I recall back in 97 at the New Brunswick show during Wurm Steve is focused and wailing and it apparently comes time for Steve to let Billy have a bit of a solo. Steve glances at Billy and Billy is looking down under his hair unaware that he is supposed to pick up the lead. Steve recovers, starts wailing again until the next chance to hand it off to Billy. This time Billy is awake and does a minimal solo on cue. It was sorta sad.
On Sunday, Oct. 19th I took a three hour drive to see Yes in New Brunswick, NJ. This is the second time for me on this tour already. I wont go into as much detail as I did on the Hartford review.
First of all, the State Theatre was nice. I needed to pick up my Yesworld tickets, and each line I stood in seemed to be the wrong one. It would have been nice if they posted a sign like they did in Hartford as to what line has the fan club tickets. Unlike Hartford, however, everyone at the venue was ultra-nice and polite. The State Theatre houses many events like ballets and other sort of shows. Seeing a rock concert here was a totally different experience than seeing one at the Meadows in Hartford. They did not frisk anyone entering the theatre and the ladies who took the tickets would all say, "Thank You." Once the doors to the theatre opened, the ushers would walk you to your seat. The theatre had a main level and a balcony. I was in the main level, six rows back on the left side. Real good seats! (I was in the 13th row in Hartford.)
As for the concert itself, the band seemed to be much tighter tonight. Igor was still low in the mix in the beginning, but seemed to be turned up during the last few songs. Chris' bass was excellent as usual! His sound is just incredible and he is a real show man on stage. Steve had some technical troubles with his guitars in a few places, but that did not stop him from a stellar performance. Jon seems to be singing better than ever, and Alan was putting down some really nice grooves. Jon's introduction to songs are always entertaining. At one point he said he almost forgot to come back on stage because what he was watching backstage on TV was so good. Another time he was giving football scores, commenting how well the Jets played, and how there are so many players ("hundred of players.."). Once again, Billy was seen but seldom heard. At one of the quieter parts of a song I was watching Billy strum the guitar but couldn't hear anything. I wonder if it was even turned on.
America - This was neat. Jon commented before the song how the band was driving down the New Jersey turnpike at 3 AM that morning. Then every time Jon sang the line "..counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike..." the crowd would roar.
Open Your Eyes- The band seemed much tighter on this one than they did in Hartford
Heart Of The Sunrise- This was added and "No Way We Can Lose" was dropped. Although this is one of the all time best ever Yes songs, I was sorry to see the new song dropped. They only were playing three new songs as it is, and then they drop one. It's like they're telling the world that the song isn't any good. I don't know how that goes about promoting their new album. Anyway, this one was played flawlessly. Igor hit all the piano parts perfectly, something that I don't think Tony Kaye ever did.
Ivan' solo- Children Of Light- The crowd seemed to enjoy this one a lot more this time.
Owner Of A Lonely Heart- This was moved here from its previous spot before Steve's solo.
Soon- Once again this song loses something by not following the middle section of "Gates Of Delirium." I think the song is much better as part of "Gates" than it is as a stand alone song. I wouldn't mind if they dropped the solos and decided to play all of "Gates" instead.
The Revealing Science Of God- Igor was much louder this time. Everyone could hear how good this guy really is!
Another excellent performance buy these guys. I don't think that they = can put on a bad show. I'll be in Albany for the next one. Enjoy the = show.
Well, its been a while since I was so amazed. Yes at the State Theater in New Brunswick was more than I had anticipated, and having remained abreast of the state of Yes since the mid 70s I was a little apprehensive. I will not alude to setlists and wardrobe comments. Basically I am quite pleased at the energy of both the band and the audience. Greatly missing my favorite yesguy(Rick) but believing that I would not have had the opportunity to experience the magic that a yesshow provides in such a small venue if Rick remained committed this time around. I ignored all the posts of the setlists prior to this show so was completely happy with the Tales excerpts. Sure I could think of many other tunes they could have done but over 2 1/2 hours of great music was more than I hoped for. My wife, who puts up with my loud Yes playing on the home stereo and is a sometimes fan, was also quite taken. She simply stated, Steve Howe is unbelievable. This is quite a rave. Chris played perhaps the best I have ever seen him and Jon sounded like he is in a time capsule, rollback 20 years and its the same. The new members held their own, perhaps if they were not there we would have noticed them more. Crowd was decent, venue was loose and sound was really good on the floor. Keys could have been mixed a bit higher, lights could have been more impressive but after some reflection this ranks as one of the best Yes experiences I have witnessed. Next round Carnegie Hall??
