As much as I can enjoy any Yes show, this was no exception. I enjoy being in the same room with these guys no matter how messed up the sound is, and yes, I thought the sound at this show was the worst in my 30 years of YES concerts. Another irritating factor (about the "Flint" center)...... staffed by 200 seinor citizens, each armed with bright flahlights at the end of each row,....ready hit you in the eyes (as they did to me and others) every 5 miniutes in hopes of catching you sipping water or even possibly LIGHTING a JOINT....(God forbid at a rock concert). It was incredibly irritating...and for the most part, ruined the show for me. I will NEVER attend another show at the "Flint" center again and hope Yes never plays there again.
Traveled South of San Francisco this tour around along with Seven. We watched the show from our center balcony seats. Great mixed crowd expect for the talk talk talk a holes behind me. It didnt matter though because it was such a great performance. I have not missed a tour since Open Your Eyes. I can feel it they are almost ready to make another timeless studio recording. First time for Don't Kill The Whale and South Side of The Sky!
Firebird Suite Always gives me the chills. Siberian Khatru Fast and furious turns of a well oiled Yes machine. Magnification Great album and set the course for Tormato and the future. Don't Kill The Whale Chris Squire set a pounding zeppelin groove with his dance and a haunting harmonizing finish. WOW! In The Presence Of best Yes tool since Homeworld. We Have Heaven/South Side Of The Sky Oh there is a god. Like nothing I have seen or heard before! Wakeman and Howe are so good. WOW! x 2 Close To The Edge - Perfection please. In The Course Of The Day/Ram - Howe does he do it? Show Me Wakeman is going to play soon . Wakeman Solo Have not seen a Wakeman solo since the Union tour in NJ. Heart Of The Sunrise Rock n Roll Fragile style. Long Distance Runaround/Whitefish/On The Silent Wings Of Freedom Sweet but a bit of a silent tease. Awaken poetic and the best Yes song ever. Starship Trooper Great finish as always.
Saturday night's concert at Flint Center, on the De Anza College campus in Cupertino, CA, was *GREAT*! A lot of Fun and Energy - even though the band looked a bit tired: for most of the show, Rick look as though he had just bitten into a rancid lemon, Alan looked very worked out (but played quite well - definately not one of those "Drunk Alan" nights!) Steve looked like the old elf as usual, Chris was doing quite well thank you, with his hamming it up in different spots in the same old (but very nice thank you) solo - Fish/Tempus/Wings, and lastly Jon was quite the sprite - sometimes his voice sounded very very tired and overworked, but he still belted it out 105% - especially during HOTS.
Unlike the show in Mountain View, July 20, DKTW did not "stink" - it was OK. (But it's still a letdown following such a wonderful song as "Magnification".) The mix was very good, as compared to some recent concerts, but there were still a few moments where Vocal/Bass/Percussion drowned out the Guitars and Keyboards.
Best CTTE I've heard since the '70s! Pretty good lightshow for a small/moderate lighting budget. Overall, I give the performance a solid A grade, almost an A+.
The sound wasn't bad though it had a very "direct" feel, especially from Steve. Rick's rig was for the most part pretty loud, especially the faux Hammond stuff which was fine with everyone I'm sure. Jon's voice was pretty hoarse and thin but he gave it 100% and never audibly croaked though my main gripe was Chris' sound which was very muddy and boomy for that room. The trebly Rickenbacker stuff cut as usual but that was about the only well-defined tone he had all night. Still, fairly minor quibbles when compared to the strengths of the show.
1. Energy. When you pack 1500 of the faithful (or whatever the Flint Center capacity is but it's not a lot -- the show was sold out I believe) together you're bound to get a great crowd and it was. The standing-O after CttE was long and thunderous and Jon was visibly moved. Someone had a "got Yes?" banner up front that Jon got a couple of snaps of before the show started. Only one encore was a bit of a let down and I thought they might possibly give us another with such a great audience, but oh well...
2. Performance. The tempos were up -- whooo hooo!!! SK and CttE *really* benefited from the faster pace. So what if some of the playing was a little rough around the edges, that's what live music is all about. The faster tempos brought more energy from the entire band, most notably Steve who has been fading over recent tours. He even had a bit more distortion going and was noticeably rocking out during the end of Awaken. CttE really steamed along and by the big vocal bit at the end you could just feel the audience about to burst. The song ended and the entire crowd actually waited until the fade out finished and then just went nuts simultaneously. Really incredible.
I even enjoyed the solos this time around though Chris was Ham-Central as usual. Still, he had a grin from ear to ear and you could tell he was having a great time so what the hell...