19 years and 15 days ago
Thursday, May 13, 2004
New York City, New York
Madison Square Garden
Sunday, August 22, 2021 11:34 PM
I suppose there’s not much I can add that has not already been said about this concert, but I’ve said a few words about every other Yes show I have attended, so how can I leave this one out?
I travelled all the way from New Orleans with my girlfriend for this one. Great excuse to visit New York, what’s a kid who just graduated High School a week prior want to do other than see Yes at Madison Square Garden? The more time passes, the more I am glad to have made the trip. As of this writing, this was the last time the band took the stage at MSG, with the classic lineup no less, and it turned out to be the last hurrah for that lineup, and maybe even for Yes as a major arena band. I love the stuff that came after Jon left, too, but this was basically the line in the sand. In my mind there are two eras of Yes. Before this show and this tour, and then after this starting with the 2008 tour and all the albums and tours that would follow. Sure, there were more dates on the 35th anniversary run, but I think this show will always be THE show that gets remembered from 2004 in terms of the band’s history.
Of course, the show was amazing. Great set list and the band was playing like it counted. The crowd was right there with them, and of course we let the band know how much we love them during And You and I. I like to think that Chris remembered this concert in his final days, and I hope it made him smile. I am sure the show left a lasting impression on all of the band members, and on anyone lucky enough to be in the audience.
My only gripe is that the official release from this great tour is from the night *after* this in Boston. That was a good show too, but the NYC concert was the climax of 35 years of making music and performing. They sounded a wee bit tired the next night after letting it all out in New York, understandably.
God came down to the Garden this night during And You And I. It was truely amazing. Everyone in the audience knew this was a special moment in time!!! Thank you YES!! I will never forget that moment.
My fifth and probably my last YES show! This was the only time I got to see the original '70s lineup of Anderson, Howe, Squire, Wakeman and White. A great evening of YES songs, but I have to say, though, I was disappointed to hear a condensed and acoustic version of "Roundabout". I was glad, though, that they included a few songs from the '80s to give a nice overall career mix of material.
i too remember that the crowd noise was way high, but it gave energy to the show. excellent set. one aspect that i remember was that tickets for a show in august at jones beach arena went on sale two days prior too this show which ofcourse i went and bought. so i had two concerts by yes to attend in the space of 3 months. not bad.
The outpouring of love and affection which occured during the devastating And You And I at this show ranks with the most amazing concert going experiences I have ever had.
The entire show was pretty durned fine, but the vast majority of the audience seemed fairly unaware, until...
...that moment came.
Although a little less stellar than previous YES shows I've seen. The energy seemed uneven. Some songs really flew and others were more serviceably done.
The blow-up set pieces, while I'm sure easier to set-up and strike than the gear of the crab-nebula days, were a little comical.
And the interlude with Jon's spiritual teacher was, I think an uncomfortable moment for most. Regardless of what one believes, to stop a concert for any kind of 'spiritual moment' is tough on the show's momentum. For that to work and be well received...everyone has to be feeling it; this seemed forced and indeed it felt forced on us. While there's no need for reactionary 'Christian' defensiveness that we might see posted elsewhere (JY's bad), I think most would agree that it sank the mood of the show. Sanskrit is a bit esoteric for a rock show --even a YES show-- and it resulted in the first boo's I've ever heard at a YES concert. New Yorkers are not shy and if they think what you're doing sucks they'll let you know. And JY is right; she did sound a little like Yoko... (as in "Oh no!"). It's admirable that Jon wants to share an alternative avenue into our understanding of holy grace - good for him, I'm sure his motives are pure - but c'mon, Sanskrit? I had just worked a full day; save the Sanskrit -- how about "On The Silent Wings of Freedom"?
But the band really did something, dare I say it, magical with "And You And I". It was amazing. Truly. The crowd was so appreciative, to the point where the band was certainly overwhelmed.
That rendition alone was worth the price of admission.
