22 years, 9 months and 27 days ago
Tuesday, August 1, 2000
West Palm Beach, Florida
Mars Music Amphitheatre
Great, great show with great songs - I don't really like the Mars Amphteater though.
Drove from West Melbourne (not Australia,but Florida)to catch this show.Aside from the ridiculous Event Staff gestapo,I really enjoyed this.I hadn't seen Gates,Ritual,and Leaves since '76 in Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City,so when they played these songs I had one of those sensitive flashback moments where you think about your past,and where all of the guys you grew up with are now.
Loved Kansas-was always a big fan as long as Walsh is on stage and Leaves of Green was where I got very sensitive and it wasn't the beers either. A wonderful song that brings back fantastic memories of my youth and some people in that time frame.
There was actually a point in the show during Ritual where this man-never met him-stared at me and shook his head.We bumped into each other while I was waiting for my wife to come out from the little girls room afterwards and he told me that he felt the same way-I completely understood where he was coming from.These old songs can put you back in another time.
Well, here it is two weeks after the show. I'm back home in Frankfurt, Germany and all I can listen to is Yes music. The fire has been rekindled by that amazing show in WPB!
I am a fan from way back (early 70s) and I first saw Yes during the "Solos" tour at an outdoor venue (Colt Park) in Hartford, Connecticut. If I remember correctly, 30,000 screaming fans attended that event and it was the biggest concert crowd ever in the state (at that time). The band was awesome and I'll remember that concert for as long as I live.
I've seen them live a few times since, and bought all the music up until about 1980. At that time I felt that the band had taken a turn which didn't really work for me, so I spent the next 20 years listening to the "old" music. OK, I bought the ABHW albums and a lot of the solo efforts, especially Steve Howe's during that time, but I really didn't pay much attention to the new music.
Then I saw the posters advertising "The Ladder" tour. I thought I should go and see them as they came through Europe, but I got very busy with work and family and missed it. I cursed myself so much afterwords, because I thought "these guys are getting old...who knows how much longer they're going to be doing this?". I started monitoring the yesworld web site. Lo and behold, they announce the Masterworks tour in the USA! I can't believe this! All the music I still listen to, live, again! I have to get to the USA to see this tour.
At about this time I quit my job and go to work for an Internet startup and it just so happens that I am in California toward the end of the Masterworks tour while my wife and kids are in WPB visiting relatives. I decide at the last minute that I cannot miss this chance of a lifetime (again), so I hop on a plane, fly out to Florida and get myself to the Mars Amphitheatre on my way back to Germany.
Wow, was it worth it! I'm no Kansas fan, but seeing and hearing them brought tears to my eyes as it transported me back to the glory days of progressive rock in the middle 1970s.
When Yes came out, I was truly mesmerized. I had read all the YesNet reviews during the entire tour and was pretty much expecting an incredible experience, but it topped even my wildest expectations. I think the band is tighter and more polished now than they have ever been before. To hear them play those masterpieces was truly a dream come true for me.
I will say that I think the only proper arena for a Yes concert is an outdoor venue. There is just something special about the open air, the stars, the grass and trees, the wind, the chance of getting rained on, the gorgeous sunsets. At Mars, nature came through with flying colors. The sunset was great, the night sky clear, the stars amazing (especially the one or two falling stars during the show). The weather was cooperative, even though it had rained every day for the last few days and the clouds were threatening the venue with a vengeance. It is the magic of Yes music that keeps the clouds at bay and the sunsets stunning. I had seats in the back of the amphitheatre, but went out on the lawn for the last third of the show, just to stretch out under the stars. I felt the sound was better out on the lawn, and the monitors displaying closeups of the performers gave a much better view than my binoculars from my seats!
