Steve Howe solo at this show was "Sketches in the Sun" according to the YouTube video.
Sorry, but without Jon Anderson this is not Yes. This is only group which plays Yes's music....
This event was a bit of a mixed blessing. On the plus side, Asia played a nice and tight set. The sound mix was largely good and all four musicians seemed to be animated and enjoying themselves in the beautiful Saratoga Mountain Winery setting. On the plus side, as reported previously from other venues, Yes dug out some gems (Astral Traveler, Machine Messiah) that were a treat because they have rarely been played live. However, throughout the whole Yes concert the sound was unbalanced with significant undermixing of the keyboards, lead vocals and at times the drums. As has been seen over the last few years, Squire’s bass is mixed way too loud into the foreground, making it almost impossible to hear the intricacies of some of the songs. The harmony vocals were at times dismal and in several moments during longer pieces the band seemed to loose focus, direction and the cohesiveness of the songs. The new singer has certainly a nice voice and seems to be confident enough to hold his own, but his dance improvisations were just ridiculous and annoying. Somebody should tell him that he is not auditioning for American Idol. What’s next otherwise? A “Close to the edge” ballet? All four instrumentalists were technically outstanding as we have come to expect from Yes. Lastly, while this was not the best of the nine times that I had the pleasure and honor to see them live, I appreciate that these guys are still out there and entertaining us. It was an enjoyable evening, just with some mixed blessings.
Long Time Yes Fan
My brother & I really enjoyed the Yes/Asia show at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, CA. We thought Alan White did an outstanding job on the drums, so we're not sure why some others thought he looked tired. Chris Squire was phenomenal on bass so the rhythm section really came together. We also enjoyed Oliver Wakeman's keyboard playing and thought Benoit David was excellent. My brother said he missed Jon Anderson but Benoit did such a good job that he wasn't disappointed. So that leaves Steve Howe. Steve was on fire tonight, playing with an intensity we haven't seen in years. My brother was always partial to 80's Yes with Trevor Rabin, but after tonight he is a Howe fan forever.
Asia's set was tight and was enjoyed immensely by us. We were surprised how strong John Wetton's vocals are. We thought the Asia set was mixed better than the Yes set. Squire's bass was overpowering the guitar and keyboards during some sections of Yes music. If you are considering attending one (or more) of the shows - GO !!! Hopefully this Yes lineup will record a new album later in the year. Long Live Yes !!!
Show was great.I have been a Yes fan for 35 years. I was very disapointed with the meet and greet. We spent big $ to have great seats (1st row,center)After the show we met with the band. I walked up to chris squire and told him how we enjoyed the show and mentioned that I had not seen Yes since 78 and how we are all getting older but doing great.He totaly ignored me!!!!! everyone else except for Mr.David acted like they could not wait to get to their hotel!!
Yes should not participate in these meet and greets if their hearts are not into it at least a little bit....
I was going to pass on this show but my 14 year old son who loves Yes since I introduced a few years ago really wanted to go and asked to see it for his birthday. Asia was great....had never seen them and really liked the set....and we got a KING Crimson song!!!!! The sound was good but it could have been louder. Yes was about I expected.....it is early in the tour and the mixing was marginal(IMHO) It also could have been louder as well. The keys were barely audible at times.....as lamented by others.....and I have several Oliver Wakeman albums. I think David did fine and sounds much like Anderson, but to me it's just not Yes without Jon. Howe was awesome....as usual!!!! After just watching the 35th Anniversary dvd I felt bad that we'll probably never see the core group again, and if you want Yes at nearly there best watch that concert or The symphonic live. I feel very fortunate to have seen the second to last show at Concord in 04 with Jon and Rick and make a BIG difference. We still very much enjoyed the show and I personally loved hearing some things that rarely played by Yes over the years. Good luck thru the rest of the tour!!!!!
The beautiful open air Mountain Winery venue; having my wife with me (last time I had a date at Yes concert was 34 years ago ...!); being able to SIT (general admission == standing at the Warfield); being further away from the stage; having absorbed and digested, and let go of the fact the Benoit David is so totally NOT Jon Anderson ... I had a really good time.
Steve was super zippy, throwing in extra licks left and right, bouncing around the stage. NOT having Jon there gives him a lot of responsibility to carry the thing ... also in a way, I think a little more freedom to glom the spotlight a bit.
I may have been me letting Benoit be Benoit, but imagined he was letting himself forget he was doing a Jon Anderson tribute and doing the music. He clearly has talent and needs to seize this "Sarah Palin" moment and get himself across. He's proven he has the chops to "do" Jon's music; let's see who he is. Big shoes, but it was working better for me last night.
The playfulness while a little cloying achieved something I've never seen before -- for a moment, Steve and Benoit were doing a Lennon-McCartney style "shared microphone" moment, (Benoit's mike) with Steve coming on strong vocally!
Asia was super terrific again, wonderful to see the opening act in daylight.
Oliver seemed a little looser, too. Looked like his hands were getting cold in the air, was warming them constantly! His act actually got interesting during Heart of the Sunrise, which was awesome -- the 'smoke' effect worked really well in the night air, plus the staging against the old mission-style winery was very cool. Alan's drum kit was neatly framed in the old winery stone archway, very gothic! And because of the open air, no video, which spared us the up-close of Alan looking a wee bit too tired. (Unfortunately, Carl Palmer's super-muscular and kinetic solo and raw presence can't help but seem to put Alan somewhat in the shade.)
The Drama bits were great (MM and TF). In a way Benoit feels slightly lost here (not 'doing Jon'), but this is his opportunity to find his voice. (My advice in general: channel the songs, not Jon, and REALLY work the harmonies with Chris, who, as during the Drama tour, shines out as the "secret sauce" in the Yes vocal sound.)
It was interesting to me that for some reason, certain standards just seemed ... slightly boring, notably "Owner" and "Roundabout". They were perfectly acceptable, but lacked the zip (for me anyway) of some of the fresher stuff. "Heart" felt fresh, Drama obviously, Astral Traveler, very fun and I would say Benoit most credibly touched the mystic the best here in AT.
And You and I was spot on.
I have read all the reviews from the prior shows of this leg of the tour, and I am not sure why some came away dissappointed with YES. First off, I went in knowing the member lineup was different, so I adjusted my expectations. I was qyite satisfied with what I saw this evening. I won't name the set list since it was pretty much what others have said. However, i will point out ASIA did perform "heat of the moment".
Benoit David (pronounced 'BenWah Daveed' I learned was just fone. He is not Jon Anderson, so i didn't expect jon, and as well did not expect Benoit to be like Jon. Can he sing the parts and make it sound like YES? Definately. Also, i didn't expect rick wakeman either, since his son was stnading in. I thought he did just fine as well. i guess I am saying that if you plan to see the show, and are expecting jon and Rick with Chris and Alan and Steve, well, invent a time machine or stay home and watch a DVD of prior tours. But if you wish to experience the music of YES yet again, then definately go! Steve was great, Chris was great, I didn't see any problems with Alan either. They rocked the place. As did ASIA. Great show! (except for the drunken moron and his drunken wife who sat a row in front of us...but you expect morons anyway.) We didn't let him spoil the show though! If you are a diehard YES fan, then go and enjoy the music. If you are a newbie, you will love it as well.
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.