This was my 3rd show of the Open Your Eyes tour--I'd seen them in Chicago and Indianapolis also. I was well versed on what to expect by this show, but knowing that didn't dim my enjoyment. My particular memories of this concert involved the stunning, ornate beauty of the Fox Theater--a perfect setting for a Yes concert! Jon proved himself surprisingly aware of his surroundings when he commented on how beautiful the theater was. Of course, all of that ornamentation at the Fox is painted plaster, and during the earth-shaking low bass keys on And You and I, a small piece of the ceiling gave way and hit some woman in the head about 2 rows in front of me! She and her date left their seats at that point, but they were back by the next song, as I recall.
This was my second Yes concert. I went with my fiancee, brother and several Yes-loving friends. I thought Billy Sherwood was a great addition to the touring band and missed Rick Wakeman. Steve Howe's solo feature was the uber-solo, mixing everything acoustic that I love about the man's playing. I thought it was a good mix of old stuff with new stuff from Keys II and Open Your Eyes. I think I was spoiled from '91's Union tour, but this was a sensational show as well.
This was my 5th Yes event (I've seen 3 tours since Generator plus a Steve solo show), and by far this was the best Yes experience I've ever had (apart from a few disruptions from nearby fans who were stoned/drunk out of their mind!)
The choice for the Fox Theater for the St. Louis concert had a lot to do with how much I enjoyed it. The sound was perfect, and the group I was with had, IMHO, the perfect vantage point - dead center up on the mezzanene four rows back from the railing.
The Yes men were in top form and were clearly enjoying themselves on stage. Jon's voice was as strong as ever. Never waivering. I don't think he even screwed up the lyrics this time! :) Chris' and Alan's playing was emaculate - "Whitefish" sounding so much better than it ever had before! Steve was just pure magic - the classiest one of them all! Billy Sherwood filled out the harmonies very well and did all the Rabin Parts justice, but otherwise he didn't leave too much of an impression with me.
Igor, on the other hand, won the audition! I hope they can keep this guy, cause he's the most worhty successor to Wakeman since, well, Wakeman imself. He may even surpass him! He certainly knows how to program keyboards, because most of the sounds were very true to the original sounds in the recordings - especially the moog sounds in "And You and I" and the piano on "Heart Of The Sunrise". His organ work also reminds me of Kaye's work on the early albums.
"Firebird Suite" - Set the Way Back Machine to 1973! I was too young back then to have even heard of Yes, but this classic concert opening makes me feel like I'm back there in time!
"Siberian Khatru" - I finally get to see this live! Steve's end solo very jazzy and not at all spotty as it was on Keys 1.
"Rhythm of Love" - Glad to see they haven't forgot about Big Generator! The keyboard levels wern't really up enough cause I could barely hear that neat "horn" part.
"America" - very true to the original (Yes' version, that is) - even down to the fade ending.
"OYE" - this was the first time I ever heard this tune. I was impressed.
"And You And I" - One of the highlights! Again - true to the original (I suspect that the piano during the "moog" solo during "The Preacher The Teacher" was from a tape. Not a complaint, mind you, cause it was nice to hear it in there.)
"Heart Of The Sunrise" - What year are we in again? ;) Squire, of course, was such a tease with this - milking it for all it was worth before he even played a note of his solo.
Steve Solo spot including "Mood For A Day" and "Clap". A real treat! Steve at his most intimate. He did two other songs - one I recognize from "Not Necessarry Acoustic" but I can't recall the title.
"Children Of Light" - A more simplified version compared to studio recording. Jon dedicated it to "Jane, his wife" who was out in the audience.
Igor Solo - Very impressive. Along with a classical and jazzy style he brings in a little New Age influence in the group, which is not that bad a thing.
"Long Distance Runaround" - nice segue from the solo spot. Steve's delay solo at the end being very beautiful!
"Whitefish" - again, very emaculate. Alan pulls out the excellent drum fill from "Big Generator" during his solo!
"Owner of A Lonely Heart" - They finally got the samples right! One thing some friends and I have been looking forward to for over a decade is Steve ripping thru a solo in "Owner"! I was almost in tears! A dream come true at last! :)
"Revealing Science Of God" - pretty much a religious experience!
"Road Crew Song"/"I've Seen All Good People" - Thank god they each do a lil solo in between the ISAGP's at the end!
"Starship Trooper" - a very pleasant surprise. Very nice trade off of solos between Steve and the new boys.
Overall, a very impressive and p
A single yellow rose was the highlight of my latest Yes concert experience last evening in St. Louis. This was the 7th time I've had the opportunity to see Yes live. I have been an avid fan of the band since the age of thirteen and this group of highly skilled musicians never cease to amaze me. I cannot explain the excitement I experienced the day I purchased 4th row seats for the concert. I took off work early the day of the concert and what an emotional roller coaster ride transpired during those pre-concert hours. I was initially excited, then nervous, then very agitated during the drive to the concert venue. The concert was held at the majestic Fox Theater in St. Louis. The first sight we saw was the theater marquee announcing the band's 8:00 P.M. performance. Needless to say, this definitely got the adrenaline flowing. After parking, I escorted my wife and our children into the theater. Unfortunately, we had to wait outside about 30 minutes for the doors to open.
Once inside we were overwhelmed by the beauty of the lobby before making a beeline for the souvenir stand. They had several t-shirt designs, a sweatshirt, coffee mug, poster and tourbook. I opted for the tourbook and then realized they were selling copies of their Open Your Eyes CD and I was very fortunate to get an autographed copy. We then proceeded into the eating area and were completely blown away by the proximity to the stage area. There was a huge banner with the YES logo at the front of the stage. We talked to several people around us, one of whom said this was his 25th YES concert. The theater filled slowly and my guess is that there probably about 3000 in attendance (capacity is 4000). But those who came were prepared to welcome the band in a manner they deserve. The excitement was immense as the initial notes of Firebird Suite began to play and the house lights dimmed.
The audience exploded when the band emerged and broke into Siberian Khatru. The setlist was virtually the same as has been noted previously with the exception of Soon. I'm not sure if Jon's cold had some bearing but I can tell you I was dissapointed considering the reviews I've read about this tour's rendition. Other than that the concert was truly a masterpiece. Some of the songs that I felt were most impressive were The Revealing Science of God, And You and I, and Starship Trooper. The audience was very receptive of both the old and new songs. In fact, during Long Distance Runaround and I've Seen All Good People the audience participation was overwhelming. Judging from Jon's facial appearance I think it caught him by surprise. In terms of stage setup, there was a beautiful white tent-like backdrop with a series of attached lights. The lightshow was subtle but definitely enjoyable. With the musicianship of these gentlman, a distracting lightshow is the last thing we need.
In terms of the musicians themselves, Chris Squire was by far the most entertaining. He was very active and he absolutely has to be the best bass player to walk on the face of the earth. Jon Anderson's voice is as good as ever and his chat prior to songs is very entertaining as well. His presence is very spiritual on stage. All I can say about Steve Howe is that he epitomizes a true musician. Alan White was playing his heart on the drums and his glow-in-the-dark wristbands were cool. Ivan was more than adequate on keyboards and I wish him the best. Rick Wakeman he is not but his enthusiasim and diversity will, I think, make him an admirable replacement. Finally, Billy Sherwood just needs time to grow within the band. I think he feels somewhat restricted with Steve in the band but hopefully he will become more comfortable with time. I think he has a lot of untapped talent and his smile on stage was very contagious.
As I stated earlier, my wife and I brought our 14 year old daughter Casey and our 9 year old son Derek to the concert. This was the 2nd YES concert for both of them, but based