This was the first Yes show I recorded after a few years of trading shows via snail mail. I didn't have good gear then, and the quality wasn't very good. But I have some good cardioids now, and I record every show I attend, Yes or otherwise, and upload them to the internet for sharing. Bwah hah hah!
Short summary: They were fucking great. Go see them, fool.
OK, I have to admit that I wasn't even planning on going to the show. However, a day before the concert, someone gave me four tickets that they couldn't use. I'll also admit that, while I like the music of Yes (at least everything before Tormato), I'm not what you'd consider a big fan of Yes.
I wasn't expecting a whole lot. I last saw Yes in 1986, also at Blossom, and it was OK, but not great. The forecast called for possible showers, and I was of the mindset that if it started raining, I was leaving (I had lawn seats, obviously).
One nice thing that I noticed right off the bat was that the goon squad who searches and pats down concert goers at hard rock/metal shows was missing.
There weren't a lot of people there, at least on the lawn, but the pavilion seemed like it was fairly full, at least from what I could see. An uninspired performance by Kansas left me with lowered expectations as to how the performance by Yes would go. The fact that it was chilly also made me wonder if I'd be there until the end.
Well, Pansy Ass and the Clan (as yesdick would say) opened up with Close to the Edge. I was with other people who had seen Yes many times, and they said that you could expect Yes to start with a long piece. play part of it, and turn it into a medley of parts of older tunes. Imagine the pleasant surprise when they played Close to the Edge in its entirety. There was a light rain falling during this song, but it wasn't enough that you'd even consider pulling out an umbrella.
It was around this time that I noticed that the band was sounding really good. Of course, the big doobie that I was smoking may have had something to do with it, but their performance was amazing. It sounded like they'd been practicing quite a bit.
The next song was Starship Trooper. By the time they started this song, the rain had stopped and the sky was starting to clear, although the temperature had dropped into the lower 60s. Anyone who was wearing only a t-shirt was definitely chilly. One nice touch is that the lightning bugs (fireflies) came out briefly during this song. I even saw several of them that had flown under the pavilion. The performance of Starship Trooper was also flawless, and it sounded great.
Next came Gates of Delirium. There was an acoustic song that was either before or after Gates which I didn't recognize, but it was very short. Gates was played in its entirety also. My friends, who had each seen Yes about a dozen times, commented that this was the best that they'd ever heard them sound.
Heart of the Sunrise was next, and it was just fucking amazing. After that was a version of Ritual that must have been a half hour long, and they finished the set with I've Seen All Good People.
Regrettably, they only played one song for an encore, which was Roundabout. Overall, the performance by each of the musicians was top notch, and the song selection was superb. It made me feel as if I'd been transported back to 1975 and was seeing Yes at what I consider their peak. I hope that somebody recorded the show, or else that someone records them somewhere on this tour. I will be anxiously searching the mp3 newsgroups. It really was that good.
1) Go see them on this tour. Don't hesitate, just go. You won't regret it. The long jams sound great and they're executed flawlessly. If you're waiting to hear Owner of a Lonely Heart, forget it (thank goodness).
2) Smoke a reefer. Even if you don't get high, make an exception. You may never get the chance to see them this good again. Go ahead and pretend it's 1975, and toke up.
3) Take a friend. If they've never seen Yes, this would be a fantastic tour for them to discover the band, and they'll leave with great memories.
How do you describe one of the truly most memorable evenings of your life? This following story is truly unbelievable. For those readers who are about to execute the proverbial “rolling of the eyes,” I can only tell you that this story is absolutely true, and although I’ll leave out many of the smaller details (as not to try your patience), this document represents nothing less than one of the most truly remarkable Yes concert experiences in the last 32 years.
Six of us set sail for Blossom on Thursday afternoon is two separate vehicles. My brother and myself needed to arrive at the venue early in order to sell two extra tickets we had, which were in the 12th row. They were the original tickets we has purchased for the show, but had found front row seats on ebay in the meantime – so although we were informed it is against the law in Summit County to sell concert or sports tickets (although you can give them away), there we were in the parking lot like a couple of two-bit carnival hucksters displaying our wares. Fortunately, we found an eager buyer half an hour before Kansas took the stage, pocketed the loot, then headed toward the Blossom Pavilion.
After purchasing a couple Yes Masterworks Tour Programmes and two watered-down overpriced Blossom beers, we entered the Pavilion at the back near the sound/lighting area. It was here that we bumped into Jane Scott, legendary Rock reporter from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, who has interviewed literally EVERYONE in the music business over her 40-year career, including the likes of The Beatles, Zeppelin, and (of course) Yes. I told Jane who I was (we have a mutual friend), and she immediately began asking me questions like “What IS progressive rock?” and “Tell me what is so unique about Steve Walsh’s voice.” Jane informed us that she was sent to review Kansas, although she was thinking about looking for the Yes Men after she finished her reviewing duties. I was surprised the PD didn’t send her to the show to review Yes, but I held my tongue. After giving away the entire Yes Masterworks setlist to her, I introduced her to the Kansas sound engineer (already in place for the start of the show) who happily provided her with the Kansas song lineup. Then she took my name and phone number (in case she needed to call me with any additional questions) and my brother and I walked away STUNNED! Was she really going to quote me in her review? I haven’t bought today’s PD yet to find out, but if my name is in there I’m going to FREAK!
