Another Yes tour that was pointing in the right direction, but not quite hitting the mark. First off, the thought of seeing Yes in a small venue at first seemed like a cool one. But after being there I realized that the epic scope of a Yes show is drastically reduced in small venues. The band even seemed like they felt this as they delivered one of the less inspired sets I have paid to see form them. Oh, it wasn't bad, mind you. The mix was decent and all. But they just seemed like playing a dump like the Tabernacle deflated their egos for the night. Some years the energy if really good and others tense. This year seemed tense. Howe seemed like he had enough of having two guitars in the band and it came out in his playing. He barely moved all night, stone faced and dour. His playing was the minimum to get by, but seemed rather uninspired. Still, this show was fun and the only one up to that point where I was able to get front row, edge of the stage. Awaken was easily the hilight, and the confetti was a nice touch at the climax. Perpetual Change- the full version- was a good inclusion too for the first time since 70s too. The Ladder material was fun stuff. We got to hear New Languages, which was soon dropped from the tour. Not my fave Yes tour by a long shot, but better than the 80s lineup setlist-wise. Energy-wise, no. Not by a long shot.
Nine Voices was so awesome to me not only for what we heard...even Alan and Igor sang...but because of what we saw.
Steve with his Portuguese whatever guitar, Jon at the mike, Alan and Igor doing little tinkley things, don't remember seeing Billy (LOL), but Chris...Chris was the man to watch. He stood off to the side of the stage during first part of song then slowly made his way over (carrying a drink) to his spot. The weird part was he didn't have a guitar slung over his chest...just big ole Chris holding a drink on stage.
Then he put his drink down in front of Alan's drums, stepped up to his mike and played the foot pedals and sang the last chorus. He had this wet spot on his chest where his guitars had been. It was something I had never seen before...Chris in front of a mike without an instrument...and it was something I'll never forget. I've seen him sing and not play but he has always had a bass guitar with him. And the look on Chris' face...he was so into his singing in that song.
Unfortunately the Atlanta video shows only Steve and Jon the entire song. That is my Nine Voices story.
Unfortunately the sound guy needed to stick to his day job. Jon's mic was off for the first few seconds of the vocal start on YiND (actually, it is kinda nice hearing Chris sing the backup vocals solo for a few secs :-)
The were both relieved when the mic came on as was the crowd! Performance was okay, crowd was intense, which is what you might expect when the band is playing a church designed for probably 500 people, with what, 3500 in attendance. People were everywhere...and loud.
I didn't really get to the [merchandise] booth in Atlanta, but I do know that they had mousepads, mugs and shot glasses for sale in addition to the shirts and tour books.
I would buy before the show instead of after. The Ladder tourbooks sold quickly. I was too late but knew the person who bought the last one. I just glanced through it (really just Jon's page) and noticed he was wearing the white pants and purple shirt from 30th anniversary tour in all of his pics. Seemed to be a lot to the tour book, more substantial than usual and well worth the $15.
Can't really describe the t-shirts as I was not in the market having ordered mine from TM (5 weeks ago and still don't have them) but a friend wanted an XXL and there were none or else quickly sold out....this was during the fist 15 minutes of doors opening in Atlanta. We were general admission, so many waited til after the show to shop....too scared to lose our spot on the floor. We were packed in there.
But it was a wonderful show. Still smiling!!
Being from the northeast and having seen shows only in this corridor, I was VERY impressed to the reception Yes received from the Atlanta fans. They were extremely enthusiastic.
With regards to the sound glitches, they were present and didn't seem to bother anyone except Steve. He did seem quite perturbed but played to his usual high level. Although, while he was technically brilliant, I have seen him on other nights where he really puts more emotion in to it and rocks. I believe the sound problems distracted him enough to the point where he was not as emotional and inspired as he can be. Still, the man can play!!!!
Jon sounded great and Chris was very active. His play was not sloppy and he was definitely jammin. Same for Billy. Cinema was a nice surprise and was incorporated into the set list at the request of Billy. Alan was his usual self. Igor played wonderfully but is starting to develop a little too much showmanship, so to speak. A lot of arms flailing and such. He does sing in a number of the harmony parts and definitely adds to the depth of them. Also, he nailed Awaken. My only criticism would be is that he played it to the letter like Rick. I would like to have seen him add his own flavor to the song. Again, it is a small criticism as the song was great to hear.
The new music was extremely well received. On almost every song, old or new, the balcony (in which we were seated) did indeed give standing ovations. Of all the new songs, Homeworld and Face To Face garnered the best.
