25 years, 5 months and 29 days ago
Saturday, November 29, 1997
I took my son Danny (age 10) to see Yes because my wife Nan was still sick with the flu. The concert was at the new Aerial Theater at Bayou Place - a small, intimate theater that was only completed about two weeks ago. We were in the third row center, right in front of Steve Howe. Got the tix from the Internet - thank you, YesWorld!!!
Music was great. Igor was fine - had Wakeman's technique but not his flair. Chris and Alan were awesome. All of them were really funny throughout the concert. Jon is hilarious. Bowed after one number, then said he was practicing his Beatle Bow for their appearance on Ed Sullivan tomorrow night. When Steve and Igor were first to come back on stage to play an encore, the audience stopped its applause before Jon and the rest got back on stage. So Jon groveled in mock adulation at Steve's feet! Steve also played a four-song solo set in the middle of the show. Jon came back on-stage after Steve's third number, then realized Steve wasn't through and disappeared again. Billy Sherwood played guitar most of the time, and jammed with Steve a little. Danny really enjoyed the show.
Needless to say, I did, too.
The set did not include "Soon" but did include "Children of Light" and "Heart of the Sunrise." And I heard snippets of "Sound Chaser" and "Tempest Fugit" during Fish's solo.
We got autographs from Steve, Jon, and Billy after the show. I told Steve that this was Danny's first rock `n' roll concert, and Steve said, "Mine was Chuck Berry." Jon shook hands with Danny and asked him if his ears were sore.
"Mine are," he said.
This may have been the best Yes concert I've experienced. ABWH in '89 was really inspiring, but I don't recall having this much fun up close with the guys at any time in the past. Hopefully it will keep on getting better and better, and just keep on going!
During Starship Trooper, Steve and Billy each passed their guitar necks through seperate tamborines hanging from Jon's mic stand during Wurm. They played with one hand on each side and did'nt miss a lick. They were laughing at one another. I wonder if this was a Kodak rarity? Also, while walking on-stage for the encore, Steve stroked a little Chet Akins kind of number for a few seconds then he looked to Igor with a 'child that got away with one' smile for a reaction to his spontaneous, mischievious outburst. This was pure unrehearsed Steve Howe. Wow man, I relished all 3 seconds.
Steve,Jon,and Billy all signed autographs after the Houston show on saturday night.Steve was especially gracious and soft-spoken as usual.Both Steve and Jon signed my FRAGILE album(still looking for a frame to house it in).Funny thing is both Steve and Jon had security guards with them,but Billy came out looking lost with no security guard(I think security thought he was a roadie.)You can tell Billy is a little overwhelmed by his sudden fame,but he is living the dream-getting to be a member of his favorite band. He seemed happy to sign just about anything pushed in his face.He even signed someones KTA2 poster.Unfortunately,Chris,Alan and Igor snubbed us.I was really looking forward to telling Igor what a great job he is doing.BTW Igor solo spot time seems to have increased since the earlier shows of the tour.He reminds, strangely enough, of Moraz.I hear in San Antonio that Igor and Billy went to Hard Rock to meet and eat with fans,is this true?
1) The new venue, Bayou Place, has probably the worst acoustics of any rock venue I can remember. Until the sound guys made the proper adjustments, it was impossible to hear any detail in Chris's excellent bass playing. Even after they improved the mix, it still sounded mushy and boomy.
2) Steve is in excellent form. From recent concert CDs and videos, I had come to the opinion that his best days were behind him, but I am now happy to have been proved wrong. He has _never_ sounded better.
3) Igor is an outstanding keyboardist. I hope the band holds on to him. The sound guys need to turn him up though, as others here have mentioned.
4) I like Billy Sherwood. He is not featured much, but when he does a solo it is impeccable. I hope the band works him more into future compositions. Contrary to the way he has been depicted in previous reviews, he is not "grunge-looking." In fact, he looks as prog-rock as Yes did in their younger days. He seems to be relaxed and enjoying himself, and he gives the impression of being very unprepossessing.
5) I thought the best number was "The Revealing Science of God." You definitely don't want to go the restroom during this tune.
6) All the old band members have mellowed with age and appear more relaxed and less serious, but their musicianship has never been better. You will certainly get your money's worth.