Saw yes twice before for Tormato & Drama tours but hardcore fan all my life. I thought this was a fantastic concert. From our fifth row seats, sound was great the whole night with clear vocals and all instruments well balanced. Benoit made us Canucks proud, doing an exceptional job of filling in for Jon. I'd say he has improved & grown into the role since early video I have seen of him on the first tour he did. Asia's opener was a suprisingly entertaining set, as Im not really into their music, the retrospective of band members other projects was great. Carl Palmer was very entertaining and really putting out the energy.
Thought the length of show was very reasonable considering there was an opening act & that Steve had to plow through the whole night. Steve just rocked and reminded me of how good he is at any genre he picks up. Only thing I would have liked was to see something like Carl Palmer & Alan White go at it on drums, or have some more mixing up of the two bands for a song or two.
The Snoqualmie show was another example of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. Good evidence that Yes music has a life of it's own...that this music has already established itself as an icon in the realm of progressive rock. And as classic as it may be, or perhaps because of that fact...it is open to interpretation by each evolving line-up of this band.
Were there holes in the evenings performances? Certainly. With both bands apparently still getting the "feel" of this new leg of the tour.
Was it worth seeing and hearing? Definitely! At points, as already cited several times prior in these reviews, it could well have been billed as " Steve Howe performing with Yes and Asia" ...Steve was well worth the price of admission on the merit of his performances alone. Bravo Mr. Howe...a class act like no other. Would that we are all able to demonstrate the passion, energy, and sheer joy so obvious in his command of his instrument and the stage....at 62 or any other age!
Asia was a delight to see and hear as well. The set lists for both bands were quite eclectic...a bit of a pleasant change of pace. Likely neither band is ever going to satisfy the expectations of their respective fan bases completely, even given twice the allotted time. Alan and Chris held court in their unique fashion. Blue Thunder Drum Corp a particularly nice touch mid-stream Astral Traveler. Wetton, Palmer and Downes powered through a strong and varied, if abbreviated set.
The aesthetics of this venue for these bands, I'll leave to someone else's critique.
The mix was inconsistent at best.(House sound?) As if they were toying with it all night, and never did get a grasp of it. Was Jon missed? Most certainly. Benoit David and Oliver Wakeman did very well to fill some very large shoes.
Much more than voice and keys however is presence. The sum of these parts being just a bit less than....well...YES.
All in all....well worth attending and continuing to support this music staying live and alive. Enjoy!
The first time I saw Yes was in the spring of 1972 in Boston and I’ve seen them more than a dozen times over the ensuing 37 years. That first show in Boston was magical. Last night’s show in Snoqualmie, Washington was also magical, although in different ways, not least of which being that it happened at all. After the February 18 concert at the Moore Theatre in Seattle was cancelled when Chris Squire became ill, there was plenty of concern over whether and when a new date and venue would be scheduled.
The magic actually began on Monday night when Steve Howe, Chris Squire, and Alan White were at the Experience Music Project (EMP) for an Oral History. They talked for nearly 2 hours, answered questions from the audience, and then signed autographs and met with anyone who stuck around and wanted to chat.
The next night, the Snoqualmie Casino proved to be a great little venue. From my vantage point in the third row the sound was quite good. A concert will never sound like what you hear on a recording. You go to see the performance. And this show was definitely a performance.
Having never seen Asia before, I was blown away when I realized that Carl Palmer was the drummer. The only other band I have seen perhaps as many times as Yes is Emerson Lake and Palmer. I knew from the previous night at the EMP that Steve Howe was playing with both bands. But then to also realize that Asia included John Wetton, formerly of King Crimson, another old favorite, and Geoff Downes. Okay, pardon my ignorance, but I was awestruck. A super group opening for a super group.
After a great set, but no encore, Asia departed the stage and many in the crowd went to freshen their drinks. One downside to the casino venue—I couldn’t bring my kids. One upside—a bar.
Then, the hall darkened and the familiar final movement of Stravinsky’s "Firebird Suite" swelled from the speakers. I don’t care how many I’ve seen Yes, hearing that music still builds tremendous anticipation.
Yes opened with "Siberian Khatru", and it did seem to take a while for all five to get into a groove, but there wasn’t a disappointing moment anywhere in the set. There were certainly some “interesting” moments, such as when Chris Squire’s wireless connection on his bass failed as the rest of the band launched into "Tempus Fugit". Solution? Start again.
Singer Benoit David did a fantastic job taking over for Jon Anderson. He’s got a beautiful voice, very similar to Jon, but very much his own. Similarly, Oliver Wakeman did a great job in his dad’s former role, although he did seem a bit isolated off on the right side of the stage, and the keyboards seemed a bit lost in the sound mix at times.
One of the high-points of the show was certainly the performance of Astral Traveler from Time and a Word, a piece that I’d never seen performed before in all these years. About halfway through, the band was joined on stage by the Seattle Seahawk Blue Thunder drum core. Alan White organized this one-off performance and everyone obviously had a great time.
