28 years, 9 months and 2 days ago
Monday, August 29, 1994
Great Woods Center For The Performing Arts
Concert rescheduled from cancelled June 2, 1994 show
This is going to be hard to believe for some, but I think it's worth saying, when reflecting on what went down in Yes After 1980. This show had one performance that lifted off to the same degree that anything I've ever heard them do live ever did. I wouldn't have believed this possible if I hadn't experienced it firsthand, and have to say that the Endless Dream at the end of this show was a transcendental thing. I don't think it's the material that matters, I think it's something that takes place between the particular bodies that are playing that material, and whatever that event is, it happened at this concert for that song. Tales is my favorite Yes album and the 'material' in that relative to Endless DReram couldn't be more different. Didn't matter. This thing elevated, and the Talk-era version of this band can't be written off as a 'post-' anything. It had real power, and Rabin, when you really listen closely to what he actually plays in his leads in concert, is a sorely underestimated guitarist whose immediate emphasis on conspicuous precision tends to distract one from bothering to track his actual note choices and phrasing, especially when his musical thinking is at it's most natural, which is at very high speeds. But if you are an oldtime Tales/Yessongs/Relayer adrenaline junkie who found the studio 80's Yes material too housebroken, check out the live stuff from this tour and see what you get for your trouble. I for my effort to get myself into Great Woods this night was by the end knocked out. Chris knew what he was doing getting involved with Rabin and sometimes a good thing takes a long time to gestate. I think this was one of those projects.
The Boston Herald August 30, 1994
Part of the fun of taking in Yes concerts over the years has revolved around trying to guess who's in the British progressive rock band at any particular moment. In the past there's been everything from the "Everyone Who's Ever Been in Yes Onstage Together" tour to the "No One You've Ever Heard Of" lineup.
Last night's 2-1/2 hour show for nearly 7,000 fans wasn't nearly as radical as those. Instead, it boasted a lineup of Jon, Trevor, Tony, Chris and Alan. The result was a solid show that focused mostly on the Rabin-era Yes, along with a few classic cuts, and several selections from the group's newest recording, Talk.
Though last night's show was a somewhat successful attempt to demonstrate the group isn't content living on past glories, it also revealed a not insignificant flaw. The new material just doesn't have the bite of the old stuff.
Over the years, Rabin has improved as a guitarist, slowing down a little so his ideas can better develop and sink in. He tends to be more of a riff-rocker than longtime Yes axeman Steve Howe. He also gets extra points for delivering an intentionally over-the-top encore of Hendrix's Star Spangled Banner and Purple Haze. Some tunes like Changes and Rhythm of Love fared well, as did the hit Owner of a Lonely Heart. But there wasn't much from the new album that sunk deep, and the omission of Love Will Find a Way was curious, since it's one of the best-known songs the band recorded with Rabin.
The elfin Anderson is looking a little like the late Sam Kinison these days and still dresses like one of the good guys in a Star Wars flick. He's always been a loose cannon, and last night he sometimes acted as if he'd taken a few good hits to the head with a whiffle ball bat before he went onstage. "We used to live on a planet called Zongo," he said in half=jest at one point. AT other times he talked to his audience in a way that no doubt was similar to how Cortez first spoke to native Americans. When he introduced a young buck who added vocals, keyboards and some guitar to last night's mix, Anderson advised the crowd the kid was wearing "invisible pink bunny ears." Nevertheless, the hardcore Yes fans got a good slice of past glories ranging from And You and I and Your Move/I've Seen All Good People to Heart of the Sunrise and a speedy encore version of Roundabout.
Yes has delivered better shows in the area, but my, there have also been worse ones than last night's concert.
The Yes '94 Concert at Great Woods, Manchester, MA -- I haven't yet written about it, but my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed it, maybe a little more than the excellent Union-tour show on the second night in Philadelphia. I was _very_ surprised, did not expect to see such a good show, and although the keyboard solo didn't knock me out the way, say, Wakeman or Moraz solos have, it certainly was quite good and, moreover, a bit of a knockout just due to the fact that it was the guitarist playing it!