Thursday, August 6, 1998
Chastain Park Amphitheater
24 years, 7 months and 22 days ago
I meant to say, Alan Parsons ROCKED!!!
They were boasting this state of the art, surround sound system.
They used it for Parson's and it was sublime. When YES came out, it sounded like they switched to a small AM transistor radio.
This was the worst concert I have ever been to.
The management should be shot, as should the sound man.
The first 10 rows had a great concert, as they could hear the monitors. The rest of us couldn't hear squat. I could turn to my wife and talk in a whisper, and she could hear me, even during the most blistering passages of songs.
I realize that the venue, being smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood, has noise restrictions. That said, the mix was atrocious.
I think a chimpanzee on LSD could have gotten a better sound out of the board than their sound tech did.
Piss poor excuse, and TOTAL LACK of professionalism. We endured many burdens and drove through 3 states to attend this travesty of a concert.
Woah! You know how sometimes anticipating something is better than getting it? That was this show! The cards were all in place. The setlist was good, Howe was back and in good spirits, playing like he was just gald to be in Yes again. But as stated, Chastain has a way of sucking and it did royally this night. The yuppie season ticket holders talked through everything and drowned out Howe's solo completely. The mix for the first 1/2 of the show blew chunks. I seem to remember it improving later though and recall LDRR, CTTE and Wondrous being quite good. This tour was a step in the right direction and was nice after only getting 80s Yes live for years, or the whimsical but rather bloated Union lineup. Better tours were in store. The mix causes this show to be close to the bottom of my list of Yes memories, but even it had it's moments.
AS everyone else has said, the volume of the show was ridiculously low. This is because the amphitheatre is in the middle of a residential neighborhood. At one point, I remember Jon making some remarks and then saying that he wasn't getting any reaction from the crowd and that we had had too many joints and bottles of wine. As he said this, the crowd began chanting "louder! louder!". They went into OYE at that point. After the song, Jon had evidently heard the crowd and said "So you want it...." and the crowd yelled "LOUDER!!!" Jon explained that the people living around the venue were all middle aged like him and they couldn't handle it too loud. They went into AYAI, and the sound got a bit better, but not much.
The sound situation made this show frustrating. There were times that Alan's snare drum was completely out of the mix (ROL especially) and all of his cymbals were almost unheard. Steve was buried a lot of the time too, especially when he played his 175. Chris's level went up and down, as did Igor's. It sounded like the sound man wasn't used to mixing these songs. He was late on bringing up the vocal mics on several key moments. And the overall low sound level took away from the power of the show.
A few people have mentioned Steve's reference to Bill Bruford before his solo. What I heard him say was something like, "We're playing all this material from Close To The Edge, Fragile, and The Yes Album, and one person that we forget to mention a lot is our original drummer, Bill Bruford!" I thought that was pretty cool.
As far as the performance, I thought they played great. They were having a lot of fun. Chris and Jon were laughing with each other a lot, and I even saw Steve and Chris goofing around together. After Igor's solo, they climbed into LDR and Steve came on stage with a gigantic sombrero on! He couldn't even move his head! And this is the kind with a big tall point in the middle. It was hilarious.
Here's what I thought of each member:
Jon - He sounded great. His vocals were always the loudest in the mix. I was surprised that there were no effects on his vocals. He still sounded excellent.
Chris - He's still got it. (I never thought he lost it!) He tried some new tricks and seemed to stretch out a bit here and there. It was refreshing. He was very animated. He seemed very youthful on stage. His vocals were pretty good. He did the same Fish solo, which was good, but I did think the Sound Chaser bit was kind of sloppy. But who cares? He was phenomenal!
Steve - I had been hearing how Steve had lost his abilities on this tour, but I was really impressed (when I could hear him!) He was great in YIND. He had all the fire in his solos, just like in the 70's. I did think he sort of took it easy in CTTE, but I also might not of been able to hear everything he was doing. I will say that his sound is a bit TOO clean. I miss some of those (as Steve would say) "old distortions! I think it's evident that his vocals have gotten stronger too. During his solo, he said he felt like he was with friends here in Atlanta.
Alan - Well, Alan did his job, but I saw some mistakes. Granted, I am a drummer, but he did fudge some parts, of course he always recovered without missing a beat, but I did see some things that he and Chris would try (new licks mostly) and he would be a bit off. I can't believe no one else has said this, but Alan really made a major mistake in Roundabout. After the second chorus "I'll be there..." Alan usually does a little fill and then they're all back into it by the next 4 count. Well, everyone but Alan came back in. There was a gap where he wasn't playing at all! He quickly started playing the regular beat, but everyone else was out of sync. Steve was on, Chris was kind of just thupming on one note, waiting for everything to come together, and Igor was playing parts a measure late or a measure early. They got back on when Jon started singing, but it
YES played Chastain b/c Lakewood was already booked with Phish. Chris said this in an interview with Kaedy Kylie from Z-93, who was stationed right by the gate we enetered from! Chris waslked right by us to do the interview!
We had great seats: 1st Left Box, Row A, not more than 35 ft from the stage. We got them by using mail-order on a package deal (got Tull tux, too). No one was using mail-order, just call-in, and it was b4 single shows went on sale, so basically there were primo seats just waiting to be bought.
The mix was fine from where we were, though the surround sound wasn't so apparent. Everyone strong (with Chris the most!), and Alan was magnificent! Billy was low, of course, but it was still cool. We got to see Steve grimace, the seats were that cool!
Did anyone see that drunk guy who kept standin up in the pit? He eventually got booted!
And I actually saw tables with LOBSTER DINNERS. I had heard CHastain was yuppie-ish, but man...sorry if this was you, but it was a bit much.