I apologize for my earlier remarks about the show, but I didn't get my head out of my behind until after the concert!
I COULDN'T HAVE WAITED FOREVER: My First Yesshow
After becoming a fan in 1993 and not being able to attend any Yes concerts (because I was living in Puerto Rico and couldn't afford to travel at that time) I finally got to see a true Yes show for the very first time. (I had seen them at the in-store they did in Shaerman Oaks, CA, but that was not a real show).
I moved to Las Vegas a few months ago and for this tour I decided to see at least 2 shows:
Tuesday, april 20th 2004 I woke up very early to take a plane to Orange county (what a beautiful place). There I met with some GREAT SUPER NICE Yesfans. They had a pool party and it was great!
Later we had a get-together at a nearby Chili's where we met with TONS of other Yesfans.
Finally, this thing was about to start. From the first sounds of "Firebird Suite" it was all an amazing experience. NOTE: The very first time I had seen Yes in person was a few months back at a TV show appareance in L.A.. Back then I got tear eyed. AND THIS TIME TOO.
Hearing "Firebird Suite" in person!!!!!!! wow!!! All these years hearing it from Yessongs, Yesshows and many boots. That moment was so beautiful and special for me I couldn't help my tears.
I think Going For The One was an ideal song to start a Yes show. They played it way better than "Keys to Ascension 2". Steve was very enthusiastic, jumping and all.
The stage was GREAT. Specially Alan's extra huge drums.
Even though a few people were complaining about the sound I thought it was just perfect.
- Southside of the Sky - Very wild. Specially at the end with Steve & Rick's solo duel. Howe was very agressive and Rick was fithing back, while a huge Squire was head banging like if it was a heavy metal concert.
- Ritual - Full of energy. Alan's surrownding huge drums took life in his solo section. Alan's solo was way better than previous tours.
- And You And I - At last you can actually hear what Chris is singing. Now for this song Chris is not signing backing vocals but lead too. Not that he is singing something else but the volume is a loud and clear and Jon's.
-Rythm of Love - I never thought it could sound that good with Howe, but the man really nailed it. While the band was playing a powerful Rythm of Love, Jon went into the audience to sing most of the song. Howe played a GREAT solo. His own way, but it definitelly matched the song. Not to mention that Rick's contribution was excelent. A mini solo at the beggining of the song and full wild solo at the end.
A good friend of mine got me a VIP pass. This was a dream come true. Even though I've met a whole bunch of artists before I've neved had an actuall backstage pass.
It was a great experience. They had all people in a waiting room. The band members would come one by one to meet with fans.
Rick Wakeman - My favourite Yes man. Even though he's not a crucial member as Jon, Chris or Steve, I'm a huge fan of his solo work.
I took a pic with him and best of all had a conversation with him for about 5 mins. He treated me very nice.
Alan - took a pic with him
Steve - I didn't say much. Just that it was my very first show and the he was great that night.
I was very lucky to take a pic with him, as some people told me later that he usually don't do that.
Roger Dean - He had been with the band from the first show (making sure the stage was working properly) and that was his last night with the band.
I also had a short conversation with him and he draw me a Yes logo in a piece of paper.
Jon & Chris didn't meet with fans. But I wasn't complaining. That moment with Rick was more than enough!!!!!!!
EXTRA FACTS OF THAT NIGHT:
Jon didn't meet with fans as he had a bunch of family memb
Hello,my name is Rollie,and i'm a Yesaholic.Now saying that,i've seen Yes on every tour since Going for the one.San Diego on Sunday was my 27th concert,tonight my 28th and that still isnt enough.I thought these two shows ranked right up there with the best ever!I dont understand these fans who do nothing but criticize and nitpick on every little thing that goes wrong.If you want perfection,than stay home and listen to the c.d's.It's a LIVE show,watching the imperfections are part of the fun.Yes on an off night are still better than 99.9% of all other bands out there!Anyway,I loved the setlist,it was nice seeing more songs and less solos(o.k,that was a bit of a nitpick).Is Jon really 59,he still sounds amazing.Steve looks 65 but acts like he's 25 again,he is having so much fun up there smiling and shaking his booty,i had a hard time taking my eyes off him,he is just rocking big time right now.Chris as usual was just a monster up there though a little tamer than in past years.Rick still amazes me,thank God he is back in the band.And Alan as usual was just a rock behind the guys.One highlight for me was finally meeting Roger Dean and getting his autograph on a Yes logo postcard,just like the bandmembers,he is a really nice chap.I'm still on a buzz from watching these two shows,or is that just a contact high?
It's great to see Steve Howe in such good spirits. He looked like he was having a blast! Such a dramatic difference compared to what I saw on the tour for The Ladder, where he was such a Gloomy Gus.
