I went to this show! I wrote about it on my blog at [Link]
The Muskogee show was indeed a smallish affair, in fact it looks as if everyone who was there has left a post here. I had never been to the civic center before. Seeing an act as celebrated as YES perform there of all places was, I imagine, how encountering the Buddha in a Wal-Mart might feel. (I'd echo the suggestion we do this at the Brady in Tulsa next time.) But aside from the disappointment of so many empty seats in that unlikely venue, it was a great show. I didn't anticipate being five feet from the great Steve Howe riffing through Tempest Fugit (did you get to see me Paul?) Seeing two of the greats from an era when rock drummers were celebrated was exciting also. The peerless Chris Squire didn't disappoint, he seemed quite happy to be performing in fact. Oliver Wakeman fares fine in his father's band, and I don't buy the criticism of Benoit David, the little I've heard. He's appropriately humble in his situation and a talented singer in his own right. It was a privilege seeing each musician on the stage that night. Again, a great show all the way through - thank you to the bands Asia and Yes. Feeling the same awe I did as a kid watching Yessongs at the midnight movie was very special.
I stumbled on to the fact that Yes was playing in Muskogee. I purchased tickets with hesitation thinking it was going to be a retread at best. As stated before the crowd was very small. I was worried that the band would be disheartened at the turnout and just go through the motions. Given those circumstances I was blown away.
I think you can tell a lot about people during less than stellar circumstances. Both Asia and Yes played their hearts out. You could tell that they love what they are doing and are proud as well. I could go on and on, however the best recommendation was that my buddy brought his 14 year old son. He had never heard any of their music, had never know who used to be part of the band. He loved the show and will be a fan for life.....He and his Dad spent several minutes buying shirts after the show....
Thanks to the band for making this a very special evening...Keep it up and thanks from a re-juvinated fan...
I'm glad so many people are enjoying this tour. I saw them twice this past December and I'm trying to go see them again on this leg of the tour. Unfortunately, I can't find any cheap airfare to any place on the rest of their tour. The airlines can't be hurting. They're charging out the ying yang for airfare. :(
These great reviews say it really nicely, but I just wanted to add my enthusiasm to a fantastic performance by both Asia and Yes! I traveled by train to Fort Worth and caught that amazing performance and then saw this Muskogee performance the following night. As has been said, the attendance was a little on the sparse side in Muskogee and the venue was quite different from the Bass Hall the night before, but still, the music was the hero of the evening. The level of perfection just blows me away! In spite of this, the performances weren't carbon copies, but, rather, magical little touches were added to each to make each performance special. It would be impossible to describe them all, but, for example, Steve Howe varying which guitar pieces he plays from night to night is a very special thing, as is varying the set list just a bit here and there. In addition to the meet and greets, which were wonderful, a definite highlight was in getting to meet John Wetton and Steve Howe, whom I am told don't usually appear at those. Mr. Wetton is in fine voice, and all of Asia is very tight. At the meet and greets in Muskogee, All five members of Yes were present and three of Asia (Wetton, Downes, and Palmer), so getting to meet all of the musicians was a wonderful experience!!! "Words simply fail me," was all I could think at the time. All of the gentlemen were very kind and obliging, and I was impressed with how personable Benoit and Oliver ("Ollie") were backstage. They have a close rapport, I can tell, including one part of our conversation in which Ollie was kidding Benoit for not knowing his prog and then Benoit kiddingly chiding Ollie for not knowing his French. They both are really humble and sincere guys and have a definite niche within the group. I applaud the professionalism on every front and for Yes (and Asia - not meant to be secondary) keeping up the spirit! Thanks guys and thanks to all of the super Yes fans I met whilst on the road. C Louis
As other bloggers have written, this was a a great show! My daughter Kristen and I really enjoyed it, and I enjoyed seeing her enjoy it about as much as I enjoyed the show itself. Great selection of songs, but personally I go without hearing Your Move/All Good People and Owner of a Lonely Heart live ever again. As Paul mentioned, security should have been much stricter, but they finally threw one drunk bozo out after several warnings. The Civic Center itself was a nice venue, but there was no audience in Muskogee - Should have picked LITTLE ROCK or Memphis instead, hope you do next time. Alan White was incredibel as was Howe and Squire. Benoit was excellent and had a lot of energy on stage. Oliver played very well, especially on MM, but I did miss the embelishments typical of his dad's playing on a few numbers. Anyway, all in all, THESE GUYS ROCK! Go see this show. It's money well spent. I hope they have another tour next Spring, perhaps even JA will be back.