One of the best things about the show was the harmonizing. With Igor and Billy in the mix, I don't know if I've ever heard them sound this good. And I've been attended their shows for every single tour except Drama since 1975.
Just a few corrections to some earlier posts. The venue held 2500 people, not 1000 as originally reported (at least this is the figure I was given by the people working there). I believe the 1000 figure derived form the fact that the floor held approx. 1000 and the balcony 1500. In addition, the concert did start at approx. 8:20 as originally indicated but did not end until approx. 10:50; alomost 2.5 hrs. Just look at the set list previously reported and this will bear that out.
All in all, a truly great evening. Thanks to veryone in Atlanta who helped to make it special, including the enormous support and enthusiasm you folks have for the band.
A few random thoughts...
As an opening tune YIND was a great start. SK would have been a close second but they did that last year.
While the majority of the crowd enjoyed the new tunes, few seemed to know them. IMHO HW and NL are GREAT songs but seemed a little off to me for some reason.
Billy nailed Cinema, came real damn close to nailing OaaLH and Hearts. He also did an excellent job on Trevor's Hearts vocals. When he gets to play up front he shows that he can play. He also worked the crowd very well. The crowd in the balcony above him seemed to really be into his performance.
Igor is Wakeman reborn. Awaken was AWESOME. The people I walked out with and some folks that I rode MARTA back up to Dunwoody with agreed. Igor can play Yes music effortlessly. I'm gonna look into his solo stuff.
Chris was, as always, fun to watch. The small stage does not allow him as much room as he needs to dance around but he makes due. On the train heading back most disagreed with me but I thought that he was not loud enough. I did not feel bass rolling though my gut quite as much. I must be going deaf or something.
Steve played much better than he did in Nashville last year at Starwood. He did, as reported in other posts, seem a little ticked at the board techs during the show. I would have liked to see Mood For a Day added.
Jon has never been my favorite part of YES but I will admit that he hit every note and sounded great.
The show was absolutely worth the $40.00 and 3.5 hour drive. I'm going to try for Cincy next month and maybe Brunswick around Thanksgiving since I'll ne in NJ around that time.
Steve was having some obvious equipment trouble all night. I was right in front of him. He was actually giving the finger to somebody during AYAI. ( oddly enough it seemed like he was giving it the steel guitar itself)
In Myrtle they used the HOB house system.
In Atlanta there were big Clair Brothers trucks outside. I guess they had to pick up the system for the upcoming theatre shows in Fla. There were quite a few audio glitches here and there.
Who mixes front of house for Yes? Do they use the same guy from tour to tour like the Dead used to have in Dan Healy ( who needs a position these days, I believe )
No offence, brother, but as a 20 year PA semi-pro, you ain't doin my favorite band justice. Don't make me have 'ta start hanging about backstage with my _ will mix for food_sign hangin around my red neck... :-)
Well, the show was great, better than last tour, I thought. Cinema was a sweet surprise. They all seemed to be having sound problems on stage though. And the house mix was adequate, but as usual, Igor was nowhere to be found in the mix. Neither was Billy, most of the time. And the backing vocals were a bit low also. You've seen the setlists so I'll skip that. Here's my lowdown on each member:
Jon: He was golden. Better than last time. I didn't hear any cracking or hoarseness like I've heard recently. He seemed very much in control and enjoying things. Thought I saw him blow some kisses off to the side of the stage after Good Day...the wife? He wore sandals with socks! I thought he did a good job with the percussion too, Although I think he got off a bit in the harp part of Awaken, but then it seemed everyone was a bit shaky from the middle section on...except for Igor, who was immaculate.
Chris: Well Chris was spectacular. Having a blast as usual. But he did progressively seem to get upset more and more with the monitor mix on stage. He seemed really peeved about that by the end. But ofcourse, showman he is, he always turned back around with a smile for the audience. His playing was so refined and smooth. I was marveling at the level of communication between he and Alan after all these years. They are an incredible rhythm section. Their level of finesse almost mad me cry at some points. (But that's what you get after 30 years of playing together!) Chris is always a pleasure to watch and listen to. Hail the Keeper of The Flame!
