23 years, 5 months and 21 days ago
Tuesday, December 7, 1999
New York City, New York
During the extended Tag-ending jam on Roundabout from 12/7/99 NYC, Billy adds some really nice Gates Of Delerium quotes with a slide amongst the Chaos. I don't have the tape, but it's readily apparent on the video and it's great to see him smile and look to see who notices.
Yes Beacon Theatre
By David Bernstein
"The Island Ear" - December 27, 1999- January 9, 2000
"The classic rock institution known as Yes pulled into NYC for a three night stand, still going strong more than thirty years into their career. But then, any band that can weather disco and punk can easily sail through hip-hop and teen pop. This is all due to one man: Chris Squire, co-founder and bassist, the only member to play on every Yes album. He is the Keeper Of The Flame.
The progressive rock sextet opened the show with the bombastic "Yours Is No Disgrace" which featured some amazing fret work by long-serving guitarist Steve Howe, who played no fewer than seven different guitars during the nearly two-and-one-half-hour set. Promoting their strongest new studio record, in years, The Ladder, the played 5 cuts from the album. The best song, "Homeworld", is a throw back to the classic Yes-sound fans have been clamoring for. Also worth a mention is the paean topositivity "It Will Be a Good Day". Showcasing fine backing vocals by Squire and newer second guitarist Billy Sherwood. This may be the band's best vocal line up, as all members sang live except drummer Alan White, the groups true backbone for the last 27 years.
Jon Anderson, the voice of Yes, was in fine, but not perfect form. He seemed a bit off on the 80's album cut, "Hearts", which lumbered rather than lifted off. Anderson's voice was better on the majestic "And You & I" and "Awaken", the set highlight, during which he appeared in a trance-like state while playing harp. The climax of the song had confetti fall from the ceiling over the audience.
Grammy-winning instrumental "Cinema" began the encore, followed by their only number-one single, "Owner Of A Lonely Heart". "Roundabout" came next in which newest member, keysman Igor Khorashev, played the lead line with his right hand while drumming on a cowbell with his left! Ending on a down note, they closed with a useless blues jame instead of another song.
Although Yes turned in another spotless performance, that was their biggest problem: too perfect, not enough spontaneity. They did the same exact set three nights in a row, relying on their better known pieces. Next time they should listen more to their diehard Internet fans and drop overplayed chestnuts like "All Good People", adding more obscure numbers to satitate their loyal devotees.
YES MEN MAKE BEACON SHOW A JAM-PACKED GIG
By DAN AQUILANTE
New York Post
IN a world where hit songs are spun by teen-queen recording nymphs in three-minute doses, it seems strange that the progressive rock outfit Yes could have ever existed -- let alone still fare well in concert today. But as the band's mystically wacky singer and lyricist Jon Anderson -- dressed in modified pajamas -- declared: "For the next few nights, the Beacon Theatre is the House of Yes." And at the first of the band's three-show residency at the uptown hall, the Yes men immersed themselves in fits of bombast worthy of a band that has defined its musical genre for the last 30 years.
You don't have to like the ethereal gruel that the band serves up to admire its virtuosity. Each of the six Yes-ers -- including the band's ancient elders, Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, drummer Alan White and guitarist Steve Howe -- held up their end of the musical bargain during a two-hour show that sometimes seemed longer than it was.
Jams were the order of the night, and the boys noodled their way through lengthy extended versions of new music from their just-released "The Ladder" as well as a few of their standards, which only the devoted knew by name.
Between the second-hand hempilated smoke and songs that seemed to be part of the same never-ending story, at times the evening was less a show of musical dynamics than a battle for consciousness. Those who did nod never stayed under long, as Anderson's tenor is piercing. On albums he is able to capture the same reedy quality that Sting does, but in concert his vocals are more shrill.
That was at the root of the biggest disappointment of the evening. On "Lightning Strikes" -- the best tune from "The Ladder" -- Anderson's voice scratched along the song's slate like sharpened nails. It was a shame, because it is really a fine tune on the disc, and in concert Howe provided a wonderful acoustic-guitar introduction with a hint of flamenco flavor.
Howe, who's been ravaged by time (he looks a lot like Riff Raff in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"), had absolutely zero stage presence. Still, he made up for that with some outstanding guitar and mandolin fret work. Portly Squire -- who looked silly in knee-length clam diggers -- has always had a showman's flair, yet even he was subdued at this performance.
