@2000 Star Lake Amphitheater, Burgettstown,PA..Masterworks Tour(opener,KANSAS)This was a cool concert, because I got to see KANSAS as well. They were stuggling to pull off their stuff as age was definatley affecting them and the gtr player was HUGE! When YES came on , I immediatly knew that the sound was off, as they could have been louder and the keyboards were way in the background. However, Jon Anderson's voice was the BEST I have ever heard to date. Flawless. (I learned that about a week later, Jon had to cancel some shows in the midwest due to a throat ailment.) Glad I heard him when I did. This was the concert that got our children addicted to YES.
"Concert Review: Yes goes long to emphasize instrumental over the vocal" Thursday, July 06, 2000 By John Young Post-Gazette
When Yes played the A.J. Palumbo Center this past winter, the group's show was heavy on songs from its new album "The Ladder." Playing to a bigger, hits-hungry crowd of 7,961 at the Post-Gazette Pavilion last night, you'd think Yes would've trotted out a more accessible set of their standards, right?
John Young is a free-lance music reviewer.
Yes quickly set the tone for the evening by opening with a 25-minute take of "Close to the Edge." While many fans sitting near the stage gave the band a standing ovation, others loudly debated the wisdom of starting a show with a moody, often ponderous rock suite. Little did they know that there was more such fare on the way.
By the end of the show's first hour Yes had played three songs. "Starship Trooper" felt a bit looser and faster than its recorded version, but slipped into an interminable coda. "The Gates of Delirium," a meandering art rock mess, clocked in at about 20 minutes and prompted one fan to loudly call out, "Wake us up, please!"
Fans who applauded such ventures were likely turned on by the displays of musicianship. The lengthy pieces basically turned into a showcase for guitarist Steve Howe and bassist Chris Squire. The crafty players dueled, doodled, dueted and soloed throughout the night. The harmonic licks they traded at the beginning of "The Gates of Delirium" were the best part of an otherwise mediocre piece.
While also a fine player, keyboardist Igor Khoroshev didn't always blend well with his band mates. Too many sounds Khoroshev squeezed from his machines were squeaky and dated. Some hearty organ or real piano might've added an organic quality missing in many of the elaborate compositions.The long instrumental passages also tended to waste the talents of singer Jon Anderson. His high tenor voice remains an amazingly powerful, versatile instrument, but he hardly took center stage until a reading of "All Good People" at set's end. To his credit, Anderson stayed on stage to play percussion and keyboards during the vocal-less sections rather than dashing backstage during his silences.
Kansas opened the show, and their set suffered a bit from obscure selections, too. Fans reacted kindly, but hardly enthusiastically, to songs from the forthcoming album "Somewhere to Elsewhere." The group gave concertgoers what they wanted during their encore, though, sounding almost like a pop band blasting through robust versions of "Point of Know Return," "Dust in the Wind" and "Carry on Wayward Son." Singer Steve Walsh brought the tunes to life with his energetic performance and powerful voice.
If only Yes had remembered to add a little pop rock to their art rock. This is a group with hits (on rock radio at the very least), but they mustn't have been in the mood to play them. While hard-core fans seemed to delight in the lengthy, odd selections, more casual Yes listeners likely left this show scratching their heads.
Well, I'm still in awe of last night's concert. I haven't seen as many Yesshows as some of you guys but this one was incredible because Yes feels like a band again, playing their songs, pure Yes music. And they all shined.
Jon didn't speak too much to the crowd, just the occassional sentence about inner light and the universe, but his voice was crystal clear and true. Perfect tone, perfect pitch, perfect melodies. Gates started out a little off kilter but it came together magnificently. After the big "war" parts, Jon's voice on "Soon" was BRILLIANT, just touched by God to sing for us. [Forgive me for sounding really corny, I don't know how else to describe it! I swear he's some kind of earthly archangel] What an experience to hear them play Gates.. I'm thrilled they chose it and the crowd couldn't get enough of it!
"Leaves" was another beauty with Steve and Jon embracing afterwards and doing buddha bows. Great moments :) Steve was Steve again. He interacted with the audience and drank in all the adulation we showered at him. Nice to see him have fun again, in his own serious way.