The review written by "JY" is a typical sort of review written by people who have no compassion and tolerance for what other people believe in. I have studied many religions/spiritual practices rather extensively and have found that while fundamentally some are very different there has been one constant in them all. FEAR! This group afraid of that group, this clan afraid of that clan, the list is endless as they say, and it is well documented throughout history. And "JY's" review is obviously just a fear based reaction to something that is outside of his or her box as it where. After all these years it still amazes me that people think that their way of life, or their religion is the only way. Oh well. Sorry everyone,I know that isn't what this site is for but sometimes you just have something to say. I love YES and hope that they continue to spread their positive and compassionate music to ALL people. GOD BLESS.
I was just browsing around, and spotted the review below by "JY." I'm a little confused: you said "Score one for the good guys." Does that make Jon Anderson one of the "bad guys," because he has a different belief system? Do you think Rick Wakeman (a practicing Christian)is also intolerant of Anderson's "Divine Mother?" And is "The Revealing Science of God" blasphemy? Just askin'...
I personally wasn't at the MSG show, but I did see them in Philly on this tour. No monumental religious struggles between Jesus and the Divine Mother, but there was some great music, as I recall...
It was June 15,1979. I was giving a co-worker a ride into the City on my way to meet my brother to see Yes at the Garden. My co-worker did not understand why I would want to see a dinosaur has-been band like Yes. Well it was a great concert that night, but a couple years later my co-worker looked right when he said that Yes were dead. Who would have thought that almost 25 years to the day later I would be seeing Yes again at the Garden.
You can argue if they were better then or are better now and about the setlist till the end of time. To me it is thrilling they are still together playing the music we all love. The last 8 years have been incredible, with them doing fine versions of most of their classic songs.
The Garden concert 2004 version was a wonderful event. For me it started slow, as I really don't care for the song GFTO, and to me Yes did not really start until Steve Howe came alone. Mind Drive was a nice surprise, they played it well, although I wish they had played the whole thing in one part. Turn of the Century was nice to hear also, I have never seen them do that in concert. I am glad Southside has become a staple now , and at the Garden I thought they played it even better than the 2002/2003 tour. The interplay between Steve and Rick at the end was fantastic! Although YIND usually is ho hum to me because they play it so much, it was a great version as Steve was on fire.
The meeting was the next nice surpise, and the acoustic LDR brought back memories of the 75 tour. They played very well however I thought the acousitc set went on too long, at the expense of other songs they might have played. It was kind of cool seeing Jon go thru the crowd during Rhythm of Love
And you and I was a fantastic version, and it was amazing the crowd cheered so intensly Yes could not finish the song. On one hand the finale is my favorite part and the crowd kind of interrupted that, but the raw emotion from the crowd was incredible, and I kind of felt the same way, it was an amazing experience to be part of.
Although I missed hearing CTTE, they did a great version of Ritual, Alan was excellent, a great way to finish the concert. There have been many comments about Jon's Guru. Personally I agree with her sentiment , but I feel there is a time and place for everything, and traveled all that way and spend that much money to hear Yes play the music I love.
The show concluded with Soon, wonderful to hear, and Starship Trooper, which I prefer to them doing someone elses song. All in all a great night and a wonderful show. Can't wait for PNC in August.
I felt as I did back on February 20, 1974, 30 years ago when I saw my first Yes concert. I became enchanted with them from that day on. I took my 19 year old son with me because I was so proud to be there and I wanted him to know the true meaning of music. Jon Anderson and the band could not have performed any better. I will forever be grateful to my father for bringing me to my first Yes concert when I was 14. It changed my life forever for the better.
hey Dan...YES does play smaller symphonic halls..all the time.
What could I say that already hasn't been said here? A week on from this magical show, and I'm still floored. Never saw (or been part of) a crowd that stopped a show like that. Beginning to end - they were absolutely ON and loving it up there. Amazing sound, great stage set, one 15-minute break in THREE AND A HALF hours of solid rock. These guys are better than ever! Hope to catch them again in the fall (if they're coming back, which I heard they are).
