Friday, November 16, 2001
21 years, 4 months and 12 days ago
A great show, the highlight for me was at the tale end of the show when my son John received Alan Whites Drumstick as a present.
John is seven years old and we went to the concert for his birthday.
Front row seats, great sound and an audience of connaisseurs made the
event unforgettable for him
Yes -- Kongresshaus, Zurich, 16 November 2001
Fantastic, awe-inspiring, magnificent! In a full house with a totally enthusiastic audience, frantically applauding, a standing ovation already in the middle of the concert.... a fantastically high energy flow between the musicians and the audience!
I had been intensely listening to Yes for the last two weeks ... but at this concert, the music and lyrics really got across. I am a great Yes fan after this life-experience tonight! There was not a single moment I was not captured and carried away. My sister, who didn't know them (except for their new album Magnification) and doesn't understand much English, found them absolutely great and amazing, too! They were so incredibly powerful, energetic and musical! The blending of classical music with powerful prog rock.
From the beginning, Jon Anderson impressed me with his strong charm and charisma: his energetic presence on stage, in his red oriental outfit, his cosmic lyrics sung in his characteristic 'throaty' clear voice, his constant moving and his dancing, flying, waving arm, and body moving around..... what an energy! He seems ageless, together with the rest of this extraordinary band. The big communicator, the singer, who not only plays the guitar, but also the keyboard and very often percussion.
Steve Howe, the wiry guitarist, seems so inconspicuous and introverted, a bit like the working grandfather, in his jeans and pullover, but then you discover his great talent, his fascinating musicianship you wouldn't expect. He leads you to higher spheres with his sounds .... and his "Soon" melody on the pedal steel is unspeakably beautiful! He even spoke to the audience, announcing his solo pieces. It is unbelievable that they play 5 times a week in concerts like this, for more than 2 and a half hours, without any break.... isn't that beyond imagination?
Jester Squire, in black lycra leggings and black long shirt, dwarf-like, turning around with his white bass guitar, so powerful, earthshaking....! I loved the "Starship Trooper" bass melody waves (bass pedals).
Alan improvised a jazzy piano piece (30 seconds) with Jon singing about Zurich and the lake and swans...like big playful kids.
For me the highlight was "The Gates of Delirium." As you promised, to hear it live is to experience it not only with your ears, but to perceive it also physically.
This extremely strong building up of power and tension in the musical description of the war, you perceive it physically... up to the climax of total chaos of music and light that takes your breath literally away.... where you are shaken in a whirling light show, getting the shivers, feeling the pounding even in your shins! A perfect unit of lyrics, composition and light....and then the relief of "Soon" as the light at the end of the tunnel...heavenly....
Then there was a fine sound trip with Steve...a quiet audience.... What a change after the rocky aggressive piece! (Gates)
"Starship Trooper" brought the audience onto their feet. What a communication between the stage and the people.
However, the other highlight was "Ritual" with the fabulous solo by Squire and all the band members drumming for almost 5 minutes on different percussion and drum sets. Of course, here you couldn't hear the strings any more....but otherwise, I found it great, the combination of the band and the orchestra, the mix mostly fine.
The two encores: hundreds of people walked to the front of the stage, standing, clapping, enthusiastic.
Epilogue: After more than 160 minutes we left, our heads full of musical motifs and impressions.
I took the last train to Bern after midnight and arrived at 1.30 a.m. What an adventure! I went to bed at 3 a.m....and had to get up again at 6.45 for a meeting. But I didn't fall asleep during the meeting!
No specific surprises. Jon had its "crystal clear" voice, Steve Howe very few smiling, but highly concentrated and very good, Chris as usual, Tom Brislin Highly crazy in "Gates" and Alan in good health!
That was the first time for me to hear CTTE direct Live and Gates too. I found them very good coordinated on this last one.
The surprise was to find 8 huge bass loudspeaker at 2m from my ears, front row, center of the stage... It make some winds... Thanks Chris.
I had the opportunity to get my ticket signed from Jane Anderson, who was seated three seats away from me. She was first a bit scared, but signed it eventually.
A great show, very very better that the last two others... See you in Paris.