This show reminded me of concerts many years ago in that the small size of the crowd lent a more intimate view of the performers and enabled better response from the bands. Asia was great and, for me, a real treat to see Carl Palmer again. He hasn't lost any power or timing and has actually added some great tricks into his vast repertoire. Balancing sticks on the cymbal, etc. Wetton's voice was strong and not showing signs of wear like some. Downes was great on the ivory's and what can be said of the great Steve Howe. What a treat to hear In the Court of the Crimson King and Fanfare.
Yes was superb. From the opening to the end it was a trip back in time to the days of my youth. Emotions and thoughts swirled with the music of times gone by. I thought the guys were having a great time and it shows in the performance. Benoit actually got Wakeman to smile once! I saw them in 74 and this was equal or better. You just have to go to this show and not worry about who's singing and just enjoy the music presented by very talented individuals as Yes.
This morning I met Carl Palmer and Geoff Downes in the lobby of our hotel. I thanked them for a great show and for coming to OK. They were very gracious and thanked me for attending. So to sum up, a great show, fantastic artists and wonderful music.
And I will add to a previous post to the folks with the cell phones and the need to rush the stage. Stop it, please! I was on the second row on the aisle and all night people would come stand in front of me blocking the view. Very annoying.
It was a great show by Yes, Good venue. But until the middle of Yes's set there was little or no security. Those people in Muskogee must not get out very much,they acted like a bunch of children. Every Yeah Hoo needed to come up front and take multiple pictures with their cell phones standing in everyones way.When did people stop being respectful of other people especially when their blocking peoples view just to get a waste of time picture( cell phone). I'm from Oklahoma and I felt ashamed. They kept rushing the stage multiple times. Grow up! It was a great show but all that other stuff was distracting.
I will start off by affirming what everyone here will already know, which is to say I am not an impartial reviewer.
That disclaimer allows me to gush!
This tour stop was arranged by the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame which explains why they played in Muskogee.
Asia opened the evening and it was immediately apparent their sound is as powerful as it was in 1983. Sole Survivor was first and by the time they cranked into Wildest Dreams I was cursing myself for not having brought my son to hear what a concert is sposed to be.
After The Smile Has Left your eyes, John Wetton announced they would be playing music in tribute of the musical legacy of the members. They started that trip though time with THe Buggle's Video Killed the Radio Star for Geoff Downes. Then for John Wetton it was King Crimson's In the Court of the Crimson King. After an acoustic version of Don' Cry they continued with ELP's Fanfare fot the Common Man which included a drum solo by Carl Palmer. They played a song from their newest album Phoenix which I am ashamed to say I don't remember the name of. All this topped of with what else? Heat of the Moment. No encore from Asia.
Not very long after clearing the stage, the lights went down and Firebird Suite began to play. YES appeared.
Siberian Khatru was the signature opening and there was no doubt which group the crowd had come to see. I had been a bit dissapointed at first but by the time YES was on stage there. were and 1700 of the possible 3000 seats filled.
After Siberian Khatru they went straight into Your Move/All Good People. Now they were really playing into the crowd. Next Chris Squire introduced the newest members which were of course Oliver Wakeman and Benoit David. He commented the last time two new pwoplw were around was 1980 with Trever Horn and Geoff Downes. They played Tempus Fugit followed by Astral Traveler.
Steve Howe came out and did a couple of pieces I was not immediately familiar with(gettin old y'know), but it weren't The Clap or Mood for a DAy. He did say the first piece was Chet Atkins and the other he said something about Intersecting???
More classic YES as they went in And You and I. Beautifully done. From there that I recall it was Machine Messiah, Roundabout, Heart of the Sunrise on which Chris jammed the bass line to the delight of all.
Then the encore was Starship Troopoer. I hope I have remembered it all. I was pretty busy enjoying it.
Now some words on people.....
Chris, Alan and Steve are getting on, like really. I do have some cell phone pics I hope to try and post,
Oliver Wakeman certainly plays with the same styles as his dad when necessary, but is certainly his own musician. I think there were lkess than perfect sound conditions last night and he rushed a couple things but let's not carp. He performed admirably.
