Drove up from Richmond. I remember I had a splitting headache and could not find an aspirin. Warning: Never listen to Yes with a headache! I love this band but I hated this show! It was my last Yes show after seeing them 11 times. I'm not sure it was just the headache though, as my buddy thought the show was lame. We had Pavillion seats near the back and they were good. A policeman gave me some advil and my drive back was great, in fact I listened to Yesshows CD on the drive home...that I enjoyed. :o)
I was at this show and thought it was great. Although not listed above, I'm pretty sure they played "Hearts" at this show. I remember being pleased since it was the first time I'd ever heard it live.
Yeah, this was not their most shining moment, unlike when I saw them at Merriweather 8 years later on the Full Circle tour. This time they were essentially the back-up band for Rabin. I remember the stage being bookended by two rather superfluous players: Kaye (in jogging shorts!) and Billy Sherwood. The setlist speaks for itself; although it is missing "Hearts." I do remember "Endless Dream" being particularly impressive, though. "Purple Haze," however, was a laugh riot.
Without a doubt this was the most disappointing Yesshow I ever saw. It was so strange, so unlike the love vibe of a special Yes night, I left early. I think it was the Purple Haze surprise that did me in.
The concert was advertised as having some kind of revolving sound or surround sound for the pavilion seats (a steep 42 bucks). I remember being notably underwhelmed by what sounded like a mix merely travelling in a circle on specially hung speaker cabinets that were out in the audience. The setlist was dominated by the Rabin material and the stageset was full of metal grates and metal ramps, lots of black and silver, gear more suitable for Motley Crue than Yes.
Jon tried to put on the traditional angelic vibe but it was very incongruous with Rabinís effortless racey chops and all that metal everywhere. The old hippie thing was almost laughably out of place and I thought Jon effaced unawares how hollow it rang in this context. I felt so bad for Jon trying to bridge the old fans with the increasingly young ones, it was just destined not to work. Is it any surprise that Trevor and the gang parted ways after this tour and album, and old Yes would regroup back to basics, taking stock of what is was they did best? Just like a consulting firm that had over-adapted to the market.
The ego stuff even rubbed off on Chris Squire who held an early note in Heart of the Sunrise so long the crowd began to roar while he lifted his hand egging them on. Rockstar hamminess might seem harmlessly playful to some, but to me it changed the import of the piece entirely. It was no longer about Sharp Distance and all that wonderful poetry, but about Chris Squire.
Rabinís handling of ďAnd You and IĒ I remember being more than technically competent, but it was missing baroque air and life. Felt more like heíd been hired to cover the material instead of being the material. He played it like it was too easy. It was this quality of the show, of an obvious, showy kind of virtuoso, dominating a band that was doing what it thought it needed to, in order to survive in a world changing much faster than at any previous time, that I remember most.
Trevor was a very nice chap, good vibe, very impressive and all, just didnít belong with aging English hippies. Weird night Iíd rather forget. My apologies for sounding like a gnashing critic, but I must say I admire Forgotten Yesterdays more than any other Yes tour log site for the possibility of credible candor.
Sunday night Matt once again had the pleasure to see YES in concert. The line-up this time consisted of Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Tony Kaye, Alan White and Trevor Rabin.
The concert was good, but nearly as good as the Union tour that Gil, Dave and I saw in Chicago three years ago. There is no substitute for Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe, period.
There were some performances of special note, though. Trevor Rabin, whom I have heard plays several instruments besides the guitar, did his solo on keyboards. He is a much better keyboardist than Kaye (which doesn't say much, but I thought it was a rank on Kaye to have the guitarist do a keyboard solo better than the keyboardist's). Much to my surprise, Rabin began And You And I on the *keyboard*. I immediately recognized it, even before the distinctive drum foot petal notes from White, but it sure is a new approach. He then proceeded to play all the guitar parts on an electric. He played the electric to sound like an acoustic for those parts, but also used the electric to extend and echo some of the notes. In sum, it was the best performance of And You And I that I have ever seen. For me to think it was better than the one we saw with Wakeman and Howe, you know it must have been damn good.
They also performed Heart of the Sunrise off of Fragile. I had never heard them do that one before, and it was extraordinary. Chris Squire, always the consummate entertainer, really has a lead role in that song. Who would think that a bass guitar could be the lead of any song?
They also played a few numbers off their new album (Talk). One song, Walls, is really good (albeit fairly simple lyrics). Some of the other songs *really* approach hard rock. They have screaming guitars that would make Metallica proud. I didn't really catch it on the album because I can play it at a volume I select, but in concert they were blowing me out of my seat. It sounds good, but it is definitely a new route for YES taken by Trevor Rabin.
The one (bogus!) encore started out with the riffs from Love Will Find A Way (which is a pretty cool song off Big Generator), but then Rabin ripped into Roundabout (again on the electric). Now, here's the part you will not believe: as part of the solo break in Roundabout, they began playing Purple Haze, and Jon Anderson sang one verse with the crowd shouting in unison, "'Scuse me, while I kiss the sky." If that doesn't say it all about how YES has really turned toward hard rock...(in Roundabout, of all songs)
On the downside, Jon Anderson sounded extremely nervous and lame for the first two or three songs of the evening. I was really worried that the night was going to be a sleeper disaster. He then got up to speed, but it was strange for a guy who has been singing for about 25 years. His voice did sound a little strained, but I couldn't tell if that was age or a result of the concert circuit. I counted six albums they had played material from. Not bad. Course, I was thinking how nice it would have been if they had played Awaken off of Going for the One again. Strange crowd, too. Mix of old and young. The old seemed snooty, even toward me. They, however, didn't seem to have a clue about the good old stuff. When they played And You and I, Elizabeth and I were the only ones standing in the first twenty rows besides the front row. It was cool for me because I got to make a small statement that there were stalwarts who appreciated the classics. Jon Anderson and I waved to each other during the song.