Caught the NYC MSG show w/a good yesfriend last week.
Was looking forward to the rarely-played numbers, but they
wigged on "Every Little Thing" and "Time is Time" in favor of
yet another rendition of "Starship Trooper".
We were also "blessed" with the presence of Jon's "divine" mother
Audrey spouting her newage (rhymes with sewage) garbage at us &
singing worse than Yoko Ono, way off key, for what seemed like an
eternity, spouting that we're all perfect divine beings who need
to align ourselves with our own inner selves to the sun of the sun.
No mention that we're all sinners in need of God's Grace, of
course. (sigh) The crowd was alternately polite and then seemed
prepared to throw a few tormatoes at the stage.
My friend and I felt a spiritual "black hole", a deep sense of
darkness overtake the place. Funny thing, though. We
both felt moved to pray pretty much at the same time. As
soon as we called upon the name of Jesus, "divine" mother Audrey
abruptly stopped and hurried off the stage. Score one for the
good guys. Should have prayed a lot sooner. Our bad.
Anyway, "divine" mother took the wind out of the sails of the crowd.
Regrettable after an extraordinary moment towards the end of "And
You And I", in which the crowd (about 85-90% capacity) would not
calm down in appreciation of the magnificent ending, so much so
that Steve and Jon could not finish the song on the 12-string.
Every attempt to do so was met with yet another crescendo from
the appreciative crowd -- which I didn't think was possible after
the 9th or 10 wave... didn't think it could get any louder.
The band was definitely moved. Eventually, Steve gave up, Rick
started playing some washy-pads/chords on the synth, and Jon sang
the last tag in a completely different key, alot lower, over
a low tonic drone from Rick. Definitely a unique moment,
hope somebody recorded it.
Although Philly gets a well-deserved reputation as being a great
Yes town, NYC deserves to be up there too, IMO.
Anyway, other highlights included a stellar "Turn Of The Century",
with the original key intact, unlike the odd key changes on
Keys To Ascension. Jon is hitting the high notes again, amazingly
"Mind Drive" didn't seem to work too well live... which surprised me.
Could be me, though... could be the overly large venue in which
the sound swirls around a little and gets a little muddy. Would
have loved to have heard the details coming from Howe/Wakeman
on stuff like "Sweet Dreams" also. The acoustic set fared
a little better in the clarity department.
Hearing a "Six Wives of Henry VIII" piano solo in the middle of
an acoustic rendering of "Owner" hit my funny bone... my friend's too.
We couldn't stop laughing, it was so incongruous. Very inventive,
The Yeswest stuff came across suprisingly well also. So much so
that I shudder to say that I would not mind hearing some other
tunes from that era taken out of retirement, just to see Howe
they play them.
All in all, an excellent show. Sound was good for such a big venue.
What Stephen said about the sound at arenas is on target. Here's
hoping they continue to play some previously rarely-played numbers.
GARDEN CROWD JUST SAYS YES
By DAN AQUILANTE New York Post
May 15, 2004 -- EVERYONE I invited to see Yes answered with a resounding no. Even so, Madison Square Garden was filled Thursday night with folks willing to spend three hours hearing the progressive rockers noodle away at ancient songs.
The gray-beard crowd smoked dope, drank beers and let the years fall away to the old daze, when they smoked dope and drank beers listening to Yes in their dorms.
Yes - currently on tour celebrating its 35th anniversary - is made up of excellent players who've been together so long, they've developed musical ESP.
It was a marvel how Rick Wakeman's 12-finger keyboard attack always made room for Steve Howe's fleet guitar work, and how Alan White's drum beats and Chris Squire's bass thumps always quelled exactly whenever Jon Anderson's reedy upper register was needed in front of the music.
This is a band that sounds as if it's just jamming, yet the players have such classical precision that every note of every song is accounted for.
The Garden crowd didn't seem to notice how dated the music was. They applauded, hooted and hollered for every tune, each of which was a 10-minute-plus-long epic.
