A solid show. The reviews here generally have it covered. The crowd, at least near me, was very, very supportive of Benoit David. Oliver Wakeman's flubs were noticeable, especially on "Parallels." I loved the setlist; A year earlier I'd've never believed you if you said I'd ever see Yes doing "Machine Messiah" or "Tempus Fugitive" live — never mind both at the same show alongside "Parallels," "Onward," and, what was probably the highlight of the night, "Astral Traveller!"
Just thought I'd add that Mohegan Sun Arena seats 9,500. The floor was completely sold out. Second tier looked about 3/4 full. Third tier was pretty spotty--about 1/4 full.
From where I sat--dead center and towards the back of the floor--I wasn't bothered by any of the disturbances some of the earlier posters have mentioned. The sound mix was pretty good, too. A Rock show doesn't have to be mixed so loud your ears bleed!
What a stellar setlist. Great to hear some Drama and Tormato after so many years.
Benoit David is nothing short of amazing. He not only nailed all of Jon's parts, he apparently did it without a teleprompter. I hope he sticks around so we can hear more songs that Jon has vetoed in the past. Steve Howe was a HUGE surprise for me. Where did his sudden burst of energy and enthusiasm come from? He was hopping all around the stage and burning up the fretboards. And his snarliing, distorted guitar sound was back after an extended absence. Alan and Chris were solid and steady and kept the tempos fast and energetic. The weak link for me was Oliver Wakeman. His sounds were buzzy and generic and he doesn't seem to share a genuine passion for YES music with the rest of the band.
Wonderful stage decorations and lighting by Roger Dean made this special YES show even more so.
A few random thoughts about last night’s show at Mohegan Sun Arena:
Audience: Very enthusiastic applause after most every song. The crowd seemed to get excited every time Benoit David hit the high notes such as the ‘Sharp-Distance’ part in “Heart Of The Sunrise” and the ‘I get up, I get down’ part in “Close To The Edge”. The least amount of applause was after the new Squire song “Aliens (Are Only Us From The Future)” though it was warmly received by the audience. Many empty seats on the upper levels of the arena.
Steve Howe: This was the most animated that I have seen him in terms of body movements & facial expressions since he resumed touring with Yes on a regular basis back in 1997. He even slid his pedal steel guitar side to side on some songs. His guitar playing is also once again high in the mix. His solo acoustic segment included the best live versions I have ever heard of “Corkscrew” and “Sketches In The Sun”. Introduced “Astral Traveller” by saying he had joined Yes after they released the “Time And The Word” album and felt “Astral Traveller” was a song they did very well.
Chris Squire: Still Yes’s biggest showman. He was the one who introduced Benoit David and Oliver Wakemen to the crowd. He also introduced “Tempus Fugit” by saying the last time they played this song live was also the last time they had two new members in the band which were Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn. He did the Squire slide across the stage during the end of “Starship Trooper”
Alan White: “Astral Traveller” included some of his best drum playing of the night as well as featuring his drum solo. He asked the crowd if we were having fun and said they were having fun playing on stage.
Oliver Wakeman: Very stoic demeanor on stage. His piano playing stands out in the song Aliens (Are Only Us From The Future)”.
Benoit David: He was very well received by the audience. Seems very comfortable on stage filling the role of lead vocalist by the way he sways back and forth to the music. Hit the Jon Anderson high notes flawlessly and also did very well singing the Trevor Horn Drama songs.
Astral Traveller – This live version was very faithful to the studio version (including Benoit David’s vocals) even though Squire is the only current band member who played on the original recording. I believe this song has not been played in its entirety on any Yes tour since the 1971 “Yes Album” tour.
Machine Messiah – Hearing Howe’s guitar slowly rev up higher and higher in this song. This song was brought back with a vengeance (last played by Yes on the Drama tour). I remember on the Drama tour Alan White and his drum kit were lifted high in the air during the playing of this song.
Tempus Fugit and Parallels – Good to have these songs back in the set list after a 28 year absence.
Miscellaneous: Merchandise sold at the show included the usual high priced tour T-Shirts, $15.00 “In The Present Tour” Posters, $15.00 Yes coffee mugs, Steve Howe Motif CD, Autographed White and Squire CDs and The Syn CDs.
Steve Howe is one of the most talented and disciplined guitarists to have ever lived. It's a shame he has to perform in front of a crowd of drunk, loud, obnoxious people. Future audiences show respect. Yes was great, not my best show, but still great.
I attended the show last night at the mohegan sun last night. I had huge expectations after watching a video of Benoit on youtube performing in the yes tribute band "close to the edge" The show didn't live up to my expectations.
Benoit sounded great as did the rest of the band but their wasn't really any emotion in their playing with the exception of Steve Howe & David Benoit. The rest of the band sounded flat and and unispired. Oliver Wakeman's keyboard playing didn't sound well. Chris Squire sounded good but he seemed to be playing at a different show. Alan White was off as well. Steve Howe saved the show last night. I have always thought he is one of the most underrated guitarists of all time. He was in fine form. His two instrumental solo acoustic pieces were fantastic.
