Saturday, July 25, 2009
South Shore Music Circus
13 years, 8 months and 7 days ago
Asia were just terrific. I've avoided seeing the reunion tours as I had perceived them to be so "corporate" like Foreigner, et al. Wetton, while looking a little haggard, was in tremendous voice. Carl Palmer was superlative. What a showman!
While I wouldn't say this was the best Yes show I've seen, it was certainly in the top three or four out of 12. Oliver and Benoit performed admirably. Oliver is not a natural born entertainer, although he certainly showed off his skills during Wurm.
The venue was unique (rotating stage, under a tent) and was very intimate.
Complaints about value for the money are greatly misplaced. Most Yes fans are well over 35 years old and have attained some financial means at this stage in their lives. I don't understand how anyone can complain about paying $60 or less to see Squire, Howe, White and the original Asia up close.
These gentlemen are still engaged with their music and put on a terrific show. I hope to see them again soon.
Ok I have to admit that there is NO person on this earth that could ever replace Jon Anderson, that being said I thought that the band sounded fantastic despite the lame interuptions from audiance members yelling out stupid ass shit, the new singer isnt Jon but I think he's as close as it may ever get, lets face it these guys were legends when I saw them when I was 17 and now that I'm 52 they still blow me away, and at this venue being so close it was just unforgettable. I would like to thank my awesome brother for getting the tickets and taking me, he's the best. I hope we can see a 45 year tour.
It's great to be that close to the band and the Cohasset tent making it possible until the time Yes gets another top 40 hit. For a time I forgot that Jon was not on vocals. I thought that both Oliver and Benoit were professional in the manor of Yes. If they should continue with band, maybe they will be encouraged to musicaly stretch out. It's a better Yes show when all musucians look like they are enjoying them selves on stage. I found myself standing up and cheering the band on for more than one occasion. Dispite the absence of Jon and Rick, one must understand that the need for new members will continue to increase each year due to illness and simple aging. Please continue to tour and make another record. I arrived too late to see Asia, but saw them in Boston a year ago and was very impressed. If they are able and willing to make a record similar to the first album. It should be a winner. Gregory O.
Yes has always been about changes like any professional entertainment buisness. Yes - like most bands still playing from that era has passed its prime long ago! What we want and what we tend to demand is near perfection from years past (i.e. 1971 -1979). What we get is what they have to offer at the moment...which I think is better than the alternitive...no YES at All!!!
But I hate to say...I do agree with one reviewer in regards to future touring without a new album: If they stay with this line-up...Please do less of the classic "Anderson" songs and more of the Drama set along with sorts like "Silent wings of freedom" and "Parallels"...songs that were used less or not at all in past tours. To try to give a different aspect on the show and get away from any "tribute band" feel some fans may get.
And to end...My Personel wish tour would at this point be a proper Farewell Tour with the Classic 5 line-up along with Bill Bruford out of retirement to put a proper close on it, with the two drumers playing on their own respective tracks.
All in All I had a great night out listening to my all time favorite Band....Thanks YES!!!
All agree: Asia was awesome. Steve Howe was incredible.
Damn the crybabies though, Benoit was a spectacular fill-in for Jon! To sit there and state that he did well, and then complain that it isn't Yes because you have a man-crush on Jon is three steps below pathetic.
Benoit, if you are reading this - you got my blessing! Face reality folks, the most of the band is old enough to earn their senior citizen discount.
Let's ask Rick and Jon what they think. To quote the two people that you are whining about:
Rick (paraphrased quote from Union Tour): "I would like to see Yes become like the London Philharmonic, with new members stepping up and replacing the older ones"
Jon: "Change we must, to live again."
So take a cue from those you are weeping over, grow up, and enjoy the show for what it is... spectacular music!
I was surprised YES/ASIA would play in such a small intimate setting. Having a great seat put me within five yards of my favorite musicians! However, I've never been a fan of concerts in the round. The stage kept oscillating back and forth instead of just going in one direction. That made it seem like I watched their backs more than I wanted to. The sound wasn't always good, but part of that is because their personal amps sat on the stage pointing straight outward and rotating with them.
I heard some awesome harmonies from Steve, Chris and Benoit. I was open to seeing this lineup and had decided to enjoy the music only these musicians can make. There was no prejudgment or longing for something else. Live music is always best because it's unpredictable and alive. I wasn't disappointed.
I love hearing songs that rarely get played in their concerts. Personally I'd rather hear more of that than the radio hits, but when I looked around and saw almost half the audience singing along with them, I can't deny those are the songs many come to hear. If the singing wasn't enough to show me that, then the several standing ovations after during the show did.
I saw Oliver joking with Chris and being intent while playing. I had hoped they would give him a solo but they didn't. He did get to show his stuff on the songs from DRAMA. He looked very confident and fluid in the up tempo sections.
Benoit was great to watch. What a ball of energy. He reminded me of a kid in a candy store at times and totally in control of his voice and lyrics (you think Jon's lyrics are easy to memorize?).
I agree Alan looked a little tired but he pulled off one of the better solos I've seen him do. He did have a smile on his face when he turned to the audience to get them to clap along.