It was that way right from the start of this very long concert. When Yes launched its famous opus "I've Seen All Good People," the piece seemed to ramble on so long, you wondered if the boys played it twice.
But even to a Yes naysayer, the group sounded very good on its yesterday radio hit "Owner of a Lonely Heart," and updated the moldy "Roundabout" by transforming it into an acoustic blues number.
The retooled "Roundabout" wasn't superior to the original, but it showed how Yes, 35 years later, is trying to keep the music interesting.
While the wizened quintet can still fill the Garden (where, to their credit, they delivered excellent sound), Yes should consider playing a few symphony halls, where the fans would be able to see these accomplished musicians work their instruments.
JOHN GLENDALE NY
WHAT CAN I SAY,THIS WAS PROBABLY THE BEST YES CONCERT
THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN #11.WENT WITH MY FRIEND THAT NEVER
SAW YES,AND ONLY KNEW ALL GOOD PEOPLE,SAID IT WAS AWESOME
AND WOULD SEE THEM AGAIN.IN ALL THE CONCERTS I WENT TO,I'VE
NEVER SEEN A STANDING OVATION AFTER A SONG LIKE THAT BEFORE.
I'D LOVE TO SEE OTHER BANDS WITH 55-60 YEAR OLD GUYS,PLAY
WITH AS LONG OR HARD AS YES.IF THEY DON'T GET INTO THE ROCK N ROLL
HALL OF FAME THEY SHOULD TEAR IT DOWN,BECAUSE THEY ARE ONE
OF THE BEST BANDS EVER.
Wow! It was quite a ride last night, and the longest Yes show -- three hours, not counting the intermission -- I'll probably ever see. Kind of a bizarre vibe too. Yes was back in The Garden with a good-sized crowd and large fluorescent Roger Dean inflatables onstage, and they played past the curfew!!!
They were very fresh, loose and improvisational. Smiles all around, onstage and in the audience. Overall, there was a much higher energy level than at Radio City two years ago, mostly attributable to Steve Howe. I never thought I'd see him do what he did last night, putting so much joy and physicality into his playing. He took risks in practically every tune, and made those risks pay off.
That said, there were a few negatives, and I'll get them out of the way first.
The mix was variable during the first set, very good at times, and somewhat opaque at others. Going For The One was very strong, but the quiet things, like the beginning of Your Move, were all but inaudible. The overall levels were pretty good, but lacked some clarity when Rick and Steve were really going at it at the same time. There was a bit of a soft, muffled quality to the midrange, where most of the melody happens. I've heard worse, but was slightly disappointed, especially after such a strong start.
The band had a little trouble with three tunes last night, Turn of the Century, Rhythm of Love, and Starship Trooper:
-- Steve lost his footing a bit in TOTC and had to catch up to Rick. He recovered fast and the last half of the song was just about as good as it's going to get. I'm not sure that they've thought this one through all the way. It's a very difficult song, and seems to lack something. I'm glad they're playing it though, as I think it's one of their best ever.
-- The vocal bit in RoL right before the guitar solo where Jon and Chris trade lines was botched pretty badly. I could see Jon roll his eyes and smile.
-- In Trooper, the famous beginning of Steve's solo was lost, and though the rest of the solo was strong, Alan seemed to want to bring the song to a climax too soon, and cut Steve off before he was finished.
Jon brought his spiritual advisor onstage before the encore, and she delivered a short speech/prayer and tried to get the Garden to chant "OM." Nothing doing there. Waste of time, though it did contribute to the bizarreness of the evening.
As for the positives, the acoustic set was very well-mixed and final hour of electric tunes was loud, clear and detailed.
They couldn't even put a proper end to And You And I last night. The crowd was so loud, Howe simply gave up. Jon improvised an ending around Rick's opening in Ritual.
How does a 60-year-old manage to sound as good as Anderson did?? He didn't miss a note, sometimes embellishing on the studio melodies by singing at a higher pitch. He was simply outstanding.