Last nights (10/19/97) Yes show at the intimate State Theatre was inspiring, the band were in great form, they're sound was excellent and it's a pleasure to see Steve Howe back in the lineup. I have seen Yes since 1974 during the Relayer tour (I'm used to not seeing Rick) and this is the closest I've ever been to the band. The stage was perfect for this time in their careers, understated but artfully done with the backdrop tent and colorful images during the show. Yes showed a sense of maturity which I appreciate, also a musicianship I find amazing and a very human quality, a positive experience this evening.
I think a lot of people were surprised at the opening tune of "Rythm of Love", it sounded great though, and not many people knew the set list, including myself, so you weren't quite sure what they were going to play next. "Siberian Khatru" the next song was awesome, as was "America" and I knew right then this band was on tonight. Each core member showed why they are such an integral part of this music we know and love.
Jon's voice was crystal clear, he is in tremendous spirits and obviously a very big part of this bands creative force. Steve was right on target with his intricate riffs, which were intensely played, and after seeing him play "Siberian Khatru" I had already gotten my moneys worth. No one else can play like Steve, a fantastic musician and he was into it this night, even dancing around a bit.
Chris sounded great, strong bass playing throughout that hit me right in the chest and heart. He was in great spirits as well, smiling and communicating with all, he also moved around the stage alot interacting with his bandmates, having a wonderful time up there on stage. You can see and hear what an excellent rythm Chris and Alan have together, very in tune with each other, and drove the music beautifully. I always appreciate Alan White more after seeing him in concert, dynamite drummer, brings so much to the music.
During "Heart of the Sunrise" with its starting and stopping and starting again sequences, the bands timing sounded perfect to me as they rambled and winded into this very intricate number. I hope that everyone can appreciate the complexity of this song, as well as many others they played last night. These are true musicians at work bringing us works of art and I've read some really harsh statements about the shows from some reviews, perhaps the band has really spoiled us over the years.
Ivan fit in well, I agree his sound was too low, its early yet, what we heard of him sounded great though, a nice fit for the band. Billy added some real nice harmony to the vocals, especially the new songs. He was definitly a background player at this point. I'm excited to hear more of the new material on the new albums to see were the music is heading.
Overall, I loved the show, with highlights being "HoTS", Steve's solo/"Leaves of Green" (beautiful music), "Soon" (very moving), Chris's solo/incl. Temp. Fug. and Sound Chaser, "The Revealing..." (its been 23 yrs., turn the record over), they really cooked during "America", "Roundabout" and "Starship Trooper".
I would have liked to hear a different encore, maybe "South side of the Sky", "Release Release" or "Survival", but maybe next show. Great show, great band, great time!
I saw the following [guitars Howe used] in New Brunswick last Sunday:
The venerable Gibson ES175D Gibson ES345TD Gibson Les Paul (all Rosewood) Fender Dual Professional Pedal Steel Fender Telecaster - blond Fender Stratocaster - red Kohno No. 10 Acoustic Scharpach SKD Cutaway Acoustic Levin LTS5 12-string Acoustic Coral Sitar Guitar Portuguese 12-string Acoustic
May have been others -- but these I'm sure of.
New Brunswick Yes Concert - 10/19/97
A pleasant evening of music was had by all at the comfortable, intimate surroundings of the State Theater for the third date of the tour. The venue itself was a highlight -- clean, easy to get to for one who knows New Brunswick, and casual.
