23 years, 6 months and 7 days ago
Friday, November 26, 1999
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Last fall in New Brunswick again after Billy is featured in some song (I can't recall) when the song is finished Jon begins some talking about what the next song will be(couldn't hear his speaking voice too well). Billy walks over and whispers something to Jon. Then Jon realizes that he was supposed to introduce Billy at this point. He motions to his head, like 'geez I'm losing it' or 'oh yeah, you again' and then gives the "..Mr. Billy Sherwoooood..." introduction. It was sorta funny.
Just a couple things about the State Theater show. Well, they didn't play 'Gates of Delirium'. Someday maybe. I was twelfth row, in front of Billy(Despite the fact that I asked to be in front of Steve when I ordered tickets). That's OK though. I was pretty much watching Steve the whole show though, and I didn't see much chicken-necking at all compared to all the other shows I've seen. Not that he wasn't playing well, he just didn't seem as fired up as he has in the past. He barely moved at all during his solo part of Yours Is No Disgrace. When I saw him play the State Theater last year, he was jumping up & down and making all sorts of faces. He seemed to be very low in the mix, but this might be because I was on Billy's side and they had Steve coming out of the left speaker?? Plus the overall volume didn't seem loud enough. Especially in between songs. I didn't understand a word Jon said. Partly due to the fact that so many Yes fans apparently love to hear themselves talk, sometimes in the middle of songs, too.
At the end of Roundabout, they continued to jam something for about a minute. I don't know if this has been a regular thing lately or not. They definetely didn't do it when I saw them in Tampa last month.
Also, there were two guys videotaping the show in the second or third row, but one of the crew came over and made them turn off their cameras after about 45 minutes. Mental note to all videotapers: cover up the video display on the camera...you can see it a mile away.
Another note....this was the eighth time I've seen Steve live and the first time he didn't play 'Clap'. Not that I necessarily wanted to hear that particular tune, but come on...$55 for a ticket to one of the shortest concerts I've ever been to?(especially if you don't count the huge gaps in between songs) Yes, it was worth it, but why not play for an extra 10 minutes? or longer.
Just a few words on yesterday's New Brunswick sold-out show:
It was EXCELLENT! The energy in the theater was at such a HIGH! I think it registered an 11 on a scale of 1-10.
Steve's playing was tremendous but he didn't seem to be having much fun. I thought he'd at least crack a smile when Squire wandered over to him but he pretty much acted as if he wasn't there. IMHO!
I keep hearing about howe Igor is not in the mix but In The Balcony where (so close to Eddie J.!???) they ALL sounded fine.
And EVERYONE took turns (it seemed) walking on/off the stage during songs where their part wasn't "needed" (like Awaken for example); so people, don't read anything into this about members fighting, etc...
I thought the light show was really cool. Was a little lost during Awaken trying to make a connection with the song and images of a bird-creature and a flower spewing some sort of globular balls. Pass me a doober, I guess! :=)
I was at the opening show in Myrtle Beach and again last night in NJ. I am not the type to complain about little sound gliches et al: "Igor was turned down a little low etc" but the sound was not great. I could not hear one thing Jon said between songs and it was not from the obnoxious NJites. One problem I sensed last night is that the fans were cold as ice - there were many people outside who likely did not get in, yet around me there were "youngsters" who not only were clueless to the ladder but seemed clueless to songs like AYAI. I was my usual singing and hand motioning fool but its a bit draining when everyone around you is a dud. This was not the case in Myrtle Beach. Cant there be some kind ot test pre buying tickets ex: name 3 Yes albums? :-) As for the band they seemed the same "greatest band in the world" to me. This nonsense about Steve being mad etc is so silly. The guy is serious about his playing and he rips. Highlights were Awaken of course, IWBAGD - quickly becoming a 90's fave. And Hearts was good, I love Steves slide version of the guitar action on that. Whats with opening the encore with Surewood, that just left a sour feeling in my Stomach like them saying: This will be the future - ugggh God forbid! Off to the beacon in NY next week.
I'm not looking to rekindle any old flame wars but last night's show was really disappointing.
I gave Billy a chance to do all this great stuff I've been reading about but he stuck out like a sore thumb. He looked like Don Johnson and whenever he played anything audible it was a sloppy mess. When he was introduced by Jon he recieved a lukewarm response at best. I'm 25 & I've seen every tour since Talk (the worst concert I've ever wasted my money on) & Sherwood's involvement in YES makes about as much sense to me as firing Norm MacDonald from Saturday Night Live, or David Letterman not getting the Tonight Show did.
Jon seemed less than thrilled but he is still THE VOICE! Alan was Alan. Mr. Meat & Potatoes he is & he kept it together just like he has for the past 1/4 century +. Chris went through the motions. The Fish has become the Whale. Steve's playing was outstanding although it was VERY obvoius he wasn't pleased with the current YES scenario. He'll be the first to go after the tour.
Igor however played like he's been with YES for 20 years! Full of enthusiasm even when playing those crappy '80's & Ladder songs. Not a single mistake. Whenever his time with YES ends expect big stuff from him. His & Jon's percussion work during Owner was a particular highlight for me.
It was great to see YIND, Perpetual Change & Awaken but the rest of the show seemes stale as hell. The new songs lack and the same old shit is THE SAME OLD SHIT! I left during Roundabout.