Now we get to the controversial Benoit David. Here we have a young man from Montreal who worked on boat seats by day and fronted a YES tribute band by night. At the time Jon Anderson became ill and there became some question of how long and how serious that situation might become, the reaming members made a decision to seek a temp as it were.
Benoit's band Close to the Edge had some videos posted on YouTube which caught the attention of Chris and Alan.
Imagine going about your business and one day Chris Squire and Alan White call and ask if you would like to sing for YES. Well I imagine after he cleaned out his pants the young man affirmed YES!
Benoit David turns out to be a very talented individual. Sonically he is very close to Jon and completely channeled Trevor Horn on the Drama pieces performed. He dances and twirls. leaping during the exciting parts of Roundabout. Some of his movement was even reminiscint of Ian Anderson. Perhaps a fan of Tull as well.
He was the right man for what is a controversial job. I cannot help
First let me say this was my third YES show. Tormato '79 in OKC and 90125 '84 in Tulsa were my first two. I had tickets to a Union tour show that was cancelled and then I couldn't go to the rescheduled show. I also had tickets to last years tour that was cancelled. Finally I got to see the legends again.
ASIA was solid and a lot better than their very good show last year in Dallas. Wetton was perfect and Downes was great. Carl Palmer was as good as always (one of the best). I have seen Emerson, Lake and Palmer three times. The ASIA highlight for me would have to be ELP's Fanfair For The Common Man but the whole set was excelant.
YES was tight and performed a better show then I remember. The energy in the intimate show was unbeleivable. I would have to put this show in my top twenty of the over five hundred shows I have seen. I could not have picked a better set list! I really loved hearing Tempus Fugit and machine Massiah from Drama. It's too bad Oliver didn't step aside and let Downes play his part on those two. And You And I, Siberian Khatru and Long Distance Runaround were powerful and right on. What can I say about Chris and Steve? Chris to me is top five Bassists and he was in top form. Steve is also tops and has written some of the greatest signature guitar licks in rock history and he was also spot on and beyond.
Oliver and Benoit were very good. It is a bummer that Rick and Jon could not be there but since they couldn't Oliver and Benoit have to be as good as could be to fill those shoes. Benoit was perfect. Every note was on and he is a very good showman. I really like Benoit.
A Truly Great Show. DO NOT MISS THIS TOUR!!!
Debate no longer. GO to this concert.
YES continues to amaze in its newest manifestation. I would say better harmonies from Chris and Steve than the 2003 tour. And I compare the inferior Civic Center to the acoustically fine Red Rocks, CO. Chris is still quite the showman.
What were the bookers thinking? And no promotion. Looks like we Oklahomans will be hoofing it to Dallas in the future. The venue was practically empty.
Still, a wonderful evening. The audience really got into the vibe. Asia was spot on. The individual retrospectives of Buggles, King Crimson, and ELP were outstanding. "Fanfare" certainly highlighted the best drummer in R & R today. One more ELP reunion - Please.
ALL musicians in both bands were great. Steve's performance was oh so spectacular.
A magical evening of the best music on the planet...........
The opportunity for me to have ever gone to one of their concerts here in Oklahoma, when I was a teenager and they were in their prime (1970's - 1980's), was almost nil. Oklahoma...yeah right! Why would they ever come here? So when I recently learned they were performing in Muskogee, of all places, I fell out of my chair scrambling to the phone to order tickets! Brought my 16 yr old daughter with me to show here what great bands they were - and still are.
To say I was blown away would be an understatement. Both Asia and Yes were total powerhouses last night and I was swept away to my youth of the early and late 70's with every one of their songs played. Close your eyes and you would have sworn Jon Anderson was on stage with Alan, Steve, Chris and Rick Wakeman's son, Oliver Wakeman. Benoit David did an outstanding job of bringing back the essence of the YES YESter-years when Jon was lead singer and Oliver performed every bit as good as his father and even looked the part of the earlier YES years. Steve Howe's lead guitar performance was as smooth and flawless as ever and is solid proof that he's still the master of electric, slide and accoustic stringed alchemy. And get this, he was also the lead guitar for Asia's half of the concert so his stringed prowess and stamina rocked the entire 3 1/2 hours....at age 62!