With no art exhibit in the lobby, we proceeded to our fourth row, aisle seats with virtually a perfect view of the entire stage. The stage setup was simple -- keyboards on a riser stage right and Alan's drums stage left. A cone or tent of white projection surfaces rose from the floor through three tiers of lights. Throughout the night, rotating/expanding gels were projected multiply as well as other lighting effects. A nice compliment to the show, they didn't call attention to themselves unneccessarily.
Starting about 15 minutes late, the band opened with Rhythm of Love. As the song is very bass and rhythm guitar oriented with vocal harmonies, the version was adequate, though not spectacular with the current line-up. Howe attempted to add in some new parts, but was mixed low. (As a side note, I did find the version of this song on the Talk tour to be quite a driving Yes song, with great bass/guitar interplay). Billy Sherwood came forth to do an outfront guitar lick, one of his very few instrumental moments of the evening.
For fashion buffs, Chris now sports close cropped hair and appears to have lost some weight. Why the man wears black stretch pants is beyond me, as was the white socks and near slippers that he was wearing. Steve also has trimmed his locks, which quickly became wild during the second number, Siberian Khatru. Jon's voice seemed on from the start, and is was far into the evening that I realized that Alan's drumming was less pounding than the past few tours -- I think he matched his style to the refound musicality of the band, as well as the size of the hall.
Jon gave a long introduction to America, and the group appeared to really hit their stride. Far better than the version on KTA I, the music gelled and achieved the classic "larger than life" Yes presence. The audience, naturally, cheered at the "NJ turnpike" lines. The audience was mannerly, not standing for extended periods during the songs.
Open Your Eyes followed, and was a bit curious. Having only heard snippets from the YesWorld site, it was to me, essentially, a previously unheard piece. Accessible, yet Yessish and not YesWestish, I have hopes that they will achieve continued airplay and benefit from the exposure.
The main mystery of the night was Billy Sherwood's subdued role -- after introducing him with his co-writing role with Chris for the song, Billy seemed to fade back and let Jon & Chris carry the song, with some discreet notes from Steve.
And You and I, as well as the earlier Siberian Khatru, showed that Igor had learned the essential Wakeman licks, and that the soundcrew was mixing him hot enough at the appropriate times. The thrill of having Howe playing with the band seemed to reduce the role of keyboards, and as with YesWest, an overt keyboard presence was not required.
The older audience seemed to take a mad dash for the restrooms at this point, missing the opening notes of Masquerade from Steve. He continued with The Clap, re-interpreting it ever so slightly as his style evolves. Steve started the Leave of Green segment from Tales, and was joined by Jon and Igor for a very poignant rendition. Though not as warm and flowing in the vocals as the original, it was the second magical moment of the evening. For reasons unknown, Jon did return with slight different clothing.
Jon at this point mentioned the wonderful people he had worked with over the years, citing Chris and Steve, introducing Igor for a far too short solo that seemed to be all of 30 seconds. The balance of the band returned and played Children of the Light. Jon stated that it was going to be on a "compilation" that was going
I've never been pissed off at the audience at a concert before, but the audience last night in New Brunswick were obnoxious and rude the whole time. I don't have a problem with pot smoking, but at one point, Jon was telling a story about the recording of And You and I, and I couldn't here a word because people kept shouting out requests. Damn, let the band play what the band wants to play, and let the fans listen to whatever Jon has to say. Unlike the intro to Heart of the Sunrise on YesYears IV, this really sounded interesting. And I missed it because someone wanted to here something called "The Rainbow Song".
Also, I think it's just rude to walk out of the show during the new material. That's just my opinion, but I think it would nice if we just sat still and listened to the new stuff with just a little bit of respect. For crying out loud, nobody had ever heard Children of the Light before, and people were walking out before in really got started.
'No Way We Can Lose' was dropped in favor of Heart of the Sunrise. A lot of people took cigarette breaks or whatever during Children of the Light, which really pissed me off. Fair enough if you don't like the song, but these people (I presume) had never even heard it before, and they weren't even listening. Not many great bands of the 70s even bother to put out new material anymore. It's the least we can do as fans to be respectful of the new work, even if we can't be totally supportive. I, however, am totally supportive. I loved Children of the Light, but what I could make out of the lyrics were kind of lame.