Alan White wasn't the whirlwind of 25 years ago, but the sluggishness I've heard in his live playing over the last several years was mostly gone last night, and I could really hear him in the PA, even his toms, which were completely nonexistent at Radio City in '02.
Chris was excellent. He was missed in some of the harmonies he chooses not to sing, but did a fine job with the singing that he did do.
It was great to hear Wakeman play acoustic piano, and also great to hear him get back to some of his old analog sounds. He really shone on And You And I, Mind Drive, South Side and Ritual. The yellow/green glow-in-the-dark duster was a nice touch as well.
Still, I can't say enough about Howe. Compared to the two other shows from this tour I've heard, Anaheim and Atlanta, Steve took a slightly different direction on just about every song last night, and seems to have ditched the overly studious, sedate approach that he's grown enamored of. He's not afraid to put some dirt back in his guitar sound either, though I thin
It's been 20 years since my last Yes show (in Cincinnatti) and 24 since last seeing them at the Garden. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was happy to be able to bring my 15 y.o. son with me who also was very impressed with the level of musicianship of the band, the beauty of the songs, the set, etc. Yes plays with a lot more grace and finesse than the metal bands he's used to seeing and I'm glad he is able to appreciate that!
I just wanted to throw my two cents in regarding the show. I agree with the consensus regarding South Side of the Sky, And You and I, the accoustic set, and Ritual (I'm one of those who love Tales and had never seen any of it performed). What also surprised me is how many people sang along, and how I remembered so many words to songs I haven't heard in decades.
I have a different opinion about the ending, when Jon introduced his spiritual advisor. Maybe it was because we were lucky enough to be sitting 8th row and saw her sitting front row center during the intermission (got to chat w/a photographer as he took her picture). She was w/3 others, and they were all wearing beautiful leis, similar to the one Jon wore at the start and hung on his tambourine stand. I lived in Hawaii and can recognize the difference between a common lei and one that is special, and these were special. At any rate, let's face it--Jon is a spiritual guy, and even though many of us love the massive technique the band brings together to create beautiful, complex music, the lyrics are also something we appreciate. While I'm no expert on interpreting much of what Jon writes about, it's clear he communicates from the heart and his message is peace, love, harmony, and brotherhood (somewhere in the reviews of a previous concert someone wrote much more eloquently on that). I thought it touching he was able to invite someone who obviously meant a lot to him to the show and share her influence by saying a prayer.
Come on--NYC is still recovering from the atrocity (sp?) of 9/11 and the world has got it's share of problems (I'll avoid getting on any kind of soapbox here). What's wrong with a different kind of reminder that it important to treat everyone well and with respect and to enjoy the life we are fortunate to have? An observation: infront of us were a group of 4 men who were having a great time during the whole show. During Soon, they all put their arms around one another and swayed and sang along. Was it because of Audrey's words? I don't know, but it said to me that here is a band that can bring out the best in us and remind us we are all brothers and sisters.
PS: I am glad they included Starship Trooper as the finale, leaving us pumped up. It was also a long show--3hrs 20 mins from start to finish!
All in all a great show despite some whiners and complainers. I must stress to the people who don't understand why is it the first couple of songs sound so low in the mix. When a band does sound checks, you don't have 14,000 people in the room so naturally when the Yes starts to play in front of a huge crowd the engineer has to make adjustments and it does take a couple of songs to do so. Another point; why is it sound muddy to some and crystal clear to others? It really has to do where you are sitting compare to where the P.A. speakers are facing and unfortunately speakers are at the top facing across rather at a downward angled position. It's not like you can turn the master volume up because you going to have feed back and you have to realise that Yes is doing 45 shows and probally go deaf. My suggestion next time is everyone to donate $10 for upgrading their P.A. system.
AT ALL, AT ALL, AT ALL, AT ALL, AT ALL - RITUAL WAS WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION. GOING FOR THE ONE & TURN OF THE CENTURY WERE A MIRACLE TO SEE. IT WAS THE DELICATE BALANCE BETWEEN HARMONY & POWER!!!!
