For some reason Yes has never engaged a larger female audience. Strange, since their music both musically and lyrically lacks all the embarrassing macho male bombast one usually gets from a rock band ("Rhythm of Love" being an exception; I agree--eck). Which made it all the more worthwhile to spend this concert with Donna, whom I haven't talked to since (should have asked for her email but was a bit dazed from the show, also shy around chicks, etc.) "And You and I" was one of their best performances of the song I've seen in over 20 years of Yesshows. "Ritual" was wonderful, but again, the sound . . .
No girls are posting! I've only been to 2 Yes shows: the 2001 Magnification Tour and this one. I'm a bit ashamed to say that I've only really been a Yes fan since Talk in 1994, but I was only 8 at the time!
I was ecstatic to hear them play unusual tunes that you don't hear on the radio and what-not. I think that the acoustic set was a smashing idea! Roundabout and Owner.. might be better songs in their original style, but when else will we get an opportunity to hear them played like this?
And You And I was the greatest moment of probably my whole life. I loved South Side Of The Sky, and the return to Mind Drive was genius. Jon running through the crowd saved Rhythm Of Love (eck). As for Ritual? It's so amazing to see that epic live!
Great show! PLEASE COME BACK TO THE EAST COAST!
And I shall also qualify my remarks by saying that even though the sound in the Spectrum wasn't good, the band themselves were as committed and earnest as ever. "South Side of the Sky" was just plain awesome. And I still carry the ticket from that show in my wallet, to ward off the bad mojo. And yet, I have to ask again: what was the deal with that malformed nipple?!
Sorry for my previous mindless venting. When I read some of the earlier reviews smoke just started coming out of my ears. I just get so freaked out when people start up with the negative remarks about a YES show that was as great as this one. Didn't mean to rustle anybody's feathers. Oh yeah, and did I fail to mention that the AND YOU AND I simply blew my mind!
You spelled ridiculous wrong Keith. HA HA! No offense taken. We love Yes and we love you too!
John R. Sullivan
Actually, if Howe's pedal-steel guitar is inaudible during "Going For The One" (!) and Squire's bass is practically inaudible during "Ritual" (!), then that is a problem with the sound man, not the band. "Oh, Mr. Underwood, your room is ready...."
As far as ALL of the previous reviews are concerned, you should all be ashamed of yourselves. How dare you criticize the masterful excellence of the greatest progressive rock band in the universe. I am so sick of people who consider themselves YES fans who are able to point out the most rediculous flaws in such a stellar show that real YES fans would never even consider to be a flaw to begin with. Who cares if the sound during the first 11 seconds of the show was not adjusted properly. As long as the sound is good what difference does it make? It also really disturbs me when a person who has only seen YES since the very late 90's is all of the sudden their harshest critic. GET A LIFE!!
My review of the Spectrum show on May 10, 2004 is as follows:
Since Yes isn't playing in Cleveland (where I live) on this leg of the tour, I figured I should go to see them somewhere that they are playing, and I chose to take my very first trip to Philadelphia to see them at the legendary Spectrum.
The show was rather fantastic. I love the stage set. It DOES a certain low budget ambiance to it, but I find that rather charming. I'd rather have this stage than just a plain stage with only a couple risers as they've done on all the other Yesshows I've seen.
The revamped setlist is amazing! I was quite surprised to see them open with Going For The One, then follow it with Sweet Dreams. Nice to see Steve playing his red Strat on a few songs. Turn Of The Century brought tears to my eyes. It was nice to finally hear Mind Drive, and seguing into South Side Of The Sky was a genius move.
The inclusion of Rhythm Of Love was initially a bit disappointing for me, but it actually sounded very good. Steve had a nice solo in the middle which sounded great, and though my seat wasn't on the floor, I really liked Jon's trip through the audience during that song.
The acoustic set was mostly very good, apart from Owner Of A Lonely Heart. They merely took the studio version, and played it on acoustic instruments, which I don't feel worked very well. Also I was rather happy with the band's bold move on recent tours of not playing the song. Bringing it back seemed like a step backwards to me.
