this was yes in their finest hour. definitely the absolute best renditions of all these songs that i've ever heard. (I've been a fan since the 70's.) this was my 10th yesshow. i had a catharsis (a spiritual experience) through most of "gates". i don't think that i've ever had a more profound moment in my entire life. steve howe has definitely lived up to his reputation. jon andersons performance & attitude were top notch. chris squire is always awesome, and sounds even better when everyone else is on top of it. alan white is the perfect drummer for the ultimate yes sound. igor - i love this guy - is he a robot or something? he's fucking flawless. the percussion in ritual was really cool, and it was brought way up in the mix. i'm pretty sure that's the way it's supposed to be, it was more powerful that any of the recorded versions. this was definitely the best entertainment i have ever encountered. if they are ever able to top this performance, it just might kill me.
South side was NOT on the soundboard set list in Phoenix at all, and WAS at Devore and Universal.
The YES concert was pretty cool. Kansas did a pretty rockin' opener.Complete with long hair, beer guts and gray beards! All of the members of the band hit the 3 and 4 part harmonies perfectly! The keyboardist had the energy of someone half his age (67?? hee hee). He really brought a lot to the table. Not quite as thin as "Skeletor" [Steve Howe] but a close race. After the opener (and spending $11 for A beer and A water) YES took the stage. Once the lights dimmed....snifff.....sniff....snifff????? Is that? Why yes it is!!! It was skunk-weed-o-rama! A group of fellas 3 seats down smoked about 4 J's during the performance. My wife was frowning and I was jealous! Since this was the "Masterworks" tour YES played what they considered their "masterpieces." They opened with the usual. The set list was not that extensive. They played a max of about 6 songs before the encore but they were the extended extended extended versions. Kinda cool. There were extended guitar and bass and drum solos. The set ended with an extended version of "Ritual." John, the bassist (Chris?) and Igor ended the set by banging on drums for about a good 5 minutes. It was a VERY cool way to end their set.
I think I like YES better indoors.The bottom end of the sound was not as punchy as it was in the Sun [Sun Theater Anaheim CA, 10/30/99]. I'm sure sitting 30 feet from the speakers helped too!
All in all the concert was great.
(I'm still waitin' for the "Masturbates" tour)
After a spectacular experience in LA the night before this was the night to party. Meeting Southside folks in the carpark pre-show and after was a definite bonus. Loves and hugs to Brian, Cherokee and Bob. I had a great time guys and thanks for your great hospitality, friendliness and like-minded Yes obsessive tendencies.
The band played tighter than LA and are really growing into this setlist. Talk about 1976 revisited. I'd voted for Ritual and TGoD on the Yesworld survey so the inclusion of these songs really made it a worthwile trip from New Zealand for this happy Trooper.
Sitting 2 rows from the front, center stage I managed to absorb and experience a lot more of the finer points of Yes' performance (as opposed to 20 rows back at Universal the night before). These guys are VERY happy with what they're playing and even though it could be considered a stretch that anyone would even attempt to perform these songs, all I could think on both nights was that Yes deliver!!!! We really are the luckiest fans on the planet. Thanks Yes, thanks all of you that have attended shows so far and have a great time all who have yet to experience this tour. It is very aptly named.
I'm putting it right up there as possibly the best of 18 YES SHOWS I've seen, I'll let you know in a few days. Gates and Ritual were *much* improved over the night before. Igor added lots more keys to Ritual at Devore. Alan did some different things in Ritual also that I don't remember from any other recording. I don't think anyone will complain about Alan's timing now (maybe the only problem was due to the blown monitor). Steve was fantastic. He did about the most powerful Wurm solo I've ever heard him do.The mix was better too. Both songs sound quite different from the YESSHOWS album--much more modern, I guess. Igor's patches are fairly well chosen in most spots. Gotta get me a Yamaha AN1X!
All in all, you must see this tour as many times as you can. Now I have to figure out where to get the money so I can go see them on the east coast!!
It was a great show. They're working out a few kinks during GoD, but that can certainly be expected after having not played it in 25 years, and with a different keyboardist.
Igor could've been a tad louder in the mix, and JA motioned to the soundtechs a few times to turn it up, but large outdoor venues are sort of hard to gauge for sound anyhow. I lucked out on a pair of second row tickets from Ticketmaster the day they went on sale, and it had been quite a while since I'd seen them that close, so I was having a good time. The sound directly off of the stage monitors was killer. I walked back to the middle of the place during HotS, and it sounded really good there too.
I think that the fans in the Midwest and East coast will be seeing the best shows, so here's to Henry and the English contigent that are crossing the pond to see their band.
la was great. devore was awesome.GoD still is quirky at the beginning but improved from night to night. Chris started singing more too here. GoD is a killer live tune. I saw it in 76 and this brought all those incredible memories home! Steve's slide work is exquisite and will drop your jaw at its beauty and poetry. Phrasework like that is so mature and so rare. Lovely. Rare. Jon is still god. Chris seems awakened (which he surely needs to be for this setlist!). I enjoyed him more than for years. He reminded me for the first time of the 70's Chris. Little of the hamming. All work. I like him like that. Igor does well though they still have problems with his submix etc. His organ on CTTE consumes but many things are too faint. His sounds overall are adequate and far improved from his first tour but the lead sounds he is getting on the Yamaha AN-1x need serious work. That synth is one of the newer analog hybrids I believe and yet these tones he is getting are digital at its worst. IGOR! Run them thru a tube amp or something! Please! His playing is fine. I noticed a few Russian touches actually here and there. Interesting. I guess we never fall to far from the tree. Thats good I think since I love so much Russian music. LOL. He did a hysterical thing during Ritual where just before the drumming he goes wild raking his hands acrosss all his keys in a frenzy and falling off the back of his riser! Then serenely jaunting in fron of his rack to bang some drums. It was great!