Just returned from my first concert at the Pond in Anaheim. What a show. Yes still rocks hard after 36 years.
The arena was in what they referred to as the theatre setup. The stage is placed at about mid-arena, and only half the seating is utilized. It is actually a great setup for a concert, and it worked well for Yes. Star sighting – Tenacious D was sitting a couple of rows behind me.
My seats were in the third row in front of Rick, and the sound was excellent. I attribute this to the fact that the PA speakers were over my head and I was hearing mostly the amps on stage. In fact, I could hear Chris’ monitor better than Jon through the PA. But I digress...the sound was great all night (after the first song). Kudos to the crew.
I had read a couple of reviews of the early shows and I was worried that the band would still be a bit rusty for this fourth show on the tour. Masterworks and Symphony tours began on the West Coast, and the act was not so polished when they hit L.A. early in those tours. The previous two tours, which reached the West much later in the tour, were very polished in comparison. So I was concerned. My concerns were for naught, as they kicked butt!
Steve was hot all night. I have never seen him play with as much vigor and excitement all night. He was dancing, jumping, jerking, and even cracked a joke. He had a smile on his face all night. As usual, his performance was fantastic.
Two things that I thought I would never see: Steve play a Fender Strat with a whammy. Second, a Line 6 Variax played in a major concert; truly impressed with this guitar and I think I’ll have to get one. Steve used it as an acoustic, Gibson, and electric sitar.
Jon’s singing was sharp. That’s one great advantage of seeing Yes early in the tour, Jon’s voice is sharper. Jon kept his eyes on the lyrics and there was no repeat of the “CTTE” incident of December ’02.
Chris...monster bassman. I love to watch him play bass. Why isn’t this guy in the rock and roll hall of fame?
Alan...drummer extraordinaire. How does he keep this band on time. Ready steady Alan. Nice setup of the monster kettle drums with the robotic drummer arms. That was cool, and wish we could have seen a little more of it.
Finally I blame Rick for bringing the energy back to this band. This is the fourth time I have seen them since Rick returned, and they keep getting better. His presence makes a huge difference. And he plays keyboards pretty well too.
The set list was good. Some good old Yes standards, retreads from the last tour, some newer songs, and some songs we haven’t heard in awhile. No complaints.
Overall, another quality Yesshow. If you haven’t got your tickets, I recommend you call right now and get them. Get out and see them when they play your town, you will love it.
Yes in the Pond. If they saved the receipt Yes might be able to get a refund on the money they spent for that Roger Dean stage art. Pathetic. One mutated dead cow beneath an octo-banana, plus a giant sea creature. And what's the deal with the goofy Tiki-drums? Someone is running low on his meds. Throughout tonight's show I kept thinking, "Spinal Tap". The guy next to me said, "If you put a quarter in the machine, you can try to pick up Jon or Chris and take him home." You'll have to see it to know what that means, but he's certainly right on target.
The performers were alright, but I don't think they'd collect enough votes to make it to the next week on American Idol. The first beats of the night were deadly, as Jon needed to apply the Heimlich maneuver to the pace of GFTO. It was choking pretty badly. Also, it seemed to me that they lowered the key significantly. It was sad. No crashes, just slow and sad. There's not much fire left in the engine.
Sweet Dreams. Zzzzzz. They took a great song and put it to sleep.
Mind Drive. Not to bad. This track was broken into two parts. The second comes up after...
South Side of the Sky. Fair. Considering they've been playing some of these songs for a while, I was disappointed to hear a pretty weak performance on this and many other songs in this show.
Mind Drive (Part 2) Pretty nice. Better than the earlier section of this song. Jon's voice and hand gestures are 'bad'. I like his tough attitude. I think he's taking gangsta lessons from Missy Elliot.
Yours Is No Disgrace. Not too disgraceful.
$50 for a t-shirt? Damn. Now I know what killed that cow on the stage. Sticker shock. $25 tourbooks. $35 t-shirts. $35 hats. $5 plastic key tags.
The Meeting, featuring Rick and Jon. Pretty nice.
LDR - Same quality as the YesSpeak promo / Ultimate Bonus. Nice.
Wonderous Stories. I'd give it a "thumbs up"
Time Is Time. I love this song, but they don't. This song suffered from lack of harmonies. On about half of the tracks, Squire took a pass on performing back up harmonies. Sweet Dreams suffered most of all.
Roundabout. The new 'jazzy' version. It was fine.
Show Me. Just like the bonus disc.
Howe solo. Very nice. I can't identify the song, but it wasn't Australia.
[Back to Electric Rock]
Rhythm of Love. Started out great. Jon walked all over the floor seating. Howe attempted to sound like a rock guitarist, but failed as badly as I am in writing this crappy review.
