Wednesday, November 14, 2001
21 years, 4 months and 6 days ago
Here's a quote from Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy's personal "Hero of the Day" forum:
Heroes of the day: YES
We (TransAtlantic) went to see Yes (and Symphony) tonight on our night off on Frankfurt, Germany.
"The Gates of Delirium" was worth the night in itself....
Got to spend some good time with Alan White and Chris Squire afterwards (and briefly Steve Howe) which was nice...
Last night Yes took the stage at the Alte Oper (the "Old Opera House") in Frankfurt to a packed house
in an acoustically perfect concert hall which seats about 2500. I had been waiting for a half a year
and almost couldn't believe that this night had finally arrived! Our seats in the 4th row on the
left side balcony afforded a perfect (unobstructed) view of the band and the orchestra, with the added
benefit of being so close to Steve Howe that we could clearly see the parallelogram inlays on his favorite
guitar (the venerable 1964 Gibson ES-175D).
Since there have been so many reviews of this concert posted
in various forums, I'm not going to repeat or rehash what's already been said by countless others. What
I'd like to do is add a bit of information which I haven't seen posted by anyone else, in case any of
you care about these things. The first thing I'm going to tell you is that the orchestra was the European
Festival Orchestra and it was conducted by Wilhelm Keitel. As several posters have already indicated,
it appears that the orchestra does indeed consist primarily of beautiful and talented young ladies. In
contrast to the Yessymphonic tour in the USA, where they used different local musicians at each stop on
the tour, it looks like the European Festival Orchestra is doing the entire European leg of the
Yessymphonic tour. Although the logistics of this might be more complicated than the approach taken in the
USA, I think that this solution works better. Since this was already the 15th stop of the European tour, the
orchestra had already had time to learn their parts and were familiar with the music, the band, the tempo, the
stage, and all the other bits and pieces that play a part in making something work smoothly. From where
we were sitting, the orchestra had all their ducks in a row last night and they looked and sounded just
great. Many of the members of the orchestra were dancing in their seats during the times when they didn't
have anything to play, especially one young oboe player seated directly behind the conductor, who was so
"into the music" that she could hardly sit still at all!
The next thing I'm going to do is give you the setlist from last night, but I'm going to augment it with the
list of guitars that Steve used. I'm a long-time Yes fan, but I'm an even bigger Steve Howe fan! It was so
great to see "God on Guitar" again last night, and he really had his work cut out for him. The setlist was
either chosen intentionally to show off Steve's versatility (or his guitar collection), or it unintentionally
necessitated adding an additional truck to the tour convoy just to transport all of the required guitars!
Here we go:
Opening: Orchestral introduction to "Give Love Each Day"
Close to the Edge [Gibson ES-345TD, Coral Sitar]
Long Distance Runaround [Gibson ES-175D]
Don't Go [Steinberger 12-string]
Tour Song: Frankfurt Funk :-)
In the Presence Of [Gibson Les Paul, Martin 6-string acoustic, Fender Dual steel]
Gates of Delirium [Fender Telecaster, Fender Dual Steel]
Steve Howe Solo: Vivaldi's Concerto in D-Major 2nd Movement, Mood For A Day [Kohno classical (nylon)]
Starship Trooper [Gibson ES-175D, Martin 6-string acoustic]
And You And I [Martin 12-string acoustic, Gibson ES-345TD, Fender Dual Steel]
Ritual [Gibson Les Paul Junior, Coral Sitar]
I've Seen All Good People [Portuguese 12-string acoustic, Gibson ES-175D]
Encore: Roundabout (Abridged) [Gibson ES-175D]
I hope I got all that right. It looks to me like Steve used the exact same guitars that were used on the original
recordings of each piece! No, Steve didn't use the Martin 6-string acoustic on Roundabout, since the
abridged version they played didn't include that signature harmonic intro and outro :-(
Thank you, Steve Howe, for your choice of material for the solo set. You chose 2 of my all
My fourth YES-concert in 12 years (if you count ABWH) and this was the very best.
Gates of Delirium and Ritual were everlasting. Tom Brislin made a good job.
Forget the Ladder Tour - get magnificated!