The second night at the Carol Morsani Hall, a beautifully layered theatre that forms part of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. The only change to the set list from Yesterday was that Steve Howe replaced ‘Clap’ with ‘Mood for a Day’ during his min-set (fine by me), which produced a good contrast with the country picking ‘Ram’ and then ‘Australia’.
This was another really strong performance from Yes. It was this evening, if I recall correctly, that my voice appears on a bootleg of the show recorded from the seat next to me (I won’t say who, but he’s a fine guy from Ohio) as the first strains of ‘Firebird’ strike up. “Okay, here we go…” is my momentous observation. And go we – or, rather, they – did. Powerfully so.
I enjoyed hearing ‘New Language’ once again. The organ intro is especially rousing. It is obvious that it is a challenge to play live, however. I think it came off a little better tonight. There are so many notes at the beginning, in addition to an elusive time signature, that the phasing can be decidedly tricky.
A quick approving mention for the inclusion of the instrumental ‘Cinema’ in the midst of the more popular pieces at the end. A less obvious choice which also gives the underestimated Billy Sherwood, who actually adds important instrumental and vocal texture, a chance to step out of the shadows. Excellent performances from everyone, and another memorable evening with Yes.
An amazing YES week in Florida.
The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center (THE HOUSE OF YES)
The Venue: Wonderful theater in a beautiful waterfront setting. I believe the theater was built in the 80's, but it has the charm of a majestic opera house. There is a main floor,and three additional levels of seating. The sound of the theater is superb, and the stage is large enough to handle a Broadway production.
The Crowd: I would guess that on both Monday and Tuesday nights the theater was at about 75 to 80% capacity. A diverse multigenerational crowd of appreciative fans was in attendance. I saw people who appeared to be in their 60's and I saw several people in the 18-30 age group. One of the most amazing sights that I noticed more so at these two shows than I had in the past, was the many father and son Yes fans. Typically dad is in his 40's, and he has brought his teenage son(s). It is a great tribute to the importance of this band as fathers pass the torch of Yes music to their offspring.
The Stage & Lighting: From left to right; HOWE - ANDERSON - SQUIRE - SHERWOOD with Igor(left) and Alan(right) in the rear. The lighting and production was very good. There is a large curtain behind the band upon which images are projected. At the opening(very dramatic) at first the original Yes logo appears then as the music volume increases, historic photos of the band members begin to flash on the backdrop, as the band enters the stage a magnificent techno-psychedelic movie begins and continues throughout the show.
The Performance: Incredible, simply amazing. Yes, the tempo of some of the songs have slowed a bit, but not at a detriment to the songs. Every song was great, with extensions on Hearts and It Will be a Good Day. Awaken was the highlight, Igor has the technique of Wakeman with the soul of Moraz. I think Igor is better than both Rick and Patrick. Jon's voice is a miracle, a gift from heaven, beautiful. Steve Howe is inspirational, magical and truly spiritual. On Tuesday night as Awaken was performed it was an absolutely soul shaking ascension to another dimension. I was close enough to see the tears in Steve's eyes as the last note of this masterpiece was fading into eternity.
I believe I have been fortunate enough to have experienced the Two best Yes shows ever. It doesn't get any better than this.
Pretty much consistent with Monday's show in all ways. I wish they would have mixed it up a little since they were playing back to back nights in the same venue but, oh well, I tolerated another great Yes experience. Just wish there weren't so many people who feel the need to yell during soft, delicate parts of the music. Awakening and And You and I won the goose bump meter awards with AYAI winning over all due to extra points for tears! And after seeing them do Cinema for the second night it gets special mention for rock hard freshness. Looking forward to Friday in Orlando!