25 years, 1 month and 20 days ago
Saturday, April 11, 1998
Muzickcentrum Frits Philips
1989 - Yes, in the shape of ABWH, play their last Swedish shows to date.
1990 - I discover Yes and become one of their biggest Swedish fans.
1991 - Yes disappoint their Scandinavian fans by ignoring Scandinavia on the "Union" tour.
1994 - No European dates whatsoever on the "Talk" tour.
1997 - The "Keys to Ascencion" and "Open Your Eyes" albums, combined with rumours of a Europen tour, bring good hope for the future.
1998 - The European tour is a disappointment to most European fans, since most of Europe is, again, omitted...
...so I had almost given up hope of EVER seeing Yes live when I packed my bags to go and spend my Easter holiday with my sister in Holland.
I got there, had a look on the 'net, and realized - Yes are playing here on Saturday! I phoned up the concert hall, and they told me they had ONE ticket left! I reserved it and when Saturday came I couldn't believe it was true. After eight years, would I REALLY see Yes?
I walked into the Musiekzentrum and to my delight, there were no chairs on the floor. I walked straight to a spot about three meters from where Steve Howe would stand a little later. When the birdsong turned into "Firebird Suite" it was like a dream come true. Most fans seem to have seen Yes quite a few times, but for a Yes-starved Scandinavian this was really a revelation!
The set list was (I think) identical to earlier shows. To me, the highlights were "Siberian Khatru", "Revealing Science of God" and "Starship Trooper". Unlike other groups, whose solo parts are a bore, I enjoyed every minute of the solos. Steve Howe seemed to be in a great mood. He thanked his Dutch guitarmaker and played an exciting version of "Clap".
A nice surprise was Igor Khoroshev. I just say RICK - DON'T COME BACK! Igor does Rick's things without errors, and adds his own bits and pieces. He's probably also more reliable than Rick. LET IGOR BECOME A REAL MEMBER!
But the real king on stage was, no doubt about it, Chris Squire. He is the true rock star of the band, and a cooler bass player doesn't exist. Every tone of his three solos was accomanied by emotions from his whole big body, and when Chris plays a solo, no one can beat him!
But... there is always a "but". In the tour book you can read that Yes will never rest on old layers, but that is exactly what they do. Only one new song, "Open Your Eyes", was played. And off all the songs, only three were younger than twentyfive years of age.
I really think Yes should show us that they are a CURRENT band. That they have NEW fantastic things to offer (which they really have). That they're not here for nostalgic reasons. The old songs are great, but throwing the "Keys" and "OYE" albums in the garbage can is actually a crime to the history of music.
My suggestions for the next tour (if not a new great album comes inbetween):
*Drop "Revealing" and replace it with "Mind Drive".
*Drop "America". In its place, "New State of Mind", "Universal Gardens" and "The Solution" can be played.
*Drop "Heart of the Sunrise" and "And You And I". Replace them with "On the Silent Wings of Freedom" and "To Be Over".
*Go on a PROPER European tour, in which ALL parts of Europe are included.
If these or similar changes are made, there's really hope for the future. I shuoted "Come to Sweden next time", and Jon answered "I hope we will, and I also hope we'll go to Helsinki. I've always wanted to go to Helsinki"!
As a progressive rock fan since the mid-'70's I've seen Pink Floyd, Genisis, Camel and Marillion performing live. Never had the chance to attend a Yes-concert, so this OYE-tour was my great opportunity. Having read all the previews from earlier concerts during this tour, I became more en more enthousiastic However the last ones worried me a bit (concert cancelled, RSOG dropped). On easter-saturday YES was to be seen in the Music Centre Frits Philips in Eindhoven (Holland). This is a beautiful and very modern music hall, which for that occasion was filled with, mostly middle-aged, YES-fans. The Firebird Suite started right on schedule and all the other songs from the well known list were played, except for From the Balcony which they dropped this time. I was relieved by the first notes of RSOG, what turned out to be the highlight of the evening for me. Also SK, AYAI, HOTS and ST were outstanding. During Steve's solo's he mentioned the fact that he was very pleased to perform here, cause one of his favorite guitars was made by someone from this neighbourhood (couldn't here the name). The magnificient concert last for 2 1/2 hours, ending with the usual great encore (Roundabout, ST). The audience reacted very enthousiastic, but they were also very diciplined. Jon shocked them with the message that this was the last concert in Holland, but rapidly he added: "during this tour". We have had a great evening, so my advice to all the Yes-fans in areas which will be visited by the group is: Don't miss this opportunity, you'll regret it. And for the constant critisism on Billy Sherwood; although he doesn't stand in the spotlights, he is part of the team that gave many people an unforgettable evening.
I came to this show on a vacation in Europe (i'm in Amsterdam as I write this -- whew! always hazy here for some reason) as a replacement for missing the Projekct 2 / BLUE show in Tokyo the other day. I was right up front and was deafened by Squire's monitor. Being so close in such a small theater (1500 people maybe, sold out) was an odd experience. I became very casual about being so close to Jon and Chris, things were so relaxed. Seeing an arena show from afar, especially with Yes, you have this otherworldly feeling about the sounds coming from the stage. But being able to see the works so well had a weird effect on me and I was very mellow about exchanging eye contact with the band and expressing pleasure in the music. Trying to introduce "America", I told Jon I was "from America" and he said "What?" and put the mic in my face. There was not the expected fluttering in my stomach as I repeated the message into the mic. And he was like, "He's from America! And this song is called.. America!"
As I said, I was blown away by Chris is more ways than one; Steve was fairly subdued most of the show and impervious to Chris' attempts to rile him. Chris was even more wild and theatrical than I expected from people's reports, and I was even more shocked by the strong accents that he played, strumming and pounding away, lurching. I do have a few criticisms, I guess -- hamming is good until the music suffers, and it did in a couple of places. At least he played while strutting and acting out at the beginning of "Heart of the Sunrise" -- I don't like it when he just stands there and makes you wait. But, never having seen the "Soundchaser" part of "Whitefish" I was disappointed that instead of playing it for a while, he very quickly just starting dramatically hitting notes in time with pounds from Alan (whose solo was very impressive). My oldest brother often reminesces about the improvisational performances of "The Fish" on the Drama tour as opposed to the "greatest hits" (i.e. Tempus Fugit/Soundchaser) that began on the 90125 tour. Have to agree. Although when he did actually play it right for a few bars I was amazed by the wacky fingering of the main riff there. But anyway Squire was 95% amazing and wonderful and despite the fact that my perception of the show was too focused on him for aural and visual reasons, I couldn't trade it. Though if I were to see another show I'd probably take a few steps back.
The setlist was as usual of late, the variables being: they did Heart of the Sunrise, Wondrous Stories, nothing but "OYE" from OYE, and certainly no Children of Light. Steve did Mood for a Day -- Vivaldi (Winter) -- a song he introduced as "Wendy and ?" (I could probably find the proper name on a setlist) -- and Clap. He introduced an thanked the maker of the guitar who is from the Eindhoven area (of the Netherlands).
Jon struck me as a bit glib towards the beginning but more sincere with RSoG. Folks near me were singing well but too loud -- and Jon encouraged them to "sing along" so I couldn't really go against it. Rhythm of Love blew me away and I thought Igor should have gotten a solo during Owner as Rick did on the Union tour. He did do a short solo before Long Distance Runaround, all on piano. OYE came across very well. Love that song, no judgement on the rest of the album yet.
fun was had by all! Thanks to my Dutch friends for holding my place in line -- the vanguard! Peace!