Anderson did all the talking for the band. He babbled about love, introduced a few songs and did a lot of double hand jive that looked like hula-dancing sign language for "a flower in bloom."
OK, so he's a flake, the band doesn't know how to end a song, and the audience seemed like out-of-time stoners, but in the last 35 minutes of the show, all was forgiven and forgotten thanks to the terrific three-pronged attack of "I've Seen All Good People," "Owner of a Lonely Heart" and the band's signature "Roundabout."
For the dilettante Yes fan those are the band's only songs, or at least the only ones that count. Yes recognizes that, and the boys worked those three for all they were worth.
The chiming pop harmonies of "Lonely Heart" and "Good People" (stylistically akin to the English madrigal) were magnificent. On these Anderson's shrill tones were tempered by his bandmates earthier ones. And the pop passion was at full charge on the inscrutable "Roundabout," in which Anderson declares: "In and around the lake, mountains come out of the sky and they stand there."
Yes is at the Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway at 74th Street, through tonight. Show time is 8 p.m. Tickets are $45 and $65. Call (212) 496-7070.
I remember someone shouting "RELAYER!" (it was a *loud" shout - so maybe it was a group of people) --- and Anderson actually stopped mid-sentence and said, "Hey, I agree!"
SO much pot smoke in the air.
I saw Yes tonight at the Beacon. It was the 7th time I've seen them and it definitely was the best show I've seen them perform. The setlist was the same as the last few shows and highights for me were "Homeworld", "Awaken", "Hearts", "The Messenger", and "Face to Face".
There was a great energy throughout the show and Billy and Igor definitely fit in with the rest of the band moreso than from the last two tours. Billy's voice sounded excellent on "Hearts" and his guitar playing was also very good when he was given the spotlight on the Yeswest material like "Cinema" and "Owner". For those who think Steve is upset on stage--I didn't get that impression--he is just very focused and he definitely cracked more than a few smiles throughout the night. Jon sounded clear and powerful throughout. Squire was his usual self on stage. Alan's playing was solid as usual & he really was good on the new material. Igor was great. Billy was also a lot better than I remember him on the last tour. It was cool to see them favor the new material which, if you think about it, is the first time since _Drama_ where the incarnation of Yes is playing new material off of an album that was written totally together as a band.
A few other observations...
The crowd was really good. Of course, there were the typical fans who like to talk to one another during nearly every song. One guy near me was on a cell phone for a few minutes during one song. Some people repeatedly called out for "Sound Chaser". One person said after the last of the new songs to be played, something to the effect of "Now we can hear the good music!". Other interesting things -- soon after I sat down, someone near me asked if I had heard the new album. I definitely recommended him to get it and I noticed that he was getting into the new material when it was played. Another very interesting thing was when the conductor on the train from Long Island to NYC came to get tickets from me and the girl I went with, he said, "Yes night...sold out at the Beacon Theater." Keep in mind, neither I nor the girl I was with had any Yes clothing on. So Stacy said, "Yeah, that's where we're going." The conductor was a little spacy and went on to say, "Yeah...sold out at the Beacon...three nights....maybe....Rick Wakeman will show up...surprise everyone...." I told him I doubted it and asked if he was going to see them over the next few days but he told me he had to work. Then a guy a few seats down asked, "Yes is playing tonight?" When the conductor repeated that they were, the guy seemed surprised and very interested. Way to go Yes management! You're really getting the word out! Anyway, the conductor strolled away mumbling..."Maybe they'll play...the 20 minute version of 'Roust Aboust'...'i'll be the roust aboust..."
First off, for a date so late in the tour, the band was energized. The set was great!! I feel like one of the few fans who WANTS them to perform new music on tour. And the new stuff was GREAT.
"It Will Be A Good Day" sounded much more vibrant live than it does on record. My guess is it was Alan beefing it up a bit, plus Steve and Igor improvising and texturing it a bit more. But the biggest surprise of the night for me was "Face To Face". That tune was SMOKIN'. It was so electric (I don't mean electronic, even though it does have techno undertones), and it rocked!! I think it was my favorite new song of the evening.