Steve sounded great, period. I thought he sounded lousy on KtA, and I was really worried about this show. But Siberian Khatru was infinitely better than the random, directionless waste of time we heard on KtA. I'm probably in the minority with this KtA/Steve bashing, but that's how I feel (no pun intended). The guitarist on KtA was clapped out and past his prime. The guitarist last night (and I don't mean Sherwood) was an absolute phenomenon.
The only thing I didn't like was Alan White. His solo was fantastic, but I don't like drum solos. I'd much rather have a solo within a song, like Alan does on Sound Chaser, or Bill Bruford does on Crimson's Indiscipline. Most of the time, Alan was fine. But he really messed up a couple of songs. His double-time feel interpretation of the climax of Long Distance Runaround almost made me cry. His playing on the "along the drifting clouds" section of Roundabout was similarly poor. I was actually more impressed with Igor's percussive abilities here, but I don't even know what he was playing. His sticks were moving, though, he had a very interesting sticking pattern going, which looked really cool in silhoutette. Also, while his hard rock version of Heart of the Sunrise was forgiveable due to inexperience on YesSongs, it still lacks all of the subtle power and creative genius of Bruford's original interpretation. To his credit, he nailed The Revealing Science of God, and obviously brought a lot of energy and enthusiasm to his playing.
HotS was a welcome addition to the set. The show was high energy and very representative of a long career. Still would like to have seen CttE and YinD. I am listenening to the tape I made of the show right now and although it was my impression, like your's, that the keys were turned down in the mix, the tape reveals a muck higher place in the mix.
Looking forward to the Tower and the Beacon shows and a show to be added at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark in December (hey, it's on the $25 T-shirts).
1. The Venue and the Stage: The State Theatre is an old time music or movie hall that is very pretty, but has dreadful acoustics if you're sitting under the balcony, as I was. It was weird to see Yes in such a small venue. Unlike some others here, I thought the minimalist stage setup was appropriate...lots of Roger Dean inspired fiberglass would have looked pretty silly in a small theater. The "tent" used to portray the psychedelic lighting effects in the background was highly effective IMHO and fit the music well.
2. The new songs. As at Boston, only OYE and Children of Light were played. They rushed a bit through OYE, which diminished the impact and dynamics of the song a bit. Children of Light is an *old* Jon Anderson song also known as "Distant Thunder." Jon has performed this acoustically before, as documented on the Perfect Union boot. A really good song performed well by the band, IMHO.
3. Steve Howe was ON FIRE. All this stuff about his diminished capacity (which up to now I believed) is bollocks, as far as I can tell. He uses a cleaner sound than during the 70s, but his playing last nite was absolutely superb, as good as I have ever heard him. He also was quite animated on stage, and but for his reduced "follicle capacity", looked and sounded much like the old Steve we heard 20 years ago.
4. Jon Anderson was in fine voice, and didn't babble mindlessly between songs. He is amazing, period.
5. Ivan. I agree with others that the mix didn't do him justice, but only occasionally. He was there when he needed to be. The guy is tremendously talented (his work during Children of Light was especially notable), and is definitely a guy that Yes should bring on as a full member.
6. Billy. Okay, he is something of a fifth wheel on stage, but his backing vox do add a lot.
7. Chris and Alan. Not much need be said here, they were fantastic and right on the mark all night.
8. The setlist. When I read the spoilers after the Hartford show, my spirits initially sank...I mean, opening with "Rhythm of Love?" I needn't have worried. It's a funny 'looking' setlist, but it worked well in practice. HOTS was a good addition, as it always works well in concert. I wouldn't have minded a few more obscurities, but hey, I'm a fanatic, I guess. I have a zillion boots with all of the standard Yes chestnuts on them, but y'know, there is nothing like hearing these songs live, even if I've heard them several times before. The fact was, the only low-energy point in the show was, oddly enough, OoaLH! The entire rest of the show was moving from strength to strength.
