APP was great and may have stolen the show. I have seen Yes many times before. Somewhat of a disappointing set and nothing from their latest release, Open Your Eyes.
I went to this show expecting to see a bunch of old has-beens rehashing a bunch of old tracks. Was I ever wrong!!!!!!!!!!!! It was the BEST show of my life!!! Better than TOOL!!!!! Chris Sqire IS the band. He commanded GM Place with the majesty of a warloard (he did look quite silly in the black spandex). All the songs were in top form and it was an experience of a lifetime!
Well, the 17 July 1998 APP/Yes concert at G.M. Place in Vancouver, B.C. is now history. I'm not prepared to write too much about it right now, but I'll summarize a bit.
The first thing: TicketMaster are complete assholes. Just a bunch of bitchy little robots who think that "customer service" means screwing people out of $100.00 -- but that story will be for another time.
It's funny that when I came through the doors, security didn't bother to search me. It's really easy to sneak a single-use disposable camera into the arena when they aren't even searching people! ;-> Some photos from this night should be on my web space within the next couple weeks.
Ultimately, we wound up seated near the left end of row 13 on the floor.
The Alan Parsons Project was great. I only recognized about half of the songs. The singer seemed a little strange to me 'cos he was dressed in this almost Henry Rollins-like way, with a black tank top "muscle shirt" and a bandana on his head, and leather "Jim Morrison" pants. That didn't seem appropriate for APP, to me, but whatever... He sang great, so I suppose that's a superficial complaint.
Parsons himself was very cool. His role in that band seems to be much like what I like doing with music. Altghough he wrote all the music, he was content to just stand at the back of center stage gently strumming an acoustic guitar, sometimes playing a keyboard part, and adding a few backing vocals for only 3-4 songs. For such a great artist, he seems to have his ego well in control.
It's interesting to me that, although it's called "The Alan Parsons Project", it seems like all the members are equals, including Parsons himself. I can really admire that.
I can't say the APP setlist (or the Yes one for that matter). But I know that among the songs the player were "Psychobabble" and a pumped-up version of "Standing on Higher Ground" (the latter of which has been stuck in my head much of the night). IMO, the best part of it was when the played about 2-3 minutes of "I, Robot" (my favorite APP song by far) and then did a *BEAUTIFUL* smooth segue into "Eye in the Sky." The encore was the song (whose name I forget) that starts with "Where do we go from here, now that all of the children are growing up." (Actually, I never much liked that song, and didn't know it was them.) Anyways APP were great!
There was about 30 minutes between APP and Yes, during which the lights came up and roadies inconspicuously managed to change the equipment on stage. At about 8:40 or 8:45,the PA system started playing a sound collage much like Pink Foyd's 1994 pre-show soundscape. A very nice treat, and it seemed strange to me that the crowd payed so little attention to it. The soundscape consisted of a tape loop of crickets and pastoral noises (similar to, if not identical to, the sounds at the very beginning of "Close to the Edge") but with Anderson & Co singing unique sentences every few minutes.
Does anybody have the complete text of what they sing during the soundscape? I'd love to see it.
Then, the usual bit of Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite" played over the PA as the band came onstage and joined the end of Firebird, making it segue into the opening song, "Siberian Khatru," which I'd always wanted to hear live! I don't recall the sequence of the rest of the songs they played, but the set included "Rhythm of Love," "And You And I," "Close to the Edge," "Yours Is No Disgrace" (which was my favorite live Yes song both in 1992 and now), "Owner of a Lonely Heart," "I've Seen All Good People," and "Long Distance Runaround" (seguing into "The Fish" of course)...
Each player had a solo, though Billy Sherwood and the new keyboardist from Russia each only got a minute or two, while Howe, Squire and White had long solos. Howe played one song I couldn't place (possibly his solo from "Union"? I haven't heard it in a long time) and then "Mood For A Day" for his solo, and Squ
Tonight was a good show with the same set list; minus America. This show was held indoors and had approx. 4000 in attendance. The crowd was very accepting of the band. There were standing ovations given for about 90% of music played, (not a lot of response for Open Your Eyes and Owner of a Lonely Heart) OoaLH in my opinion was played very well. OYE as well; much better than when I saw Yes perform these at Universal Amphitheater last December. The band seemed very relaxed. Towards the end of the show Jon seemed to be hurrying things along, like keeping a schedule. Steve played Leaves of Green and Mood For a Day for his solos and Chris and Alan did their whitefish thing. Their were a couple of minor technical problems; like Chris's Harmonica wasn't functioning properly during AYAI and Igors keys seemed to low at times. A roadie was messing with Alan's drums during Steve's solo, (probably not the swiftest move he's made, not to mention rude). Highlight songs were:
Yours is no disgrace And you and I Heart of the sunrise Wondrous stories Close to the edge
Igor's solo was longer than the one on the webcast from Chicago. Dont Miss this show if your looking for very fine musicianship.
P.S. Allan Parsons played well with highlight songs being: Psycobabble, Prime Time, Eye in The Sky