Yes is naturally a 5 piece. There was an edge and looseness to the performasnce that again reminded me of earlier days. I always thought the addition of BS was a hindrance and in this show i think it is evident that they play off each other more. Some of the changes were simply breathtaking and electrifying!!!! I think Alan is heavily taxed by this material and in fact Steve and Chris exhibited some wear and tear from it as well but they are getting it and I'm sure all will be stellar as the tour progresses. But quibbles are merely minor, minor details in light of the material and their performance! The vibe is hot! This is Yes as I prefer it! No album to promote. No 6th man. Tough, challenging and equallyrewarding material long neglected. It all adds to a most interesting Yes show. A must see. Unique.
Paul "Digital logic" Ramos
Well, here's how the day went. The group I went with showed up at the Glen Helen Pavillion as the Renaissance Faire ended creating a very dusty parking area. I anxiously waited for the gates to open and soon I was in (no pun intended). I first picked up a T-shirt for a (sadly) $30 and a program for another (expensive but worth the) $15. I walked toward the seating area to catch a glimpse of the stage & the seating arrangement. I was down in Orchestra 1 Row X. I didn't realize that I was very close to the stage but not that close.
Kansas: Not familiar with their material except for the encores. But coming from a (almost) 20 year old who enjoys punk shows and saw Santana last year, I gotta honestly say: For a bunch of overweight guys, they can sure kick ass on stage no matter how old they are. I might even go pick up a few of their albums. They blew me right out of my seat and amazed me thru their set. I just wished they had more time to play a few more tunes.
I anxiously waited for Yes to start their performance. I hadn't seen them since they did the Union Tour in Las Vegas and there were 8 of them! The lights dimmed and most of the crowd had been watching the projection screen when all of a sudden just as the introduction was beginning a shooting star shot by it. The gentleman who had been sitting next to me muttered "Jon must have arranged that". I wouldn't doubt it. As the Young Persons Guide To The Orchestra was being played the jungle sounds of CttE was also being introduced. My aunt laughed in amazement and immediately clapped harder. Starship Trooper --- never sounded better and Steve Howe still has alot of showing off to do. heheh..Gates --- I've seen the QPR show, heard Yesshows, Boston '75, & Roosevelt '76. This had topped all of those. Alan seemed like he had to tone it down just a bit but not enough to kill the entire song..Leaves Of Green --- Just like the original... except for the fact that Jon missed his intro but I forgive him.HOTS -- Jon had a great way of throwing off the crowd by explaining the significance of Ritual (NSDS) a great deal before he mentioned HOTS. Still a great piece Chris showed much his energy.Ritual -- like Gates, it had been the 1st time in my life i'd seen this and I have to say I loved it. It showed the crowd and the Kansas fans that 5 guys can make alot of noise and make it sound beautiful.Roundabout --- Yea, yea, yeah... it's a tradition but it's still Yes playing live in front of my face! Not a bad ending as well...
No ISAGP, but I'm not upset... But I will say this... I didn't have much respect for Igor when I heard Rick and Tony hadn't been at the keyboards. I had read the interview from NFTE once about how much he loved Patrick Moraz and that Rick and Tony didn't compare. I couldn't understand why he loved a guy who was only on one Yes album. But, not having seen the Ladder Video or Tour, I have to say... For a guy who does an awesome drum solo in Ritual, does backup vocals and plays the keyboards very close to the other two, my opinions have changed for the better. I might pick up the upcoming Jon & Igor compilation.
I definately think they played their best so far. They were really on top of Gates this time! They also seemed more relaxed on stage, smiling and goofing around, shaking hands and having fun in general. Oh, and I had a pit seat right up front :) Excellent! BTW, I made it to the park about 6:15, so I did get to meet some more Yesfans,(hello if you're on SS! *waves*) but I missed some of you who left earlier!
No All Good People this time...still no Southside of the Sky :(
I think even the skeptical people will really enjoy this tour. You may have seen the setlist and heard an MP3 but I think you really have to be there. Yes is always a new experience every time I see them, which is something that doesn't happen with any other band I've seen multiple times. Usually it just gets tiring, but with Yes, the more I see them the more I want to see them again.
One more thing, someone said the tour merchandise is really ugly this time, I disagree! I love the shirt I bought with the rainbow dragonfly on it. It's the first Yes shirt I ever liked enough to buy at a concert. The tourbook is kind of a retrospective thing, it has a timeline and articles and photos of the past, as well as the obligatory current band member photos.
Well enjoy the shows everyone, it's all over here until next time they come around. boo-hoo. :Þ