23 years, 3 months and 29 days ago
Sunday, February 6, 2000
National Concert Hall
Jose, the "table guitar" is called a pedal steel guitar. It's very popular in America used in country/western music. But as we ALL know...no one, absolutely no one plays it like Steve Howe. I'm a drummer in a local band. My band went to see Dweezil Zappa a while ago and got to meet him after the show. I asked him what he thought of Steve Howe. He referred to Steve's caommand of the guitar as a benchmark for all other guitarists. Wow!!
Oh, and Jon dropped his microphone towards the end of 'Owner', much to Chris' amusement!
Yesterday concert in Dublin was great for a Yes fan. "Absolutely boring!" according to my wife, and I can understand that if you are not into Yes. Anyway, I had a good time enjoying those songs that became part of my life, (before I met my wife!).
Sweet Jane was in the front row reading some stuff about angels, (we were in the second row).
The performance was superb but I missed Rick a lot. I do not have anything against Igor, but, you know, Rick is Rick. Billy is needed!. Imagine "Hearts" with Steve in Trevor Rabin role!
The most amazing thing happened in the encore (my wife left the venue after Awaken and waited for me in the cloak room). Steve came into the stage and performed "The Clap". I thought, "that's right, now I will leave the stage for Owner..". Yes he left the stage for "Cinema", but I came back in "Owner .." and played the second guitar. Billy played his solo and then like Rick (I miss you!) did in the Union tour... A GREAT STEVE HOWE SOLO ENDED OWNER OF A LONELY HEART!!. So who said that Steve is not playing this song. He is the start of the last part!!!!
He also played in "Hearts". He played that "table guitar" (what is the name of the instrument?") that always plays in "And You and I".
So I think that Steve is a great professional and a great performed in EVERY song except Cinema.
Jon announced that Chris's wife Melissa gave birth on Saturday to Baby Cameron.
Chris - "I have been re-Daddyfied".
Steve looked much happier than he appeared in the Mid-west. Jon was wearing a "Jackson-esque" glove on his left hand for the first couple of numbers.
Ah...how we had waited for this moment (moment, moment...MOMENT). 30 years since Yes last played in Ireland and I was too young to go (being 2 years old at the time).
The venue was the National Concert Hall - an old, architecturally quaint but acoustically poor venue. Never mind, the chance to see our heroes from row H (centre) was enough to get the nipples a-tinglin'.
The chaps arrived onstage to a backdrop of old Yes footage. Nice.
The "originals" (so to speak) are indescribably ancient. Steve Howe is an amalgam of at least seven Fast Show characters, most notably Rowley Birkin and Arthur Atkinson. He appears to inhabit his own reality, which is just very slightly removed from ours. He provided several hysterical laughter moments for myself and my chums. But we love him. I'm just worried that those extremely skinny legs will break when he goes into his guitar histrionics.
Chris Squire is, as someone else has said, Chris Squire. He wore white knee-length shorts (turned-up), a white "lab" coat, green t-shirt, bizarre 1970's necklace, large beer gut. We were informed that he became a father (re-dadded) on Saturday. Fuck! Can he play bass, though.
Alan White was as good as ever. Although the spangly black t-shirt, spangly silver belt, spangly black lycra shorts, (armadillo-inserted, of course) and man-breasts were disturbing.
Jon Anderson. Oh Jon, why dost thou dance like a dad at a wedding? The voice. The voice. Was amazing. He may even sound better now than he did in the 70's. The lilac trousers and pink socks were a tad too much.
Billy Sherwood. Very good for a new boy. Didn't succumb to the "new boy" trap of flashiness.
Igor Chernimoscowvich (or whatever). Difficult to hear clearly in the loud bits. Very good in Awaken and Roundabout. Seems to have the "Wakeman" sense of humour. Interesting. Bad silver pyjama top, Igor. Sort it out.
Favourite moments. All of Awaken, And You And I and Yours is no Disgrace. Steve Howe backing into a mike stand and turning, very slowly, to stare at it. (Non-deliberate comedy moment Part I). Chris Squire and the Triple Neck Bass (Non-deliberate comedy moment Part II). Steve Howe's spindly legs in a blur during his occasional guitar-hero poses.
You know, last year I saw Caravan in Dublin. This year it was Yes. What chance Camel or a reformed "original" Genesis next year? We can only wait and see. In the words of Jon Anderson..."tonight this is the House of Yes" (!????!!!!???!!)
Yes finally returned to Ireland and were welcomed back with a series of standing ovations. The National Concert Hall was packed and rapturously received the old classics and the material from The Ladder. Jon was in great form all night and joked with the crowd on several occasions. He said Yes were back in Ireland by public demand ... 30 years later. He dedicated 'The Messenger' not only to Bob Marley but to Cameron, Chris Squire's son born on Saturday, Chris said he had been re-dadded. At one point Jon remarked he had seen there was a pantomime playing in town and that it had been ages since he'd seen one. At this someone shouted 'Look behind you', Jon replied I heard what you said' and several shouted back 'Oh no you didn't'.
The setlist was as expected from the American dates, with the addition of It Will Be A Good Day instead of Finally and Nine Voices, however as a bonus Irish fans got to hear Steve play Clap at the start of the encore. From the sixth row the sound wasn't ideal but that's to be expected and the Concert Hall doesn't host rock concerts every day. The playing was very tight as you'd expect, Steve and Chris were very animated throughout, unfortunately Billy was buried in the mix, but Jon's voice soared above everything.
A terrific night, hopefully it won't be 30 years before they play here again. Like many Irish fans, I had already booked my tickets for the Royal Albert Hall before the Dublin gig was announced, so I'm looking forward to doing it all again in a couple of weeks.
Dublin was the first venue for their European tour and it was a magical experience for all who attended. Started with Yours is No Disgrace and ended with R/About with a good mix of 70s and Ladder Material throughout. Anderson's voice is as good as ever - probably better, Howe is in a world of his own and Squire, well he's just Squire. They were all very relaxed and totally at ease with themselves and the packed audience, and the delivery of all the material was first class. These guys may be in their 50's but they'd put bands half their age to shame with their true professional approach. Concert lasted about 2 1/2 hours. Lets hope they return to Dublin in the not too distant future !