Wednesday, July 15, 1998
West Valley City, Utah
West Valley E Center
24 years, 8 months and 9 days ago
The return of Steve Howe to Salt Lake - his first since 1976! No Wakeman yet (He's never been to Salt Lake as far as I know!). Four of the core members of the classic lineup plus 2 virtuoso musicians to bolster the magical Yes sound, Igor Khoroshev on keyboards and Billy Sherwood on guitar.
In Salt Lake, the concert was billed as the "30th Anniversary" Tour. Open Your Eyes was the only song played from the new album. And You & I seems to get better each time they perform it. On this night, it was spectacular. Steve Howe relegated the Trevor Rabin solos to Billy who gave them a masterful interpretation but could not match the intensity Rabin gave them.
I have seen Yes 4 times prior but this was the first in which Siberian Khatru was performed since their appearance in 1976. The intricate "harpsicord" part was played to perfection by Igor, who performed all the Wakeman piano and keyboard work flawlessly.
It was great to hear CTTE performed with precision but also with a modern twist, which concluded the entire performance from the CTTE album. I was hoping they would unleash something from Relayer, like Gates of Delirium or Sound Chaser but it was not to be on this night.
The band made up for it though, the sound was loud and crisp - offered in DTS digital surround sound. Heart of the Sunrise was spectacular. There is something about that song that paints such a surreal image for me - it was also one I did not expect. Long Distance Runaround was another magical effort. The band finished with a shortened version of Roundabout which I really didn't mind because the rest of the show went so well. It really seems that when Yes comes to Salt Lake they make a strong effort to please - like we are the only show on the tour.
Alan Parsons note: When they opened the show, Alan made it known that he was a bit miffed that they were left off the bill on the ticket and that the radio promos announced them as "Alan Parsons" and not the "Alan Parsons Project." Their performance was astounding. Dr. Tar and Professor Feather was a mind blower. I believe that two of the original vocalists were on hand so all of the songs performed sounded like the original versions. They are a great live band. It was truly a magical night. It was the last time Yes has been to Salt Lake. I hope the drought ends soon.
On July 15 Yes finally returned to Utah for the first time since the Talk tour in 1994. It was rather agonizing to be reading all the other posted reviews out there and just sit and imagine what you were all experiencing. But I do appreciate the service, thank you!
We were seated about 8 rows above the floor, just to the side of one of the rear surround speakers so we didn't really experience the full impact of the surround system. It sounded more like a 3-channel system to us (Front Right, Front Left, and Rear) but I was delighted with the sound none the less. They chose a smaller hockey arena rather than the huge NBA arena that most of the bigger shows come to which has some of the worst acoustics I've ever experienced in my life. The E Center in which they played sounded great and that was a very pleasant surprise.
This was my fourth Yes show, the first being the 90125 show in 1984. After that we drove to Denver CO to see the Union tour (still the best in my opinion) and as I mentioned before, the Talk tour came here in 1994. One of the things that seem to strongly influence a concert for me is the feeling of those who accompany me. In 1984 I was with my girlfriend who was to become my wife in two years. Though the show was very Trevor Rabin pop music oriented, it was still a spiritual and bonding experience for the two of us, getting to see Jon and Chris, etc. for the first time in our lives. When we saw Union in Denver we had been married for several years but the experience was incredible and moved us very deeply and we bonded further through it. The Talk show was better than I had expected and we had a lot of fun. This show, though musically superb (more later) had a very different feel to it for me. I was with my wife, an out of state friend seeing Yes for his first time, and my 7-year-old daughter. This was my daughter's first concert ever and she was excited. My friend is young and just saw his first concert a couple of weeks ago; Pearl Jam. His first comment after the show was "Well, that was way better than Pearl Jam." My wife seemed pleased at times, and almost apathetic at others, which I was not prepared for because of our past Yes experiences. But I understand that musical needs are always evolving and changing depending on our circumstances so I am certainly not offended that she'd have enjoyed it more if it were a Rush concert... it was just unexpected. We also, like many other old diehards, were a bit bothered by Jon's dumping of Jenny for a younger trophy wife and that may have been influencing her feelings as well. My daughter was a bit frightened by the volume when Alan Parsons took the stage and spent most of the time covering her ears (we brought cotton to help her out) and was actually asleep by the time Parsons was finished. When Yes came on she was delighted with the light system and was also glad to be hearing songs with which she was familiar. Her favorites were Wondrous Stories, Steve's acoustic solo, and All Good People. It was really fun to watch her surprise and excitement as the lights and the sounds created new sensations for her. I think she'll be a Yes fan for a long time.
Perhaps what I experienced last night is similar to what we experience in the Christmases over our lifetimes. They are so exciting when we are young, then we get used to them, then we try to make them exciting for our children and take our pleasures from watching them, and finally we become old and I can't comment on that because I'm not there yet.
When Alan Parsons took the stage my first thoughts were those of relief and pleasure that the sound was good. During the second song it struck me that I was seeing a huge part of music history on the stage, in addition to his own albums this was the guy who engineered the Beatles Abbey Road album and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. My wife leaned down to my daughter and told her that, "That guy used to work with the Beatles" to which my daugh