Finally, the bottom line. GO SEE THIS SHOW!!!!!! Don't let a few of the sourpusses here dissuade you. Is it Roosevelt Stadium '76? No, but it was a damn fine show--much sharper than Yes have played in many a moon, including SLO and the Union tour, IMHO. Hell, hearing RSOG performed live is an experience that cannot be duplicated on recording, and was entirely worth the ticket price *by itself*.
I was sitting front row, balcony center and could easily see the whole band. at the very beginning, it looked like Ivan was motioning to someone to turn him up. but, no such luck. there seemed to be points in the show where he did get the volume boost but it didn't last long, and it wasn't in the right places. I can't tell you how disappointed i was during Wurm when i had to strain to hear the keyboards !!!! now, judging by his SHORT solo bit, he is an accomplished pianist. i was impressed by what i heard, but unfortunately, it just wasn't enough for me. i hope they get the message to turn him up for the next show (for me that's the 25th), i think i'm going to make a posterboard sign that says "Turn Ivan UP!!" and bring it with me :)
I had the pleasure of seeing Yes earlier this evening at the State Theater in New Brunswick, NJ. I have seen YES many times since 1978, but this was the first time in a small venue (relative to the Spectrum and Madison Square Garden)- well now thinking about it I did see them in the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. Anyway, the sound quality alone was enough to make this a standout concert, and the band was, for the most part, in top form. I would have to agree with many of the comments I've read here on AMY re: the first two shows. I won't repeat them all here. I believe the set list was identical to the second night (Boston). I will just state a couple of observations that I made.
Jon Anderson- His voice was in a great shape, and he didn't mess up the lyrics. I did notice that he banters with the audience in a much more casual manner these days. I remember when everything had a very cosmic slant to it. Now he's talking about the Jets playing a good game today and how he's a 49'ers fan. He made it a point, during his introduction to America, that he would be singing about the NJ turnpike. It WAS kind of an exciting part of the song to hear ( come on, we get dumped on in NJ, and it's always been nice to hear Yes sing our name), but I think it would have been much better to have just performed the song and let the moment happen spontaneuosly.
Chris Squire- A high point of this tour. He looks rejuvinated and had incredible playing energy. But what was with all the kneeling in front of everyone during their solos? Someone else had commented on his rediculous outfit, i.e. wearing slippers with no socks. Well, at least he had socks on tonight. He honestly seemed to be really enjoying the whole show.
Steve Howe- I agree with comments that he should just shave off that longer hair on the sides, it really doesn't go with the bald top. I am no guitar expert, but I feel he just doesn't have the energy and technique that he showed in the seventies. I did however find his playing tonight to be more than competant- I thought he did a really good job. The highlight of the evening for me was when after playing Masquerade, he commented that it was off the Union album, then he paused and, in a very funny way, said "Really". It was a very funny dig at Union- did he do that in Hartford or Boston?
Alan White- Well, he was Alan White. What more could I say.....
Billy Sherwood- I have no idea what this guy was even there for. He made very little contribution to the performance. He had a couple of solos that Howe could have easily handled, and was otherwise mixed way down so as to not even matter. Visually, he didn't even fit in on the stage. He looked grungey and out of place. Honestly, his presence actually made me long for Trevor Rabin! (That's how little he gave to the performance) On the positive side- he didn't hurt the music, and actually did provide a nice fill to accompany Howe at the end of Starship Trooper.
Ivan K.- This for me was the major letdown of the show- not his playing- but the fact that it was mixed down so low! At the volume they let him play, I REALLY missed Wakeman. Ivan seemed pretty good when you could hear him, but it just wasn't often enough. Howe and Squire were turned way up and the Keyboards were way down. I suddenly understood why YES hadn't gotten a Jobson or Downes to join the tour. They obviously wanted someone who would just be so honered to play with YES that they would do what they were told. Obviously, they just wanted some Keyboard fill, with no one to steal any attention form the rest of the group. With a strong Guitarist and Bassist, Yes has never made the Keyboards the main focus of the music, but it's always been a very important part. Not so on this tour. For example, during major Keyboard solos in HOTS, you could hear Ivan playing them- but just barely through Howe's guitar. And they left the spotlight on Howe everytime. Then they only give him about thirty secon