On the other hand, I thought Wondrous Stories, The Meeting and the other acoustic songs sounded really good. There was a long ovation after And You And I. The band was all geared up for Ritual, Steve had even switched over to his Les Paul Junior, but they had to wait for the crowd to calm down before Jon could introduce it.
And I was also very pleased to see Seen All Good People played very early in the show. Judging from bootlegs I've heard, it looks like this was where it was typically played in the shows on most of the 70's tours and also on the 90125 tour.
I never liked the idea of them ending the set with a big epic like Ritual or Awaken, then playing SAGP before leaving the stage. It just seems superfluous to have this relatively lightweight song (one that's a bit overplayed at that) follow the big orgasmic epic.
So, I was quite pleased when the band left the stage after Ritual, only to return to give us a very suprising encore (well, surprising if you didn't see that list of songs that were being played in rehearsal that was posted on Yesworld).
Every Little Thing sounded great, and so did Soon. It was nice to have a Yesshow end quietly (I always loved the way Yesshows ends, with Wondrous Stories, following the emotionally intense Ritual), instead of the "rock n roll" numbers like Starship Trooper or Roundabout.
This was my 8th Yesshow (I've seen one show on each US leg of each tour since 97), and while I might not rank it as the best, it was certainly a very memorable concert.
John R. Sullivan
The Inquirer reviewer below has some valid points, and also some typical "rock critic" gasbagging. First of all, we are sick of "Roundabout," we meaning actual Yes fans, not fans of classic-rock radio. Too much radio overplay killed the song, along with "Stairway to Heaven" and "Bohemian Rhapsody." I saw them 2 years ago at Merriweather Post Pavilion and they didn't even play "Roundabout." However, they did play "Revealing Science" "South Side" and "Awaken," so we actual Yes fans all left with big smiles on our faces. The critic can stay home and listen to Big Generator if he didn't like the set list. Back to the Philly show--Howe's guitar was too low during "Going For the One" and Squire's bass was curiously muted during "Ritual" but I've long since given up hope of hearing a decent show in a hockey arena. And though the lights were superlative, the stage set was too amorphous for me. I love Roger Dean's art (I grew up with it) but what was that thing that looked like a giant malformed nipple sticking up behind Anderson's drum set? Roger, what does it mean?! It was nice to see a big crowd in Philly. I came up to see the show from Maryland by myself because my friends were all "busy" (losers...). Anyway I was kept company by other lone Yes folk: Donna and the German guy (didn't get his name). Thanks for hangin' with me!
Posted on Wed, May. 12, 2004
The show went long, but Yes fell short
By Patrick Berkery
For The Inquirer
The progressive-rock veterans of Yes played the Wachovia Spectrum Monday in the midst of a tour celebrating their 35th anniversary.
By the time the 31/2-hour show wound down, it felt as if their 40th was just around the bend.
The long evening was marked by long songs and long solos performed by long-in-the-tooth players. But they rendered few bona fide hits.
Instead of the sprawling grandeur of "Starship Trooper," the New Agey opus from the mid-'90s called "Mind Drive/Foot Prints" gave the master craftsmen of Yes - Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman and Alan White - a chance to show off their dexterous chops while chewing up 25 minutes.
And it was criminal to perform "Roundabout" not as the sinuous rock-radio classic it is, driven by Squire's serpentine bass and Wakeman's wailing Hammond organ solos, but as a lazy blues shuffle during an acoustic segment.
Sure, veteran bands need to shake it up to keep things fresh. But when they're charging between $40 and $80 a head, they're somewhat obligated to give the people what they want. A lounge-band version of "Roundabout" probably wasn't high on the people's wish list.
Nor was having the P.A. kept at "don't-disturb-the-neighbors" level.
The lack of volume tethered opener "Going For the One" and "Yours Is No Disgrace" (played at a markedly slow pace), though it did lend clarity to the elfin Anderson's castrato voice, which is still in fine shape after all these years.
