I really wasnıt planning on writing a review of this show, because I didnıt expect thereıd be anything much new about it. If I was going to review anything it would have been the Wallingford CT show, except itıs too hard to describe something perfect without making it sound like youıre making it up.
But given so many people have comments about the balcony of the Beacon, I canıt resist speaking up for it. There's not much left to say about the setlist at this point, so I may just ramble (<--- your clue to cut out now if you like things short). Yes was in fine form last night, and the altitude did nothing to spoil that for me.
Was the sound mix as good? Yes and no. Heck no, if you're talking about the band. Most definitely, if you're talking about crowd noise vs. music. So far as I know, no one at this show drowned out Jon's stage talk, requested songs at the wrong time, or did anything but listen, clap, cheer, and sing. Whether people in the orchestra would agree, I can't say. But my company up there was one of the politest, nicest bunch of folks I ever shared a NYC Yes show with.
The sound was distorted by volume, but in comparison to the New Brunswick show, where I sat to one side and couldn't hear anything, where I was (first row) I would rate it "adequate" or even "pretty good." I can easily see how it would get worse with every row up you went, because of how the place is built. My main problem was leaning forward to see over the brass railing. No big deal.
FROM THE BALCONY, Part II
The first thing you notice in the first row of the balcony though is not that youıre high up. It thatıs beyond the brass rail is this overhang that looks as if it hasnıt been dusted for about two years. And itıs full of big square holes, where decorative panels must have been once. You find yourself wondering what youıd see if you dared to look in there. I took the chance and looked inside. It was full of two nightsı worth of Awaken Confetti.
The Beacon may stay the House of Yes a lot longer in spirit than anyone knows, if the dust on that ledge is any indication of how often they get around to cleaning it.
The second thing you notice is the house lights are shining just about straight into your eyes. When the lights dim, you're the first to know it. I had a long fight through traffic to get to this show, and I cut it close (which is why I couldn't be a coffee cup volunteer, but SOMEBODY ELSE DO THIS SOON, HUH?) but anyone sitting in the balcony arriving early would be better off bringing sunglasses than binoculars. The view is better than I thought. It's high, alright, but that's what let them build it so you're relatively close.
Someone posted that sitting in the balcony at the Beacon, you donıt really feel part of it; like youıre not even there. I can understand that but I think there are two ways of looking at it, and Iım happy I hit on the other way. Most of you who want to know already do know what happens at the beginning of this show. Iıd been through it twice before myself so it didn't surprise me. But nothing really prepared me for the effect of sitting in the balcony at perfect movie-theater position as the Firebird reached its height and the scenes of the band started flashing on screen and a swirling, mad mass of applause came roaring up from the audience below.
Iım not one to say this lightly, and it doesnıt happen to me often and had not at the other two shows, but I had about five straight second of chills. No, you donıt get that down in the orchestra because you are in the middle of it. And no, youıre not part of creating it up in the balcony. But to be up in the front row and *feel* that crowd noise when it hits. Itıs indescribable. I wonder if even Yes themselves backstage can hear it quite the same way you hear it when the walls are ringing all around you and right over your head, besides.
If youıre the type who can divorce yourself from a need t