I also thought it was neat the way Carl Palmer used his drums for ASIA and they swapped out the bass, snare and a tom tom. I know drums can take a long time to mic up.
Chris was his usual dynamic self. What a showman and talent! Given the small space he had to play in I'm surprised he didn't bump into things. He did almost smack Benoit a couple times in the head with his bass in between songs. He has that way of thunking a wicked low note from time to time that warns you a dynamo is coming.
Steve played for both bands and didn't look fatigued at all. He rammped it up more than once and lit a fire under the other guys.
ASIA was awesome. I'd never seen them as a group. They were powerful and right on in every song. Great vocals/harmonies, solos, interacting with the audience. I think Carl was particularly affable. I've long been an admirer of his talent. I half expected the top of the Circus tent to blow off at the end of "Fanfare for the Common Man" Instead it was the whole audience jumping to their feet in unison. The cheers were deafening.
I liked their new song quite a bit, would have been nice to hear more from the album, but Court of the Crimson King was a special treat too. Wonderful music! Great energy!!
Wish I could see this concert in a larger normal concert setting.
Had the opportunity to see Yes last fall at Hampton Beach and I was delighted. I came to Cohasset and was expecting the best but felt we got much less.
This is not a great venue for a Yes gig. The rotating stage and lack of room for the boys to move made then looks like mechanical characters in a department store window. The lack of air conditioning on a hot summer night and a mix all evening that sounded like the engineers were on break, made it all the more frustrating. Asia sounded terrific and one would fully expect that sound to carry over in spades to Yes. It did not. From where we sat, Chris was really dominant in the mix and at the opposite end, Alan was not.
Speaking of Alan, he has been my favorite rock drummer for decades but man, did he seem tired and old; especially in contrast to an ever youthful Carl Palmer (who, by the way, had to play Alan's drums...they simply seemed to swap out the bass drum, and perhaps the smare...and made them sound better than Alan did).
Asia was IMO much stronger than Yes. And I've never been an Asia fan.
Here's hoping that the Europe gigs with a longer setlist will revitalize the band. Or maybe we just got them on a bad night.
TO ALL THE YES FANS WHO HAVE WAITED ALMOST 30 YEARS TO HEAR ANY SONGS FROM "DRAMA", I SAY THIS TOUR IS A JOY. WE ALL MISS JON, BUT SINCE HE HAS REFUSED TO PLAY ANY OF THESE SONGS, WHY NOT TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO REVISIT SOME OF THE BEST MUSIC THAT CHRIS, ALAN AND STEVE EVER MADE. THE INTIMACY OF THE VENUE ALONE WAS WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION. WE SAT IN THE FIRST ROW, IN THE ROUND, ALMOST ON THE STAGE - ACTUALLY PART OF THE BAND. GIVE THE BOYS CREDIT FOR JUST COMING IN, SETTING UP AND PLAYING - NO SOUND CHECK, NO FINE TUNING. GRATEFUL NODS FROM ALAN, CHRIS, STEVE, CARL, JOHN, AND GEOFF ALL MADE US FEEL PART OF THE FAMILY. "MACHINE MESSIAH" WAS THE SONG OF THE NIGHT - THEY RIPPED IT! YOU COULD TELL HOW MUCH THEY ENJOYED PLAYING IT - IT SOUNDED AS FRESH AND VIBRANT AS EVER. WE'LL NEVER FORGET THIS UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL YES EXPERIENCE.
yes came to play.we went to enjoy and relate.they delivered the goods.to those who were lucky enough to be present.i took my girlfriend sue for the first time.she was in awe of the whole performance by both yes and asia.
to finally get to hear machine messiah,and astral traveler,what a treat.benoit, and oliver filled in perfectly.
steve the ever the showman.[put some jerk inhis place by telling him to be quit while he was talking,good for you steve]
chris looks healthier and seems happier.alan was ok hate the new drums.wish you kept the old style drums give yes that missed beat.
asia was fantastic and the crowd delighted.nice to hear couft of the crimson king.
about the dancing blonde.didnt need to watch her offbeat gyrating.i had a beautiful blonde of better smarts under my wing.
For those of you who think Yes doesn't have it in them anymore, you, like me, would have been very wrong in your assessment. Despite not having Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman, the Yes I watched last night was nearly perfect in their performance and very animated in it's delivery.
Even when Steve Howe mentioned to the sound guy "could you please stop it?!" about some feedback (Steve it really wasn't that bad, just here and there a couple of times), you got the impression he was just in the groove. He also seemed a little annoyed by the harsh spotlight (no diffusion gel I don't think) that was pounding him, and yes, did comment that "We've played in the round before but not back and forth."I don't know, he still seemed to be in a great mood.
As a matter of fact, the whole Yes set had a communal feel for me that seems to have been missing the last few years (with Anderson or not),When the lights lit up the audience, you could tell everyone was into it, with a kind of hanging on the rafters feel. In some ways the intimate setting was very nice to see Yes in. I loved it.