Steve: Alright, I've heard people say Steve was great...I disagree. This was, for me, the worst I've seen him. His playing was simply adequate. No fire, no emotion, straight-faced, just going through the motions. Now I've seen Steve several times with Yes, once solo, and I know he's not a wild man, but he is usually somewhat animated, and at least shoots glances at the crowd when he's getting excited....nothing at this show. He looked like he wanted to be anywhere else but there. Smiled one time and when he did look at the audience it was the most serious, unhappy look. He really almost ruined the show for me. Now I am a HUGE steve Howe fan and this was very disappointing for me. He played the parts pretty well and his soloing was good, but all from a technical perspective, not an emotional one. It was all a bit stiff and choppy. His steel solo in AYAI was my favorite though, and it was during this that he had one of his only animated moments. It seemed like part of the way through the solo, the crowd roared in delight and then a few seconds later Steve looked out and pointed at the pedal steel and looked at the audience like "Oh yes! I heard you! Thankyou!" But then he was pointing at the steel again a few times and shaking his head like "This thing isn't right!" or "I can't hear anything!" And when the solo was done, he actually just stepped back and dropped his head and his arms just dropped limp beside him, looking down at the floor of the stage. He just looked frustrated at something or himself. It was really a sad thing. He definitely was not happy. And it was a shame really, because Steve is, to me, a legend. I personally thought he was better on OYE tour. At least he seemed to be having fun and goofing around then. Someone mentioned his tone also, lacking something and his massive fx rack...I thought his tone was pretty good. I didn't hear any over-processing. I don't think Steve would ever do that. He knows how those beautiful guitars should sound. He played through his trusted Fender Twins as usual. Also, there was a guitar list posted earlier which left out that he played his Switchmaster and his 335 also. (Hey you'd think I was a guitarist! I'm a drummer-go figure!)
Alan: What a touchy subject here recently. Well, I have been in agreement, for the most part, with the recent observations of Alan's playing and I thought on OYE tour he was pretty unexciting. But I
Yes put on a very enjoyable show in Atlanta last Saturday night at the Tabernacle. I don't think it was a sell-out, but there was quite a good sized crowd there, and very enthusiastic.
To avoid set list spoilers, I will just say that there were only a couple of changes from the South America sets: one song from The Ladder, and one older song, were played here that were not played in SA, and one song that was played down there a few times and then dropped in favor of something else was put back in. The encore was also slightly different. Plus, no solo songs from anyone.
The band played very well together pretty much the entire time, but they seemed to be plagued with sound problems all night. It looked like someone or other was constantly gesturing off stage to get someone turned up, or on, or down, or something. I noticed a few times where I had trouble hearing certain instruments, mostly keyboards, and Jon seemed a little low-volume at times, but it didn't hurt my enjoyment of the show to speak of. The light show was pretty cool, too, with lots of projections of swirling light patterns plus some photos and even some video interspersed. When they weren't trying to get the sound problems fixed, the band looked like they were having a good time. Billy Sherwood got to play lead on a couple of old songs (guess from which era) and did a fine job. Alan looked pretty well exhausted when he came out for the bows at the end, and I can't blame him!
Overall, a show that I quite enjoyed, and I encourage everyone to see them if you can get to a show. If you are expecting a greatest hits show, you will likely be disappointed. But if you want to hear a nice mix of old and new (like I was hoping for), you just might have a great time.
This was by far the worst Yes concert that I have ever been to. The band tried against all odds to make it work, but could not.
What were they fighting against? How about a skinhead band on the floor below (directly underneath the band) that you could clearly hear throughout the hall and was clearly disturbing the band? How about cigarette smoke so thick you could see a cloud hanging by the ceiling? How about general sound problems and more feedback than I have heard at any Yes concert? I would not take the time to go see virtually *anything* at the tabernacle ever again. Definitely not the place to see a Yes concert...
I did enjoy the song selection and will enjoy seeing them at another location. I especially enjoyed Cinema! That song blew skinhead thrash straight out of my mind (at least for the moment). The new stuff was OK, although the band clearly needs more practice with it and the conditions definitely hurt their efforts. I do hope that Yes doesn't give up on these tunes because they are excellent.
... More Tabernacle Rant...
How can they (The Tabernacle) justify putting some !@#$ing crap band on at the same time that many thousands of other folks are paying $40 to see an internationally recognised band like Yes? I looked and there *may* have been about 100 folks watching that group (it was hard to see though). I would have *gladly* paid an extra $5 to cover their losses and gotten those idiots back out on the streets where they belong. You have to believe that the sound sucked as bad, if not worse, for them. You also have to believe that these idiots got off on making as much noise as possible in an attempt to disturb Yes.
I can only hope that this deal was as big of a surprise to Yes' management as it was to me.
There is no doubt that Jon Anderson is the master of stagecraft. He was made for live performance and was positively "on" in Atlanta. Even with the technical glitches he still kept his cool and looked like he was loving every minute of every song. During Awaken, he turned to his left and said, "I can't hear myself singing." Then he pulled out his earpiece for the remainder of the song. He continued to take his earpiece in and out during the encores, but his vocals never suffered as a result of the feedback problem. He is a natural entertainer and a true professional.