What can you say? The best keep getting better. This was my 9th time seeing YES. First time seeing them @ MSG. This show had the potential to be THE best YES concert experiance but because of the rediculousness of others around me (Sect 40) (Drunk 30 something year olds, talking incessantly throughout the show) they hindered it a bit. Enough of that
Whatever the "Classic YES" lineup decides to play is always fine by me. So I thought it was a tremendous set. It was my first time seeing "Going For The One", "Turn Of The Century", "Sweet Dreams" and of course "Mind Drive" done live. I never thought YES would be able to top their 2002 Tour version of "Southside of The Sky" but the version done on this tour is so awesome. Many people have commented on that, and it's so true. The Rick and Steve duel jam at the end. And finising off that segment by bringing it back into "Mind Drive" was cool. When they really wanna get something right, they do. Every part of MD (to me) sounded just like the studio version on "Keys 2." "Rhythm of Love" while some seemed it was out of place, I thought it was well done and Steve really trying to give it his best, on something he was not originally part of.
The performance of "And You And I" will remembered by all who were in attendance for what happened during the final moments. In all the times I've seen YES they've always been able to get the crowd to settle down for that final moment. I was a little subdued that I couldn't hear the proper ending. (because they just sort of winged it, when they realized it couldn't be done properly.) And Philly, thinks they are "Yes town." They got nothing on us. NY is THE place to see YES. "Ritual" was nice to see again after not being done in 3 years. In fact, I couldn't believe they decided to do it, being that Rick isn't a huge TFTO fan. But time heals all wounds, right? This was tight, and rocked supreme!
I was unsure of what to expect in terms of encores? Were we going to get any? I wasn't sure, because of what happened during AYAI. So, "Soon" was nice to hear. I'm just glad they didn't close with it. Surprise! "Starship Trooper." Now that's a way to end a show. Picked up a program. Going to buy my shirts from Yesworld, and save some $$.
Finally - Jon, Chris, Steve, Alan and Rick. My very MANY thanks from my family and I for giving us such a great, great, superb, fantastic, joyous, "wonderous" show.
Unlike most of the other reviews, I disagree on one point. I was very disappointed with the show up to the intermission. I thought the sound mix was off and, from my seats, steve and chris's riffs were simply lost. I was especially disappointed not be be able to truly discern steve's frantic riffs on "south side", I was hoping to get the chills I'm usually left with on the studio version. After the break, the band was just awesome! The acoustic set was great and after that, the riffs were coming through loud and clear with the thunderous bass I have come to expect. I must say though, that throughout the show, jon and rick were great. I have always been a fan but Yes was one of the few bands I had not seen from my younger days. All in all, a great show, just loose your "mentor", it really took the momentum away from the show. Can you say, "Get off the stage" three times?
That was my first show at MSG and I did enjoy it very much. However with that being said I thought the sound quality was lacking. I don't know if it was the acoustics of the building or the mixing. I say this because sometimes it took a while for me to figure out what song they were playing. Maybe I’m going deaf but I think they could have had Howe and Wakeman turned up more, I need more treble and more volume overall. Hopefully I can see this incredible line up again sometime! I remember seeing them twice on the 90125 tour and the sound was incredible at Philadelphia’s Spectrum in 1984.
Wanting more Volume
Great to see Yes back in the Garden again – I saw them last for the Talk tour, and ten Years later the fans got what they really wanted. The best Yes there can be. Yes felt “big time” again in that building. I agree with one of the other reviewers about how dramatic they made the whole thing ..very nice.
One thing though , the presence of Jon’s “spiritual mother” or whatever – not needed or welcome. As another person mentioned a lot of people respectfully endured it, but there were many cat calls and moans. It took away a lot of gas from a fine performance of Soon and a tepid Starship Trooper. Reminded me of the time Yoko Ono came out at the in New Jersey in 84/ 85. Not the right vibe. Jon leave her home next time! Thanks ...Otherwise a fine, fine show.
