Chris and Steve were letter perfect, from front to back. Steve completely OWNED this show. His solos were OUTSTANDING. Alan was almost perfect, he only slightly missed a couple of things - they were almost unnoticable. I noticed he slightly rushed the off-beat drum fills in Owner of a Lonely Heart and slightly dropped one other fill, but all in all he was great.
Oliver and Benoit were less than perfect. I don't know if it's Benoit's range or his voice that night, but he actually changed the melody on several songs in which he couldn't hit Anderson's highest notes. He tried to hit some of them the first couple times, but after he hit his limit he would drop down a third below where Anderson would be. He still did a great job all in all, and didn't get in the way, and sounded very much like Jon. Still, there were those things that needed to be accounted for and it made me curious.
Oliver in particular dropped one major part during the keyboard arpeggios for Machine Messiah. He was a full half-measure off and had to hold a note to correct it, and only noticed he was off after several measures of playing out of sync. However, he was the most energetic during Close to the Edge and replicated many solos note for note otherwise. I was actually much more impressed than I thought I would be, given his mixed reviews.
I'm a huge fan of most of the Drama material, so this was a rare treat for me to see two great songs finally given their due. To be honest, the Fish solo was sort of lifeless, as were many of the other solos except for Steve's. I really liked the rarities in the set, it was very cool to see Tempus Fugit/Onward/Astral Traveller back to back to back - we'll never see that again!
Overall I was happy with the show but there's no question that at least Jon has to come back for this band to continue long term...
It was a bit strange going to this show knowing Jon Anderson wouldn't be there. What a great surprise it was. Not only was Benoit doing justice to the classics, but the whole band looked very energized. It's been a while since I've seen Yes so happy on stage. There must be something with the new blood adding that special dose of adrenalin. While being respectful to Jon, I must admit Benoit did an honorable job. These songs are not easy to sing, just the signatures alone are a challenge. The Drama material was a welcomed addition. A very underappreciated album finally gets its due. Also, Astral Traveler and Onward were great to hear. And since the band is really digging in the catalog....there is a lot to pull. How about Endless Dream? What a great Yes song it is, and deserves to be heard. I love the fact that Howe and Squire were taking chances on stage. It made some songs sound very interesting. I was very moved by Chris Squire's Aliens (Are Only Us From The Future). What a great new song, what a delicate feel!!! Oliver Wakeman did a great job and even managed to avoid bass related injury. Generally, I felt the band played great, tackled some challenging material, and did an excellent job. The sound was outstanding too. Best wishes to the current incarnation of Yes, and wishing Mr. Anderson a speedy recovery.
What a concert!! I totally concur with a previous reviewer's comment about the excellent sound. Kudos to the sound techs because this was the best I have ever heard. The only glitch seemed to be getting Benoit's vocals more prominent, but after the first couple of numbers that was cleared up (I love Steve as a guitarist, but we really didn't need to hear his vocals quite so loudly). The effects during Wurm were incredible, as the sound bounced from side to side and back. Blew me away. The songs from Drama sounded fantastic. I've always thought that was an under-appreciated album that contained some of Chris, Steve, and Alan's most energized playing ever. It certainly came through on Tempus Fugit and Machine Messiah. Benoit looked like a kid in a candy store the entire night. Just imagine being him - on stage performing with your idols! Who wouldn't have a permanent grin on his face the whole night? His vocals were very strong, and though I missed Jon's presence (there is only one Jon, after all), Benoit did himself and the music proud. Oliver was laid back, but played his parts well. He came within inches of losing all of his teeth when Chris did his infamous "bass swing" after the last number before the encore. All in all, a very enjoyable evening of Yes music. Yes has been such an important part of my life for 32+ years, it is a privilege to see and hear them in any configuation. I can't wait for the next time. May the band live on...
Sad, I almost wish I hadn't gone to this show. The Spirit of YES just isn't there without Jon Anderson! The highlights were def. the Drama songs and Asteral Traveller!
We'll see benjy and the guys on the Summer Fair Tour 2009.
I've seen YES about a dozen times now and I have to say that I've never been letdown by any of their shows. This one was no exception. Having seen YES in every incarnation they've had, I was curious to see how this one would do. All I can say is that the franchise is in good hands with Benoit and Oliver. The fact that they would tackle "Close To The Edge" and NAIL it with two new additions was very impressive. Love the emotion Benoit put into all his vocals and Oliver is definately his fathers son. As a musician whos been playing for 40 years, I know how difficult it can be just replacing ONE person, much less two (and a lead singer as unique as Jon and a ridiculous keyboardist like Rick no less), but they didn't miss a beat and sounded as good as ever. I always thought of Jon, Chris, Steve, Rick and Alan as the quintesential YES, but this felt so close to that (maybe because of Oliver) that it was almost like being "home", if you know what I mean. Loved the two songs from DRAMA mainly because, aside from that tour, we never got to hear them live again. And the fact that they have 40 years of music to draw from is a remarkable feat in itself and a testament to they're longevity. It was a great show and I hope they keep playing in whatever incarnation they can. I know I'll keep supporting them because it's some of the greatest music I've ever been lucky enough to hear. I had a smile on my face from the first notes of Firebird Suite 'til the end of Roundabout. Good job guys, as always.
It had been 33 years since I had seen Yes live. I wish now I hadn't waited so long. I almost blew this one off as well with Jon out ill, but I think Benoit did a respectable job. As for Steve and Chris? Wow- they really played their hearts out. Not much to say about Alan or Oliver tho. Not a big fan of the songs from Drama, but just about everything else played sounded as good as ever. They truly seemed to enjoy playing as much as the crowd enjoyed listening to them.
Not sure how many more chances we will have to see them play the music we love so much. Get well Jon, and hope to see Yes live again soon
The other Steve Howe song was "In the Course of a Day".
I don't have time to write a full review of the show right now, but I will say this. It was the best sound I've ever heard for a Yes show. It was my 25th show and I was absolutely blown away with how great this show was. I'll give details later.
owner of a lonely heart was also in the set list; it was before roundabout in the two song encore.
Steve Howe Solo was "corksrew" and I couldn't make out the other song name
west coast Mur
T-bone and Lolly I am sorry I can't be with you tonight. You know that I will be there with you in spirit. Can't wait for the boys to post their swing thru the west coast and hopefully the San Francisco area. Regardless of some of the crap you see in these reviews you know that the boys always put on a great show no matter the makup of the band. Jon is missed for sure but something tells me he will be back some day. I think Wakeman Sr. is history though. When I saw Steve with Asia back in Sept he certainly looked like he is a young kid again. Very animated. Enjoy
I can't believe they've dropped parallels from the setlist...hopefully they'll put a couple back in for us tonight after all it is chicago...Parallels is one tune I haven't heard live and would love for them to play it...
peace see you at the show tonight mal
I missed this on the invitation. Are capes optional? LOL
If Chris is reading this post please put, Heart Of The Sunrise,Parallels,and Soon back into the mix. Chris,see ya from the front row.