I saw Yes last Saturday night in Syracuse. Although I have been a devoted fan since the early 70's, I was apprehensive about how they would sound this time around. Well, from Steve's tremendous riffs during Siberian Khatru I knew I was not going to be disappointed. I was somewhat disappointed by his energy in the last two tours I saw (Union and A,B,W&H) but Saturday he seemed to play with a renewed passion that was truly inspiring. It was great for me personally to see Steve play again with Chris and Alan. Aside from the fact that Chris and Alan are such gifted musicians, they have a chemistry that brings such energy to the band. I'm still amazed by Jon's voice after all these years. He sounded wonderful. It was a slight disappointment not having Wakeman this time around, but having Jon, Steve, Chris and Alan together again more than made up for it in my mind.
As for the set list, I for one was blown away by The Revealing Science of God. Hearing the band do the song live for the first time in over twenty years was a personal thrill for me. The rest of the set was fantastic (I am somewhat surprised that there was nothing at all from Going for the One).
Every time I see the band (I think Saturday was my tenth or eleventh time) I wonder if it will be the last. Based on what I witnessed last Saturday, I only sincerely hope that its not.
Yes performed last night at The Landmark Theater in Syracuse, New York. It was a special show for me because my 17 year old daughter attended with my brother and I. We spotted Jon Anderson dishing out some hugs and 'graphs before the show which made the feeling even better. We could have gotten one I'm sure because he was only 10 feet or so away. We decided to let others (especially a very young 10'ish boy) get his. Jon remarked that he would love to "pack up this theater and take it on the road with them" before beginning a song later on. It is truly a theater with a wonderful charm.
The band played fairly flawlessly (don't mean to infer anything, really!) throughout. I've seen the band 5 times beginning with a Roanoke, Virginia 1974 'Tales From Topographic Oceans' tour. The present tour is the real deal. Steve Howe was magnificent, and seemed to be so involved in his perfectionist form. He sincerely seems to love the band's music. He was immensed in crafting the essence of YES. Chris Squire seemed excited but on an even keel. Ivan seemed to enjoy himself, and pulled off some amazing one-handed riffs that rivaled ANYONE ever playing in the band. Jon's presence is always felt, and seems to be a genuine humorous man away from the stage. Allan White performed a monster drum solo that had Chris Squire kneeling, with both arms outstretched throughout the number, as if to say to all, "Al's the man". My brother and I thought that Billy Sherwood seemed loose.
Siberian Khatru - right on the money (and then some) And You and I - need I say more. an exceptional version. Heart of The Sunrise - Jon's vocals were crystal clear Steve's Solo including The Clap - He proved himself again (as if he had to) Children of Light - loved it Allan White's solo - see above I've Seen All Good People - perfect rendition Roundabout - the best attention given this song ever....period! Starship Trooper - my favorite Yessong - and yet another way to play it. It never seems like the same version twice, done live. The sound quality was fantastic, with perfect volume and mix. The stage show with the acoustic shell, and the different light patterns and hues made for a beautiful sight. The real emphasis was on the music (where it should be). A very entertaining show, and my daughter is now a real YES fan. I had to buy her a tour T-Shirt. She liked Billy and Jon. We had 6th row seats. If they come back, I'll be there again! Long live YES. They don't make 'em like this anymore. Go see them. You can't go wrong.
I could not have picked a better play list ( maybe one tune from Going For The One- Parallels? ). Blown away by The Revealing Science of God. Steve and Chris looked SO energized. Steve was unbelievable. The chemistry gave me chills. My favorite gig since the June 12 1976 outdoor extavaganza in Philly. Unfortuanately, I found this site after the show or I would have gone to NYC and Philly.
Last night, there were no significant surprises at the show, but Steve Howe started his solo spot with "Diary of a Man Who Vanished" which was, I believe, a first for this tour. Good tune!
All in all, a fine show!!
Oh, by the way, after Steve's turn, Billy came out and played his new solo he'd been working on. I think it was an A chord. But nobody could hear it. :-)
Sat 97/11/8 11am EST USA Customs, Champlain, NY
Customs male officer #1: "So where you goin' in the US?"
Eddie: "I'm going to see a show tonight in Syracuse and then sleep overnight at friends in Rochester and tomorrow I'm back home".
Cmo1: "So what show are you goin' to see tonite?"
Cmo1: [repeats the above question]
Eddie: "Oh, please excuse me, sir, I'm really sorry about this! The band are called Yes!"
Customs female officer #1: "Hey, John, I think you should go there more often, I have kids who go there tonight to that show!"
Eddie: "May I go, sir?"
Travelling through beautiful, Adirondack-mountainous north part of the state of New York. Trying to do my assignment for "Digital Signal Processing", but we get "Dante's Peak" as for a movie. It's rainy. By the time we reach the Troy/Rensselaer-Albany-Schenectady triangle, everything is wet around. The State of New York is a medieval country. They use to take tolls from drivers upon entering cities and towns.
7:15pm, 815 Erie Boulevard East, Syracuse, NY
I spot my friend waiting for me and wave my hand. Later he told me "I thought I was just answering waving hand to someone in the bus, but later I saw it was you actually". We haven't seen each other in 3.75 years.
