This was my first trip out of Colorado for the expressed purpose of seeing a Yes concert (well, my wife's family lives in Plano, so we were TECHNICALLY there to see them, but, I arranged the trip to coincide with this concert - so there you go).
I was meeting a buddy of mine there - he had flown up from Houston to Denver to see the show on 7/22, and was flying up to see the Dallas show as well - and was bringing along his youthful cousin, a recent high school graduate who was a newly (and enthusiastically, I might add) converted fan. Unfortunately, we weren't able to buy our tickets together - I sat in the 26th row, on the aisle, on Chris and Rick's side, while they sat in the 11th row on Steve's side. So, I sat alone - for the first time in my life.
And, what a strange experience it is to see a concert, in effect, by one's self. I tried to engage a couple seated behind me in some pre-show conversation (Hey, nice "Union" shirt? Did you see that show?), but, they were more interested in making googly eyes at one another than in talking to a stranger in a strange land. And, Dallas is a strange land - at least in comparison to Denver. I'll spare you the comments about the humidity...but, I'm told that the 95+ degree temperature is considered mild for that time of year.
The show was phenomenal - as I'm sure you've heard. There was a rather amusing flub at the beginning of "Magnification" - in my mind, as they began the song, I thought "wow, this sounds really out of sync - if I'm them, I'd wish we could start over," and, then as though Jon was hanging out at the same spiritual plane as me, he suddenly stopped the band in it's tracks, and they started over! I've seen Yes 9 times (including this show), and that was the first time I'd seen them do THAT - though, I've heard many, many boots, where maybe they should have! :) "We Have Heaven" was a new addition that was not there at the Denver show - I'd heard that they were playing it from this very site (thanks, Pete!), but, it still startled and amused me when they started playing it. "Revealing" is my personal favorite Yes song - and the performances on this tour have convinced me that Rick Wakeman really is an important part of this group's chemistry. After having only seen him once as part of the eight member "Union" show, I'd never really understood what all of you "old-timers" were talking about, when you were slagging off Tony, Igor or Tom. But, now I understood - Tony, Igor and Tom know the words (to paraphrase Mark Twain), but, they don't "get" the music. Rick brings to the band a certain, indescribable "oomph" (for lack of a better word) that years and years of training and practice DON'T bring - you either have it or you don't, and Wakeman definitely has it. The circle, with him, Jon, Steve, Alan and Chris in it, if you will, is complete.
My buddy's cousin was floored - "these guys ROCK." And they did - I never think of Yes as a "rock" band, per se, but, rock they did, with a completely outrageous rendition of "Yours is No Disgrace." There are numerous old warhorses that I am pretty much bored with (I, for one, did not miss "ISAGP" on this tour, and was hoping that Dallas might be one of the places *not* to get "Roundabout," as I wanted to feel what it was like *not* to hear it), but, "YiND" is not one of them. Every time they bring it out, they seem to bring something different to it, and if the "Union" version remains my favorite rendition (with the Howe/Rabin duel in the middle), this version came very close, as Howe took the reigns and RAN. He may look scholarly, and those classical solo spots are certainly tasteful, but, Steve demonstrated in Dallas that night that he's HAPPY to mix it up and get dirty with it.
In the end, I loved it. Next time, I hope to be able to sit with my buddies, as watching a concert by yourself is not the same as *experiencing* it with others, but, there will definitely be a "next time."
This was definitely a show to remember. We had third row seats right in front of Steve. It was my wife's first Yesshow. We had a great gathering of fans before the show at The Hard Rock. The band was really on. Rick was back. Opening with the 'Firebird Suite' ran chills down my spine. Amazing.
Just read your review of the Dallas show...very sorry about you missing the solo...I THINK that was me that got yelled at for standing up...no brawl started but I suppose it was a distraction when we exchanged a few words. I was the guy in the BÍC live in Chicago t-shirt....this was my very first YES concert and I was WAY excited...what a GREAT show!
again, if this was the distraction...SORRY!
Yes does it again in 2002.. After an impressive Masterworks show.. they put on this show and it was fabulous.. I'm so glad to see Rick with the band, I never thought I'd see that man in real life in my own life... but now I have..
The band was right on all the way through the first set.. and I was very suprised to hear South Side of the Sky and We Have Heaven all mixed up with everything else.. a great honour to hear these songs..
During Jon's solo bit, some idiot started screaming at the person infront of him to sit down and a brawl then commenced.. everybody in my section was turning around looking at him.. I ended up not hearing Jon's solo song.. but it was pleasant what I heard..
Magnification/Don't Kill the Whale was excellent, and both songs were unexpected, Whale moreso.. however Magnification had all sorts of problems.. After the band was almost done with the first verse, Jon stopped singing and asked the band to stop and then they restarted the song again.. there were also problems with Rick's keyboard connections it seemed and Steve had to pull his steel guitar over to his mic stand by his feet, no one would do it for him.. strange.. but I was pleased.. and Rick's string arrangments were very nice, however I must admit that it did sound a little weak without the orchestra..
Awaken... high point for the evening for me.. I can die a happy man seeing this song live.. it is a masterpiece and I'm glad I experienced it.. mouth open almost the entire song.. and I was almost in tears during the quiet section..
Heart of the Sunrise.. Chris got so much energy going through the audience for this song.. which is what the crowd needed, they were sitting down for almost the entire show in the back section.. and there was at least a few people standing up after this song..
The solos - all impressive, my favourite probably Steve's solo.. he just went on and on up there just sitting in a chair playing a classical guitar.. this guy is amazing..
I am a keyboardist in my own band and seeing Rick only wants to make me work harder at what I do to become something like him one day.. I seriously was spending more time looking at Rick's keyboards and his setup and his playing during the concert than i was the rest of the band.. even during the guitar solos!