The setlist you have posted is wrong in two places. 'Time Is Time' was not done (replaced by a very nice 'Owner of A Lonely Heart') and I clearly heard Steve Howe say he played 'Second Initial' for his solo, not the 'Intersection Blues' listed.
An incredible show. Howe's 'Wurm' solo at the end of 'Starship Trooper' seemed a bit tepid but all his other work was fantastic. Wakeman and Howe's trading of 8 bar and then 4 bar solos at the end of 'South Side Of The Sky' was fantastic. 'And You And I' was rapturous. Although the lighting and staging was a nice departure from the typical small-venue setup, I thought the Robo-Drums were a bit cheesy.
Tom - Entering The Mind Drive
PHENOMENAL ! ! !
Words can hardly explain last night's experience. They continue to amaze me and all I can hear and see in my mind this morning is last night's stellar performance. This was also my 8 year old daughter's first YES concert, although I introduced her to Rick at the Westbury Fair last November and to Jon at the Count Basie Theater this past January. She will be a YES fan for life (just like her old man) and will carry the tradition forward.
The highlights for me were GFTO, Mind Drive, TOTC, AYAI, Ritual, and Soon. The crowd was appreciative and standing for better than half the show. We were on the floor in the middle sections.
Having seen YES twice during the 2002 tour and being in awe at both shows, it was incredible to me that the band could shift the setlist and presentation in such dramatic fashion. It is a tribute to their musical abilities, their hard work, and their passion for performing complex music to perfection.
For YES fans across the pond, if you have your tickets, you are in for a real treat. If you don't have them, get them now! Be prepared to Enter The Mind Drive.
Now I can't wait for the summer/fall leg of the tour to commence!
[Setlist note: "Time is Time" & "Every Little Thing" were *not* played]
Ten years since they last played MSG, Yes was back in New York City with a vengeance last night. Opening up with the title-track from fan-favorite album _Going for the One_, the band was fired up right from the start.
Having not seen Yes live since 2002, but having listened to numerous live albums and boots since that time, I had forgotten how amazingly strong Jon Anderson's voice is in concert. Howe was also in great form throughout the night, most notably on "South Side of the Sky," "Ritual" and "And You And I." One of his guitar riffs at the end of "SSotS" almost knocked me out of my seat.
Before the final refrain of "AYAI," Jon & Steve could not play because the standing ovation lasted so long and was so loud. After speaking with one another, Howe finally abandoned the idea of playing the ending on his 12-string and strapped on his electric guitar, with Anderson finishing the song over Wakeman's ambient chords. The band seemed truly touched--I've never seen quite a response from a crowd before, even a Yes crowd, and this was Yesshow #13 for me. "Rhythm of Love" was a nice light-hearted treat w/ Anderson strolling, dancing, and high-fiving his way through the crowd. "Ritual" was the high point of the show for me--an incredibly tight performance for such a complex piece. "Turn of the Century" was also awesome. Some people have noted that they need to work on this more or that it's not coming off live very well, but I thought it was great. Anderson doesn't change his phrasing on this as much as some other reviewers have noted. Howe finishes the song on electric guitar as opposed to acoustic guitar, but I believe he did this in the 70s as well.
Before the encore, Jon took a moment to explain how about 25 years ago he dreamed that the band would still be performing music in the 21st century and that they would be doing it at Madison Square Garden. He then introduced his spiritual mother, Audrey E. Kitagawa, who spoke to a (somewhat to mostly) respectful crowd. They closed the night with excellent versions of "Soon" and "Starship Trooper."
While a little sad that they didn't do "Time Is Time" and "Every Little Thing," it's great to see the band opening up to the idea of slightly changing the set each night. It looked as if MSG was 70-80% full. There were empty seats, but unlike other venues on this tour, none of the sections were "curtained" off. Squire & White were in fine form, and Wakeman was as good as he's always been, but the night clearly belonged to Anderson and Howe. Could the band have been tighter in certain spots? Sure, but nothing came close to being a "train wreck." I also wish Alan's drums were a little louder and had more "kick" to them. Can't wait to see them at Jones Beach this summer.
