First of all I'd like to say thanks to Pete for this website. Otherwise, I wouldn't have known what the play list was from previous shows on the tour and I wouldn't have realized that YES played Starship Troopers (my favorite song ever) as a token of lovefest to our audience. God, what a show!! I've seen around fifteen tours going back to the Yessongs tour in 1973. I met a friend on this night who reminded me that I introduced him to the band those 31 years ago. I haven't been to a better concert (except MCCartney a couple of years ago). YES has been my musical band of choice all of these years and I've seen pretty much all of their best work live. This topped them all. The playlist was great and representative of their many phases of music. Some may disagree but YES won't play the same thing over and over each tour. The give their fans a unique show every tour. Steve was on fire and nailed everything. Rick is always the Maestro. Jon's voice was fine as ever and Chris and Alan didn't miss a beat. Chris' weight loss was significant. I know that few people were entirely familiar with Mind Drive and Footprints but they were well received. South Side of the Sky was amazing. Did I say I love this band. At one point during a quiet lull between songs I screamed out (from maybe thirty fee away) "Don't Ever F'ing Break Up." Jon definitely heard me. He turned to where I was sitting and threw his head back into a laugh. I couldn't help it. This band has no peers, musically. If they leave the scene, music can't possibly stay the same.
First of all, I love forgottenyesterdays.com. What a great web site. I could spend hours just looking for old shows I'd been at and reminding myself of the sets the band played.
As for the show: RITUAL!!!! RITUAL!!! FRICKEN RITUAL!!!!!! RITUAL!
This song is just YES, completely. Beautiful passages of music, great playing. An experience to end all experiences. And You & I burst my heart shakra all over Mohegan Sun Arena.
It was truly great to be around thousands of crazy Connecticut YES fans too. Last time the band played at the Oakdale with Porcupine Tree, the band severely shortened their set, even lopping off Awaken (which kind of peeved me), but this time around they made up for it. Starship Trooper was their apology. I accept.
The set was awesome. Roger Dean was back by the sound board speaking with whomever came up to him. He's a charming gentleman and I told him that I was there more for his stage set than the band and I was absolutely more than happy with both.
Been a fan for 25 years and this year me and the band both celebrate 35 years. 1968 was a great year. Please come back YES. As long as they're playing out, I'm there.
Im into double figures over the last 25 years or so at YES shows....
Tonights was the best! The one person that just ROCKED out was Steve Howe!
Being a guitarist, Ive followed Steve Howes career over the years and have seen great and some nearly great performances....
The tone of guitars was OUTSTANDING! "Every little thing" he did tonight was incredible! I just want to know what was that guitar on the stand...the one that looked electric...and sounded acoustic....and like an electric sitar and one point....(Variax?)
The sound from the 8th row center sounded fantastic (Rick could have been a bit louder in the mix in some parts)
The duel between Steve and Rick on "South Side of the Sky"! I love Ricks Moog!
During "Yours is No Disgrace" in Steves guitar riff....having been warned in another review...I waited for Rick to touch his nose twice on the "blink-blink" part.....he did it!
In the acoustic set after the intermission Rick came out to a grand piano...Jon joined him and performed "The Meeting" - a major highlight! (I wish the people behind me had duct tape on their mouths as they gabbed through most of the tune!)
Another highlight was a strange moment....during my personal favorite tune "And You and I". Ricks Moog wasnt set correct or something happened...and when he went to play the line...you can tell it wasnt the right sound...Rick kinda curled his nose a bit...and started re-programming in real time to fix the sound...and he succeeded! It was very cool seeing him perform his craft with effortless motion!
Another highlight was the surprise encore ...."Starship Trooper" instead of the expected "Soon".
I did notice the only technical error of the night....Steve hit a clam in the ending chord section....and caught up with the rest of the band again..effortlessly (Did I spell that correctly? Is it a word? - alas...I digress)
There were MANY standing ovations at the end of the tunes....and during the final majestic section in "And You and I" ... people rose to their feet!
The surprise of the night for me....Chris Squire has lost a LOT of weight! He seemed to be more of a "band" player tonight...now thats not a knock on other performances....he just seemed to be "right there" all night...if that makes sense.
Another personal highlight...I met Alan White before the concert...well...I shook his hand as he walked by....but good enough!
OK enough is enough...I need more YES!
Boy, did Yes NAIL it tonight! A truly perfect show. From the very beginning, the sound mix was outstanding, with all of the instruments perfectly audible and clear. I was amazed considering the bad things I'd heard about the acoustics in the Mohegan Sun arena. My friend and I were in the balcony and the show still sounded fantastic.
What surprised me most about this show was Steve - so many previous reviewers have complained that he's become stiff and lifeless on stage, and that his playing has deteriorated with age. This was simply not the case tonight! He was probably the most lively one on stage - jumping around, smiling and engaging the audience, and his playing was just unbelievable. His fingers moved with lightning speed during his solos, and he never missed a single note. Needless to say, the audience was blown away, and rewarded him with more than one standing ovation. Rick and Chris were also in top form, while Jon did what he does best, and entertained us with some stories from the old days. During the acoustic set Chris and Jon joked about arranging the "swing" version of Roundabout and had the audience in stiches with some other stories about writing songs. The whole band seemed to be having a great time.
Some highlights from the setlist were "Sweet Dreams," "Yours Is No Disgrace," and of course "And You And I." But the icing on the cake was the the encore - "Starship Trooper" with a smoking solo from Steve! Having expected "Soon" as the encore I was pleasantly surprised to hear this song instead, but given the energy and the love the crowd was showing I don't think they could have ended with anything else!
Five stars all around. Phenomenal playing, excellent showmanship, great lighting and sound. Thank you Yes for a perfect show!