Speaking of great times, Chris Squire looked incredibly happy and easily laughed off a brief goof during "Heart of the Sunrise". And Steve Howe seemed absolutely ecstatic. His performance of "Clap" was amazing, and rather than being fatigued from performing with both Asia and Yes, he seemed to draw energy from the enthusiastic crowd throughout the night. This is a tour that will only get better as it goes.
I was at the Snoqualmie Yes/Asia show last night. What a great venue. Asia kicked the night off at about 8:20. First Asia experience for me and it was OK. Sound was OK, abit muddy, espesially Wettons bass guitar and bass pedals. I felt that they were abit sloppy, missing cues and sounding sluggish. They played all their Asia hits plus "Video Killed the Radio Star" and "In the Court of the Crimson King". When they finally got to Fanfare for the Common Man, they really cut loose. By this point, the sound technicians had got the bugs worked out and the band sounded fantastic. The crowd really appreciated their effort.
Forty-five minutes latter, Yes took the stage. Wow!!! Right from the first song, their sound was fantastic. Great song selection. It was great to hear "Tempus Fugit" and "Machine Messiah" live for the first time since 1980. "And You and I", "Heart of the Sunrise" and "Starship Trooper" sounded great. One of the highlights was "Astral Traveller" with the Seahawks Drum Corp joining Alan White for his drum solo and then staying on stage to finish the song with the rest of the band. Thanks Alan for arranging that, it was appreciated by everyone.
Benoit David sounded great and had so much energy right till the end. Oliver Wakeman did a fantastic job on the keyboards, but looked a bit out of place. Steve Howe and Chris Squire looked like they were having a blast and interacted well with each other and the audience. Alan White as always was superb.
My eighth Yes concert, and one of the best!! A+ I hope to see them again, maybe with Jon Anderson.
Erv Janzen Vancouver B.C.
I was very excited to see Asia. I’d never seen them before and they were very good. It was a treat to see CP again. John Wetton looked to be in good health after his scare a couple years ago.
I’m so appreciative of Yes. They use to sell out large arenas but though they’re popularity isn’t in vogue as it was in the earlier years, they still choose to tour and crank out the music. Some impressions:
Some have said that Benoit’s voice sounds like Jon’s but I disagree - he has a very distinct voice of his own. Benoit has very good pitch and he didn’t miss a lyric all night (as far as I could tell). He was flawless.
I think Oliver does a pretty darn good job. He seems respectful of the Yes compositions and doesn’t detract from the music at all. He was “on” but at times he was no where to be found in the mix. Was it Oliver or the sound man?
Chris was rock-solid. He was only a half-tone off on his goof in "Heart of the Sunrise" but it was a sustained note in a very obvious place. He looked at his fret board as if to say "why in the hell am I on this note?” It was hilarious.
I have a world of respect for Alan’s abilities. I think he’s incredible at his work. Aside from how great he performed last night, kudos is due for his organizing the Blue Thunder appearance. Abruptly in the middle of his drum solo in "Astral Traveller", about 15 members of the Seahawk drum corps, named Blue Thunder came out on stage “wearing” their drums to partake in this percussive affair. They remained on stage to finish out the song. I loved it and the audience went nuts! Sorry everyone – that was a Seattle exclusive that you won’t experience down-line (unless Blue Thunder jumps on the tour bus).
Steve was great; flawless as usual. It’s true what others have said: he is more animated than usual. It’s nice to see him break out of his down-to-business persona.
Here’s some advice: Go to the concert, sing the lyrics, enjoy the music, have fun, but shut your stinking mouth during the performance. Everyone pays the price for their ticket and everyone has a right to enjoy the concert and not listen to your stupid conversation during the performance. That’s right, ass holes in section C, I’m referring to you.
There were some loose ends in the music at times and it was hard to detect whose fault it was. Maybe the mix isn’t always the best. But who cares? It’s Yes. They’re incredible musicians and their music remains intact. I’m happy to have had another opportunity to see them live.
I had heard good reviews but was not expecting to be as blown away as I was.
Asia's set was fantastic, no filler at all. I would have liked to hear "The Heat Goes On" but I have no complaints. John Wetton was in fine voice and Carl Palmer was...well, Carl Palmer.
Yes took the stage and when Benoit opened his mouth, my wife's jaw dropped. What an amazing voice. And he has a stage presence I think was lacking in previous vocalists.
Oliver is a very capable keyboardist. It's a shame they don't give him more room to shine.
I see great things in this band's future. At least I hope I do. A cd/dvd of the tour at least, if you please. Chris has hinted that this lineup would record. That would be fabulous.
The setlist was the same as previous dates, the bass breakdown during "Tempus Fugit" was good for a giggle. As was Chris hitting the wrong notes in "Heart Of The Sunrise". They seemed to take this in stride, something I don't think they would have done in their younger years. The inclusion of the Blue Thunder drum troop during Alan's drum solo was fun too.
They may not have played any "epics" but this was an epic show. Every song was a winner. Don't miss this show. This is Yes! Who knows when we'll see them again, or in what form?!