What a great night it was for me and a bunch of true diehards standing next to the stage. Steve in my opinion is one of the most gifted,and versatile guitarists to ever play the instrument period. What a treat to watch this maestro of technique and skill, subtlety and expression play for almost three hours. WOW! Asia Rocked! They were far better than last year, tighter, leaner and in command. As far as I am concerned they blew Yes off the stage for the first half of Yes'show. All I can say is the guys need to rehearse more instead of waiting for it to 'kick in' on tour. Chris was awesome as usual and always a joy to watch sing and play. Alan was great on the drums especially during Astral Traveler. They still have it and always will. I even liked Benoit David. Sure the guys no Jon Anderson, but he went out and gave it his all! He was just fine and the least of their problems.Rick's kid was a big mistake. Sure he can play, but when you have the ultimate musician like a Steve Howe on stage, you need someone who is both mature and skilled enough to handle a Steve Howe... someone who doesn't have to second guess the rhythm changes of a Squire and a White. The highlight of the show was Machine Messiah, not only it is a great live number, but it was the one where they sounded like they really rehearsed it and in that case Oliver was fine. Yes will always be for me-one of the greatest bands -either way. They are an original band and one not open to compromise. Long live Howe,Squire and White!
After the disappointment of the cancellation of the February show, I was really excited to see Yes and Asia last night in SF. Spent the day immersed in the magic of Yes music and then basked in that glow at the Warfield last night. What a magical night of incredible music! Thank you Chris, Steve and Alan for bringing us Yes music in 2009, and thank you Oliver and Benoit for stepping forward to help carry this music on. You guys are class acts and while I hope for Jon Anderon's return, Benoit David is the man for the moment. Every song was beautiful and I smiled all night long.
I enjoyed Yes and Asia tremendously last night. Having seen Yes a good half-dozen times over the years, I came away with the impression that Steve Howe and Chris Squire were thoroughly enjoying themselves. Rejuvenated perhaps or revitalized? All I can say is that I have never seen Steve so animated, energetic, and so relaxed on stage. And for a guy who recently suffered a life scare with his blood clot incident earlier this year, Chris played great and sounded great. I really appreciate how vital his sound is to the spirit of Yes. It’s interesting, though, to read some of these posts and see some fans who are very critical of the show and others who just want to enjoy it for what it is.
I give Benoit David a lot of credit. The man got up there and carried the vocal chair effectively; delivering a performance that was very much in the spirit and presence of Jon Anderson. He did a very credible job. Oliver Wakeman is probably a very good keyboardist, but it was hard to hear him throughout the night. But here’s the thing: Yes is now featuring two “replacement” members. If you want to get technical, you could argue that Steve Howe and Alan White are “replacement” members, but that would be silly. We’re talking about a band that has three members remaining from its classic lineup and two new guys who have been brought in to carry on the show.
Should Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr get a John Lennon copy from a Beatlemainia group, bring in George Harrison’s son on guitar and then call themselves The Beatles? Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones supposedly auditioned tribute band singers to front Zep for a tour (and would have used John Bonham’s son, Jason, on the drums), but dropped the idea after realizing that it wouldn’t be Zep. So I think the posters on this page are fair to question. At the same time, Yes is bringing their show to town and giving hardcore fans an opportunity to hear the Yes catalog performed in 2009. Three of the five are there. It was a fun night, there were little problems here and there (somebody needs to help Alan White….he didn’t seem too on top of his game last night….actually, he kindof sucked), and we got to hear songs we never thought Yes would play (Machine Messiah, Tempus Fugit…even Astral Traveler).
I have seen Yes at least a dozen times. I don't ever remember them being flawless live, (Talk came closest for me), but they are far and away my favorite band. I am just thrilled to have seen them after having the last two sets of tour tickets get refunded. Other than some of the previous poster's comments on Alan White and Oliver Wakeman, I disagree on most counts. Something must have been up with Alan, under the weather? I think Benoit was fantastic. Not better than Jon, not a replacement for Jon, but someone to sing the songs while I watch Chris. He was fun to watch and brought a bit of youthfulness that was refreshing. I have never seen Steve more animated. However, I wish he'd pick something new for his solo. My wife has only seen them 3x and is getting tired of the same-ole solo. Chris may hardly be able to walk, but my gosh those fingers fly! Always a treat.
Asia was a very pleasant surprise for us. I was familiar with their work and the missus and I were UK fans way back. Court of the Crimson King was awesome to hear live! Carl Palmer - Wow! the times I saw ELP I don't think I ever saw him come out from behind his kit, except at the end. John Wetton was wonderful too, but is he always so serious and lacking in chit-chat with the audience?
I loved every minute of it the whole show, and wish I were going tonight too.
NOTICE (July 25): A substantial data corruption occurred some time between July 22 and 24, which wiped out almost all information for the second leg of the "In the Present" USA tour. Unfortunately there was no backup recent enough to regenerate the lost data (more frequent backups are now being instituted). The lost dates and setlists have been reconstituted manually, but the reviews cannot be regenerated except by fans re-submitting them, which we encourage. FY regrets the inconvenience.