First of all, Kansas was unbelieveable!!! And it was an eclectic show, and a great choice of touring partners. But this isn't a Kansas site, so I'll get to the good stuff. I have been listening to each and every Yes album at length for years and it was absolutely wonderful to FINALLY hear selections such as Nous Sommes Du Soleil, Ritual and Close To The Edge performed live. Throw in the live standards of I've Seen All Good People and Roundabout and it was a hit. I got a kick out of having to explain what each tune was to my not-so-knowledgeable friends. If they do a show like this again I'll be one of the first in line.
The Yes and Kansas show in St. Louis was easily the best I have ever seen. Two of my favorite bands in one sitting is rare and could not be missed. Kansas came out and did an unbelievable job. These guys get better as the years go on. Robby shook hands with me as they took the stage and proceeded into Mysteries and Mayhem. Some other highlights of the set for me were Paradox, and Icarus-Born on wings of steel. My only complaint was that they didn't play long enough. I can never get enough Kansas. If you get another chance in the future to see Kansas,by all means GO! After about a thirty minute break, Yes came out and blew everybody away with a tight version of Close to the Edge. Every song of the evening was followed by a standing ovation. Squire, Igor,and White were on as usual during Gates and Ritual but the stage presence by Anderson and Howe was the usual laid back formula. One of the major highlights of the evening was when Howe yelled "SHUT UP!" at a drunken moron in the front row during Leaves of Green. The entire amphitheater was quiet trying to listen to the acoustic solo while this idiot was screaming at the top of his lungs. Some people just don't get it. The show closed with the ever predictable Roundabout and the place went nuts. A fantastic evening indeed! Thanks Yes and Kansas!
Just wanted to share with all of you the experience of a very disappointed Yes fan. My brother-in-law was able to get me, my wife, himself and his wife great seats for the concert June 30 as well as all-access backstage passes because he knows the manager of Kansas via business. We arrived at 6pm to find a dressing room for each Yes member (except Igor and Alan, who shared a dressing room), but one dressing room for all of Kansas. The members of Kansas spent a good 45 minutes greeting us, talking with us, and pardon my expression, simply "shooting the shit" with us. It was very enjoyable and I felt like they were friends of mine by the time we went to our seats to see them play. We were told Yes arrives just before they go on. Kansas played7:30pm-8:30pm and was excellent. We went backstage after their set while they were setting up for Yes and again spoke with Kansas. At 8:50, Yes was nowhere to be found, so we again took our seats. Yes played 9pm-11pm and was fantastic. This was the 6th time I have seen them, but the first time I had heard them play CTTE, Ritual or GOD. AT 11pm we went back again, only to be told we had to stay in the backstage picnic area and Yes would be out shortly. We were joined at this time by five or six people who had after show only passes. We were assurred several times Yes would be out. At 12:10am we were informed that they were sorry, but the band had left. To say the least, I was and still am very upset. Would it really have hurt them to spend 10 minutes with a few people signing a few autographs and taking a few pictures?? Its not like we were a mob, we were all sitting calmly in lawn chairs. Here I was thinking I would finally get to meet a group of guys who ARE music to me and this happens. I gained alot of respect for Kansas, who I really wasn't that interested in, and losing alot of respect for my favorite band. From what the tour manager told me, the two groups were tolerating each other, but Yes has been very arrogant the whole time so far, arriving just before going onstage and leaving immediatey after. Anyone else have any backstage experiences yet?? Let me know. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
The set list was the same as it has been up to "All Good People", which was I believe played as the last number of the set and not an encore. My friend and I were leaving at this time.
It was a spectacular show for the band but an awful show for me. My lasting impression is one of disgust at the fans around me. All these rocker people were there to see Kansas. Many of them acted like it was a Kansas show, not a Yes show. Apologies to fans of Kansas, I understand that they have made some interesting recordings but their show was all about making noise and throwing things and beer..."Woooooooo! Rock and Roll.....are uuuuuuu RAY-DAAAAAYYY?" Bash! I think there were alot of indescriminate rock fans there to whoop and holler and get drunk and hear "Roundabout" and think about the old days. Very few people around me knew the epic pieces or understood what the band was doing. The people behind me ate and laughed and talked loudly during the majority of the Yes show. There was a man to my left who yelled stories at the top of his lungs over the music almost the entire time. I can tolerate alot of things at a show, but I literally heard an even mixture of Yes music and this....biped's dumb shouting. Really, I should have moved out into the field but I was in kind of a state of shock. I thought the attendees would consist of Yes fans concentrating on the music. Silly me. I relayed a message to the offending character, I asked an usher if she could help...no luck. During the Ancient, the people behind me wondered aloud about the song's identity. I turned and said, "I'll tell you the name of the song if you chill and enjoy the show." And so they agreed. But it was too little too late. A heartbreaking experience...I could not enjoy myself.
