I think this was the first show on the US leg of the tour.... I was only about 10ft away from Steve and my brother got within 10ft of Squire... Tremendous energy and they seemed to be really into playing. Set list was ok, Hearts went down well even though Steve is not into playing tunes from the 80's. Perpetual Change and Awaken were performed well, as Igor did not miss a beat...Hearing that song makes you miss Rick though....
I should add that this song [Face To Face] received the most positive reception of all the new songs. Jon even looked quite surprised when receiving the ovation afterwards.
Overall it was a great show. I might have been a bit disappointed if this was my "first" Yesshow due to the dearth of classic Yessongs (YIND & PC being the only two before the finale with Awaken + encores). However, having seen Yes "ten" times previously which have included several renditions of ST, HotS, LDR/Fish, Clap/MfaD, CttE, SK, etc., I found it refreshing to hear so many new songs. Moreover, I'm glad Yes is this excited over a new album; this is the most material played from a new album with Howe since ABWH (and before that, Drama). Enjoy the show when they reach your town!
This show was absolutely amazing. The energy was just incredible. The band took its sweet time getting started- my ticket said 7:30, but that apparently was the time the doors open. The show was originally scheduled to start at 8, then pushed back to 8:30, but they didn't actually start until around 8:45 or so. But it was well worth the wait.
The band was really on. They all looked like they were having a great time. They fed off the intense energy of the crowd. After every song, the applause and screaming was loud and long. I don't think there was any song that didn't garner such wild enthusiasm that the crowd ever stopped cheering until the next song began. The songs from the Ladder seemed to get the wildest responses, along with Awaken, but every song got fantastic applause.
Jon worked the crowd and showed his (and the band's) control of this awesome energy. Once, when he "introduced" Alan before one of the songs (Nine Voices, I believe), the crowd was so entranced and still yelling from the previous song that they missed their "cue" and just kept on cheering- Jon repeated, a little louder, "Mr. Alan White!" and the crowd appropriately raised the decibels to the next level of roar. This happened again when the band returned for their encores. We were screaming, but Jon wanted more, so he waved his arms and Presto! the roar increased. He laughed, obviously enjoying the power.
Jon got the crowd involved during the short snippets of TAAW, Nous sommes du Soleil and Leaves. He beckoned us to sing along, which most did. As a result, my experience was one of singing a hymn with fellow believers. When we sang together "where does reason stop and killing just take over," or "We love when we play," it was incredibly moving.
The songs from the new album were just fantastic. I really love the new album, but the songs are even better live. They have such great energy, display such joy and peace, and transport one to such a beautiful place. I know many long-time Yes fans miss the contrast of earlier Yes- the intense dark passages that lead to the beautiful light. This album is definitely very bright and joyful, with little or no dark, but I find this appropriate. I think when Yes (and most of their fans) were young adults (and teens), the struggles from which knowledge and insights come were a big part of life. But now the band (except the new guys) is in their 50's, and their long-time fans are at least nearing 40, many older. Hopefully, as we move through middle age, the great majority of our intense challenges are behind us and we are reaching peace and contentment, enjoying the fruits of our hard-won battles. I think this is where the band is and their music reflects that. I know I can relate to it very deeply. The band's interplay is still there, though perhaps understated from their younger days. Likewise, the lyrics are less abstract, but still full of wonderful imagery. The message remains, but more concrete and more refined.
Another great thing about the show was the great number of younger people there. Granted, my perspective was limited, seeing only about four rows deep, but I saw many young people. I met a mom who brought her two daughters (23 &21), who I had a blast dancing with. For those of you who tire of seeing AGP, Roundabout and/or OOALH, let me tell you, these were the songs these young fans enjoyed the most. Yes is correct in assuming that there are parts of the audience that would be very disappointed if they didn't hear some of those standards. For me, I bought into some of that negativity and began thinking how nice it would be to hear some different things, but when they played them, they were great. I rocked out with them. I have absolutely no complaints about this show- I don't think I can have a better time, or be more transported to Nirvana (or whatever term you prefer for paradise). Of course, if I wanted to get picky, the sound was too loud and got distorted during t
Jim Chapman on his review was mistaken about one thing. They definitely did NOT do "If Only You Knew". I know because I scored points with my wife by dedicating that song to her :). We were both a bit disappointed that they didn't perform it at the show.
The group was simply awesome. I have been a fan for almost the entire 30 years, and have never seen them live. Actually, they may have been at the Atlanta Pop Festivals in 1970 and 1971, but my mind was a bit on the chemically-altered state at the time and I remember very little :)
I was especially impressed with the way the band stepped back and let Billy shine about mid-way through the concert. He played some of the Trevor Rabin lead stuff and sang. It tickled me, because I remember that video where one of the guys talks about how, when Trevor came along, for the first time they had ladies screaming for Yes, meaning they were screaming for Trevor. It was like a deja vu to see Billy stepping into that role. He even had the Trevor guitar "sound". Of course, everybody came to see Steve on the guitar, but it was thoughtful and generous to give "the kid" some spotlight as well.
