I have been a YES fan since High School (1975). I was a music major in HS and College, and was always impressed by the "Classical" musicanship of the group, and had been waiting for them to do a concert with a full symphony orchestra since then. It was worth the wait! I got 4 comp tickets (I am the GM of a Classic Rock radio network) and was sitting right next to the mixing console (Perfect Seats). I had my 3 best friends with me (One of them was killed 3 days later at the World Trade Center). I just could not get over how great these guys sounded after all that time. The only complaint I had was when I met them backstage after the concert. There was nowhere near enough room for all the backstage guests, and we were packed almost shoulder to shoulder in a very small room. (Not the band's fault) Otherwise it was a GREAT concert, and I am glad that I invited my friend Rod to see them for what turned out to be his last time (He hadn't seen them since the 1980's).
I have seen yes almost every year since 1975 this show that I saw this year ranks up there with some of the great shows I was fortunate enough to see. The setlist was great,the music sounded tight as ever...the only thing that was missing was the "lasar beams" shooting off of the buildings in NYC like they had in 1975 or 76
The Yes concert at Radio City Music Hall is probably the best concert I've ever experienced. Yes are playing with the Long Island Symphony for the second night in a row & the sound is crystal clear. There is no better place to hear a concert from an aural perspective. They don't call it "The Great Hall" for nothing! It is the last concert of Yes' North American "Yessymphonic" tour.
I'm getting to hear the orchestrations in exquisite detail for the first time. I hear French Horns. I hear flutes. I hear glockenspiels. I hear harps. I hear woodwinds. I am eating up & relishing every single moment of this concert.
Okay, you're probably asking what the relevance of this is. The relevance is that this was one of those little "peaks" in my life. And it would be the last time that I'd be able to truly enjoy music for some time.
And it's relevant because of what Jon Anderson, Yes' lead singer, poignantly said at one point during the concert. Since I recorded the show, here's a word-for-word transcription of some of Jon's between-song comments:
"Thank you so much, great to be here in NEW YORK CITYYYYYIIIEEE! [loud cheers] We always seem to arrive at nighttime, get into the hotel and you wake up in the morning get out in the street you go, '[gasp/inhale] wow it's New York City!' [more cheers] It's wonderful... crazy... (pause)...
How do you do it?"
"This is the end of our tour. It couldn't have happened at a better place or a better time for us."
Reportedly, Yes & their entire road crew left NYC on Monday night, the last "normal" night NYC would see for a long, long, time...
PHENOMENOL, MAGICAL and HYPNOTIC! After about thirty Yes shows over the years, dating back to the Relayer Tour, I must say that this one may very well have been the best. (I didn't feel nearly this positive about the Philly show last month). We were in the eleventh row directly in front of Steve and no better place to be on this night. He was so right on. His solos were probably the best I have ever heard or at least in recent years, and one right after the other. Radio City is a great place to see a show. ( I hadn't been there since I was 7 and saw the Rockettes). Great sound. We could hear the orchestra where as in Philly they seemed to be lost. I applaud the band for taking this bold step and experimenting with new and creative ideas, as usual. I know that they have taken some heat over the orchestra.
The audience was vibrant and electric. Saw some old friends and made some new ones. It seemed as though there were more people there from Philly than from NY.
We are in the beginning stages of developing a web site for fans in and around the Philadelphia area (every one else is invited as well) who want to stay in touch with one another, share archives, photos, recordings, pre and post show get togethers, etc. There will be a section of the site that will be entitled