I did notice he had lyrics available for only two of the new songs: LS and Face to Face. He didn't need any for the longer ones Homeworld and New Language. Truly amazing.
I don't think I have ever seen a better Yes audience. The fans in the balcony gave the band a standing ovation for almost every song. And you could tell the band appreciated it. Jon was beaming when he thanked the fans for staying with the band all these many years.
I didn't get backstage, but did talk to some of them while they were leaving the building. Jon and Jane wouldn't stop to sign anything, but I did give Jon a Nashville newspaper article featuring his visit with some high school kids (see the latest Opio edition.) Steve seemed the happiest of the night while he was shaking hands and signing things for the fans. Chris was also in a great mood after the show. I asked Alan if they would make it to Nashville during this tour and he said, "Yes, next summer." Igor was the last one out. When I gave him my Piano Works, he held it up to the crowd and said, "This is what you should be giving me to sign."
Finally, I was one of the fortunate ones to have a specially made sweater from Carlos Benavides of Lima, Peru. The sweater was dark blue with The Ladder and the square Yes logo in red on the front and the old Roger Dean Yes logo on the back. It received a lot of attention that night and I was even offered money to sell it on the spot. One guy wouldn't believe when I said, "It's not for sale! Contact Carlos on the Southside discussion list."
My spot on the floor was in front between Steve and Jon. (I caught the guitar strings thrown out during the tune ups.) But I was four or five rows back so the band didn't get to see the sweater, even when I traded spots with one of my friends up front for the encores.
But Billy did notice it while autographing and I asked him if he had worn his yet. (See Carlos' review of the Lima, Peru show). He said no but that he will when it gets colder. I told him mine was from the same man and he said please tell him thank you and that I will enjoy wearing it. So there you go Carlos, a big thank you from Billy and from me.
A truly memorable weekend spent with some of the nicest Yesfans on earth!
OK, first and foremost, kudos to the band for making a silk purse out of the sow's ear this show could easily have become. They showed without a doubt they're abilty as musicians in general and as a BAND. The primary problem with this show was not interferance from any other band but from an in-experianced crew. I found out after the show, from Alan, that alot of the crew was brand new. He was very understanding about it and made sure to express his optimizim at their improving with the next few gigs. No blame at all, he was in fact defending them a little as I brought up the obvious inability of the band to hear themselves as others have already mentioned. IMHO the main problem was with the front of house engineer. While the over-all tone of the mix was very good and well balanced, if you were lucky enought to be in the first balcony, it was a sonic tar pit on the floor. The real problem stemed from the volume. It was easily twice as loud as it should have been for the size of the room. This was were the band's problems with hearing themselves and each other, as well as the feedback, came from. The deafing roar of the mains so overpowered the monitors that everytime the monitor mixer tried to accomodate a band member's signal for more of anything here came the familiar but always unwlecome squeal. Oh well...
Now that I've got that out of my system, the songs:
I thought that the tempo of 'Disgrace was perfect. Slower, yes, but as it was performed as a segue from the Firebird Suite finale it was right on.
Homeworld was simply put Majestic.
Perpetual' definately had a sort of shuffle-reggae feel in parts and seemed to be a new idea still being worked out, which probably explains the slower pace here.
Lightning' was what got me back down on the main floor. I HAD to dance to this song! The bridge is far more Native American in flavor than African to me and had me doing my best fancy-dancer stomp.
New Language I unfortunatley couldn't hear very well as I got into a conversation with another fan for most of the song.
Cinema was a very welcome surprise. One of my favorite songs from 90125 and always something I thought would sound great live. I wasn't dissapointed. Keep the surprise songs coming guys. Last tour-Wonderous Stories, this time- Cinema, Next time-Then? or maybe To Be Over?(I can hope, can't I?)
Owner' A lot of people just slate Billy to death about the solo on this song and it frustrates me. When was the last time you heard Steve play the solo in Starship Trooper, for example, *exactly* every-single note and bend perfect to the original studio version? Give me a break! This band has always been very strong at playing variations on their written solos and adding improvisation into the mix for a very welcome musical edge. If you're not willing to take risks with your music than you don't belong on stage, period. He's playing the solo his own way with a nod to Trevor in the tone and effects used and the lead-in bend. The rest of it is his and it should be.
'Good Day I loved hearing this live! one of my favorites from the Ladder. I have a forty five minute commute to and from work and have listend to this song on my way in as the sun rises almost every day since getting the album. Try it. If you like your job it makes you feel like you can't wait to get there and do the best you can. If you don't like your job it'll probably at least make it a lot easier to get through the first half of the day.