Given Yes' long relationship with Philadelphia radio fixture Ed Sciaky, it was genuinely moving when Anderson dedicated the acoustic "Time Is Time" to the late disc jockey. But when "Roundabout" followed, the goose bumps were gone, and so was any chance of salvaging the lengthy evening.
Interesting reviews. I don't really post much on the net but here goes. This was my 10th show, but the 1st time I've seen them since 1978. Agreed the sound was off at the start. Highlights - South Side rocked, as did Yours is no Disgrace. The whole acoustic set was great. As for all the negative comments regarding Ritual? Take a moment (actually a few hours) and sit back this weekend and listen to Tales from start to finish. It's been about 20 years since I've done this, but I'm going to make the time to do it this weekend. As much as Ritual is a great closing to this album, it was a great way to close this show. As far as shortening it- can't do it or you will lose the song. My biggest disappointment - I seem to remember the light shows being much better. Perhaps it was my mind frame in the 70's??
Had to leave the show during "Roundabout" due to sickness but what I heard and saw up to that point was great.It took the sound guys all of the opener,"Going for the One" and half of "Sweet Dreams" to get a perfect sound mix.(I sat right in front of mixing board).The Roger Dean stage wasn't as a bad as I thought it was going to be.It kind of just blended in after awile.Granted,it doesn't compare to the stages of the "Relayer and "Solo" tours,but I don't care.As long as Yes goes on the road,I'm there.Highlights:for me were:South Side of the Sky,Turn of the Century,2nd part of Mind Drive,and the best version of Long Distance Runaround I have ever heard.I wish I could stayed longer for my 20th Yes show,but I'll see them again in Allentown later this year for my 21st time.Hopefully I will be in better health.
After 10 years Yes was back at the Spectrum. Oh, excuse me, the Wachovia Spectrum. They drew about as many people as they did in '94 too, about 8 to 10 thousand. I guess they only had room on their schedule for 1 date as opposed to the 2 or 3 shows they've usually played at the Tower over the last 6 years. Or perhaps the Tower wasn't available, or the promoter got a better deal. Who knows? Myself, I had been really happy having them back in the more intimate Tower and hate it when my bands go back into the larger venues. When the show didn't sell out I thought for sure I would end up in a fairly close seat. But I was surprised to end up in the 2nd level(They call it the 3rd level now. I guess the first six rows of Level 1 are now the dividing point where Level 2 begins. Whatever, we all know better having gone to this building for over 25 years now) three quarters back. Level 3 was totally blocked off and the back of Level 2 was empty as well tonight. The sound was as good as could be expected from where we were sitting. The opening song, Going For The One, sounded a bit muzzled. The drums, guitar and bass levels needed to be turned up a tad. It got better by the next song but the sound overall was nowhere near as good as the Tower. I heard that Chris Squire was throwing the middle finger to the sound guys all night, angry that they weren't getting the mix or the levels right. I didn't notice any of that since I had not brought my field glasses(usually I remember them) A guy behind me handed his down so I could get a look but I didn't want to hog them. Going For The One had nowhere near the energy it has on the album. The lowered key didn't help. A guy sitting next to me, Brian, was annoyed that he could barely hear Steve Howe's steel guitar on it. Sweet Dreams, the 2nd song in the set, was much better. It's my favorite song from their second album. Nice to hear it live for the first time. Mind Drive, from their 1997 album Keys To Ascension 2, was the highlight of the set for me. Jon Anderson said that when they first recorded it they weren't sure if they would ever perform it live. It's a timely song about how in the future people won't have to type on a computer keyboard but link up directly to their minds. Sounds like science fiction now ....but.....who knows? Mind drive was split in two with South Side Of The Sky and Turn Of The Century sandwiched in between. They were my other high points. Rick had seemed a bit sluggish on the piano at the Tower last time(first time they'd performed it in over 30 years) but nailed down all the keyboard parts with ease this time. Steve changed his parts slightly not as much to my liking. The original has him picking really lightning quick on the strings then a big WHUMPH from the guitar and bass as the song goes into the last verse. Longtime Yesophiles were also pleased with the inclusion of the beautiful Wondrous Stories(a big hit in England in 1977!) and Ritual(a REALLY long one from 1974's Tales From Topographic Oceans) Ritual also included a cool triple drums/percussion break from Alan, Jon and Chris. I figured they would mention longtime friend Ed Sciaky and Jon did, saying that the reason they loved Philly so much was because it was where Ed Sciaky lived. "He's in a better place now. He's in Heaven. And he has the best seat in the house", Jon assured us. There was a cheer followed by a few lighters raised in Ed's honor. Jon dedicated Time Is Time, one of the newer songs(from 2001's Magnification) to him. Besides Wondrous Stories and Time Is Time, the acoustic section of the show contained a reworked kind of jazzier version of Roundabout. This was the first time I've seen it NOT played in the encore. Most of us diehards didn't mind as it's one of the more overplayed tunes in their catalogue. Owner Of A Lonely Heart, which hadn't been in the set at the beginning of this tour, made an appearance tonight as well also getting the slightly r
Here’s my perspective. Just for background, I have seen Yes about 15 times since 1987. I thought last night was the best I have ever seen them. Not by far, but as a whole. Particularly, it was nice to see them do some different things – songs, acoustic set, stage set, etc.
