Tuesday, March 3, 1998
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Bournemouth International Centre
25 years and 25 days ago
Apart from RW being absent, this was a great night. My first Yes gig would have been something like 1972 (when I was only 16!!) and their inventiveness still rings true. There was an unusual "get up and dance" style about Jon's mid-song chats which were so unlike the Yes of yore. But who cares, what a privilege to see these guys still going strong. The ages of some of the t-shirts being worn in the BIC gave an indication of Yes's amazing longevity. A real treat!!
My first Yes gig. They dutifully start "Siberian khatru" and about five seconds later you have that *big* dud by Steve, like he completely misplaced his fingers on one of the chords there. Everybody pretends not to have noticed an they go on.....
Same night. Jon completely screws up all along "The Revealing Science Of God", singing the verses in a different order, mixing lines from different verses and so on. Meanwhile Chris, who did remember all the lyrics perfectly, looked more and more upset as he was desperately trying to sing his part right. At the end he looks at Jon and says something we (fortunately ;-) don't hear. Then Jon shrugs and just says "OK, maybe someday I'll get it right".
The concert at Bournemouth at March 3, 1998, was my first ever Yes concert. It was a dream to be a part of the audience in a Yes concert for me since my last two decades.
I was burst into tears on that excellent show. Some of the audience may remember me with my Turkish flag furling, and Krista Wallhagen shouting to the audience "This man is from Turkey". I could not even dream meeting and introducing myself to the maestros at the exit. I realized.
My first of three nights. The weather was foul, driving across the New Forest at 85MPH in strong winds and rain, why do we do these things?
We sat five rows back on the centre aisle.
In order to try and not duplicate anything suffice it to say that the set was as others have described it. Interestingly though Jon missed his cues on a number of occasions (most noticable on The Revealing Science of God). This prompted some light hearted banter from Chris S. and Jon, especially as Jon forgot to pick up his guitar for All Good People and Billy Sherwood had to go and get it for him.
This is the most relaxed I have ever seen YES. They were obviously enjoying themselves and it was infectious. By the end of Starship Trooper this was a party.
Igor was awesome, but especially his piano was quite often so quiet as to not be audable.
Yes at Bournemouth 1998 - would I be disappointed after last seeing them in peak form a few years back on the Tales and 90125 tours ? Would they just be going through the motions ? NO and NO !
What impressed me was that they were ENJOYING themselves - definitely NOT going through the motions - apart from Siberia ! I could have been in a time warp - almost everything was spot on, although I m torn between wanting to hear known and loved older material or newer songs. Igor and Billy needed to be in things more - tended to be a bit out of it physically. I d like to have heard Igor making more use of the high end of the synth. - or was it the mix - or our seating position ?
The highlights for me were AYAI and RSOG - that last chorus of What happened still gives me the shivers - also Steve s acoustic set - I haven t heard The Clap for ages.
My son (11) went for his first real concert, and, once he got used to the volume, in his own words..... BRILLIANT
The BIC acoustics could have been better (we lost a lot of detail on some of the fuller, louder tracks where we were sitting), the stage layout isolated Igor a little and Billy needed to be in things more. But hey, nothing s perfect !
a few comments on the Bournemouth show. Thanks. Let me add the following...
This was another very high energy performance. On average, the UK shows (I've seen all of them so far) have been rather better than the last four I saw in the US.
Jon fluffed a couple of lines on RoL, and one entry in RSoG. The quieter instrumental bridges in RSoG also suffered from some mistiming... At the end of the piece, Chris muttered something inaudible as Jon was making a comment about 'moving tentatively into the C21st.' When prompted he added, with a sly grin, "yeah.. that was pretty tentative... but there's always tomorrow night." And he sent Billy over to pick up the guitar which Jon had forgotten for the next song, AGP.
Pretty much sums up the concert really: not perfect by any means, but with plenty of spirit and humour. I note that, following Steve's diplomatic glitch in Glasgow (mentioning that they were going to Edinburgh too!), Jon coyly extended his customary "good to be here" to "Bournemouth... and surrounding areas." A career in the tourist industry awaits him when his voice packs up...
Steve did, indeed, mention his bi-annual holidays in Bournemouth when he was a kid. Even the name of the hotel he stayed in, but I'll avoid the pluggery ;-) (It has to be said that the place is somewhat livelier now than it was 30 odd years ago!)
The musical highlights remain, for me, America, RSoG and Igor's solo. The low point is undoubtedly Chris' vacuously showy Whitefish. And the 'so what?' awards have to go to RoL and OYE: though in fairness, the instrumental work on both is good. AYAI is strong with this line-up, HOTS almost as good, and although WS is still not too smooth, the slight re-arrangement is reasonably promising. Roundabout and ST really galloped last night. The lights and sound are wonderful. I'm enjoying this tour more than any since the '70s...
Just back home after seeing a GREAT Yes concert at Bournemouth International Centre night of Tuesday 3 March 1998. A member of staff there told me it was "essentially a sell out - there were 3,000 people present". Songs played were as Newcastle (see Robert Kemp's earlier post) - with the exception that Wondrous Stories WAS played at Bournemouth. Igor played keyboards throughout (no sign of Adam W.)
Steve, Jon and Chris were particularly brilliant. There were so many standing ovations I lost count. And You and I and RSoG were highlights. Chris looked so ferocious with his shortly-cropped hair. His bass playing at the start of Heart of the Sunrise was magic - holding his guitar up vertically each time as he played that bottom note. You could almost feel it hit you!
Steve's guitar playing was magic - so many guitar changes - electric, accoustic, steel, mandolin (?) ... - he had at least 2 guitars mounted on stands so he could play them whilst wearing another. Igor was great - in Roundabout he played the background melody with one hand, whilst hitting percussion with the other ... superb.
I think I heard Jon say that his brother was in the audience, whom he had not seen for some time... and Steve said he knew Bournemouth well, as he used to have 2 weeks holiday in Bournemouth every Summer in the 1960's!!
I came across a 60 year old fan being interviewed in the foyer .. and there were quite a few youngsters present too. A very friendly and good-natured crowd. If you're off to a Yes concert later on - don't forget to take some cash - programmes are 6 pounds, black or white T shirts 14 pounds, "american import" (tie-died?) red/white/blue T shirts 25 pounds, white sweatshirts 15 pounds, baseball caps 14 pounds, enamel pin badges 5 pounds.
A great night.