Igor is completely wrapped up in the Yes mystique. Ten bucks he trades in his silk chinese waiter's jacket for a white cape on the next tour! He was tremendous; it seems like he really enjoys the challenge of playing these complicated works of art. And he's charming too. After lots of applause and whistles for one of his solo bits, he did this kind of lounge act gesture and mouthed "why thank you very much" and made a sweeping bow, lol! His only big boo-boo was almost missing his cue on AGP. Jon started the tune on acoustic guitar, then Steve and Chris joined in, but Igor was backstage grabbing a smoke. He made it back JUST in time, after gently putting his cigarette and drink down on the platform :)
But Squire stole the show, imo. I didn't see Chris in the early days and never saw him live up to his hallowed reputation as rock's greatest bass player until last night. He was so excited during every song and his fingers moved like lightening over the strings, really tight and precise! Sometimes it felt like the others were getting caught up or lost in the music but Chris reeled them back in and kept everything on pace. He mugged with Alan and Igor, he went over to Steve several times, he simply commanded the stage. I fell in love with him, especially since he let his hair grow long again~
Other general notes: Wurm brought the house down and the percussion segment of "Ritual" had everyone in the pavillion and way back on the lawn rocking. The guys did several chorus line bows at the end, really amusing interactions. In fact Steve didn't want to leave, he kept looking back at us waving and smiling :)
Notably absent from the stage was Jon's Olias symbol. Anyone know why he left it behind? Maybe there wasn't room with all the percussion instruments. I bought a black dragonfly t-shirt, nice program (no pics of Billy in mine), and new Yes pin.
Kansas was magnificent too. The new songs sounded wonderful, Steve and Robbie played their hearts out to a devoted Pittsburgh crowd. Excellent show all the way around and great summer night under the big banana crescent moon! LONG LIVE YES AND KANSAS!!
The only thing bad about tonight's concert is that it is over. I can't believe that I sat 15 feet in front of Chris Squire and watched him play such awesome music.
After almost 30 years of going to Yes concerts, I finally got the perfect seat. I was in the third row with my husband and 13-year-old son. Back in the early 70's, the Yes audience was like a classical audience in that they were quiet during the performance and held their applause until the end, and applauded during the musical piece when a solo or change was well executed. That's how the crowd was tonight, at least up in the front section, where everyone was a total Yes freak.
I understand why they opened with Close to the Edge, as it was the perfect piece to jump off into the musical journey they took us on. The pieces were deep, full of complex woven textures. The timing was right on - the guys are tight, as they always have been. I think that it might have been difficult to discern many of the timing and musical nuances from a distance, but believe me, the guys were tight. A lot of phrases from Igor's keys, and some from Steve's guitar were not coming out loud enough on the PA. Gates of Delerium has to be extremely difficult to perform live, but it was impeccable. By the end of Ritual, the guys looked like most of their emotional energy was spent, and we listeners felt the same way. Heart of the Sunrise was as good if not better than ever, and it sort of brought us back from the journey. It was so good to hear Starship Trooper again, because for many years they did not play it, and it is one of their best. Steve's solo was really rippin'.
He was so perfect in all his performance throughout the night (as always). He played 'Mood for a Day', complete with classical taps.
Chris was once again using his bass pedals, just as he did when he originally played this music. The bass was so deep I could feel the air moving over me. It was great. Chris is the heart and the soul of the whole band - still. He always was. His stage presence and mastery of his instrument is unmatched. He was always known for being a 'lead' bass player, and he did a nice little lead solo tonight. He and Alan are a solid foundation.
Alan is the ultimate rock drummer, what every rock musician wants.
Jon's voice sounded stronger than ever. He played some nice acoustic guitar and percussion.
Igor is not Rick, but he did a wonderful job of emulating what Rick played on grand piano, Hammond C3, and analog synths and mellotrons. When I heard the new material with Rick on Keys to Ascension II I thought 'this is great - its the old band doing new material, this is where they are now'. Igor needs to fill that place in the creation process - he needs to take a greater presence in the band. He can do it. And he needs to let his hair grow.
Overall, tonight's concert was scorching. Each of these guys has great command over their instrument, together they create magic. I hope a video will be made of this concert 'cause I need it. Maybe this idea will catch on and we will see another tour with classic material. And also before I go away I want to say that I'm so glad that Yes stops in Pittsburgh on their tours. There has always been a very good crowd of real Yes freaks here and we'll always keep Yes and their music as a part of our lives. Love to all.