Thursday, July 25, 2002
Maryland Heights, Missouri
UMB Bank Pavillion Amphitheatre
20 years, 8 months and 7 days ago
Just want to say this was one great show! I took my six year old son with me. He really enjoyed it as much as me. I also want to thank the guy who took the pictures. That is me with my son on my shoulders. Thanks for sharing those pictures! I'll always remember that show.
The keys are definitely more fuller with Rick. Awaken floored me when Rick does his piece at the end. More churchy range to his sound. Not sure if it is gear related or if they give Rick more width in the mix, but it is certainly a good ole 70's-Hammond type of sound. Very prominent keys! Southside of the Sky....wow...their harmonies! They pull it off very well. Lots of goosebumps.
Wish they had opened with the firebird for St Louis...my favorite.
But am so thankful, we haven't heard Owner for awhile nor AGP.
Hey, I can live with Roundabout.
I had to go to St. Louis on business, so I was delighted to see that Yes was playing at the Riverport Amphitheater while I was out there. Without having a ticket I went to the ticket window and asked for the best seat available which I was shocked to get Seat A7 Front row on Steve's side!!!! An Amazing show. The band was as hot as the weather. Two high points were 'Southside of the sky' and 'the whale'. 'South Side' was amazing, it was far from perfect but just that the band was attempting it was much appreciated by the crowd, which was one of the most attentive audiences I have ever been a part of. 'The Whale', never one of my favorites, is such a goofy song, was played as if the band was on speed. It went over really well with the crowd. However 'the Revealing Science of God' was a disaster. Jon messed up the lyrics during the chant and told Steve to start over again, later Rick missed one of his solos but the band restarted to give him a chance to jump in. The chemistry between Rick and Chris was wonderful, maybe there still some magic in this particular version of the band. I hope the band continues on for many years to come. The high I got from this show is still with me as I cannot wipe the smile from my face. Back to New York for the Jones Beach show I Can't wait.
BY BRIAN Q. NEWCOMB
Special to the Post-Dispatch
Progressive rockers Yes offered up virtuoso performances for a reverent and attentive crowd that took up only about a third of the UMB Bank Pavilion on Thursday night.
Featuring the band's strongest and most loved lineup - Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Alan White and Rick Wakeman - Yes could have played the hits and rested on its laurels.
Yes has proved to be the most durable of the '70s and '80s so-called art-rock bands and, from Howe's opening guitar salvo on "Siberian Khatru," we were reminded that virtuoso musicianship and an adventurous spirit has kept this band fresh 33 years after its self-titled debut.
The band's cover of the Paul Simon classic "America" and a new song, "Deeper," paved the way for "South Side of the Sky," a song from the band's breakthrough album, "Fragile." The song, recorded in 1972, gave Wakeman a chance to shine on piano, but Anderson said that was a time when it was nearly impossible to perform live. Today's improved technology allowed a near-perfect re-creation of the studio wonder, with Howe and Wakeman trading lightning-fast solos.
If that weren't enough, the band dove into the 20-minute-plus "Revealing the Science of God - Dance of the Dawn," which took up the first side of "Tales From Topographic Oceans" LP (back when music was packaged on vinyl). A lush, heady piece, it revealed in the band's penchant for symphonic arrangements and dynamic rock sounds imprinted with the complexity of classical music and the creative flair of jazz. The first set concluded with Steve Howe alone on acoustic guitar, playing his signature piece, "The Clap."
After a brief break, Wakeman backed Anderson on a children's song before demonstrating his considerable skills on a half-dozen keyboards within his reach.
"Heart of the Sunrise" from "Fragile" brought the full band back. "Magnification," the title track of the band's latest release, and "Don't Kill the Whale" from "Tormato," revealed that this band would rather make a positive statement of ecological concern than play it safe.
Bassist Squire demonstrated his mastery of the instrument, supported by drummer White on "The Fish."
The band ended the second set with the lengthy "Awaken," from "Going for the One." Impeccably played, Yes' diverse choice of sounds, from Anderson's string harp to Wakeman's churchy pipe organ, offered a majestic soundscape that engaged the intellect with elegant musical choices.
Two rockin' favorites served as encores - "Roundabout" and "Yours Is No Disgrace" - a telling title for a band for which survival remains the best revenge against naysayers who failed to see how you could play all that different music at once and make it work.
I went to see Yes longer ago than I would care to mention . . . oh, okay, it was almost 25 years ago in St. Louis. At the time, I had developed expectations that absolutely no one would be able to fulfill. I mean, I truly anticipated rapture. As it turns out, Yes is comprised, like every other rock-n-roll band on the planet, of human beings. So, I guess I was disappointed when we weren't magically transported to some celestial Roger Dean landscape.
Well, I'm older and infinitely more realistic in my view of the limitations of rock spectacle (it's just a rock-n-roll show, for cryin' out loud), and as a result I could not have been more satisfied with what Yes served up last night at the UMB Bank Pavilion. Admittedly, my teenaged fascination with Yes waned after that Going For The One show in '77, so the only thing I thought would happen last night would be some competent musicianship and a showcasing of old favorites.
Much to my astonishment, the creative spark that was present between these wonderful artists all those many years in the past is not only alive and well, but has, in fact, blossomed, thrived, and grown enormously. Steve Howe played those beautiful hollow-bodied electric guitars (along with his equal prowess on the solid-bodies, as well as his unmatched expertise on acoustic) with nothing short of masterful ferocity. Chris Squire displayed a commanding presence, most evident during the bass-lead passage in the lengthy instrumental introduction to "Heart of the Sunrise" and, of course, in "The Fish," which was, quite simply, the most amazing bass guitar "solo" (backed by Alan White's powerful, finesse-laden drumming) that this veteran of almost three decades worth of rock show attendance has ever witnessed. Rick Wakeman, the man who may have single-handedly invented symphonic rock (with due credit to The Moody Blues, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, etc.) proved that the Yes experience would be starkly incomplete without him, offering so many memorable keyboard fills and leads in such crowd-pleasers as "Roundabout," "Siberian Khatru," and "Yours Is No Disgrace," not to mention a well-received treatment of the "Wonderous Stories" melody during his solo portion of the show. It is my opinion, though, that the centerpiece of the evening's performance had to be Jon Anderson's irreplaceably beautiful voice. Often derided by critics for creating lyrics that were considered pretentious and indecipherably esoteric, Jon made it clear that not only has he never been intimidated by such commentary, but that he takes great pride in delivering his message of spiritual and earthly love, as well as expressing his undying faith in the great potential of the human spirit. A lesser performer would never be able to fill Anderson's shoes, diminutive in physical size though they might be (he's not a really big guy), and the conviction with which he sang pieces such as "Awaken" and the opening suite from "Tales From Topographic Oceans" that are remarkably difficult, musically and lyrically, was a sight and sound to behold. While other vocalists, especially within the genre that is rock, usually experience a steady diminishing of their capabilities as the effects of age creep in, such is not the case with Jon. He's pushing 60 and sounds like he's 18: never a waver in his delivery, never a strain to reach the highest notes, never a tinge of stridency. We were even treated to a bit of self-deprecating humor on Jon's part as he took a stab at some scat singing to open the second set.
Other highlights included Fragile's "South Side Of The Sky," which had never been performed live before this summer's tour, a genuinely rocking rendition of "Don't Kill The Whale" from Tormato, and while their arrangement of Paul Simon's "America" is a bit laborious, it afforded the band an opportunity to present some plain old, down and dirty rock-n-roll as well as to offer genuinely heartfelt support for the red, white and blue in this post-9/11 c