I see YouTube links are being added to FY for the 'In The Present Tour'. Would be great if it could be done for every tour, although i appreciate that would be a lots of work. Here is a clip of 'Starship Trooper: Würm' from this show: [Link]
Great concert.The place was near enough sold out.There was a big black curtain put up to section off the last few tiers at the back of the arena. The boys played well. The sound was a little messy during the first couple of tunes. Mind drive part 1 was played a little too fast i thought, also the acoustic beginning to this track was cut out, and i also missed the vocal parts of squire and howe when the singing comes in. Poor jon had to strain and sing it on his own instead of the 3 part vocal harmony of the studio version, however during part 2 after south side and turn of the century, the song sounded awesome and was played a little slower just like the original. I couldn't really benefit from the stage effects as i was sat right on the side of the stage on Squire's side and behind wakeman. Enjoyed the acoustic set. Alan wore a scottish kilt and chris gave us a story behind the new acoustic edit of roundabout. Especially loved The rhythm of love performance. That song sounded and was played tremendously. I was disappointed with ritual. Being a bass player i was very much looking forward to the Squire's bass section but he had a terrible sound on his rickenbacker. Instead of the trebley/echo effect, the bass sounded too boomy. The same happened in the encore Starship Trouper. Maybe it was where i was sat. I blew £70 in no time as soon as i arrived. I bought a long sleeved shirt at £25 a concert program £15, a mug which was £6, a poster, another £6 and a key ring at £4. Then bought a round of drinks which was a rip off. There were also yes acoustic dvd's available at £20 each. I'm sure just a few more days wait when they are officially released will be a lot cheaper than that. Can't wait till the powderham castle gig next in 3 weeks time. Keep rocking lads. I wanna see a 40th anniversary when yes hopefully will do the ultimate of yesshows with special guests, Rabin, Moraz, Kaye, Downes, Horn, Banks and Bruford. Well i can dream i suppose
Did they sack the original sound guy? Earlier reviews of the US leg suggested the sound was less than ideal,and at Nottingham last year it was awful for the first half of the show. Not this time though, I could feel my legs shaking during the bass pedal bits, and that's always a good sign. Unlike others, I also love the NEC - to me it's still the first of this type of venue in the UK, and approaching it and seeing that spider on the roof still sends a tingle, mainly down to previous classic gigs there (Yes, Genesis, Rush etc)
This was Yes, in cricketing terms, coming in off its full run. Talk about hitting the ground running! Had no-one ever thought of Going For The One as an opener before? Now they've done it I can't imagine a gig starting without it, certainly not Siberian Khatru which sounds a bit tired these days, though maybe the NEC sound would have beefed it up.
They never let up throughout. South Side Of The Sky was incredible, and they can't do a gig without And You And I can they? No matter how often it's played it always makes the hairs on the back of the neck stand up. As I drove home I got to thinking - this band over the past few years really has gone out of its way to give the supporters what they want - enough of the staples to please the masses,and enough left field setlist choices to keep the real saddos like me happy. Think about it - we've asked for:- Revealing Science Of God - we got it; Ritual - we got it; Gates Of Delirium - we got it; South Side Of The Sky - we got it; Mind Drive - we got it, and lord knows what else. They play for 2 and 3/4 hours even though they're pushing 60, and they go for pretty demanding pieces of music, frequently eschewing the more straightforward stuff which might be perceived as being a better option in terms of returning to the stadium filling days of the 80s. You've got to tip your hat to them - as a band they owe us nothing. They also seem to be really enjoying themselves too which is encouraging.
To anyone who is in two minds about buying a ticket for any of the remaining dates - do yourself a favour and get one no matter what it takes. These guys are obviously closer to the end of their careers than the beginning, and they're still right on the money, no doubt about it. One day they'll be no more (who knows whether this might be the last tour) and what you know for sure is, there'll never be another Yes (christ I can feel myself filling up as I type this)- you can get boots until they're coming out of your ears, but there is simply no substitute for being there.