AYAI. Now we're talking. They were fairly good on this one.
Ritual. I liked it, but I was embarrassed to see that the Tiki-Tom-Toms went into action for the drum mania at the end. Very silly for such a serious song. What were they thinking?
Every Little Thing. I was in heaven, except that they tried to make it contemporary. Howe didn't improve the song from the Banks version. Same with Wakeman and White. Squire could've done more for the harmonies. I kept wondering if they were going to overdub more vocals for me when I pick up the bootleg.
Soon. The radio edit. What a stupid way to end a concert.
Absolutely phenomenal!!! Every positive thing I've read about the first three shows was true! The interactions between the band, the musicianship, the setlist! Incredible, I just don't know where to begin. So, I'll start at the beginning!
7:30 am - rounded with the Gynecologic Oncology fellows, residents & medical students at the U.C. Irvine Medical Center and then saw some patients in the clinic there, including one woman who will possibly need a radical operation to remove her cervical cancer.
12 noon - had a solid Indian buffet at the Dosa Place in Tustin.
1:30 pm - went to Kaiser Medical Center and operated on a patient with ovarian cancer.
4:30 pm - hit the gym.
6 pm - came home, put my 3 month old son on my left leg, my 3 year old jealous daugbhter on my right and had my wife take a picture as she commented that clearly I must be feeling guilty for leaving the family tonight to see YES! (My wife was on call for Labor & Delivery and so her mom was staying with us to help watch the kids - a perfect opportunity for me to see one of the greatest bands ever!).
8:10 pm: Showtime! Going for the One was energetic and a perfect way to start the show - unlike the previous shows I heard no problems with the sound system and the band and the vocals sounded crystal clear. Jon's voice was soaring and the music was tight. Same setlist as has been posted with the exception that Nine Voices continues to have been dropped since the first night (damn!), but that was not so bad (not compared to me having to get over and accept that I'm not going to be hearing To Be Over, Tempus Fugit, On the Silent Wings of Freedom & Machine Messiah on this tour - hey, I got over it last week). In any event after All Good People (which I have been and continue to remain sick of for the past several tours), the band launched into Mind Drive and the beginning was so heavy & tight and powerful and the singing was passionate - Jon really needs to do more of these "new" songs live as he really gets into a groove when he hasn't done things for the fifteen millionth time - after 7 minutes of Mind Drive,they tear into South Side of the Sky (no lightning flashes like on the Full Circle show at Universal Amphitheatre) - and it was one of the highlights with Steve literally tearing it up and sparring with Rick - sheer collossal brilliance - I haven't seen Steve let loose like that in many years - a beautiful rendition of Turn of the Century with Jon peeking at the teleprompt, and then another 5 minutes of Mind Drive (yes I timed it, they didn't play the whole thing), but my God it was a powerful, heavy and atmospheric 3-song medley. This was followed by one of the songs I have also grown bored of, Yours is No Disgrace, but guess what - it was loud and the improvisation with Steve & Chris & Rick in the middle made it fresh. Then there was the break.
A few comments regarding the stage set - yes it's inflatable, and yes it sure doesn't seem like it cost 4 million dollars, but I thought it was really atmospheric with the different lights and the huge drums surrounding Alan were part of a great design. I walked over to stand directly opposite the stage at the far end to get a fuller view during Disgrace and it really worked.
The acoustic section was beautiful with the highlights being The Meeting, Show Me and of course Roundabout. No Nine Voices, though. With respect to The Meeting, I think that clearly Chris has made concessions to play that, Steve has made concessions to play Rhythm of Love, Rick & ALlan are also playing songs they didn't write & record, so I think Jon just needs to suck things up and play some stuff from Drama - that's my editorial comment.
I'll wrap things up in a minute. Four songs I had long since grown bored of were pulled off with such energy and feeling and power, they won me over tonight. I had already mentioned how I felt about Disgrace, but I had grown weary of And You and I, Ritual
Hey Folks !!!!
We´re coming all the way from Brazil to behold the best band of the world !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Looking forward to seeing all good people from USA.
All the best,
Eduardo Paulo and Omar Fares Long Life YES Music.
The show is now at the Arrowhead pond theater.
Directly from the TM webpage for the show:
** AN INTIMATE SETTING WITHIN A WORLD-CLASS ARENA. ** THE 19,000-SEAT ARENA IS TRANSFORMED TO A SMALLER MORE INTIMATE 5,000-7,000 SEAT THEATRE. THIS UPSCALE VENUE CONSISTS OF 24 SECTIONS, LIGHTWEIGHT BLACK CURTAINS BEHIND THE STAGE, DARK CARPET & CRYSTAL CHANDELIERS. IDEAL FOR ARTIST WHO WISH TO PERFORM IN A MORE INTIMATE VENUE.