Everyone was in great form. Jon's voice was right-on. Chris was top-notch. And while you can't always see Alan, he certainly makes his presence known!! Igor is fantastic. As my friend Ray told me, if the band is able to stay together for a few more years, and put out a couple more albums, he will surely be the second best loved keyboard player to perform with Yes. Billy was all smiles and seemed very happy. His playing during "Hearts" was inspired.
The slide show/projections were clever. A really nice touch. A stroll down memory lane.
If there were any negatives, I would have to say the band should cut out the snippets of "Time And A Word" and "Nous Somme Du Soliel". Really, what's the point? If they're not going to perform the entire song, then forget it. The snippets just seemed awkward and out of place.
And "Finally", to all the folks who continually post the "Steve is bored on stage" nonsense, I have to ask...have you EVER seen Steve live before?!? The man is a master!! He is coaxing so many notes and sounds out of his guitar it's almost frightening. He is totally focused on what he's doing. And for those of you who don't know, you can tell Steve is having a good time when his head is bobbing, and his body is swaying, wriggling and contorting!! (Only if the fact that his playing is totally blowing you away doesn't tip you off, of course!!)
Overall, it was a great show. One down, two to go.
Yes has pissed me off for the last time, and as a result...I will no longer spend money on them.
I attended last night's (12/7/99) show at the Beacon Theatre. Over the course of their long, exhausting 2 hour show, they played two songs that came from the period between 1981 and 1997!!!
Hearts and Owner of a Lonely Heart.
Now, Im not going to get into a conversation with anyone about who is a better guitarist. Personally, I feel that Trevor was a FAR better technical guitarist and Steve Howe needs to retire and tend to his arthritis. However, EVEN if Yes didn't play anything from the Trevor Years, at least play something from Open Your Eyes or the Key's albums!! Nada...not a thing!!!
Also -- What the Hell is Billy Shitwood doing on stage with that band. I barely heard a single note he played, unless the soundman turned him up to butcher Trevor solo parts. I always have remembered Yes as a five piece setup....with each member playing a different instrument. Now, they've got Shitwood in there, muddying up the mix.
Alan White -- another guy that needs to start thinking retirement....the guys got no dynamics...no fire...Does he get tired early??? sounds like it to me!
Yes has turned into a poor excuse for a retro act. It doesn't matter if they do 5 to 6 more albums of new material. What's the point, if they dont play anything new...other than the shit off of the brand new album.
What good is a progressive rock band that doesn't progress!...Yes seems to have this idea that people WANT to hear nothing except material older than 1979. Tell me folks, where did that get Blue Oyster Cult or REO Speedwagon?????
Since becoming a Yes fan in 1991, I've seen them six times--twice on the "Talk" tour, once on the OYE tour, once for the VH1 Hard Rock Live taping, and twice on the Summer 30th Anniversary tour. Seeing them for the seventh time this evening, it was definitely the best show I've seen them perform thus far.
Having very good seats didn't hurt either but Yes was definitely in top form.
Igor and Billy seem to "fit in" now and it really adds to the overall energy and performance.
An excellent setlist which definitely favored newer material is another reason why the show was so exciting. Considering that the _Talk_ material was composed by mainly Jon&Trevor, the _ABWH_ album being recorded in different studios and with session musicians, and the Yeswest albums hardly being a true 'group' effort, this performance was the first time that Yes was playing a bulk of new music that they recorded as a group since _Drama_.
All the new songs sounded great--especially "Homeworld", "Face To Face", and "The Messenger". "Hearts" & "Awaken" were also highlights. The former being a good choice to let Billy showcase his fine voice and guitar playing and the latter being a stunning example of how magical seeing Yes in concert can be.
Jon's voice sounded crystal clear and powerful throughout.
Steve switched guitars effortlessly and really shined on "YIND", "And You And I", "Awaken", "Owner of A Lonely Heart" and even on "Hearts" where his pedal steel work was a perfect fit for the song. Don't believe those who say they feel Howe is upset on stage--he just seems very focused on his playing and he definitely cracked a few big smiles throughout the show.
Squire was in good form.
White sounded great--especially on "Face to Face" and "Awaken".
And like I said, Igor and Billy definitely seem to fit in with the band and are doing excellent jobs with the older material. All in all, an excellent show.