Asia was no less spectacular with the songs Court of the Crimsonson King, Heat of the moment and many, many more. Carl Palmer previously of Emerson, Lake and Palmer proved his percussion mastery with his powerhouse drum solo to Aaron Copeland's Fanfare for the Common Man.
All in all, truly one of the greatest concerts I have been able to witness. And that's going back, what seems a long way, to my youth of the early 70's.
I definite must see concert for all!
Michael R Drywater
My wife and 16 yr old son and I went to the muskogee show and it was awsome, they played their hearts out for just a small crowd, left nothing to say but, Awsome they played everthing we wanted to hear and more, the new singer is killer they sound great!
Please note: Steve's solo was 'Trambone'/ 'Intersection Blues'.
Yes, Asia Defy Age On Stage By Ron Smith
Some old guys can still play their instruments. Others assertively show their musical skills, as if standing hip-deep in the Fountain of Youth.
Sure, the guys in rock bands Yes and Asia aren’t “old” compared to some jazz cats who play well up into their 90s, but they aren’t spring chickens like the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus or Fall Out Boy either. Yes and Asia, remarkably at this point in the game, play much, much better than so many artists who are a third of their age. Scott Smith • Times Record
Yes bassist Chris Squire, right, plays a lead break on his bass while drummer Alan White performs during Yes’ concert at the Muskogee Civic Center in Muskogee, Okla.
Only about 700 progressive-rock fans showed up to catch the recent concert Yes and Asia staged inside the Muskogee Civic Center, but the low turnout didn’t faze either group. It helped that the small army of fans roared their approval with the volume and enthusiasm of a stadium-sized crowd inside the 3,710-seat venue.
Despite guitarist Steve Howe’s fear of — or slight irritation with — photographers hunched down in front of the stage, Yes and Asia sounded magnificent. Doing double-duty with show-opener Asia and headliner Yes, Howe gazed out into the shadowed audience during Asia’s set after hollering at a sound technician to boost his guitar volume, but Howe didn’t seem bothered by the abundance of empty seats.
Howe’s nerves, however, seemed tested by several fans who tried to snap a few flashless photos; he even motioned with his left hand in mid song in an effort to get the fans to drop their cameras and retreat to their seats. Maybe Howe was preoccupied with getting his six-string sound at an appropriate level in the mix, or could he harbor a Ritchie Blackmore-like distaste for cameras?
Regardless of Howe’s philosophies on photography, the 62-year-old performer played with finesse and considerable fire during the sets of both groups, but the evening, note for note, belonged to Yes bassist Chris Squire and Asia drummer Carl Palmer. The two almost miraculously have bounced back from health scares — Squire, 61, suffered a clot in his leg that spooked him into numbness and temporarily halted the tour several months back, and the 60-year-old Palmer, like Asia singer-bassist John Wetton, has endured heart surgery.
For the Muskogee gig, Squire rolled out conversation-killing bass notes and tones from the same Rickenbacker bass he’s played since childhood, and Palmer made drum solos cool again by executing a mind-blowing, jazz-tinged showcase. Smiling, Palmer bounced drumsticks from his cymbals and caused his double bass drums to sound like a 10-story, diesel-chugging engine.
Shaking off the unfair heat some fans have given him earlier in the tour, Yes vocalist Benoit David did an admirable — actually, it was a brave — job of stepping in for Yes’ original, beloved singer, Jon Anderson. It’s unclear if Anderson, who now is doing a solo tour of Europe, will come back to Yes. Anderson fell ill last summer with respiratory problems, delaying Yes’ 40th-anniversary tour. Squire, Howe, drummer Alan White and new keyboardist Oliver (son of Rick) Wakeman decided to soldier on under the Yes flag by adding the 43-year-old David late last year. Anderson recently alleged he was unfairly cut out of the picture, while the other Yes members claim they have waited in vain on Anderson for five years to tour.
In Muskogee, it was a bittersweet moment for diehard Yes followers. Anderson’s mystical persona was missed, but David sang and played acoustic guitar as if he’d been on the Yes payroll all along. Like Journey’s new singer, Arnel Pineda, David was plucked from a tribute band and now feels comfortable fronting, in his words, “my heroes.” Like White and Asia keyboardist Geoff Downes, David emerged from the black curtains to greet fans and offer post-show, sizable relief for Anderson’s absence.
“Oh, I hope to record s
The encore was just the instrumental Wurm, not all of Starship Trooper.
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.