Hey Yann, you're a hard man to please, but I'm sure the boys will take on board every single piece of 'constructive' critisim from you and do their their best to impress next time you catch them. also...leave Roger Dean alone.Blokes a genius.
My comment at the beginning of this section that I made over a year ago still stands. It's still a shed, but hey, Yes did breathe life into it. What a fantastic show. Yeah, there were glitches, but if you let them spoil your enjoyment, go home and put a CD on instead.
The funny thing about reviews here or on YesWorld is that you'll always find 80% of the people saying "this is the best Yes concert I ever saw", regardless of what actually happened on stage.
Sorry to dissapoint you, but Wembley 2004 was possibly not the worst Yes concert I ever saw, but it came close. I think only the two nights at the Royal Albert Hall in 2000 for the "Ladder" tour rank lower.
First of course the sound. "Going for the one" was a total mess soundwise, "Sweet dreams" was marginally better and the sound guy finally got it right at the and of "I've seen all good people". After that, the sound was good if not outstanding, at least from where I sat (fourth row right in front of Rick).
Then the much-acclaimed Roger Dean stage set. Quite frankly, I don't think I ever saw anything as ridiculous at any rock show I've attended over the years. Spinal Tappish beyond Spinal Tap. The flames on YIND and Ritual got me burst out laughing and the robo-drums will most certainly be remembered as the one most awful stage prop ever in rock history. Please guys, next time tell Mister Dean to stay away from the tour. Even the silery drapes last year looked better.
Finally the performance itself. GFTO : never mind, we never got to hear one note from either Steve or Rick during the whole song, so they might have butchered it as much as they pleased and nobody would have noticed. Sweet Dreams : sound apart, a nice and original rendition, Rick was superb. ISAGP : too early for the piss break, too bad. Mind drive : fortunately they dropped the least interesting parts and focused on the sections based on the old XYZ riff, with good keyboards effects added by Rick, hope some day they're gonna release the *real* KTA2 recordings. Turn of the century : proved that they do need to rehearse, the middle section was a piling of glitch over glitch and they nearly reached the total trainwreck before they came back to the final vocal section. South side : a bit weak at the start, Wakey messed up a bit during the piano solo, but the final guitar/synth duet was one of the highlights of the show. YIND : more energetic than on previous tours, but way too many bass pedals!!!! By the way, there was a link section between the first half of MD and SSOTS that nobody mentioned. Sounded vaguely familiar though I couldn't place it right away. Asked Alan about it at the aftershow and he scratched his head for a moment before saying "oh yes, that's a bit from That That Is".
After the pause, the acoustic part was the true highlight of the show. All songs sounded way better than either the studio versions or the most recent live versions. Definitely the best idea they've had in years. They all seemed to enjoy themselves and even the few glitches here and there didn't matter. A special mention for the versions of Time is time and Show me, much improved over the originals thanks to Rick's piano arrangements. And the jokes : Chris coming and going from backstage between songs to fetch plastic cups (up to six piled on Alan's drum riser at one point) and once the jack on his acoustic bass went off and he was left soundless when they started Roundabout. Chris taking the mike after Owner and telling the crowd "and thanks for Trevor".... Steve's face ;-) And finally the roadies taking away the acoustic part's equipment during Second initial, Steve pretending not to notice until one of them tripped over a cable and there was a huge electrical buzz in the PA. Steve's face.... again ;-)
Then back to electric. ROL was OK, especially Rick's keys jam at the end. And then it went downhill. Chris was certainly not in top shape that night, contrary to what others have said. I got the distinct impression he was on auto-pilot for the last three songs. Competent work, but none of the flame he has used us to. AYAI was so so, far from the best version I've heard. Ritual was messy at times, several levels below the 2001 version, IMO the best I've
Arno Frankhuizen (Netherlands)
Here’s my review of the London concert. First I want to get something out of the way, before saying anything about the concert itself. What irritated the hell out of me, was that there were still people coming in, up to halfway through “Southside of the Sky”. Of course, because the hall lights were out, they couldn’t find their seat, so somebody from the staff with a pocket light had to show them the way. Where do people get off, doing that? I think it shows total lack of respect to both Yes and the other people in the audience. I mean, I flew in from Holland, people flew in from Belgium, Germany, U.S. and they were there on time. I know traffic can be hell in London, but then take half a day of, of work or whatever, but to come in at a concert half an hour late, sorry, but from where I’m standing you just don’t do that. Maybe they should do in concert halls what they do in Dutch theatres (also not in the concert halls sadly enough): you can still get in up to 15 minutes after the show starts, after that the doors close and if you’re not there, you simply don’t get in anymore.
So, now I got that of my chest, the concert: it was absolutely fantastic!! There were some minor glitches here and there, but nothing very disturbing. Upfront I was very worried about the sound, because the comments about that and this venue were not that positive, but from where I was sitting (Block 33), yeah there were some problems the first two songs, but after that is was fine and most important (in contradiction to my experience last year in Rotterdam) it was loud. And I like my yesmusic loud!!!!
