21 years, 9 months and 25 days ago
Saturday, August 11, 2001
Great show. My first live show since the Relayer tour…but not my last (if the boys are still willing). Not only was the concert a joy (very special to be there)…but the fans were really great too. This crowd loved the music, and strained to hear the very last string expire before delivering a thundering ovation after Ritual. Jon commented about how attentively we listened to the music.
I have always found Yes music to be very architectural…deliberately constructed…smart. I love the way they overlay simple, distinct forms that blend and interact to produce high level compositions. Yes can take you on a journey – away from the expected path – and make you exercise your mind to follow the things remembered. They build your trust – then test it.
Without a doubt, the orchestra enhanced the features of Yes music that I love the most. In particular, I love the way they condition us with deliberately discordant movements - only to follow with amazingly sweet harmonies. After the battle scene in Gates,the clear melody of Soon is sooo sooooothing (and the orchestral blend was wonderful). Even better was Steve’s guitar lead-in after the powerful percussion movement in Ritual -followed by Jon’s reprise of Nu Sommes. It was like a cool drink after a long walk in the dessert, and the orchestra really enhanced the sweetness.
The set list was perfect, and the venue was ideal for fans (like me) who really want to experience the individual artistry of Jon, Steve, Chris and Alan. I had a perfect seat in the front row of the balcony, far left (Steve’s side). I didn’t see the keyboard player until the curtain call, but that’s okay. He did fine without me scrutinizing him. The guy behind me was also a devotee, and we talked Yesthings for half an hour before the show. This was his 15th or so show (and afterwards he told me it was the best one he had ever experienced – partially because of the intimacy of the venue). I wanted to high five him about a hundred times during the show, but didn't want to distract the other folks behind me.
To Mariano (the guy who found steve’s pre-breakfast demeanor a bit lacking in a review above), I would kindly remind you that “timing is everything.” I learned (from a 20 Yesshow veteran I met on the subway between concourses at the Atlanta airport) that Steve was both friendly and talkative with the stage door crowd - about 90 minutes after the show. And as to that handshake…you can expect the same thing from surgeons. If Steve had spent the last 30 years trading hand whallops with enthusiastic fans – AYAI included – he would not now be ... Steve Howe.
And…I can’t quit without thanking Jim and his lovely wife from Indianapolis for sharing the dinner hour with me. It was re-affirming to meet a normal, healthy 40somethingish couple who share this passion for great music – and a great concert – yet can drive home safely the same night. See you next time sister bluebird!