As far as the rest of the songs go I pretty much agree with the previous reviews I read so I won't be redundant(I've used up enough bandwidth as it is). I was, however surprised by the changes to And You And I & Roundabout. My thoughts are that this was a last minute decision by Steve to keep out the sections of the songs requiring the acoustic in an effort to not have to suffer through anymore feedback. Were these arrangements also played in Myrtle Beach?
I didnít feel much like writing a review after Saturday nightís concert at Atlantaís Tabernacle. I wasnít sure how I felt; I just knew I didnít feel the same as I have after any previous Yes show (this was number 16, dating back to 1973). And I didnít want to write a negative review until I had time to think about it. (I did post the set list, however.)
Now, after Iíve had a few days to think about it, I know that Iím disappointed. One of the highlights of every previous Yes show has always been the quality of the entire show Ė the sound, the lights, the stage show, the tightness of the band. The band hasnít changed, but the other stuff sure has.
Iíll start with the venue. The Tabernacle is basically a small club, except that it has 2 balconies with seats. Since I brought my wife and 2 kids, and there was no way we were all going to stand in the crowd for 3 hours, we went right for balcony seats. Although we had a good view, I would have much preferred being in the first row or two in front of the stage as I have several times before. I missed the eye contact, and intimacy of being right up front. (Sure am glad I bought my tickets in advance via the on-line sale! ;-) ) Anyway, general admission sucks, and I know that a lot of die-hard fans at the show felt the same way.
During this show, the sound was the worst that I can remember ever hearing it. Perhaps my location on the balcony was the reason for the muddy sound, but that doesnít account for the feedback and lousy mixing. The band members were constantly motioning to the audio technician to change this or that volume. Over all, it was hard to hear the individual instruments throughout the show. And, it was really loud, and although that was to be expected, it made it hard to relax and concentrate on the quiet parts.
The stage set was non-existent (except for a few white sheets covering some amps or speakers), and the light show was poor. They had the ability to project computer graphics, but really used them very sparingly. The ones they did use (like the movies in the beginning, or the motion during the quite part of Awaken) were quite good, they just could have used more. That would have made a big difference.
OK, now for the good news! The music and the song selection were quite good. They played 6 new songs, which was fine with me. The new album is very good, and I think we were all a little disappointed during the last tour that they didnít play more new stuff. (Be careful what you wish for!) They executed these songs quite well, and you could feel the enthusiasm. The harmonies (which are great on the CD) were pulled off well too. I already know the songs pretty well, so it was good to hear them played live. If history holds true, weíll never hear them again, so take advantage of this tour!
Perpetual Change was great Ė I hadnít heard it in concert in a long time. Cinema was an unexpected treat, and executed beautifully by Billy. He really enjoyed playing that, and it came across. Hearts was well done too Ė Steve added his slide guitar towards the end, which really helped make it appropriate for this version of the band. Awaken was good Ė itís still my favorite song - but Iíve seen them play it several times before (the GFTO, Tormato & Union tours) and unfortunately, this didnít compare. Perhaps it needed some Wakeman flare to spice it up. The short excerpts were a really nice treat, but they left me wanting the ďrealĒ songs Ė but given the time constraints, Iím not complaining. Encoring with And You and I was brilliant, it helped end the show on a high for me. Roundabout was a given, but it was definitely shortened, and they didnít really do much jamming on it at all. Igor did a great job on his parts though. He and Billy have really become integral and welcomed parts of this band.
Bottom line? Iím worried. Iím afraid this tour (or the perhaps the next) wonít be a success, and we wonít get to see them again. Here
I just came home from the concert a few minutes ago, and the ears are still ringing. You guys are in for a real treat! I just don't even know how to put into words how remarkable this evening was! It had its flaws, of course, but overall, it was just astounding. The guys were a little mellow, but they all sounded fantastic.
I've tried to structure this review so that you can read as much or as little as you like.
First I have to say that the Altlanta audience was incredibly high energy!! It was such a pleasure being in a crowd of such excited and enthusiastic fans! The venue -- the Tabernacle (used to be an old church, renovated into a concert venue) -- was infinitely better for Yes than Chastain. While the house lights were still up, the horn solo from the beginning of the the Firebird Suite suddenly came out of nowhere, and the crowd just went nuts! The sound system was a little muddy, and the volume seemed a bit loud for the size of the venue. Of course, it was very difficult to hear Igor most of the time. And there was really only one low point of the evening, but I'll get to that later.
