Tuesday, November 13, 2001
Kultur Und Kongresszentrum Liederhalle
21 years, 4 months and 7 days ago
Well...Yessymphonic was it? Now...stop, don't get me wrong - it was great, however, as many writers have said, the mixing was not. Apart from seeing the orchestra and hearing brief snippets of them during the quiet bits, I simply couldn't hear them - and I was in the 6th row! I had expected that the orchestra take over more or less all of the keyboard parts - I had pictured a trumpet taking over the organ solo in Roundabout, for example. But, it seemed to be Yes with an unknown on the keyboard (and Tom Brislin was very good, especially his manic stabs on Gates of Delirium), and an orchestra in the background. The keyboards should have been in the background and the orchestra mixed to the front.
Right, enough grousing: it was excellent. Having previously only been on The Ladder tour, which included snippets of the early songs and chunks of the not-really-so-great-but-alright-for-background-music Ladder, this was brilliant. I had checked up on the set list in advance, and was sorry to note that they had chosen In The Presence Of rather than Dreamtime which, I feel, is far better. Also, there was nothing from GFTO or later. But, I guess that's just because I love the albums from GFTO to Drama/Yesshows the best.
The atmosphere was decidedly different from other concerts I have been to. It was decidedly subdued at the beginning. I guess it was due to us all sitting down, and people still arriving and blocking the view... But the roar after Close To The Edge had finished showed me that Yes were not going to be disappointed with the Stuttgart audience. The highpoints for me were Close To The Edge, Gates Of Delirium (you could have heard the cheer a mile away after Jon said they were going to play it), The Clap (isn't Steve Howe just the best?), Starship Trooper, the drum solo during Ritual (Jon's drum kept looking like it was going to fall over) and I've Seen All Good People (but I've never met anyone who doesn't like it!). The latter even had the guy sitting next to me on his feet - and he scarcely clapped or cheered at all. The most touching moment was Soon - having been blown away by Gates, then the orchestra came into its own. The haunting melody and the lyrics, so topical at the moment, nearly brought a tear to my eye.
The lows (and there weren't many) were the bass notes of the keyboard during CTTE (which almost threatened to make the hall collapse!), the fact that Give Love Each Day was not played in full, Jon's somewhat dopey impromptu with Alan before ITPO (singing about Stuttgart, ducks and rain) and the shortened Roundabout...
But, all in all, worth the money for the ticket, and I'd love to see it again - a DVD release, possibly??? Now where's that copy of Yesshows.......