I won't go into details about the setlist or the indivual performers, since there are already dozens of reviews which contain more or less my sentiments. I will say a few things, though:
Firstly, anyone who thinks that Igor can take the place of Rick Wakeman has got something stuck in his ears. Just put a copy of "Keys to Ascension" or "Yesshows" or "Yessongs" on your turntable or CD player and LISTEN. The sound of Rick's keys is unmistakeable, and in my opinion, an integral and important part of the classic Yes sound. I'm not saying that Igor is or is not an excellent musician. What I'm saying is that he
CLOSE TO THE GATES OF RITUAL
From Lima, Peru in Southamerica, my wife and I traveled all the way to West Palm Beach, Florida to see and hear my favorite band since I first heard Fragile in 1972.
Is somehow difficult to say something new, something that has not been said before in the many reviews of everyone which has wroten on this tour. Some of them even music experts, who see and hear things that the rest of mankind, as me, are not able to perceive. Anyhow, will try a different point of view.
My position in the venue was not as good as I would have like (ile 15 and to Squire's end) but finished absolutely amazed with the interpretation of this genius musicians. As you know, the concert started with Close to the Edge, which is my favorite song, all my life I was looking to hear it live because the other two opportunities I've seen Yes, they didn't presented it. I felt absolutely strange, even though I knew the setlist, I was somehow shocked listening to Close to the Edge and being the first song, was incredible for me to be there. Felt that it was not a good beginning, too strong, I think that they should have start warming up with something more light as Yours is no Disgrace or Siberian Khatru which would also mean that the concert would have been longer than two hours, as it was a little bit short, few songs.
Starship Trooper let me warm up, I enjoy it better in the encore. Then came in Gates of Delirium, I was feeling more relaxed and prepared to enjoy it, the result: gorgeous. More relaxed with Leaves of Green with a incredible interpretation of Howe. Then, with lots of tranquility to hear on of Anderson's favorite song, Heart of the Sunrise. When finished, finally and for the first time for me, I though that I was completely prepared for what was coming, Ritual. I was wrong. For me, Tales is an extraordinary work, its four pieces are of my absolute pleasure, but beneath Close to the Edge and Gates of Delirium, even though, that night at West Palm Beach, Ritual was the best song in this concert, the impression I had during this song is impossible to describe with words, I was in another dimension, the music seemed to be from other planet, was a highly intense experience and this is to say thank you to Yes, but special thanks to Chris Squire, who that night was spectacular, completely inspired, moved all around the scenario as a young kid, gave himself to his audience with no reserves, I think that thanks to him, we appreciated an unforgettable show. After Ritual I was feeling very tired but with lots of energy to continue looking and hearing more, then came All Good People and Roundabout and all over, as all the good things, too fast. I was feeling tired as if I would have been up there with the band playing and singing, exhausted, but completely prepared to continue hearing of that heavenly music.
Regarding the musicians, I have been very clear pointing Squire as the star of the night, followed by Igor Khoroshev, regardless is painful to me to accept it. And I say this because for me, Anderson, Howe and Squire are the spine of Yes, they always have to be there, the ones who give that so special sound. I saw Khoroshev enjoying Yes as he has never done it. The three times I have seen Yes, has been with him on keyboards. This time he made no mistakes, precise in the support to percussion, he sang and dance, and finally stolen the show from Squire for a moment when he came down to the front of the scenario with Anderson and Squire during the drums solo. The other three members of Yes very professional and my order is White, Howe and Anderson. Now, this is something good of a band like Yes, as they all are excellent musicians, any of them could surpass the other in an inspired night.
Regarding Kansas, I liked it, even though is a band that I know not too much, good musicians, good performance and a lot of feeling with the audience. Unfortunately, the people did not respected th
Funny experience in West Palm. My bud and me are at the 4 Seasons Hotel, having just checked in, were slamming Coronas at the beachfront restaraunt. Within 5 minutes we look up and who is on a lounge chair, like 20 feet away but the maestro [Steve Howe] himself.
Against my better judgement, I had to go over and say hello. Should have discussed with my bud that the handshakes are not cool, (he's a semi imposing weightlifter btw). As we approach I can see he's not into this at all, he's sort of like turning his back away before we actually get to him. John extends his paw and Howe's obviously not into us or his hand.
I explain that we're down there for the show, and a millisecond after the word's out Howe says - "Well I guess we'll see you tomorrow then".