Jon was so on. He was just wonderful! Sounded great, looked great. Chris was the most "active" all evening, but he was really dressed down. He looked really sloppy. Steve looked like he was there to do a job. No interaction with the rest of the band, none with the audience either. Alan did some really neat things here and there, but mainly stuck to established parts. It was a real thrill to finally see Igor. He was really great. Too low in the mix, of course, and not featured enough, I think, but great none-the-less. In the old material, he stuck to Rick's parts a little too much. And ladies (and Kobi!), Billy looked very hot. He played and sounded really good. I just wish that he had a more integral role in what they do live. More on that later.
It really felt to me less like a band, and more like 6 guys all playing the same song. It was like Jon was the dividing line, and Chris and Billy played together, and Steve had nothing to do with them. I mean, they didn't even look in each other's direction. I would love to see Billy be given more time on the next album, at least like a solo in an outro of a song or two. He's really underused.
From reading the set list, you probably think I forgot to write a few things down... but I didn't: They played NO SOLOS at all. NONE.
Yours -- Okay, they played this really really well. Steve was really cranking! BUT -- it was SO undertempo! It lacked the drive that it should have.
Jon then did a chorus from "Time" which was really nice (better than hearing them play the damn song again) and the segued immediately into
Homeworld -- WOW!! This song really came off well! The moment coming from the second chorus into the instrumental part didn't work too well (someone was off just a tad) but otherwise, it just soared the way a great Yes song should!
P. Change -- Again, way too undertempo. But it just sounded fantastic.
Lightning -- This song really cranked live. The horns were missed, but other than that, they pulled this off really well. And Chris was right on!
New Language -- The intro really kicked!!! Man, they smoked! The extended it just a tad, and Igor did a fantastic organ solo during it. The song itself, though, was really lame. Never cared for it, and hearing it live didn't sell me on it.
Jon then sang a verse and chorus from "Nu Somme du Soleil" which was way too short, but a very nice touch.
Cinema / Owner -- Once Billy got to take center stage, he was quite awesome! I wish he was a bit more integrated into the band sound though. For Cinema, Jon and Steve left stage, and it was just the other 4 guys. They launched immediately into Owner. As tired as we all get of seeing Owner in the setlist every year, it really does kick ass live. One of the high energy moments of the night. They did a long outro
Well where do I start? It was indeed a good day! I arrived about 4:30pm at the venue. The 1000 seat Tabernacle. An old chuch that was converted into a club. All painted up in psychedelic artwork on the inside. Great vibe there. As I was talking with some folks who saw the Myrtle Beach show the previous night, Steve arrived. Apparently he travels separately from the rest of the band. He was in beige Mercedes station wagon, an old one. Just him, the driver and all his guitars in back. I went over and told him I was looking forward to the show. Face to face with Steve Howe! Pretty cool indeed.
Let me say- Yes fans are some of the nicest people you would ever want to meet at a concert. I spent the next 2 1/2 hours looking at great artwork, and discussing the band and their music. Everyone I met that had heard the new CD loved it! They found it hard to believe that there are people out there who would argue over whether it's good or not! Ahem! .... There was a great cross section of ages there. There were even some kids there too, who seemed to get more attention form the band later than anyone else.
Once the doors opened I got a spot right in front of where Steve would be. I have never been in the front row at a Yes show. It was well worth the ticket price!! Elsewhere you can read the actual setlist, so I will spare you that now. But I do want to mention a few things. This being only the second show on the tour there were a few bugs to be worked out. Mostly level problems. Seemed all night either Jon, Chris or Steve would look at the sound men and point at the ceiling, or at the floor. Sometimes they looked downright pissed. Steve, while he played great, was clearly not too happy. He only smiled once all night and that was before the encores, mostly likeley cause he knew it would be soon over. There were a few busrts of nasty feedback over the course of the night. Though it was not too bad of a mix. Igor as usual was not loud enough. He played great, it's a shame he isn't mixed better. Billy played Trevors parts better than last year. Played a nice solo on "Hearts", pretty much like Trevor played it. He stepped up and said they were going to do a tune that he had reqested the band do. Then they tore into "Cinema". This was the suprise of the evening I think. He played the parts well. His tone did not have the bite that Rabins always did. That was the biggest difference. Billys playing was more than adequate. On the older classic stuff, you couldn't hear him at all. As usual. Though that is probably a good thing since he plays parts that are not on the original records. I must say that Steve's tone was not as good as it used to be. He has that big rack he plays though now days and it just kinda smooths out the rough edges a bit too much. I long for the days when he just plugged in! Before racks and all. You guys have heard the boots. He used to have a tone with some edge to it. Not much now. He seemed a little unispired. Though he played great. He is such a perfectionist though that when the sound is not right, he gets a little mad. And I think that contributed to him playing a little less than usual. He seemed very serious tonite.