They also really seemed to want to get the energy going last night. Yeah, after 15 times, I don’t get as excited hearing certain songs, but “And You and I” was exceptional. The music and lighting coordination was very powerful. They also delivered every other song very well, and with enthusiasm.
I have read negative feedback about “Going for the One”, but I missed this as I was drinking beer in the parking lot....I thought the show started at 8:00!! I was not happy walking in hearing "Sweet Dreams". Oh well, I have this on Keys. Also, I thought Alan was explosive in Ritual. I feel bad for him though because the crown didn't respond to his efforts during the drum solo until he stood up to say, "Hey, come on!!". However, he did get his due. I definitely have never seen him play better than he did in that song.
Most importantly, at 35 years old (myself and Yes), I feel very lucky that I can still go and see them. As a musician myself, Steve Howe said it best that his goal is deliver something possible, and not perfection. In my opinion, it’s simple, they still have “it”.
I gotta agree with Rick in reaction to some of the less than glowing posts. I can only claim to be a fan for 30 of the last 35 years, but I have never seen them better. The addition of the less-often played songs was great, and the old standards were stronger than ever. Yours Is No Disgrace, South Side, LDR and AYAI were terrific. It's as if the guys have added extra little parts and riffs to each one of these classics to make them stronger and fresh. I'm not crazy about "Turn of the Century" on the GFTO album, but live its very powerful, building to a great peak.
The acoustic set was fun, with Alan and Rick moving forward to join Jon, Steve and Chris at center stage. And my buddies and I, who had studied each previous concert's setlist on this site, really enjoyed the surprise Owner of the Lonely Heart, as did the gentlemen on stage! Last night the guys let the music speak for itself and man did it. What a great great show in the home of Yes.
For those who didn't like the mix, we've all been very lucky to have had Yes come to Philly/Camden three times in the last two years. For beautiful mixing in a small venue, we got the Tower, but for a big- venue rocking show, last night was right there, in motion.
A very brief review:
Overall, quite an enjoyable show. GFTO is one of my favorites, and a great choice for the opener, but I didn't think it quite clicked. "Sweet Dreams," however, was fantastic. Show highlights for me were "South Side of the Sky"--which was as impressive (if not moreso)as it was on the Full Circle tour--, "Rhythm of Love" (I'm a sucker for Rabin-era stuff), and "Every Little Thing." AYAI sounded nice, and I didn't mind the acoustic set, much to my surprise.
Any complaints? "Ritual" doesn't do much for me. It was a strong performance, but I'm not a big fan of the tune and I've heard it on previous tours anyway. If you're going to close with an epic, give me "Gates of Deliriun". And speaking of which, I like "Soon," but not as the final encore. They needed to end with a real bang (imagine if the show ended with "Tempus Fugit." We would have all soiled ourselves.)
But these are fairly minor gripes. On the whole, it was a great sounding, energetic performance. I really think there's an energy to the good ol' Spectrum that brings out the best in Yes.
