One of my favorite memories with my son who got to go to his first Yes concert that night. It was a magical night at a magical place.
A magic night at Red Rocks...I can't believe I missed the Moody Blues when they recorded here.
Jon gave a small sermon on the purpose of life: "to find the Creator" Wind and some rain that lifted. And you and I, followed by Awaken! Shining blue planet Amidst a storm of suns In the eternal sea
mood for today
HAS ANYONE COME ACROSS THE UNOFFICIAL RECORDING OR VIDEO OF THIS SHOW. I'M NOT ASKING TO TRADE HERE BUT WOULD APPRECIATE BEING POINTED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.
So, last night, our Yesmen returned to Red Rocks amphitheater after a ten year (and multiple member swap) hiatus. Following the setlists from the first part of the tour, I wasn't quite what to expect - would we get 'Close to the Edge' tonight? Would it be 'Mind Drive?' Something else entirely to commemorate their return to this historic amphitheater?
Well, the conditions pre-show seemed to be perfect, but, quickly, storm clouds blew in from the north, and before we knew it, we were sitting in a fairly steady rainstorm. This seemed to delay the guys from coming to the stage - Dream Theater actually came on early, at least by our watches - and the crowd was getting pretty anxious. At one point, my wife spotted Rick Wakeman surveying the crowd and weather from the back of the stage setup, which drew a loud audience applause. Finally, the amphitheater darkened, and the opening notes of the Firebird Suite finale started the show.
The wind was a factor early on - the sound swished about from our seats, though, the mix was very good. Red Rocks is the very best venue in the area - great sound, great seats wherever you sit, and a great view behind and beyond the stage, but, it's also pretty merciless when summer turns to fall, as it seemed to this very night. The classic five were clearly tired from this rather endless touring they've been doing lately, but, they were also clearly "up" for the show - this is a special venue, and they seemed to know it.
Jon's voice was a bit hoarse, and while he may have missed a note or two early on, he was in full command, and truly sounded great. Chris and Alan were enthusiastic as always, and Wakeman seemed to be having a lot of fun. Steve Howe was perhaps most affected by the rather poor conditions - he broke a string (or something) during his solo in 'America,' and seemed briefly disoriented before picking it back up, and his hands were clearly cold the whole night, which seemed to impact his fingering the fretboard. But, he was into the show and played several excellent solos through out the night - notably during 'South Side of the Sky.'
I'm not sure if this has happened at other shows, but, Jon led the band into a mock-reggae version of 'Long Distance Runaround' upon completion of the acoustic rendering of that song, inserting lyrical references to 'ganja' and 'getting stoned' in place of the traditional lyrics. It lasted two or three verses, was punctuated by Jon's cartoon-like 'hey!' and 'ooh!' and had the entire audience laughing out loud.
They did play 'Close to the Edge,' much to my delight and surprise. I was excited to see it added to the setlist earlier in this second leg, but, was worried when it had been dropped for several performances just prior to their Red Rocks appearance. As they're playing two shows in two days here in Colorado, and that this could be their final Red Rocks appearance (the venue was MAYBE half full), perhaps they felt it was appropriate to pull out their acknowledged masterpiece. And, I was forever grateful - I've never seen this lineup perform that epic.
Wakeman added the most sauce to the meal this evening, as he contributed several new variations to the old songs - the newest song performed tonight was "Owner of a Lonely Heart" - and he really challenged Steve with some interesting keyboard/guitar interplay in all of the places you'd expect it ('South Side') and some places you might not (the acoustic 'Roundabout').
I was expecting much worse - this is the tenth time I've seen this great band - and some of the reports coming from this site and others have been pretty mixed. But, tired or not, Yes gave a workmanlike performance, pushing themselves through a few minor glitches and mistakes and delivering another top notch performance. Thanks again, guys, and see you in Loveland.