As stated earlier the band sounded flat and out of sync. The were missing a beat it seemed to me and I don't really understand why really. I know that it's still early in the tour but you'd think by the fifth show and a appreviated gig on Williamsport the night earlier that there would have been more fire and passion from the five talented musicians that were on stage last night.
My favorite songs that were performed last night were "astral traveler" (cool drum solo by alan his only true shining moment through out the show) "close to the edge", "and you and i", "owner of a lonely heart" & "Starship trooper" I also liked Machine Messiah but that song (which is one of my favorites) also sounded flat.
Other reviewers have stated that the crowd wasn't into the music and were talking through the show. Where I was sitting the crowd was very into it and were considerate.
The sound quality was a little bit flat which may have lead to some of the problems the band seemed to have durring their set. They did play for almost three hours not included a fifthteen minute intermission.
I would greatly encourage anyone to see this tour if you like Yes. The inclusion of the two songs from Drama are with the price of admiddion alone. I give three and a half stars and of five. I don't regret going to this show and I would go again if given another chance. I'm hoping that the band can start firing on all cyclinders before the tour wraps up. Thanks for an enjoyable and great night out Benoit, Oliver, Steve, Alan & Chris.
I must admit that the anticipation for this tour for me has been high. After seeing the initial posts regarding the set list I made my way out to Mohegan Sun from Albany NY last night for the show. A couple of things struck me as a little odd. First off, this was my 26th Yes show and I have to say that the sound for the show was sub par. It never seemed to get loud enough or have the sparkling clarity that we Yes fans are accustomed to. As the show progressed the sound did clean up somewhat. Secondly, although it was a treat to see the Drama songs performed, it really seemed as if the band were having some difficulty getting through some parts of these tunes. I place most of this on Alan as it seemed he might have been having an off night. There never seemed to be much fire to his playing and more than a few times caught "the look" from Chris. Ok, enough with the negative comments and on to the positive aspects! Steve seemed to be having the best time out of all of them and his playing was just great. He brought the house down with the solo pieces Corkscrew and Sketches in the Sun. Truly a world class player and it showed. Oliver overall played quite well and is on top of most of this stuff. Aside from a few slips he did an admirable job. Benoit really brought a powerful vocal delivery and at times was a dead ringer for Jon. He seemed to struggle a little with the high parts in Parallels but overall did a superb job. As my friend commented after the break, he did a wardrobe change and looked like a dead ringer for Jon circa the 90125 period. For the time being if we can't have Jon, then Benoit is an excellent choice...for now. My overall take on the night was that I saw a band that is really trying to find it's legs. I realize these are the first few shows, but hopefully they'll get the tightness together that we come to expect from such a superb band as Yes. If anyone is on the fence as to whether or not to see the show, I would strongly urge you to go. The choice of tunes is excellent and as Squire said "it's a chance for the fans to get their Yes fix." Indeed.
I haven't seen the band since 1971 at the Music Hall in Boston, but I've alway been a fan and in anticipation of the canceled shows last summer, I've been listening to a lot of live recordings. This band, 40 years removed from their peak, is still incredible. Steve was awesome throughout the show and Chris was just incredible. Alan played a blistering drum solo that had me wondering if he had emergency oxygen available :) While Jon can never be replaced, Benoit does a great job filling his shoes. Oliver played well, but no one can ever top his father. With a few exceptions, the keyboard parts seemed less than full.
I have to agree that the first set didn't start out strong, but before intermission, I was very much into the show. I also agree that the crowd sucked. With the possible exception of the front of the floor section, no one seemed to be interested in hearing the music. Constant talking behind us and people crawling over us thought the entire first set got very annoying. It was also disappointing to see so many empty seats.
Bottom line, I think it was a great show and I'm glad I went. If I could afford it, I'd probably try to catch them again on this tour in a better venue.
I was optimistic after reading the initial reviews of the first few shows of this tour, though I had some doubts about this show initially. I have seen Yes about 50 times since 1975, including the Drama tour, and have loved every one. My only slight disapointment was the Talk tour, (that album is a whole different topic among Yes fans). This show started out very unimpressive, I actually went to get a beer during Close to the Edge! The post intermission set definitely changed my mind. It became awesome, thanks to the core players, especially Steve Howe totally kicking butt. I am pleased that I saw the show, but I really hope that Jon returns. David is just okay, his voice and stage presence are not quite right for Yes in my opinion. Maybe the sound adjustments required for playing an arena affected the first set and maybe also the casino crowd and the subgroup of overly vocal yes "fans" that constantly talked over the sound level ruined the mood. I had to change seats more than once. I just want to hear the music, it means alot to me! I held tickets for 5 of the cancelled summer tour shows. I think once is enough for this tour. I think Yes fans should check it out, the new song from Chris is great and Machine Messiah is worth the trip!
I will be going to this show tomorrow night and will post a review when I get home. I just wanted to be the first one to write something even though it's not a review.