Just got back from the Philly show- pretty good - Owner of A Lonely Heart was added to the acoustic section. They should do more songs from 90125 and Big Generator- they are Yes's two best albums by far. Steve Howe really seemed to enjoy himself on Owner and Rythm of Love. They shoulda done Love Will Find a Way as an encore, as Rythm of Love was the best song in the show.
Although I love going for the one, it sounded like crap in the verses. They had some college interns mixing the sound early on, which matched the tinkertoy stage setup. For $57 we shoulda had more visuals. I shoulda gotten a $37 ticket because it woulda been good in the second level, since maybe only around 8,000 people showed up and they ended up closing the third level.
Also, they shoulda dropped Ritual maybe put in Starship and/or Lift Me Up.
I know some of you will disagree with me, but I am biased toward the 80's.
Putting All Good People 3rd was a good move.
The people in the row in front of me (section 210 row 12) were stupid and obnoxious. They carried on like a bunch of 8 year olds and were more interested in the Flyers score.
It was good drinking some beers with people on this forum such as Lars and his kids Horace and Jasper.
The only bad part was some people before the show that were hippies were leaning against my Mercedes Benz, which I just had detailed. I shoulda taken the subway.
Great gig, very well mixed and all musicians right on the mark. I thought the Roger Dean design a bit cheesy, as others have felt. It looked cheap and rather non-descript, but it didn't hamper the great musicianship that pervaded the Spectrum last night.
There was the minor flub or two, John missed an opening and apologized to the audience (Rick let out a laugh) and the sound engineer couldn't quite get Chris's guitar levels high enough during the acoustic segment and Squire was literally flipping the guy the bird and at the same time saying, UP THE F**KEN LEVELS!!!
Southside of the Sky (dynamite!)
And You and I (perhaps THE best live rendering of this track I've ever experienced)
Acoustic set (very well done, nice bluesy feel to Roundabout)
Going for the One - they just didn't do it very well. Howe's playing seemed to be well down in the mix. Jon sang it well though.
Ritual - I've never really ever gotten into this track. If they wanted to exclude Close to the Edge, I would have preferred to hear Gates of Delirium.
Crowd - Some god awful B**ch was standing in front of us the last 20 minutes of the show. People directly in front of her were asking nicely to sit down, but she was a total indignant, arrogant, inconsiderate and utterly contemptible cow and wouldn't budge. So, after the gig as we were filing out, I gave the wench a real ear full. My wife had to just about put a hammerlock on me to settle me down. But, my berating her felt good!!!!!!!
In retrospect, great gig and a must see!!
From reading some of the reviews you might think YES isn't that good in concert anymore. Well think again, I was 6th row left, and they rocked the house. This is my 6th time seeing them, and I have to say this rates in the top of the list. I would say the Spectrum was about 85% sold, and a loud crowd. There was a buzz in the air before the lights went out, not anything I felt since seeing the same lineup in the late 70's in the Garden. The sound was great; I could not believe how clear it was for an Arena. Steve Howe was right in front of me, he alone was worth going to the show. Jon made a comment his son didn't know where Philadelphia was, and Jon told him it was the home of YES, the crowd went wild for a few minutes. The Highlight for the show was Yours is No Disgrace ,South Side of the Sky and Long Distance Runaround. My only wish is that they edit Ritual, it Seemed go on forever.Still one the greatest concerts I have ever seen.
I'm really looking forward to the gig tonight here in Philly. All the reports of the previous shows have been generally very positive, so I think the performance tonight should be a great one.
And Philadelphia has always been a great Yes town. In fact, they've played here more than in any other US city.
"................unique stage design by Roger Dean....." Perhaps a return to the "Tales..." stage? One can only hope.......saw their last 3, no 4 tours in Philly.......saw Jon's solo tour.........35th Anniversary huh?..........doesn't seem possible......could it be that long ago?........"...Long distance..." ....."tell the moon dog......." oh , and Rick's playing with them again...! " were we ever warmer on that day...?" God ,I can't wait !!!