of Detroit, is a covered open air place with additional seating on the lawn in the back. It allowed for some interesting quadraphonic effects which were, for the most part, tastefully done. The night was perfect, the threat of rain was there but served to cool us down with a nice breeze and didn't rain until we were well out of the parking lot.
Chris and Trevor seemed to be especially close friends, even to the point of wearing look-alike shirts for the second set.
I had gotten cynical about "Walls" because of continued criticism in NFTE and because of the abysmal performance on Letterman so when I saw that it was slated as the second to last tune I was skeptical BUT it was GREAT. It was delivered with power and class and was a good anthemic capper to a strong night.
Also, contrary to my expectations, Tony Kaye was OK. He's no Wakeman on keyboards, that's for sure. Actually, he's no Rabin on keyboards, either, but he held his own.
All in all, a great show, a 9 at least.
The sound quality was atrocious. although this was the result of using Pine Kob's own speaker system and -not- the fault of Yes' stuff. The sound coming off the stage was -great-. Well balanced, clear. I was -very- impressed. Jon Anderson did -not- sound screechy as he often does live (and as he did on Letterman a few weeks back). He sounded very full.
But the P.A. actually had several blown speakers so the audience near the back of the outdoor theater should have demanded their money back.
The show was roughly 90% sold out.
The playing was great, except, ironically, during the Perpetual Change intro and the Roundabout encore: In both cases the playing was muddy and there seemed to be so much 'jamming' that you couldn't hear the individual lines. On Perpetual change, the 'round' decayed into a train wreck, whereas in the old days, you could really hear each pattern building to a crescendo. I thought this was odd since they had enough bodies to pull off all the record tracks, but maybe there were -too many- bodies this time! Roundabout was also weak: it seemed that they have played it so many times, that they don't really care about playing the parts precisely any more and just 'jam' through it. This made it sound really sad. However, the younger members of the audience really liked the high energy. Somehow I just don't think of Yes music as -free jamming- stuff, so sue me.
On the other hand, the newer material (ie. where they seemed to really care about what they were doing) was flawless. I mean, regardless of how you feel about the 90125 band, you had to admire the precision of the playing and how well the re-created the album textures. I was particularly glad to see them do 'Rhythm of Love' and 'Hearts' --two of their strongest tracks that have been overlooked by a lot of people.
Tony Kaye definitely sounded like he was on his way out, though. I mean he really didn't seem to be an integral part of the band --no hot solos, and none of the other band members seemed to pay attention to him during the show. On the other hand, a lot of attention was paid to Billy Sherwood. It almost seems like they are just waiting to get him into the band. I was particularly impressed by how well he sang with the group --kind of like how Trevor Horn did on Drama (OK, maybe a bit better).
Conclusion? Hey it was better than 'Union' and now that they have three albums out with the new unit, I think it bodes well for more and better stuff in the future.