This has been perhaps the most difficult of all Yesshows to review, but after 10 years I might as well try.
Someone said of another Talk gig somewhere it had too many "metal" trappings. I honestly can't argue with that - it really did lean heavily on a sort of metal presentation in Charlotte too - but for whatever reason I came away with a more favorable impression it.
Stage design, costumes, Trevor's choice of sound effects and even Jon's morph at the time all added up to an affected metal feel. I suppose in the spirit of staying positive we could say it was yet another demonstration by Yes of their unmatched versatility.
Oddly enough the metal-flecked light show I found one of Yes' three most impressive in my experience. It was certainly aggressive, but it had great beauty, subtlety, imagination and presence. It fit its new music and overall edition of Yes perfectly. The 90125 light shows were also metalized [even more so I thought] and largely failed in these important areas.
An undeniably metal-derivative approach to playing and sound effect didn't dilute one of the most surprisingly melodic and harmonically impressive Yes live presentations ever. I'd even go so far as saying it enhanced somehow. Yes had a collective sound on that tour to trigger more goose bumps than even they usually did. Trevor naturally led the metal aspect, and it actually meshed well with Yes' epic classical/orchestral properties. I especially loved what he did with AYAI's originally acoustic movement bridge. It's absolutely haunting and uncanny. While I respect any purist's opinion, I think Trevor made a profound and not disrespectful statement with it.
Other Yes classics were charged with this same new energy and it worked for all of them. Even OoaLH benefited enormously, a piece my own puritanism never let me like very much.
Several Talk numbers were most impressive and beautiful, with Endless Dream among the tour's two or three highpoints. Talk shares with Tormato a certain flatness in studio but incredible vitality live.
I could go on but I'd say FY's many other posts cover it well. It wasn't the best of Yes tours but I have to say one of the better ones, at least post 1979.
Just below the stage, on either side, two guys with video cameras were filming the whole time.
One thing I remember about the Talk show date in Charlotte, I thought was pretty nifty... Chris had a rear view mirror mounted on his mic stand, I suppose to see Alan so they could stay together, make eye contact during songs while Chris had to face the mic to sing. also, very early in the show... first vocals?...there was definitely synch problem between the tape vocals and live vocals and music. noticed by everyone including the band... there were a few pensive looks on their faces as this was happening. The rest of the performance seemed flawless. Pretty good show.
The Charlotte Talk show opening acts were Hootie & The Blowfish and Peter Wolf.
L Clator Butler Jr
Well, last night, I went with my bass player to see Yes in Charlotte at the Blockbuster Pavilion. It was good to see some people had their priorities straight...after all they -could- have gone to the Woodstock reunion.
Anyway, they stayed pretty true to the setlist, playing Where Will You Be near the end. Anderson said they do not always play this one. do they rotate it with State of Play or something? That was the only Talk track they did not play.
As they were going for the grand fermata at the end of Roundabout, Trevor broke into the famous, feedback-laden dissonant chords of Purple Haze (After riffing to God Save the Queen/My Country 'Tis of Thee) and Jon shouted "It's Woodstock!"
I doubt this will be repeated past the weekend, and I thought you'd get a kick out of it. Jeff, I know you are seeing/have seen them up the road in Raleigh. Maybe you'll get something neat like that too.