But on a non-self centered level, I was really amazed and happy for the band and the true fans up front. I seriously think this Yes show is one of the greatest musical presentations ever given anywhere. I would recommend seeing it to anyone. People have talked about this kink or that kink, but there were not many mistakes made that I could see. My friend, who is a lover of consciously primitive music like Tom Waits and source music, had always been cynical about Yes, but he was surprised and delighted and enjoyed the show very much. (He has selective hearing, you dig...) He especially lauded the Topographic Oceans music, ("Ritual" which really is a ritual in live performance, was given over to a joyful, positive feeling even through the percussion section, with the conflict and crisis in the original less prevalent)and Steve Howe, gasping outloud at his playing at the beginning of "Gates...". Really, the lighting was wonderful, the show was full of suspense and drama and emotion, and the music just had to be indescribable for non-tormented folks. The only complaint I have had is that it's not a comprehensive show...there is plenty of room for Mind Drive or Homeworld, 90's songs like that would fit in the show quite nicely. However, one has to think they hadn't time to rehearse those numbers as a five piece after Sherwood left. (I also feel that mid-period songs like Madrigal and Cinema can be just as profound and "epic" as the long numbers and should not have been removed from consideration.)
All in all, this was an all time great show (from the perspective of the band and the fans who contributed and understood) and the act seems to be getting better as the tour continues. I would expect some legendary and transcendant nights from here on out.
I am very glad I caught this Masterworks show.
Going into this show, i was not fully convinced that they were going to pull off this set list, but pull it off they did!
My god, it was phenominal! I am a 32 year old who got into Yes in the 80's and regretted being too young to have caught Yes in their prime during the 70's. I never thought I'd live to see the day where they would play "Gates" and "Ritual" and do it so well, as if it WAS 1974! But they did tonight! This was a real treat!
To me, everything seem to go very smoothly, with the small exception of Jon's voice cracking a bit during the "I get up I get down" part in Close To The Edge. Even Steve had this "what the fuck" look on his face when it happened. But aside from that little hiccup, Jon sang beautifully tonight!
Steve was, of course, phenominal! He still seems a little standoffish, but I interpret it as him concentrating on his job, and indeed he seemed to be conducting the band during some of the more complicated stuff in Gates and Ritual.
For once, Squire was ON! I couldn't believe it! Now I remember why I started playing bass 15 years ago! The bass solo from Ritual was dead on from Yesshows! He was having fun on stage tonight! Alan White, too, really did a great job driving the band tonight. Not too showoffish, very workmanlike, but he got the job done, and he was enjoying every minute of it. Didn't seem to be straining at all.
Igor came thru as well! We finally got the right church organ sound for the "I get up I get down" part, and even though he did Wakeman's solo note for note, there was enough of his personality to make it fresh. I seriously doubt that they would've been able to do this kind of Masterworks tour if Wakeman was still in the band. He would've said no to playing both Gates and Ritual, and he would've had those godawful pre-program synth patches, so I guess it's a mixed blessing that he's out of the band now. But I didn't miss him that much.
Prolly the highlight for me was the end of the battle segment of Gates - seeing Howe on the steel and Squire getting into it on the bass part just about brought me to tears! It doesn't get much better than that! Steve did some very pretty note sequences during his solo in Ritual (after the first Nous sommes du solei vocals). and the drum solo (or quartet as it were) wasn't as Spinal Tap as I thought it would and instead really worked and was very powerful!
after all that, i didn't really mind it closing with ISAGP and Roundabout. We got our money's worth after the third song! Out of five Yes shows I've been to (the other four being Big Generator, Union, Talk and OYE), tonight's show was the best Yes show I've seen.