7.30 pm, with the Firebird Suite, the band came on stage and the crowd just erupted. It sended shivers down my spine, first emotional moment of the evening.
Going For the One – they played it well, but Steve’s steel pedal, one of the main ingredients to this song, could hardly be heard, so that made the song sound a bit empty.
Sweet Dreams – for me one of the (many) highlights of the evening. Although Steve was still to low in the mix in the first few minutes of the song (they cranked him up from halfway on), I really love what they do with this song this tour. Great and fitting keyboard solo from Rick at the end of it.
I’ve Seen All Good People – Personally I’m getting a bit tired of this one, but it seem to go down very well with the audience and in all honesty they did do a good version of it, but if it’s up to me, they can leave this one in the closet for the next two tours or so.
Mind Drive (part 1+2+the little bit of Footprints) – YEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!! I all ready thought of this as a great song, but boy do they prove it with this live version. I would have preferred it as one song, not split up, but they really nailed this one, it was so tight, so spot on! Absolutely great!
Southside of the Sky – They just seem to get better and better on this one. And although Rick made the same mistake twice in the bridge, he compensated that fully in the end with his duel with Steve. Better and certainly far more powerful then on last year’s tour.
Turn of the Century – I heard some versions on the boots from a couple of the U.S. concerts, that were to me not that impressive. The real difficulty with this song is the timing. Well they almost got it right in Wembley. There were still two or three minor glitches timing wise, but it was certainly the best version on this tour, I heard so far and it is such a great, moving song that it was well worth hearing it.
Yours is No Disgrace – well they can almost never go wrong with this one, can they?! It is such a great piece of music and they always seem to enjoy so much playing it and it always makes everybody in the audience clap, dance and sing. It is Steve’s song, man did he crank it up here and tore it down. Superb!!
The Meeting – After the intermission the acoustic set got on the way with this one and I thought it was just great to here th
As a first timer to YES live experience I was mightily impressed. It was a performance of staggering virtuosity from master craftsmen.The 'unplugged'part of the show was a highlight for me, as they managed to make you forget you were in the worlds largest shed and made you feel like you were in the Marquee circa 1970. YES are as good as I'd hoped they'd be and I can't wait to see them again.Nice one fellas. PS: £700 million for the new Wembley Satdium? Any money going spare to tear down the Arena and put up a decent live music venue??
Glastonbury was good, this was better ! The guys seemed up for it, the sound was superb, the playing fantastic and the beer not too expensive.How good will Stave Howe be when he gets a chance to practice a bit more ? Jon wasn't even close, he was spot on! Rick was so relaxed it was like he was just mucking about, Chris shed pounds, he was moving/smiling so much and Alan seemed to be having the time of his life, he was so on it ! The acoustic bit was obviously played just for me, it was that intimate and I really got the overall impression that the guys were looking forward to this one and were going to take us along with them.They did.Cheers lads.I'll have some of that !!!
what a great show ,the only down side is they did ,and you I again and not close to the edge
I had to keep reminding myself we were in the Arena, the sound and mix were both supurb (there was a curtain across the back of the venue which stopped bounceback) and the volume was loud, the same setlist as the night before in Belgium. Highlights for me were SSOTS and AYAI (Which was dedicated to Andrew Jackman who died last August). Crowd were very into it with alot of standing up during the songs which the band seemed to appreciate. Set looked pretty good with an extra inflatable in front of Ricks Keys. Some good interplay from Rick with the other guys, notable on SSOTS with Steve and Ritual with Chris.
Loved the Acoustic set, all the songs came across really well, including "Owner"
All in all a most enjoyable concert
It was a real pleasure to see Yes pretty much fill Wembley Arena for the first time since the Union tour, 13 years ago! The big pieces - Mind Drive, And You And I and Ritual - really benefited from both the stage set and the arena setting. For me, the highlights were an energetic Going For The One - they really hit the ground running - and the acoustic set, with superb renditions of Long Distance Runaround and Wonderous Stories. Yours Is No Disgrace was great as well. It was wonderful to see the Topographic lineup tackling a Topographic side, and Ritual was carried off superbly - even the robokicks didn't spoil my enjoyment! A standing ovation brought them back for a very loud Starship Trooper, but even the thunderous applause which greeted that couldn't tempt them back for a second encore, more's the pity. A great show. Thanks Yes.
Sad to miss it but I just can't justify the money any more, especially to see them play in a barn.
Last time I was at Webley was a couple of years ago to see Santana - enjoyed it but the venue was much too big. Don't want to risk disappoint by seeing Yes there.
Hope everyone that does go enjoys it. I'll look for the reviews.
Yes return to the shed that is Wembley Arena for the first time since the Union tour in June 1991. Poor acoustics, barn-like atmosphere and few chances of getting a decent view of any band characterise this venue. I hope Yes can breathe some life into it.