This was the first show in Ottawa since the ABWH tour in 89` so I was very anxious that there would be a big problem with local interest. I was right since there were about 2100 people who braved the near blizzard conditions to see the band. Pathetic really but Ottawa is a government town that gets 18,000 for Neil Diamond or Elton John shows. Add to that the tickets were expensive and there was almost no promotion for the show and you end up with low turnout.
The show itself was a tribute to those who showed up as YES played a wonderfully energetic set that got everyone excited and amazed. Close to the Edge was fantastic as was Awaken. South Side mirrored the trip I made through the snow and cold to get to the show. The only problems were from the drum department since Alan really did seem distracted. Another post mentions seeing the train wrecks a mile away and I can agree (being another drummer) that I caught the initial hitch in each case and held my breath until Alan rebooted the tune. Not a big deal but when a YES tune breaks down it can be pretty ugly due to the complexity of the music. I would say that Ottawa got a great show from some tired touring guys but we will certainly never see them again in the capital city. Thank God for Montreal fans who continue to show up and go crazy. Darryl
Steve Howe performed "In The Course of a Day" and "The Clap" during his solo spot, not "Leaves of Green." The new songs need a lot of work in my opinion, and I wish that some material from the Yes Album was performed but otherwise a good show. "South Side of the Sky" was an escellent performance. I'm really glad I finally got to see Rick Wakeman. He was in fine form. I wish we'd gotten "Starship Trooper" during the encore. Maybe next time.
Our seats were right in front of Rick, four rows back.
Overall performance...8 Sound... 5 @ start...8 @ end Lighting...Quantity 5...Quality 7 Song tempos...8 (not bad actually)
Individual Performance Rating
Anderson 8 Howe 7 Wakeman 9 Squire 8 White 5
Not having seen Yes in a long while I was hoping for an great show, but being a drummer and a recording / sound engineer I had realistic expectations yet on several occasions they surpassed my "fan level" expectations. They played well but there were definitely a couple of close calls which for me were quite entertaining in terms of "covering their asses."
Re: Sound & Lights
The odd instrument (except bass) got buried in the mix but by the 2/3 mark everything cleaned up (well mostly) and at times definitely kicked ass! The lighting was tasty, worked well and didn't get in the way of the band's performance (always good from my point of view) Although there was one point in the evening I would have loved to have had a slingshot to take out a certain Vari-lite.
Re: The Crowd & Venue
I think they were expecting a large drive in contingent from Montreal that didn't happen. The paper reported 2100 attendance (ouch!...guess we won't be seeing Yes in Ottawa again) but with that being said the crowd was very enthusiastic with several mid-song standing "O's"
The venue can hold 38,000 (packed) and even with the stage at center ice it was pretty well empty. In my opinion they should have held it at the NAC - a premier hall with great acoustics or at the Civic Center Theater with 4000+ capacity and not a bad seat in the place but as they say hindsight is 20/20
Jon's voice was excellent, strong with just a little edge and he was actually quite entertaining in between songs. The only downside was his solo spot...a tad disappointing in terms of attention keeping, shall we say. But not a bad note all night
Steve nailed every sound in his sound scape palette, he played well but there several time when I expected to hear a "signature" part only to hear an abridged version or a totally different part altogether, I guess all things change with time. He seemed to be enjoying himself and got quite animated (for Steve) on a number of occasions.
Rick was in great form. His sounds were pretty good and his gymnastics (read keyboard ergonomics) were entertaining, although truth be told it was all "show" His solo spot was not boring at all and clearly demonstrated his prowess on keyboards. He was definitely having a good time and into the tunes.
Chris...ah Mr. Squire, what can one say that hasn't already been said. To this day I'm still impressed with what he does. His solo spot was for the most part well put together with a lot less "ham" than I was expecting. Vocally he was in good form. As a side bar... someone should talk to him about his wardrobe...actually someone should talk to the band about their wardrobe although I like Steve's "professor" look
Allan was not having a good night, he just didn't get into the pocket. He had one major screw up and a couple of close calls that from my point of view as a drummer were quite funny (and could see coming a mile away) but in hindsight they probably threw off his game face so to speak. I think last night was "a job" for Allan...unfortunate but these things happen
On a different note, my wife, who was introduced to Yes late in the game was totally impressed, actually blown away would be more accurate. There were times during the show I actually saw her beaming and fully expecting her to float away...that alone was worth the price of admission...another convert walks the planet!
In closing, I had a good time, got to see my favorite band again, had a couple of "holy shit & no way" moments, finally realized that these guys are mere mortals (that one took only thirty years to happen) and s
The Warriors of Sound broke the scattered conversation merely by stepping onto the stage. Solos and fills were plenty with the wizard who invented the guitar, and a jam between Steve and Rick added depth and flavour to South Side Of The Sky. Jon's attempted standup comedy while tuning his guitar was amusing. Keep up the jokes, Jon! The rhythm was beyond competant-the drums were singing, and the bass constantly redefining the entire bass styles of playing. Yes isn't only music, but it is magical, intelligent, tasteful, and just plain awesome to listen to!!
Thank you Jon, Steve, Chris, Rick & Alan!! Drop by Ottawa anytime!!!
It was nice to see the lads once again visit our fair city,last time they were here was 1989.
A great time was had by all. Jon joking with us. Steve and Rick had a musical gunfight it was awesome! Chris the master bass showman. Alan keeping it all tegether
Thank'S for looking our way Jon we were the 3 holding our bic's high!