Thursday, May 7, 1998
Sao Paulo, Brazil
24 years, 10 months and 21 days ago
Yes arrive in Brazil on 6th May, dawn... from Los Angeles... and South America Khatru (internet fa club) was in the hotel, almost all Wednesday's night to make a little party to Yes arrival!!! About two hours we were with Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Alan White, Billy Sherwood and Igor Koroschev... two hours of talks and greetings... and welcome to being in Brazil again. 7th May...the first Yes show in Brazil after four years... Olympia is nearly sold out...about 4000 peoples... vibrating and singing together with Yes... that kept the same setlist of European tour... except The Revealing Science of God (Squire promise to South America Khatru that they will play it on Saturday's night).
A touching night, Squire took all the show... playing like a child, changing riffs and solos in every song... with no doubt, it was Squire's night... 4000 fans going into delirium at Olympia on this show... with the great surprise to meet young Igor Khoroschev, a fantastic musician, that madly vibrate through all the songs, doing solos and percussion at the same time... with no doubt, Igor will become a big revelation in an early future, inside or outside Yes. Well... it was the first show, a show of emotion and beauty... we heard and saw Yes entering 21st Century... with the same joy, will and love for the songs of thirty years ago!!
I was in Germany last April while Yes was touring Europe. They were coming to a city close to where I was, and I was anxious to see Yes with Steve Howe for the first time ever. Then my girlfriend called me on the phone from Brazil, with great news: Yes would be coming in May! She is also a big Yes fan, having even played keyboards on a Yes cover band. We then decided that we should share that experience together. I postponed my first live Yes/Howe experience for a few weeks. We waited anxiously for the day to come. Tickets were bought in advance, 2 nights with classic Yes. Expectations ran high.
The first night in Sao Paulo was incredible. When we arrived at the hall, it was like magic. The stage was set, and I will never forget the feeling of seeing that famous Fender lap steel ready, waiting for its owner. The crowd was still thin, so we made our way through it till the very first row, straight in front of Steve's place.
The lights dim and the PA plays the Firebird Suite. The tension is incredible. The adrenaline flows as excitement grows, the crowd screams in trance, and then they enter the stage. That was a moment I know I will never forget. My guitar hero since my teenage days was right there, not more than 15 ft away, striking the first chords of 'Siberian Kraatu'.
The night was great. Yes perfect, as only Yes can be. Jon was fantastic, singing like an angel of light, creating a magic link between the band and the audience. Alan was strong and keeping the pulse of the band, while Chris, the greatest bassist ever, flew over his unique bass lines with joy. I had already read some very positive comments about Igor. Well, the guy is truly great. He plays most of Wakeman's stuff, although sometimes not as clean. The sounds used were similar to the ones used in 'Keys to Ascension', including many of those old time Moog patches. Steve was incredible, concentrated, and technical. His solo in 'America' was truly amazing. During the night he did experience some problems with his gear, which required constant attention to his rack and a lot of dialogue with his roadie. One could see he was a bit nervous about that.
After over 2 hours of performance, the band returned for an encore with 'Roundabout' and 'Starship Trooper'. They did not play 'Revealing Science' that night and we surely missed it.
After the concert we had the chance to talk to band. Steve was a bit upset with the problems he experienced. Jon was exhausted. He surely sings his soul out each night. I thanked him "for the greatest concert I've ever attended to". Billy Sherwood turned out to be a very nice guy, easy talking and always smiling. There has been a lot of bad reviews about him, but I can tell he is a nice person, does not pretend to be what he is not, and seems to bring some fresh air to the band. Chris and Alan were in a great mood, and Alan confided: "The band is playing really good".
Was it worth waiting? You bet! Sharing those moments with the one you love is like magic, especially if she is a great Yes fan as well. We would be returning two days later, for a second night of light, magic and wonderful music.
I don't have words for their performance. I attended to the Talk Tour with Rabin on the lead guitar. By that time I really enjoyed the show. But nothing compared to what I saw yesterday. I went along with a friend of mine who's not exactly a YESMANIAC, and he got hypnotized by the whole show. Some points I'd like to say:
Steve Howe is the best musician of the line-up. When I bought my 2 tickets (YES, I'm going again!) I thought to myself: "Yeah! I'm going to see Steve Howe on the scene". But I didn't expect that much. Now, more than ever, I'm this guy fan :)
Chris Squire: The YES show man keeps on doing the good work. This behavior in the scene really lights your fire! His playing well and his backing vocal sounds great (as usual).
Alan White: The guy's got the power. Since Bill left the drums, he took his place and never left. And he'll never will. He's definetly a member of the YES CLASSIC LINE-UP. Very good work.
Jon Anderson: He's special. He's got a lighten soul. His vocals are great and his sympaty with the crowd makes their performance magic. Unforgettable.
Igor Khoroshev: He impressed me a lot. To perform along Yes, you gotta be very good. And that's what he is. He made Wakeman's solos very well. Still, I'd like to see Wakeman on this line-up.
Billy Sherwood: I got I little beat upset with him. Okay, his not a good performer such as Howe, but I expected he would take Rabin's place on the backing vocals. But it didn't happen. I could hardly listen to his voice, and I only realized he was playing guitar when they performed "Starship Trooper". But I guess he's doing a good job as a producer.
They didn't performed "Reveiling Science of God". I really would like to see them playing this anthom. Let's check it out on Saturday!
It's hard to say anything now, I left the venue just a few hour ago. Well, the venue. Same space where Wakeman played 4 concerts in 1994, and Yes played 3 concerts during the Talk Tour in 1995.
My day began reviewing Anderson's interviews in the 2 largest newspapers of my hometown. The highlight was the statement about their new recordind company asking for a comercial album, he said "... ok, we do not care, we'll do it ...", and there came _OYE_ Anxiety was too much. By the lunchtime I went to the nearest mall to finally grab the ABWH live Video Laser Disc. Instead, I got "Beyond and Before" (no OYE Surround version as well). Almost 8:00, I left for the venue, shivering. Arriving there, I first made sure to have the tickets for the 2nd (out of 3) night.
Inside the building, OYE Ambient Mix was playing, I found my place. Five past ten: The Firebird Suite.
3500 people, 3500 strong heart beats, a magical night
Nothing more to say.
See you guys tomorrow (hope you play "The Revealing Science of God").