This was the second time I have seen Yes live, the first being on the Union tour. The people before me have said it mostly so my main points are
Jon: Nobody seems to have mentioned his obsession with the Telletubbies. He reckons he is up every morning at 10am to watch them.
SK: This track started VERY dodgily with Steve being out of time with everyone else, and giving some very angry looks to the roadies to his right.
ROL: Steve did a guitar solo on his slide guitar, which made his contribution to this song much better.
America: Absolutely fabulous. Nobody put a note wrong.
OYE: Identical to the album. Need I say more.
AYAI: This was the highlight of the evening for me. I have seen many bootlegs of this masterpiece, but tonight it sounded INCREDIBLE. The crowd were absolutely silent during this. Jon as far as I remember, mentioned this commenting that the crowd were "listening to us so intently", he also said he could "feel the energy" coming from the crowd. He said that this was positive and good for the band.
HOTS: The lighting was very good . The song was very good . Need I say more?
Steve's Solo's: Again the crowd were silent during his solo's. Refreshing to see him do more than MFAD and TC.
FTB: I was pleasantly surprised by this. I remember commenting to my girlfriend that it was a very brave song to do, as one mistake would have been disastrous.
WS: This was a song that I expect most of the audience didn't expect as I heard people all around me gasping and then clapping as Jon introduced it. It was absolutely brilliant.
Khoroshev's Solo: Not bad. I see the comparisons to Patrick Moraz's.
Squire's Solo:....F*****G incredible!!!!! He rolled his sleeves up and looked to be really enjoying himself. Aftr this solo, Jon mentioned that Alan had been in John Lennon's band, and mantioned that he had played on Imagine. He said he hadn't mentioned it before, but felt compelled to now, in Liverpool.
OOALH: I have seen a bootleg of an earlier date, and the guitar intro has been split between Steve abd Billy and is vastly improved. Billy's solo sounded exactly like Rabins.
RSOG: What can I say that hasn't been said already? A masterpiece that most of us never ever dreamed we would see live. I will tell my great grandchildren about this performance.
ISAGP: Everybody stood up and danced. The crowd was not so much subdued, as engrossed in the show (as in Liverpool we don't get bands of Yes's pedigree very often so we make the most of it and LISTEN)
Roundabout: Brilliant.Steve's guitar work was immaculate.
ST: Again the perfect end to a great evening.
And to top it all i had my video camera confiscated after i managed to record Firebird Suite only. The nice security man gave it to a complete stranger at the front door and has now probably been sold. Talk about experiencing hi highs an lo lows. But the gig was awesome much better than Manchester and Newcastle The theatre was an amazing place to be last night.
Let me tell you that you bought the ticket from the network of swindlers and petty thiefs that operated in front of the theater, and they were complete bastards with me, next time try to get the cheap ticket from people who aren't bastards. I think they have a right to get money whichever way they want, but I had a spare ticket and they wouldn't let me sell it. I had to seel it to them, but I got 20 quid instead of the tenner they first offered me (my ticket costed 30 +booking :-(). ussually the network of re-sellers got the tickets for a tenner. I don't know if it always works the same way, but I hadn't ever seen such an organized network of bastard ticket re-sellers in my life.
And so my 1998 Yes odyssey came to an end at Liverpool last night. Four superb concerts in six weeks, including Edinburgh last Friday which in my opinion was a legendary, epic performance by Yes supported by one of the best audiences it has ever been my privilege to be a part of.
Anyway onto Liverpool
This was a very good Yes show, but for the first time I felt that the volume was just a tadge too loud and buried some of the subtleties of the music. Now, don't get me wrong I like my music to be powerful, and I certainly have had no complaints at other Yes shows, but Liverpool just lost something for me with the sound. This, however, is a minor complaint as we were treated to another wonderful evening. The band seemed very high from the outset, could they have also been enthused by the magnificent Edinburgh show? They had also been revising their Liverpool history and Jon made references to The Beatles, John Lennon, Liverpool being the birth place of British Rock 'n' Roll, and Ken Dodd. The usual Beatle Bow routine was of course milked more than usual. In OOALH, which was dedicated to John Lennon, instead of encouraging the audience to "release their freewill" Jon sang for the audience to "just Twist & Shout".
Before the show there had been speculation by some that a rendition of The Beatles I'm Down may surface, but sad to say this didn't happen, an opportunity missed as they had played one off songs in Poland. The audience was fairly quiet compared to Newcastle and Edinburgh, and it took quite a bit of effort from Jon, Chris and Steve to light the spark with the audience that lifts a show from the good to the excellent. They did get there, but this was generally a subdued auditorium and as a result some of the additional riffs, rolls, comments and frills that made Edinburgh so very special were missing...but the show was still great, make no mistake.
In terms of the set list this, was the full show with RSoG, and included four tracks by Steve in his solo spot. Unusually he didn't tell the audience what they were called, so, other than MFAD and Clap I am at a loss as to the other two titles -I really must rehearse my Steve history - I am a Steve fan, have all his CD's and have seen him live, but for some reason I have difficulty placing titles to all his works. I must add that it was great to see Steve back to his lively best, his funky struts really do add to the show as a visual spectacle - leaping about "like a spring chicken" is a very apt description.
There were many highlights tonight, SK, AY&I,HOTS, WS, RSoG, Rdb, ST . Again I was impressed how much Igor has developed on this tour. Now is the time to confirm Igor as a fully-fledged member of Yes. I like Rick a great deal, but clearly he will never be committed to Yes long term, and if he were to return to the fold, whilst I would welcome his contribution to studio work, I think we would see less of the band in the future. Lets give Igor a chance in the studio and see what he can do. Certainly in terms of the stage performance he is a match for Rick.
Tonight's stage set was simpler without the tent effect, but there was an imaginative use of lighting which provided overall good effects. HOTS was the highlight of the first half of the show, driven by Chris and Alan and balanced by beautiful playing by Steve and Igor. Jon commented at the end how moving it was to find the audience listening so intently to this piece.
RSoG was magnificent, need I say more?
A very dynamic version of ST closed the set, the final moments of the song now feel like they are ready to break into Purple Haze as per Roundabout on the Talk tour......what's the betting on that happening in the USA in the summer?
Oh yes... the cows were back for Wondrous Stories.
To conclude, I have been privileged to see four concerts on this UK tour. Without a shadow of a doubt Edinburgh was the best by a clear mile, followed by Newcastle
Just got in from the Liverpool show, ears ringing, hands hurting from clapping so hard! Much better than I'd expected - particularly impressed with Igor's cowbell work, a true virtuoso! Not sure what Billy Sherwood's contribution was apart from a solo in OOALH and ST? Jon was particularly chipper, seemed pleased to be in Da Pool ("the birthplace of modern Rock & Roll" to quote him), lots of references to The Beatles and Ken Dodd !!? No surprises in the set list though. I was particularly pleased to pay 20 quid for a 25 quid ticket!! - and no booking fee