Chris was no doubt the most animated of the bunch, and Jon a close second. Jon was supurb. Of all of the band memebers he sounded the best I must say. His voice was clear and it was early in the tour, so his voice was in fine shape.
The new material was good and well received by old fans that had never heard it. "Face To Face" was the best of the new tunes. Really good. Steve played the Steinberger 12 string on that and his solo was better than the one on the cd I think. "Homeworld" was nice. "New Language" sounds much better on the record. The Roundabout ripoff part was tepid at best. Steve missed his cue and started the acoustic solo late. It was OK, I think NL will improve as the tour rolls along. "Perpetual Change" was very good. Steve's solo was a bit reserved. Though
Well,,,just got back from the Concert....I think it stunk for the following reasons...
20 min delay in starting I think it was pretty short,,about 90 min No Steve solo spot Steve looked like he was in pain all evening Lots of little technical glitches The band didnt sound tight to me...I am sorry to say. but Billy just addede to the clutter.. The venue's acoustics were worse than my bathroom's....The band is simply too loud and powerful for such a theatre. Igor was too lud in the mix...Steve wasnt much interested in playing Its amazing,,,,last year in Detroit they had the best sound.....
This is the first show I've seen in the renovated church that has become The Tabernacle. It was used during the Olympics by the House Of Blues, but they elected not to stay. For a building built near the turn of the LAST century, it seems to work well. It is spacious and has a double balcony - the lower one wraps all the way around the room from stage left to stage right overlooking the stage on either side. The upper one goes mainly straight across with slight flairs on either side, but reaches way up beyond the 50 foot high ceiling by about 25 feet. The venue is listed as having a capacity of 1900, but judging by the line when I arrived it looked like there was about 2000 people there already! If I'm not mistaken, the show sold out, but in the end there was plenty of room. It was general admission and the floor was SRO, but both balconies provided excellent views, and the acoustics were pretty good - nowhere near the caliber of The Fox, but very good considering...
The stage setup appeared slightly crowded with equipment, but the band had more than enough floor space to move around without bumping each other. As usual Steve was at the leftmost end of the stage, with Jon, Chris, then Billy across the front of the stage, with Igor and Alan on risers across the back - Igor to the left, Alan right. There was a simple plain white backdrop and a silver (5' x 5', styrofoam?) Yes logo (new version) hanging centered just in front of the backdrop. The lighting system was somewhat subdued compared to tours past, but were more than adequate. The light racks and speakers were hoisted high above the stage, giving it an overall open and airy quality I've not seen in previous Yes concerts.
The show opened with "Firebird Suite". While the track played and the band took the stage, film clips of Yes in concert were displayed against the backdrop. The crowd heartily approved.
Once onstage they immediately launched into "Your's Is No Disgrace". It's been a long time since I've seen them perform this classic, and I wasn't disappointed. As with most shows, not everything goes according to plan and Jon's mike was off for about half of the first verse, but was fixed very quickly.
Jon sang a single verse from "Time And A Word" which the crowd happily joined in on.
They followed this with "The Ladder (Homeworld)". They did an excellent job on this tune - I think it really moved some people.
At this point Jon said his hello's to the crowd and called the Tabernacle (for tonight, anyway) "The House Of Yes" - the crowd cheered!
Next up was "Perpetual Change". This tune always gets people moving and tonight was no exception. They used kind of a reggae or staccato beat for the softer verse parts of this tune - made for an interesting variation on this standard. (I'm not a musician, so don't flame me for not knowing the proper name for the type of beat they were doing - help me out here music people?)
They followed this with "Lightning Strikes". I was wondering if they would do the complete African Suite, but nope.
Then came "New Language". This was one song I was looking forward to hearing live as it's my current favorite from the CD, but it seemed to be plagued with troubles. Steve's guitar (I think) generated a vicious bit of feedback shortly into the start of the tune, but was resolved reasonably quickly. Steve was visibly irritated. He also missed a cue at a particular point in the song, but recovered fairly well. Chris also motioned to the technicians to turn up his bass pedals several times - like maybe the tech couldn't find the right slider.
While the rest of the band set up for the next number, Jon filled the space with another mini-excerpt, this time it was an excerpt from "Ritual" - "Nous Sommes Du Soleil".