End of "The Meeting".
Saw him the next day, had his whole family there but I smartened up and left them be :)
WELL HERE WE GO! A few years ago I heard Jon say "There will always be a Yes band." And he was right, the show I saw was as crisp & clean & powerful as the show I saw in 1974. They still got it!!!! For me to see these guys this year I had to travel over 6000 miles, meet my niece in Orlando, then drive 166mi to & from, late at night - West Palm Beach - What I say is, "All good people in all the world should listen (I mean really listen) to "Yes" music......that is all
p.s. Thank you Jon, Chris, Steve, Alen & Igor (Igor you fill the spot just fine)
What can I say about this show? It was my first YES concert since September of 1984. Sixteen years is too long! But I didn't like at all the band's commercial turn in that time. Still I should have seen AWBH and the LADDER tour.
But last night made up for everything else I missed. It was by far the best line-up of YES I have seen. I saw them during my college years three times during the DRAMA and 90125 tours. I also saw KING CRIMSON with Bill Bruford during the tours in the early 1980s. Those were very good concerts. But I always dreamed of seeing YES do GATES OF DELERIUM, CLOSE TO THE EDGE and RITUAL.
CTTE literally had me misty-eyed at several points. This was an intense experience from beginning to end. That feeling continued throughout STARSHIP TROOPER. During GATES I remember thinking to myself: "I can't believe I am actually seeing this live!" I DID hear the band drift a few times, but on the whole they were pretty tight. I had read the White hadn't learned GATES well during the early part of the tour. But from where I was sitting in the second section back, I couldn't hear or see any major mistakes. It is probably their most difficult piece besides SOUND CHASER. The first four songs and RITUAL made the concert the greatest show ever for me and well worth the two hour drive.
I have a few complaints though:
1. For fifty dollars, I could have had better seats -- I was sitting about 35 to 40 rows back from the stage, which I had thought would be alright, but in an outdoor venue it's impossible to clearly see and enjoy the guitar work. Steve Howe is an artist who you have to see up close. Without being able to see the manual dexterity of his fretwork on guitar, you are missing the best part of live YES. Khoroshev's keyboards could have been set up to face the crowd just as in the shows with Patrick Moraz and Geoff Downes. Chris Squire is the only one who could entertain a mile away. He was born to be an arena showman.
2. This was an outdoor show. The sound was better in the indoor shows I saw in the 1980s. I hope that the next time around they play some indoor venues. I would have paid more than $50 just to have an improvement in seating and sound.
3. Some people are idiots! The LEAVES OF GREEN piece from THE ANCIENT is one of my all time favorite YES moments. This quiet acoustic interlude was ruined for me by the jerks who had to yell at the top of their lungs throughout the entire song. At some points I couldn't even hear. There was one guy right in front of our section who insisted on standing up every few minutes and raising his hands in the air and screaming as though he were overcome with energy and couldn't sit down during some climactic moments. I can understand that emotion! But he ruined the view for dozens of people in our section each time he did this. Thankfully, he left after a few minutes into GATES. Maybe he went for more beer and got lost!
In short, I think it is a mistake for YES to play outdoor shows where beer is sold at concessions. I didn't mind the constant aroma of reefer and clove cigarettes as much as the constant milling and noise of the people around me. People can do whatever they want as long as it doesn't infringe on my enjoyment of the show I drove two hours to see and hear.
Aside from those things -- which were mostly out of the band's control -- it was almost a perfect show. Chris Squire was awesome as usual. I only wanted the sound to be louder during his RITUAL solo. I was very jealous of those sitting a few rows from the front. They were all going nuts and having a great time along with Chris. He had a few new moves, but he did a lot of similar antics on stage as he did in 1984. Very entertaining.
