Amazing!! Just amazing. My first time seeing them. I was blown away. The new singer is just fantastic! I am in love with YES!
I thought the show at the Anaheim HOB was wonderful! My seats were upstairs in the balcony. The view was somewhat obstructed, which was a darned shame. But we did have our own cocktail waitress on the balcony, which was a nice thing. Looking downstairs at the crowd, I can understand why other concert goers were complaining about it being hot and crowded. I overheard one of the HOB employees say that they overbooked the show. Fortunately, it was neither crowded nor hot in the balcony.
I've never been an Asia fan, so that portion of the show didn't excite me. However, I really enjoyed getting to see Carl Palmer play, and I enjoyed Fanfare for the Common Man. During Asia, I kept thinking, Steve must find this boring. The guitar work in Yes is so much more complex.
I thought that Yes was great! Although I did miss Jon, I didn't feel like Benoit took away from the show at all. He doesn't try to imitate Jon. His voice fits the bill and he has a very entertaining stage presence. I went into the show with a bit of a negative attitude, but left feeling my usual Yes-related elation.
I couldn't see Oliver at all where I was sitting. But ability wise, he did very, very well. Just hearing him play, he could have been Rick. Unfortunately, I could only catch glimpses of Chris. His voice was strong and prominent, and the few times I could see him, he looked like he was having a great time.
Steve's solo was great! He was really into it. And I'm glad he ventured into something besides The Clap. He was clearly having a very good time up on stage. He seemed very relaxed and happy. Alan was, of course, wonderful, and as I said earlier, Benoit did very, very well.
Bottom line for me is, if this is the new Yes, then I'm perfectly happy with it. I met Benoit after the show. He's a very nice, very sweet man. I got the feeling that he was very grateful to be able to be where he is now.
I haven't seen YES since 1980 in Philly for the DRAMA tour. I was very happy to hear 3 songs from that album. Machine Messiah and Tempus Fugit were very good. It made my night. It was great to see these ICONS again. Howe was exceptional, and pulling double duty he was smooth all night. Being a drummer I understand the comments regarding Alan White. But, thats OK, he did what he needed to do. Yes he did cut corners, but to me it didn't matter because thats his style anyway. Overall he was very good. What is intersting is that Carl Palmer was rusty. In fact he cut several corners also. Something I was surprised to see. But again, he was also very good. It's obvious he focused much of his time on his solo, and left various parts of different songs to tighten up on later. All in all a big thanks to both bands, me and my friends had a great time and experience.
What an amazing combination! It was the best of FIVE bands... Asia, of course, played all of its greatest hits from the '80s (Only Time will Tell, Don't Cry, Smile has Left your Eyes and Heat of the Moment as the final song).
They also played one song from each of the members of Asia's original band:
John Wetton, the bass player and lead singer, led the Court of the Crimson King from his days at King Crimson.
Geoff Downes, keyboardist, played Video Killed the Radio Star from his Buggles Days.
And perhaps the highlight of the night was Carl Palmer's drum solo during Fanfare for the Common Man. Truly amazing!
After a short break, Yes kicked off their set with their traditional Firebird Suite by Stravinsky, then played many of their most recognizable songs (I've Seen All Good People, Roundabout, Owner of a Lonley Heart, Heart of the Sunrise, etc.). They also played a couple songs from Drama, which was unusual and I'm glad they did since Jon Anderson almost never sings anything from the Drama album. Machine Messiah was just amazing.
Kudos to Benoit David... He absolutely NAILED the vocals. Likewise Oliver Wakeman hit all the right notes just like his old man. Although I would have loved to have seen Geoff Downes come out for Tempus Fugit and Machine Messiah since he helped write those for the Drama album.
My kids (ages 10 and 11) absoutely loved the concert... this was their second concert (they saw Genesis in 2007). Good times!
The Anaheim Show was unbelievable. Benoit David brings a new youthful exuberance to Yes that I haven't seen for over 25 years. Squire was fantastic - still rock steady, inventive, his harmonies fluid. Steve Howe was freaking amazing. Although it was great to see Yes in an intimate venue like the HOB - they are really meant for a large stage where atmospherics add to the ambience of their set.
They're not a house band - they're freakin' YES for chrissakes!
Asia was incredible. Not being a real Asia fan, I was impressed. Carl Palmer still has it people, and he looked fit as a fiddle.
Sad that while Jon Anderson is limping his way through a tour of mid European bomb shelters, his band enjoys great success playing to real crowds. I hope he gets it together and becomes a team player. Or maybe not - I'm a Benoit David fan now for sure.
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.