Then Jon introduced Billy. The crowd cheered! Billy told the audience that the song "Cinema" was his fav from 90125 and how much he wanted to play it, and
My biggest annual treat is to get the chance to see the group that puts together my favorite music. I've been thankful to get the chance to see them regularly since 1974. This night I came with my wife Jennifer, who's never seen Yes and is not really an avid rock n roller. She's a little more softer and laid back (lucky for me). I was pumping her up telling her what to expect with an incredibly tight band and a great sound system. I figured we'd hear at least four or five new tunes. She's heard 'The Ladder' and likes quite a few of the mellower songs (check out Jon's work with 4Him on a CD called 'Streams').
That brings to the "ancient Tabernacle" (quoting Jon Anderson). These days I don't get to see many other rock shows - as family reigns #1 - but I've been to my share. This is the first time I've ever been disappointed at a Yes show. I do know the band played great. I don't know if it was our seats (first row balcony stage left); the venue; or the sound guys or all three, but most of the night it was just too f$ing loud! At one point during 'Awaken', Jen and I both could clearly read Jon's lips as he bemoaned to a sound guy - It's too loud --- I can't even hear myself sing!!
This was the first time I'd even heard equipment feedback at a Yes show!
I felt for the poor guy at the panel on stage that was getting the brunt of Jon and Chris' wrath.
Mostly though I felt for my Jennifer who spent half the night with her fingers in her ears. I thought my body was accustomed to high decibels, what with 30 years of rock shows coupled with 15 years working around jet planes, but I guess I can't keep up at that level any more. Typically, at a Yes show, I can sit back, close my eyes, hang on every single note and just get carried away (just like listening at home). Tonight I wasn't so fortunate. There would be moments where I would start sailing, but then the sounds would all merge into one big blur. I could close up my ears to help filter out the noise and hear the music (which was tight as ever) but what fun is that? I like it loud myself, but this night was way beyond loud. I don't know - it may have been awesome, as usual, to be front and center. We could have nutted it up and went SRO for 2 1/2 more hours down in front. But, thanks to the heinous general admission seating arrangements, the 2 1/2 hour wait outside the theater was enough for us (4 kids, 1 in diapers, will do it for you). TFB for us I guess.
I can remember dreaming of one day seeing Yes play the smaller venues. The last four or five years of seeing Yes has been that dream come true. I for one canít understand where all the 'fans' have gone. To me the music keeps getting better and better.
The next dream come true would to see some shows that give us nothing but new stuff and non-standard older tunes. I could go major ape-sh!t over an encore of, say 'Mind Drive', instead of 'Roundabout' for the 4 zillionth time. It's nice to hear songs like 'Hearts' and 'Cinema'. Everybody loves 'All Good People', but my bet is that 99 percent of the people that are at these shows would be even more ecstatic hearing stuff from 'Open Your Eyes' and 'Keys to Ascension'. When's the last time we heard 'SoundChaser' or 'Parallels'. I can't believe I'm actually complaining about Yes.
I'll wager I won't be taking Jennifer to the Tabernacle anytime soon though. What's left for us here in Atlanta? Chastain bites because of the local sound ordinances; in addition, most of the 'wine and cheesers' are there to have a yack-fest. Now itís the TabernacleÖ TFB for us I guess.
I absolutely LOVE 'The Ladder'. Already jonesin' for the next one. As I said, I think they are still getting better. Thanks to Yes. I consider my self blessed to have their music in my heart. Thanks for coming to see us.
Hep Yadda (what ever that means)
I made the drive over from northern Mississippi Saturday to see YES at the Tabernacle in downtown Atlanta. Not seeing any tour dates closer to my area, I thought I better go see them when I can!
Here's what I saw last nite: YES played as great as ever, but the sound was too loud and mushy. Jon's voice should have been mixed just slightly louder than the rest of the band. I though it was washed in with the rest of the music, and his vocals were thus not as prominent. I saw nearly all the band members jesture at least once offstage to adjust volume of mics or instruments.
The stage setting is by far the most bland of all past tours. The silver YES sign hanging in front of the white sheet background looked like something out of a school play. The backdrop was used to flash past pictures of band members and YES logos early on, but this dropped off and I never saw any effective projections on that backdrop the rest of the evening.
Steve Howe seemed very tired and a bit unemotional to me. I'll wonder what others thought.
I didn't leave this concer moved like I usually do. The sound management and stage setting were too much to overcome.
Nonetheless, I always appreciate the opportunity to see YES in concert and will continue to support them and their music. Now, if they'd only swing through Memphis or Nashville or Huntsville sometime next year....