Igor Khoroshev was very impressive handling keyboards, percussion and vocals at one time. He was wearing a white shirt with a big red star on the front. Does this mean he is a communist as well as an ass-grabber? Please say
It was a night I'll remember forever.....I would die a happy lady after last night at the Mars Music Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach. It was a magic night of masterworks like I will most likely never experience again...until I enter the Pearly Gates that is....because only music from HEAVEN can possibly compare to this group of master musicians....definitely the masters of all time !!!! The only thing that could have made it any better, in my opinion, was having Rick Wakeman there instead of Igor. Sorry Igor I love you and you are great...but Rick is a master...what can I say? I would have felt that it was truely complete had Rick been part of the lineup. But I'm not complaining...just whining !!!! No one compares to the electric mastery of Rick Wakeman and his fingers of madness !!!!
Or Steve Howe's fingers of madness either !!!!!! Anyway, Igor, not to lessen your talent because you're very talented and I totally have tons of respect and admiration for you because YOU CAN HANG WITH THE MASTERS !!!!!!!! I think about you and how you must love having this great opportunity performing with such master musicians and such loving ones too. I could tell that Jon takes care of you...He's got your back....musically.
Anyway, Jon Anderson is my favorite singer/musician of all time. He's a master of lyric, music, and voice. He was amazing last night as were all the great men of YES were....each rocking tremendously with great precision, concentration and focus. Steve Howe is my favorite guitar player of all time !!!!!! I felt overwhelmed with this feeling of being so blessed to have this night. I felt honored to stand in the presence of such mastery and artwork in the form of beautiful, complex, inspirational and positive music. The music of YES !!! We were all blessed with this great opportunity....to hear YES and to hear them perform these great classics on top of it!!!!!!!!
My uncle from Oregon flew all the way over here to Florida to join me for this concert. He introduced me to the group when I was only eight years old.
He's my favorite fellow YESsite. YES music has been a big part of my life since. I'm originally from Hawaii and I saw the group in concert there back in 1988 during their "Big Generator" tour. I also saw Jon in San Diego back in 1982 during his "Animation" tour. The music created by these men of YES inspired me to no end. My uncle and I were so looking forward to this night of YES. We drove three hours to get there and it was a beautiful night.
There were dark clouds in the sky just to the left of the amphitheatre which turned into rain but amazingly the rain stayed to the left of the amphitheatre all night long !!!!! We had seats in the eleventh row....only because the eleventh row seats were the first seats available to the public pions like myself even though I was the very first person to get through to ticketmasters to purchase these concert tickets !!!!! I was so dissapointed to learn that the first ten rows were reserved. I got the end seat of row eleven right on the isle in the middle of the stage...well toward Steve's side of the stage actually. Our seats were beautiful anyway !!!!!!! I was very happy !!!!!! My mom came from Hawaii also...to join us for this concert even though she's not a seasoned YESsite. My husband even came which is amazing in itself !!!! They chose to sit in the lawn so we brought a big mat for them while the two true yessites, my uncle and I, stayed down in our seats up front. Waiting for The Masters......
Kansas was great. Still rocking. I went up and sat with my mom and husband in the lawn while they played....only so I could be next to them until it was time for YES to perform. I really liked how the lead singer of Kansas kept mentioning how they didn't have much time to play their songs....making hints that YES would be coming out soon...as we wanted. Kansas was gracious to YES and thanked them for a great tour and said that they wish
W O W !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well, just got back from the WPB, FL show... This was definately the best of the 5 shows we have seen this tour!!!
Steve was the most surprising - one of three things must have happened:
1) Someone spiked his herbal tea before the show
2) Chris has rubbed off on him
3) Aliens have abducted him and replaced him with an animated cyborg
He was having a great time... actually beaming with smiles at the audience and the other band members. He was moving around on stage and interacting with everyone. I have never seen him so animated!!!
The other members were all obviously having a great time too - the show realy ROCKED with a capital "F"! The Ritual drum quartet was awesome as always and since they started a few minutes early we actually got the full version of Roundabout (unlike in DC).
The place was pretty full (but it is relatively small) and the audience were really into it too.
All in all, they played like it was their last night (which it was supposed to be) and the audience responded appropriately. Jon thanked Kansas for touring with them!
Great show, but I must go!