I attended the Wednesday show at the Beacon and wanted to share some thoughts.
I first saw YES at the Spectrum in Philly in February of 1974 and 16 times since then and, if it's possible, Anderson's voice sounds the best it ever has.
Steve Howe, while his mannerisms have become a bit freakish, continues to put out a unique, amazing and powerful sound. Without him, there is no YES.
Chris Squire seemed to be enjoying the energy that was being given off by the crowd, although he needs to re-think his overall presentation on stage.
I enjoyed another Yes show in New York City on Wednsday night. Meeting up with life long friends, and "upgrading" my seat to 5th row dead center to see my favorite band in the world. I don't know how I get so fortunate with my seating, or whom is smiling down upon me for these types of occurences, but I'm very grateful.
As always I left the show with a couple of inspirational thoughts that I wanted to share with friends. Jon Anderson made a remark that I dont remember him making during previous shows. (Paraphrasing) "All we ever need to know for healthy relationships we can learn from children". They then played a song called "Hearts", which contains the lyric line: "So see the childrens way: Love me, Teach me, Know me". It was a simple, yet profound message to me.
I was also touched by the words in the song "It will be a good day": "Sometimes I forget Learning to listen how mighty this earth & Learning to see astounding winter skies Learning is power truth is in birth". Making me free Many a morning during these cold days of December, I drag myself out of bed feeling a bit unmotivated, until I draw the shade and see the orange skies under voluminous dark clouds. It is then that I remember the majesty of life and how much more there is to discover. Upon this realization I think to myself, "It will be a good day". I'm thankful to be able to share these thoughts with you. Have a great weekend!
The acoustics in the upper balcony of this theater are horrible. The Beacon should do the right thing and close off this section, or at least give a huge reduction on the price of a seat up there. The concert was a huge bust for me until I went downstairs and stood in the back of the loge section where the sound was 100% better. Also does anyone else find the geometric patterns on the rear screen annoying? It was like watching a computer screen saver.
Just got back from the 12/8 Beacon show and though I really enjoyed it, one complaint:
The mix was awful. At times just an incredibly muddy sound. Perpetual Change sounded like a big mess. Squire in particular. I couldn't make out any of his individual notes, it was just a low rumble.
I was 2d row in the balcony, directly in front of Howe (who BTW was fantastic tonight. He singlehandedly saved Owner and IWBAGD.)
Anyway, if anyone's considering going to the show tomorrow and you don't have tickets, insist on a scalper that'll give you floor seats. The sound in the balcony really detracted from the show. As a matter of fact, if you have balcony seats, try to get a scalper to take your tix as a trade-in.
I'm too young to have seen Howe and Anderson in the same band -- saw Drama in '80 and 90125 in '83 -- so I couldn't resist going to at least one of these Beacon gigs.
Nice show in a great, venerable old theater for a very appreciative crowd last night. No gripes about the set list or the playing. Everything was played with gusto, old and new, even if the tempo on some of the classics wasn't quite up to Yessongs speed.
The soundman blended the guitars, keys, and voices well. The details, like the stereo panning in Yours is No Disgrace, the harmonica in And You and I, and Awaken's harp were all there. Howe's steel squealed, his Tele squawked, and those big jazz guitars sounded warm and clean. Sherwood's rhythm could be heard behind Howe's leads, and when Billy stepped on the "Trevor Rabin pedal" in Owner of A Lonely Heart the effect was suitably Rabinesque.
Aside from the great sounds he got from his guitars, Steve nailed everything all night and his additions to the '80s material were welcome.
Igor is very good. He covers a lot of ground, plays the Wakeman parts well enough and chooses his sounds well. Next time, turn him loose on some Moraz stuff and see what he can do.
Anderson sings better than any 55-year-old rock singer has a right to. He got a little stronger as the show went on. Jon seemed genuinely touched at the outpouring of affection from the crowd near the show's end, but not touched enough to come back for a second encore. ;-)
I haven't mentioned Alan White and Chris Squire yet, with good reason: From the center of the Loge at the Beacon -- the balcony before the balcony, if you will -- White was all but inaudible and Squire could be felt more than heard.
No excuse for this. Rock 'n Roll is nothing without drums, and for much of the night the guitars, voices and keyboards seemed to be floating with nothing but a dull, distant thud to anchor them. When the drums could be heard, they actually sounded good, but for most of the night I was looking at Alan bashing away and using my mind's ear, filling in what I knew from bootlegs. This really detracted from an otherwise very good mix. It seems ridiculous to have to strain to hear one of the best, most distinctive and longest-lasting rhythm sections in Rock when Khoroshev & Sherwood could be heard easily. After all, whatever the contributions of the new guys, many people come to see Chris & Alan.
What's the problem? Alan seems to be hitting the drums hard enough, the band wasn't that loud and the Beacon, with a capacity of around 3000, isn't exactly Madison Square Garden. Could it be that Clair Bros. have a knack for filling 20,000 seat hockey arenas with well-balanced sound but can't hack the more intimate venues Yes is playing now? Doesn't make sense.
Finally, it's true. Women actually come to Yes shows. It's not all drunk, balding 40-something guys with beer bellies stuffed into faded Tormato Tour t-shirts.
Oh, and the programs are nice. Buy one.
This was my second Yes show and it was just as amazing as the first one in the summer of '98. Steve Howe again made my jaw drop before the first song ended. I was sitting on Billy's side and noticed he was not plugged in for many songs. I thought I was the only one not hearing him or seeing his fingers on different parts of the fretboard than where they should have been, but my friend who is also a guitar player, mentioned this to me. It seemed Billy was only on during Rabin songs and during two of the new ones. Strange. Billy did sound great on backup vox though.
As for the other new guy, Igor, I really can't say he is as good as Wakeman, but he is entertaining to watch. I could live without some of the extra percussion however. Overall, I think he is getting better and compliments the band nicely.
Chris and Alan were dead on. Of course, everyone expects this so it is no surprise, but I tip my hat to them anyhow.
Jon sounded great and seemed thrilled with the crowd response.
Howe, as mentioned above, continues to amaze me. He seemed to enjoy the crowd response and I did not feel he mailed this performance in at all as stated in some of the reviews of previous shows.
The setlist was the same. I could live without the Rabin tunes at this point. Some people love those songs, but with Howe up there, I would much rather see a side of Tales, any off of Relayer, or be rebellious and play Mind Drive!