I went to the 8 April show in Luxembourg. I expected it to be in the city, so I drove down the saturday before the show to find out where the Olympic Hall is. Turns out, it's about 15 minutes outside the city center, in the timy community of Differdange. I drove past the hall a couple of times because I thought, "No way Yes is playing here. It's smaller than my high school gym." I asked 5 different locals, who all confirmed that, "Yes, that's the place."
I was pumped. The night of the show, I was surprixed to find parking a breeze, even 15 minutes before show-time. Got into the gym and the music started. There might have been 1,000 people there, but I doubt it. The kind of atmosphere I have wanted to see Yes in for a long time. Very good sound, louder than the Frankfurt show, which I also attended. A little different banter with the audience. Much the same playlist as the rest of the show with two major changes. No RSOG nor Starship Trooper! There was only about a 30 second break between the main body of the show and the encore. And the encore was Roundabout and they were gone.
Rumor from one of the security crew was that a couple of the artists weren't feeling too well. But that couldn't be said for Steve Howe, to whom the crowd sang Happy Birthday. He is definately one of the premier guitarists around and plays a wonderful array of music. Chris' solo was equally enjoyable, tho a little shorter than the Frankfurt show. (Don't his arms get tired holding them up for Alan's killer solo?) Igor and Billy? You can keep 'em as far as I'm concerned. They don't really do anything for me. Give me Rick Wakeman and Trevor Rabin any day of the week. Just one fan's opinion.
But I have some history to base it on. I've been going to Yes concerts since the mid 70's. Seen them in Chicago several times with several line-ups. Saw the 90125 tour in Manheim, Germany, the ABWH tour in Belgium, saw the Union tour at the World Music Theater near Chicago, and saw them twice on this tour. And it's my humble opinion that they have had better keyboardists and guitarists. But it didn't stop me from enjoying a killer show! Security was pretty laid back and it was no problem getting a camera in. I saw several. There should be some good pix floating around. After the show, the band came out behind the hall to sign some autographs. Took them an hour to get there, but they were very cordial. Probably one of my funny memories will be standing with Mr. Squire while he signed some things. He was handed a pen and after a few autographs, he asked if anyone had a felt tip marker. I was prepared with a black and a red sharpie, and handed him one. He signed several more autographs as I patiently waited. Then he said he had to go. I said, "But wait. It's my pen." He said, "Oh, here you go." And handed me my pen! No autograph. Oh well. Maybe in 5 years when they tour again.
I highly recommend checking out a show. And to you folks going to the summer shows in the good old US of A, I'm sorry you won't get to see them in such an intimate setting. Enjoy! And get me an autograph, please.