The first thing that amazed me about this show was how much closer the seats were to the stage than at the Frankfurt show. I was shocked at just how close my front row center seat was.
The band started off playing really good and just got better throughout the show.
Jon was quite chatty and had a lot to say to the crowd. It was fun just seeing how comical he can be.
I was really impressed with how well the band sounded during "Whitefish". The sound was incredbile as the band quitely backed up Chris' and Alan's thunder. Jon played an instrument that resembled a large iron frying pan. I have no clue what it was though!
Roundabout was very loud and very upbeat. The audience was very into it.
Starship Trooper also rocked....a very well done encore. When the band came up to take a bow Alan slid his sticks across the stage. I snatched one of them up very quickly. My best friend commented that he had never seen me move so fast for anything other than food!
After the show I was very blown away by just how good these guys are live. They are truly gifted in what they do.
This is day 1ne after a once in a lifetime experience. Being a fan since '91 (I was 18 then), there has been no chance to see the guys play live over here in Germany until the Open Your Eyes Tour (by the way, I hate those OYE-TrsoG-RSVP-stuff - s o s t o p i t !).
Oh yes, this was Mannheim, March 18th So, what can I say? At first, the "technical" stuff: -Hey! THEY PERFORMED THE COMPLETE RELAYER ALBUM!!!!!! - just kidding. No set list changes. Oh yes, something that will help Howe fans: between "Mood for a day" and "Clap" - not The Clap. Steve played something "from the 16th or 17th century" (according to Steve) and something else titled - er - something with a C-, sorry I can't remember.
The show: It started ten past eight. Myself sitting in the second row, to my right two teachers. Quite the cliche, isn't it? The lengthened "Close to the edge-intro" stopped, the lights went out, and there was it:
Then they came on stage to play "Khatru". During the first few songs Jon had a bit of a problem to get the audience warmed up. Many were just sitting there seemingly paralysed. But after a while it was all going well, and Jon seemed to enjoy himself. He kept on waving to somebody in the audience and after a while we learned that his darling was somewhere in the hall ("where are you darling? She was there just a minute ago! Are you still there?" - silence, then: "Yes!"). Between the songs he told all the famous stories, about the cowbells and "teatime" with Eddie Offord ("four o'clock Eddie rolled some "teas" for us").
Jon was great. He really seemed to have fun, he joked with Chris and Steve all the time and especially enjoyed doing "The revealing science of God", "I've seen all good people" on which he played guitar back to back with Chris.
Chris himself was weird. He seemed to get really mad during "The Fish". He stood there right in front of me, moving slowly from one foot to the other trying to get whale-sounds out of his Rickenbacker. Then you could see him standing on one leg, just as Ian Anderson does it when he playes his flute solos. He is a real showman. Somebody should should suggest him to do a late night show. But get rid of those white socks!
Chris seemed to be the only one really interacting with Billy. Even when Steve and Billy shared a solo, Steve didn't even look at him. Maybe Steve didn't realize Billy's presence. But I must say one thing: Billy added some nice Wah-Wah stuff to "Heart of the sunrise" and a couple of other songs. Most of the time, however, he just seemed to be posing. This guy might be a great producer/engineer and he might bring a lot of energy to the band, but although there's no doubt that he is as important to the band as Eddie Offord was in the 70s, they didn't give Eddie a guitar and put him onstage, did they?. But let me say two things: colourful Wah-Wah-stuff, great singing (although not loud enough)!
Alan White did a great job as well. I would like to write more about him, but this black bass-playing animal stood right in front of him, so I couldn't see too much of Alan. But from time to time you could see him really enjoying himself playing his ass off. At the end of the show he threw his sticks to the audience, and I nearly caught one.
Igor (I don't even try his last name): He played absolutely flawless. But - being a keyboard player I must say one thing to all the keyboardists around the world: Speed is not necessarily a sign of quality! Why do all the great keyboard players play their solos much too fast? Wakeman does it, Emerson does it, Moraz has slowed down quite a bit, Lord - well, it doesn't matter when you're doing it on a Hammond, so Igor, if you read this, slow down, we want to hear music not hits per minute.
I hope he will stay with Yes, but I don't know if he shares the right "ideology".
Finally: Steve Howe. If you think, Chris is the showman of this band, you' re wrong, Steve