End of rant.
Oh yes - 2 moans. The bog facilities at the NEC are shite ( I seriously considered pissing down my gig mate's leg - sorry Malc). And as for the merchandise prices - you're 'avin a larf aintcha?
The robo-drums were crap - pure Spinal Tap. But it's a real struggle to find anything else negative to say about the Brum show. The stage decorations were a bit hit-and-miss, but when the lighting was right looked fine - almost like being underwater at times.
I occasionally wondered if they'd sent along a surrogate band - Howe smiling during Rhythm Of Love? Wakeman singing along to Ritual?? Shomething wrong here shurely?
Well no actually. Nothing wrong at all. I don't think I've ever seen Steve Howe enjoy himself so much for example - he really didn't seem to want to leave the stage at the end of it all.
In fact, everyone enjoyed themselves and there was much merriment in evidence. Before Disgrace - absolutely my favourite live Yessong - Anderson announced there would be an intermission when they would be partaking in some tea and chocolate biscuits. Someone in the crowd shouted "rock and roll!" During the acoustic section - which was a treat - a lengthy Squire introduction to one of the songs was punctuated by Wakeman checking his watch and burying his head in his hands.
It's really good to see them having fun - hard to believe this is the same band that's oh-so-serious in the Yessongs film.
Loved the song selection - just wish they'd been brave enough to do Mind Drive in one piece. Also, very disappointed they dropped Every Little Thing. But that's OK - it'll be on the DVD.
This was yet another great show by this greatest of prog bands. When people asked me over the next few days how it was, my answer was simple: "They're the guvnors. No-one else comes close."
The stage set was great - sound was great Acoustic set was excellent - maybe they should do MTV Unplugged. Highlights: Ritual and Turn of the Century Lowlights: Queueing for the gents at the interval I look forward to seeing the DVD of this show
Last time I caught YES was last June at the much smaller Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham - the line-up was the same but the set/stage completely different: The place looked 80-90% full (if you disregard the curtained-off section at the rear) and the inflatable stage setting was a great attempt at re-creating Roger Dean's classic 1974-76 sets - however, I guess back in the heady, care-free 70s, fibreglass was "not a problem"!!
Musically, I have no issue with the set-list: this is the '35th Anniversary' and NOT the 'Full-Circle Classic YES' that would appease most cacual fan. Hence we had no 'Sibreian Khatru', 'Don't Kill The Whale', 'Heart Of The Sunrise' or 'Awaken'. Neither did we have Wakeman's de-facto keyboard solo, either.
What we did get was something completely different and it was refreshing to see a band, 35 years old - still not afraid to take a risk and not just churn out all the great 'well-known' songs. You got a whole bunch of stuff from pretty much every phase of the band's career - which is what this tour would be all about. I think the only albums/period they skipped were 'Relayer', 'Tormato', 'Drama', and the mid-90s albums.
Highlights: 'South Side Of The Sky' (with the superb guitar/mini-moog interplay between howe and Wakeman), 'Your Is No Disgrace', 'Ritual' (at the full 23 minutes complete with bass solo and tribal drum-section)
Lowlights: 'Owner Of A Lonely Heart' (acoustic, which was met with complete bemusement - even the women in the audience remained seated!), 'Rhythm Of Love' (sorry, mid-80s hard-rock YES just doesnt work for me at all) and I feel the acoustic section was an interesting diversion, but a shade too long
Other than that, the band sounded and played better than last summer: Howe was the standout this time, Anderson's voice never shows any sign of straining after 35 years and Squire looked a lot healthier too.
Anyone know of future YES plans for 2005 or is Wakeman going to carry out his threat of the 30th anniversary of 'Myths And Legends Of King Arthur' - On Ice? We can only dream. :o)
It's the first time I've seen Yes for 26 years! I guess you could say I'm looking forward to it - especially 'And You And I'.