Folks, let's keep the comments about your experience at the concert. Remember, this isn't a forum.
I was at both the Hamilton and Toronto shows, and I can happily report that Benoit David was more than adequate. I'm not sure if he's trying to sound like Jon Anderson or if he achieves it naturally, but it is a superb feat either way. His voice is virtually identical to Jon 30 years ago, so the music maintains its beautiful qualities as it always has. But the fact remains that Jon has a certain stage presence... an essence that is beyond replication. I'm sure Benoit realizes this, but he is doing an absolutely spectacular job nonetheless.
Chris Squire wasn't quite as mobile as he has been in times past, but musically, he and Alan White were rock solid as always. Steve Howe was very animated throughout, and played flawlessly and aggressively. His true love for Yes music permeated through his every note.
Parallels was a definite highlight for me, as Going For The One is my favourite Yes album. Astral Traveller sounded great, as did the Drama songs. They started Tempus Fugit together tonight as per Alan's intro. Last night, Oliver started the song without Howe who quickly joined in by the second bar. Onward was another highlight, with Alan White playing keyboard in the middle section.
A technical note... Mood and Clap were performed after Close To The Edge. There was an intermission in Hamilton after CTTE, but in Toronto, Steve's acoustic set served as an interlude.
Being a musician, I can sense fellow musicians in distress. There were a few minor mistakes at both shows (things that most people undoubtedly wouldn't pick up on, but to be fair, it's only the second night of a tour with two new members on board), but I was close enough in Toronto to see Steve Howe's face, for example, when Oliver Wakeman initially used the wrong keyboard patch for the piano break in South Side Of The Sky. Priceless.
One day there will be no more Yes, so let's all enjoy this for what it is. It is a beautiful thing.
Kevin, i'm going to the show on 11/17/08 in NYC, but anyone that knows YES doesn't have to be at this show to know that this is not the best Steve and Chris have ever been. No biggy. Mykie is just generalizing. Even though no Yours Is No Disgrace, Starship Trooper or Awaken, this is a GREAT! setlist. Hopefully they did all of Roundabout and didn't edit any songs.
I was at the show in Massey Hall.They can still play amazing and the new singer did a great job. Didn't like his cowboy outfit he wore for the first set and also disliked his fencing outfit for the other. Overall the concert was awesome which could be seen by a crazy hippie dancing around in the aisles for the duration of the concert. He was dancing like he was on acid and security tried to kick him out several times but the audiance chanted for them to "Leave Him Alone!". He danced during the whole show and smelt pretty bad too. Eventually at the end of the concert before the encore 8 police men came in and escorted him out. Yes was just getting off the stage at this point and half the crowd was booing the police for kicking a guy out who was just having a good time and the other half oblivous to the situation cheered for Yes. After a minute they came on and did Roundabout and it was great. Overall 5 out of 5 .
Relayer, Please comment on the show, not other people's reviews. You don't say if you were at the show. If you were, then let's read your review. If not, you're not in a position to comment.
Mykie, Don't get carried away. You can't say Steve and Chris have never been better. That's like saying Michael Jordan can still play in the NBA like he did in the early 1990's. From 1971 to 1979 Steve and Chris were light years better, but it's still a miracle to see them now. It might have been the best Close To the Edge you ever saw performed, but it's farrrrr from the best.
Jon Anderson said: "This is not YES" Jon Anderson was wrong. So was I. So was any YES fan who said NO to Benoit David.
He wasn't flawless - but neither is Jon at his age. I have mused many times that Jon Anderson IS YES. That without Jon YES cannot exist. I was wrong. At least in the present. And that's what this is: YES, in the present. I still hope he comes back. I hope he writes new music with the band. I hope he can live with the fact that YES is touring with a replacement/understudy.
In the meantime, Chris Squire and Steve Howe have never been better. They were clearly enjoying themselves and feeling quite comfortable sharing the stage with "the new kids" (Yes. Oliver Wakeman filled his father's shoes admirably, and more than adequately). Both of the guitar veterans also slipped nicely into more of an MC mode, speaking to the audience here and there - not like Jon does - but nobody wanted to 'imitate' Jon - inluding David Benoit. I have never seen Steve Howe so animated! Fingers blazing, bouncing all over the stage with new-found enthusiasm, interacting with Benoit and Chris - and more of that 'duelling' with Rick Wakeman's son in 'South Side of the Sky'.
'Close to the Edge' was amazing. Probably the best I've ever heard it performed. The stuff from 'Drama' was excellent too. I've never cared for that album (I don't even own it), but played live was excellent. The new song 'Aliens' (Chris on lead vocal) was really good too. YES got it right last night. I've seen them 11 times and this show stood up to any, excelled at points and even the weaker moments were stronger than any other band I know of with a 40 year history.