Yes were fantastic at the Garden. It was great to hear songs from "GFTO" performed live after too long an absence.
All five members were "on" for the performance (MSGs natural echoiness aside). Steve and Rick were on fire during their duel at the end of "SSOTS". But the most amazing moment came near the end of "AYAI". Their performance of that song was so incredible, the audience broke into a standing ovation before Steve & Jon could complete the last verse. Jon was overwhelmed and the rest of the band amazed by it. They ran to each other laughing and talking. After about 5 minutes Jon finished it solo. The band then fed off that energy for an amazing rendition of "Ritual".
While I'm sorry I didn't get to hear them perform "Every Little Thing" it was a brilliant night overall.
At the end of AYAI, the audience was cheering so loud, that Steve Howe couldn't finish the piece with his conventional acoustic outro. He uses his favorite 12 string for this, and has to use conventional means for amplifying it. It was simply too loud for him to play. He went back and forth between Jon and Chris as they conferred on what to do. Then the lights went down - focused on Jon, as Rick improvised a keyboard ending of the tune.
I would have like to have heard Howe finish the tune - but going into the end, you had to know that the crowd was barely able to contain themselves. This was definitely directed at Steve Howe, so you might say that we literally drowned out the object of our adulation.
I hope he doesn't take what happened as a sign of disrespect. Between Mind Drive, South Side Of The Sky, and And You and I - he had literally built the audience into a frenzy.
We would have followed him into hell at that point.....
just got back from the MSG show...fantastic! we got owner of a lonely heart just like philly (rick played where the eddie van rabin solo usually is) and a starship trooper encore.
best was south side of the sky with steve-rick duel, they laid down a groove that just kept going and going with everyone jumping in and out. steve's improvisation in YIND sounded like some funkier variation of siberian khatru. chris was subdued, but took off during ritual which was played flawlessly and just the perfect way to finish set. i missed rick's flourishes during the middle of starship trooper, but he got to play his big solo in mind drive (which i think is the best part of the song, so i was fine with how it was broken up). encore started with a new age guru who is Jon's "spiritual advisor" trying to lead the audience in an "ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmm" chant, but she couldn't really get the crowd going and gave up after while.
the sound was flawless all over...i sat at the back of the floor and took a break in the "stoner lounge" at the upper back corner, and could hear everything perfectly...everyone came through clear, and chris shook the floor with his bass. the audience was great, *really* loud applause...i mean nobody in sight was anything less than ecstatic. i heard the number 16000 tix sold so place was ~80% full.
i loved the stage set! it was like a bulkier version of all the sets from earlier tours! the shell canopy over alan was like topographic oceans tour, the shape suspended from above was like the 76 "crab" tour, and the corals from drama were on the right; the guy behind me pegged the shape on the left as the "iron giant" robot, and the other thing looked like a whale. spinning around in the middle were alan's robotic drums; the composition fit together brilliantly filled up the space nicely without distracting from the band.
i got to touch jon fingertip-to-fingertip during his "stroll" in rhythm of love. it was great, everyone rushed down to the rail as he neared, and i was caught up in the flow and got to see him up close, unreal to have that many smiling cheering people in your face.
this was a worthy yes experience
Truly a magical night, 14,000 Yesfans saw what must have been the best show of the tour- virtually flawless playing by an incredibly tight band, a sound mix that got good halfway through GFTO and quickly escalated to very good for the evening, a chance to actually see and be treated to a few profoundly wise and powerful words and chants from Jon's spiritual advisor, a modern "Sweet Dreams" that rocked with Steve, who was in superb form all night, as was Jon, great Chris on everything he played, brilliant Rick on "The Meeting", "Soon" and all else, solid Alan especially good on "Wonderous Stories" and "Ritual", acoustic OoaLH, "Soon" AND "Starship Trooper", what a night, thanks guys, progressive rock is alive and well.