My evening started off with me trying to find the pre-show meeting spot. (Damn was it muggy up in Cleveland.) I have never been to preshow get-to-gether, but I was pleasantly surprised. After I arrived and I was introduced to the webmaster of yesfans.com, I got my own official name tag (insert typical Jon whoo! here). I ended up meeting some extremely nice people, even one individual named Matt who shared the same love for Genesis as I did. Very cool get together and very amazing to see so many people just get together and talk with perfect strangers, like they where long lost friends, just from having common musical tastes.
I arrived at Blossom and as I walked in I caught someone playing Genesis's Afterglow. Funny I thought as I just was discussing Wind and Wuthering with people. After a quick bathroom break I sat down in row 5 from the stage, right smack dab in the middle.
Now here's where some of the complaints go, because after I sat down some other gentlemen came down during the Dream Theater show. They basically had tickets for some other area, but where going to try and sit down up front. As the evening progressed they kept moving from seat to seat, hoping that an individual would not show up at the concert tonight, so they should steal a seat. While they were very nice and where extremely polite to me, I found this a bit unfair for those who did arive late during the Dream Theater production. The one guy (althought once again very nice) was on his fifth beer probably, and offered me a Vicadin. I politely declined. Needless to say as people rolled in they kept moving from seat to seat. While I understand that ability to say 'Hey if someone shows up let's sit there'. I found this seat-hopping method I bit un-moral.
Dream Theater came on exactly at 7:30. Now I only know these guys from covers they do of other bands (Genesis, Yes, Kansas etc...) But needless to say I was quite impressed with their set. They defintely sounded like a combination of Rush and Genesis. The keyboardist was on a revolving keyboard which was cool because he could turn around and show you what he was playing. The guitarist was AWESOME and the songs they played created a whole atmopshere that was incredible. The only complaint is that the lead singer who always just looked pissed off, was very hard to hear at times. But I blame that on the lack of acustics at Blossom. (He also was just dresssed BAD, blue jeans???)
After the intermission they pulled up the black curtain, strung up the giant balloons and rearranged the instruments. As typical they started with Firebird Suite, and then the curtains came down, Yes strolled out and broke into Going for the One. Jon and Steve seemeded in high spirits, while Alan and Chris seemed a bit tired. And Rick, well does Rick always seem to be jumping from keyboard to keyboard like a mad man, or is it just me?
Perfect rendition of Going for the One. From my experience last time at Blossom in 2002, the band was very unevenly mixed, with Rick very hard to hear at times (power went out right before the show). Here the sound was much much better, but Rick was hard to hear until Close to the Edge, (again). I've noticed as I went to the bathroom that the sound changes depending on where you are in the theater.
After Going for the One they went into Sweet Dreams which gave us a glismp of the Robo-kicks (unforuantely they didn't play Mind Drive tonight so I never got to see the kicks up close ARGH). Once again perfect rendition.
They next went into I've Seen All Good People with the full intro included. The crowd went nuts, and at this point people where trying to figure out should we sit up or stand. Some people had their hands in the air with the peace symbol during the song.
Next was America, which I have to saw Steve performed flawlessly. Tonight he was right on the ball with every lick and note, just as percise as the guy from Dream Theater. Althought here it
Great show in the Cuyahoga Valley last night. The guys leaned heavy on the albums CTTE and GFTO. Mind Drive was eliminated from the set, to make room for CTTE. South Side was also axed. The fellas seemed relaxed and loose, but the performance was tight. The mix was suprisingly good for this venue, though Rick coulda been turned up a little. Chris botched a bass note during the acoustic version of Long Distance Runaround, and Jon, laughing, called the whole thing to a halt: "We made a mistake! Whoooo! I love it! I'm excited!" Then they started back up again, tacking on an extra verse at the end to compensate. America was back in the set, and they encored with Every Little Thing (switching back from YiND from the previous show). The pavilion was near capacity, and a bunch of stragglers dotted the lawn. Everyone seemed to dig the show; the crowd was very responsive and the band must have tapped some of that energy. I know that some fans don't dig the Roger Dean inflatables, but from the lawn it looked great, and the lighting people did a wonderful job--it was the most unique, strange and beautiful stage I've ever seen--great colors! Here's the set as best I can remember: Firebird, GFTO, Sweet Dreams, ISAGP, America, CTTE, Clap, Long Distance, Roundabout, Wonderous Stories, Owner, AYAI, Awaken, Every Little Thing. Opening act Dream Theater played an accurate six-minute instrumental version of Machine Messiah. A magical night.