7:30pm, 362 Solina Street South
I really like my new, black, XXL Yes T-shirt. The theatre is beautiful, with inside decoration evoking Asian-Indian art. I'm on W114 at the balcony. From over there, I feel like I'm in the building of the National Theatre in my hometown.
Probably the colour light show that I already noticed recently with Tull is the state-of-the-art in this field. Yes', however, is more vivid, more dynamic, more varied, more visually impressive and pleasant than Tull's. So is the showmanship where I understood why people reported "Squire steals the show" on the newsgroup:
Jon Anderson - clap choreography Steve Howe - grasshopper choreography Chris Squire - black giant swan (or eagle for this matter) punk choreography (I'm wondering whether his ballet master's name is actually Melissa Squire) Alan White - bumble bee choreography Billy Sherwood - leather choreography Igor Khoroshev - cape choreography
As usual, people around me want beers, beers, and more beers. After shouting "Rock'n'roll", "Liar", and "Close to the Edge" to Jon, the audience behaves gradually better and many Yessongs we once knew so well end in many people's standing up, applauding and shouting "Bravo!". Squire looks incredible. I guess he must be an ex-punk in his late 20s, from high in the sky where I sit showbinocularless. My eyes are thirsty of his black, X-legged choreography that counterparts bass chords at the right moment, moment, moment... Squire duets Status Quo style with Sherwood, back-to-back style with Jon, spreads his arms widely as if the wingspread of a black eagle while kneeling face turned to Alan absorbing Alan's drum solo, and kneeling again for his duet with Howe; the harmonica bit also occurs, of course, at the right "Sad preacher..." time. Yes are here. Back mostly in black. Yes, with Yes even black can be made a colour of happiness. Jon wears light-blue-jeans-and-vest over a white stage outfit, but later comes with orange vest and white pants. In the end, Steve Howe wears a Ian Anderson-Little-Light-Music-circa-1992-1994 multicoloured coat. Igor starts mixed way too under, but ends up being heard clearly, fortunately for the completeness of my perception of the artistic onstage act as a whole. He only flaws a chord during the "We moved fast" synth part and obviously gets a looking back from Howe. Nothing serious, though, as Howe gets closer to Igor during the "Wurm" interplay. Fans often talk about Rick's and Steve's ability (or competition for this matter) in playing zillions of chords per second. I, for one, try to
This was the fifth time I have seen Yes and I would have to say this was the best show. The band showed alot of energy and clearly was having a good time. I knew the entire set list so there were no surprises there, but the vitality that was there in such old classics as HOTS and AYAI still blew me away. The sound was awesome. No complaints about the mix at all. Igor was very impressive. Steve stole the night. The crowd was on their feet through most of his solo section. Jon seemed to be in a silly mood. He was practicing his "Beatle bow" after one of the tunes. and made 2 thinly veiled drug references-what a wild man! I can't say enough about this show. Having read all the previous reviews I was looking for something to be negative about, but I got to tell you these guys can still do it after all these years and I can only hope that next year I'm heading out to another Yes show.
My second Yes concert this tour, and I'm in my ususal 'after-Yes-concert' depression, (does anyone else feel like this after a concert?) so I thought I'd write a few notes. I'll try not to include any spoilers, in case there's one or two of you left out there who *haven't* been spoiled yet! (Sorry, I just finished, and there IS spoilers!..Sorry) Before the concert, an interesting happening...Jon walked out from the corner backstage door, and walked over to meet with someone about 8 rows down in the center. Virtually no one saw this transpire, which was amazing. Only one or two of us even saw him! So he went and met a few people, most of which were women, and embraced and held one as she held him side by side. This woman was very petite, I'd say in her early 30's at most, and was VERY great looking. After a short time, people started approaching him, and he ended up heading back towards the stage door, stopping along the way to say hello to the people in the orchestra pit, which seemed to surprise many of them (as their seats were down below the area Jon walked). This time they have a huge banner covering the stage w/the Yes logo and the announcement at the bottom of when KTA II's coming out. It rolls up when the concert starts. They had the same nice nature sounds before the show with the occasional vocals (which sound terrific), but they didn't have the "bell" countdown sortof thing they had in Albany. I missed that, it was exciting...built the anticipation way up! They changed the first song, as has been noted in other postings...and for those of you who know what the opening song used to be, they still do play it, and other than that, I can't think of any other changes. I did notice the "Drama" minute's worth or so this time, I must've missed it last time (or likely forgot, in the midst of excitement). But that little Drama bit, expecially since it was Jon's vocals was interesting...after all, it's the only time I've ever heard him sing a Yes song that he wasn't a part of originally! This audience was a bit more subdued than Albany, but every song still got some sort of standing ovation afterword...and "Owner" got much more of a standing ovation than in Albany. I still am blown away by "Soon..." It is absolutely beautiful. Speaking of beautiful...another nite of countless babes at the concert. This time I actually sat next to a seemingly single lady, and hit it off nicely, unfortunately she wasn't my type (and I likely not hers! ;P). Still, lots of great looking ladies. I couldn't imagine meeting a female Yes fan...she'd probably be my soul mate! Welp my depression continues till tomarrow...when I go to Buffalo to see them again!!! Unfortunately, that'll be the last time this tour, unless they have a second leg. Still hoping for a tour book by Buffalo! (not gonna happen). What a band...I thank every day that they exist! Wonderful concert, and now I'm sad again...