From where I sat (up in the balcony), the sound mix was not very good. It was mostly just a roar. The subtle instrumental parts, particularly keyboard and guitar parts in the lower ranges were completely lost. I suspect that down on the floor up close, it was a different story, and in a hall like HOB, it is no doubt difficult or impossible to eq the sound for every spot.
I could have accepted that (rock is meant to be too loud live, right?), especially since I know all the parts by heart anyway :), but what drove my family INSANE was the audience! Come on people! Why the hell are you paying 50 bucks a pop to scream, guffaw, hoot, carry on loud conversations, and generally act like complete idiots when the greatest band on earth is pouring their hearts out on stage? Sure, I clapped, sang, shouted during the get-down parts of songs, but certainly NOT when Steve is strumming his classical guitar or Igor is opening with an acoustic piano solo. Maybe YOU don't care to hear Steve's acoustic sounds, or Jon's conversation between songs, but my wife and son and I, who drove 350 miles and put out what for us is a lot of money to enjoy an event of our lifetimes, REALLY wanted to hear it all. Even my 16-year-old, who can scream and mosh and howl with the best of them, was gravely disappointed. Why can't you save your partying for the bands that have one continuous volume through the entire show? Reminds me of what the sound engineer at a Moody Blues concert once said to a rowdy crowd sitting next to us during the opening orchestral piece, "Would you guys like for me to ask the orchestra to turn it down so you can hear your conversation better?"
I wrote down the entire set list, but I can't find the napkin right now *LOL*...I'll find it tomorrow and post it.
Cheers to all you fellow Yes fans. Times have never been better!
They played "Cinema"!!! Jon put Billy on the spot, saying that he (Billy) was going to introduce the next tune. Billy said that the next song was one of his favorites from 90125. Then he, Chris, Alan, and Igor tore into Cinema. It was a pretty straight runthrough of the album version. (Jon and Steve left the stage) This led into "Owner of Lonely Heart."
This was COMPLETELY unexpected! But lots of fun!
YES began their 1999 North American Tour as "Close To The Edge" of the continent as you can get, right here in swampy Myrtle Beach, the golf/YES capital of the world. We began with the comforting curtain rising "Firebird Suite". Tonight was a tremendous burts of energy from these "aging" rockers. They began with Howe's first contribution to the band, "Yours Is No Disgrace", which awakened us with his fire and let everybody know "the boys are back in town". They then courted us with their new tune "Home World" which was alluring and introduced a rebirth to their retro sounds of the '70's as represented by "The Ladder", arguably their finest work in 20 years. They played "new Language, It will Be A Good Day, Lightening Striked, Nine Voices, If Only You Knew". It was interlaced witkh the ethereal presence of an excerpt of "Nous Sommes Du Solei". Howe accompanied Anderson with an excerped from "The Ancient", it was peaceful and reflective. They went crazy with a savage rendition of "Perpetual Change", Steve tore it up, that is some of his finest work. They then drilled us with "Owner Of A Lonely Heart", Billy played the feature parts, it was well done and the sound was bang on! They the drifted us off into the beautiful cascading sounds of "Hearts". They played an excerpt from "Time And A Word", then ended the near 2 hour set with "Awaken". Igor provided beautiful coloring with his keyboards throughout this 22 year old masterpiece. I've seen YES 12 times before but had never seen Awaken, it was transforming. Steve was like a sword slashing the notes from his guitar during the powerful cruscendo of maybe YES'S finest tune ever. Jon sang so effortlessly, sweat-free, (I could actually see since I was only 8 feet from the center stage)!! After a hand awing, throat soring, near 4 minute ovation, upon completion they left us wanting more. They encored with yet another early classic piece, "And You And I",... WOW!! That did it, it was awesome. They had so much power left, their emotion was released through Jon's singing. Chris was wonderful, taunting us with glares, his prancing,and his (coolots shorts)?? Everbody seemed to be happy, their personalities were easily revealed to us. Steve seemed more intense and work like and less congenial then the others. Seeing them in an area the size of your High School gym, where most everybody saw their first band. The Myrtle Beach House Of Blues venue was an amazing opportunity to get up close and personal. The band ended the evening with their traditional classics, "All Good People" and "Roundabout". The show was 2 hours and 20 minutes. YES is definetly Y2K compliant. Rock on through the next millenium 'cause I'm with you!! See you in Florida. P.S. Hey, everybody DON'T MISS THE SHOW, Its a fabulous 30th anniversary bash!!!!