Next we scoped out our front row seats. Section 14, row “A”, seats 10 and 11. Too far left on Steve Howe’s side of the stage – but with our view obstructed by monitors and other stage gear. Plus, we were directly under the PA system, and the bass bins were practically on top of us. Fortunately, we were able to move into near-perfect seats left empty by Yes fans who had no interest in showing up for Kansas. So we enjoyed the short Kansas set from Row 3 center stage. Although they were very good live, I couldn’t really get into the Kansas set until the encores, which were Point Of No Return, Dust In The Wind, and Carry On Wayward Son. Steve Walsh was excellent, Robby Steinhardt played his ass off, and Phil Ehart was rock solid. During the intermission we were promptly booted out of our “borrowed” seats and took our place in the front row just as Benjamin Brittain’s Young Person’s Guide To An Orchestra was beginning. Yes walked on and the place went nuts.
You’ve seen the setlist posted already: Close To The Edge, Starship Trooper, Gates Of Delirium, Leaves Of Green, Heart Of The Sunrise, Ritual, Your Move/All Good People, and Roundabout (encore). This was an incredibly tight Yes show! OK, the setlist is AWESOME, but their execution, particularly of “Gates” has been a little rusty since the tour began. Not so last night. They NAILED Gates Of Delirium and looked very pleased with how it came off. As in past shows on this tour, Ritual was the m
I just got back from the show tonight at Blossom, and the magic of Yes was definately in the air tonight! This was my first Yes concert, and what show to see! My friend Rich and I went, and we've been talking about going to see them since the Talk tour, but our schedules never worked out with school and work and all, but tonight was the stuff that dreams are made of, and Yes really came through with an unforgettable performance.
I should note that Kansas kicks major butt live as well. Their new songs they played (Icarus II and another I think called Man not Big, but I am not sure) were very cool, and the old favorites still shine very nicely. I was dissappointed that the crowd wasn't into them very much, and in fact, the pavillion was still pretty empty when their set started, but it filled up towards the end. A very fine performace, even better than when I saw them in '95.
Yes was amazing tonight, though. Close To The Edge was just magical. Jon sounded great live, didn't miss any of the high notes, nor did he try to back away from any of them. Starship Trooper was met with great applause, though I did catch an Alan White error in it (crashed early I think) that got some funny looks from Igor and Chris. I truly believe that there is nothing that can't be done on the guitar by Steve Howe, this man is a God of some sorts.
Gates was my favorite piece of the night, introduced as a song they only play every 25 years :) Soon was so good, Jon did a hell of a job on the words, and Chris and Steve did very well on the harmonies throughout the song. Leaves of Green was another high point as well. By far, the most impressive thing was the drum solo during Ritual, I couldn't believe how together Igor, Jon, Chris and Alan were after not playing that song for so many years! I've Seen All Good People closed the set, and they got a huge standing ovation from the crowd.
Of course, I knew the show couldn't be over yet, and they treated us to a very good rendition of Roundabout as an encore. Igor really did a great job on the keyboard parts, and even played cowbell while playing the famous organ part during the "In and around the lake" section. He was very impressive on the keys, and I was thrilled to have a chance to see him play with the band.
Overall, the best concert I've been to since Rush in 1997. If you have a chance, see this tour, you will regret it for the rest of your life if you don't!
before 'Gates Of Delirium, The'
transcribed by: Pete Whipple
Jon Anderson: Woo! Thank you so much. Thank you. You having a good time this evening? Is this the center of Ohio? We going to do some songs we haven't played in 25 years. Here we go with a song. This is called 'Gates Of Delirium'.
before 'Leaves Of Green'
transcribed by: Pete Whipple
Jon Anderson: Thank you so much. Thank you. [???] appreciate a piece of music after such a long time. Soon, oh soon the light and..uh it's crazy you know? It's crazy. If we, if we only knew how beautiful the words are. It shine, shine, give it all [???]. Here's Mr. Steve Howe on guitar.
before 'Heart Of The Sunrise'
transcribed by: Pete Whipple
Jon Anderson: Thank you so much. Thank you. I just had this..uh sorta bizarre thought. I was singing away I said to myself, I feel like we're singing ancient songs here. [???] I remember when we were recording..uh early in the first days of recording the band and I'd sit there and I'd listen to the music being played back and realize it sounded pretty good, you know? It would get..uh used to get this strange feeling like it was real sharp, razor edge sharp, and yet distance at the same and eventually I realized it had something to do with the spirit of music energy so sounds, vibrations that touch your [???]. Anyway, Chris Squire on bass guitar here. Woo! [???] 'Heart Of The Sunrise'.
transcribed by: Pete Whipple
Jon Anderson: Open doors we find our way. We look we see we smile. Surely daybreaks cross our path. And stay maybe a while. Hurry home as love is true. Will help us through the night.
Man In Audience: Ritual!
Jon Anderson: Exactly. [???] natural, natural, natural ritual. [???] the day when a piece of music from 1973 [???]. This is called 'Ritual'.
before 'I've Seen All Good People'
transcribed by: Pete Whipple
Jon Anderson: Thank you so much. Thank you. [???] You are, you are so truly amazing and thank you for staying with the program 'cause we wouldn't be here tonight. I'm singing...