Chris, God love him, was very engaging and interacted with the crowd. Oliver Wakeman, I thought was pretty much flawless and tackled all the parts with apparent ease. Yeah, he doesn't get the solo spot dad got, but he was joking with Chris and was hardly the wallflower he's been made out to be. A solid musician is more like it. I thought Alan was real good, but I did not care for the sampled drum intro to "Owner..." I'd rather Alan play what he can there...Although the same cannot be said for Howe's solo on "Owner..." that perhaps should have gone to Oliver, as he didn't even phrase it closely to Rabin's at all.
Benoit was very good, and although I sometimes didn't care for his little dance, Jon too can be accused sometimes of being a little "evervescent" some nights as well.
I thought the playing by the entire band was very sharp and Steve Howe is just simply playing some of the best guitar in perhaps decades. I've seen him a lot and I'm not sure it can be played any better. From where I was, the mix was almost perfect. Squire may have been a little loud here and there, but the mix was very clean.
How do I know that Yes was "on" last night. Because I had the smile for almost the entire night, and I kind of got choked up at times. The universal response to a great Yes concert needs no real explanation.
As for Asia, yeah they were really good, with a lot of energy. I could have watched them all night too. Most of what I sid about Yes applies to Asia, although I kept thinking, man, Asia doesn't really need the pop thing does it. They'd be monsters of prog, if they'd just let themselves be. Still, though, very good.
Bravo to both bands and I think we can put talk of their demise away for a while. That will be up to them, because as musicians, they are playing as cleanly and as well as they ever have.
Show was great... Enough said about that...How about the freak blonde who tried to belly dance to every song! So out of sync with the music and an annoyance to the people. Cracked me up the whole night!!!Amusing side show when the Alan and Carl's back was pointing me.
For those of us who have aged gracefully listening and disecting progressive rock over the past 40 years, the heroes of that genre converged tonight at the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset MA. Yes and Asia celebrated a lifetime of some of the greatest prog rock over the past five decades in front of a very spirited crowd.
Although Yes are and will always be my all-time favorite band, I must say that Asia brought the energy to tonight's show. The four original members of Asia - John Wetton, Geoff Downes, Carl Palmer and Steve Howe - began the show banging out not only their signature numbers including Sole Survivor and Heat of the Moment, but celebrated their roles in the history of prog rock by offering cranked up versions of Video Killed the Radio Star, In the Court of the Crimson King, and ELP's Fanfare for the Common Man. Percussion wizard Carl Palmer provided the driving force throughout the hour long set that energized the small but mighty Music Circus.
However, Yes did not disappoint the eager and appreciative crowd either. Laying down 2 full hours of their classic pieces including Heart of the Sunrise, Siberian Khartru and And You & I, they also treated us to some Yes rarities including Machine Messiah, Tempus Fugit and Astral Traveller before delivering their classic closing piece Starship Trooper.
The only thing that would have made it perfect would be to have Jon there. Nothing against Benoit David as he did a very adequate job, but Jon is, has been, and will always be the spirit and vision of Yes. If you're reading this, we love you Jon, and hope you return for the next tour.
Those who predetermine how good concerts 'were' by reviews, should just have the 'faith' in what they know about the artists. Tonight in Cohasset (one 't' )by the sea, I knew that I was in the presence of masters of their craft. Sorry folks, the contemporary doubting thomases, find me contemporaries with superior talent,musical history memory and just plain chops. I 1st saw Yes in 72 for the CTTE "college halls tour so to speak, saw them, next tsaw the CTTE /TOTO tours 7 songs and Roundabout,winter of '73, Boston Garden tours thereafter, ABWH never abin /Yes not because but just because of kids/family time. Saw them for the 35th in Lowell,Mass DVD Tsongas Arena,(which was as hot that night at Tsongas as it was at the Garden for Relayer tour, damn that a hot one) Tsongas Dvd tweaked abit from what was, beleive me, I've been there.
Tonight July 25th 2009 ,37 years after my first Yes show , I still witnessed Musicianship and was moved the same way, but probably a little more cognisant than the first.
Steve Howe is a master. Go see this tour it rekindles the same toudeforce of the GFTO tour, Thank you Steve, I appreciate your skills and mastery..
Chris Squire looks healthy again, take care Chris keep yourself going , you look good ,your smile , your impeccable precision and passion resonates to even the newbies in the crowd.
Alan, the communcation, the fun , the shoe drop of your precussive layers ,right foot and mean ride just blows me away. AYAI (Eclipse) was just a religous experience tonight.
Benoit and Oliver, do not listen to the pndints and ne'er do wells....Heart of the Sunrise, a signature staple, was impeccable tonight by you both and the standard of measure for any that need apply, or need to have the guts...well you guys not only have the guts, you got the chops, wow...in a word , wow.
Hearing Astral Traveller, Machine Messiah was like Mahavishnu/Pink Floyd like. Hearing it tonight was historical, who knows when ever we shall meet again. Thanks...
Asisa and Steve, Carl,John Geoff... damn impressive, powerful. Carl my daughter is in love with a stud of an almost ol'man. Geoff and John, great musicianship,chops,licks..ivories,,
Naysayer's out there/....tell me ...really,,, who of the contempories can even come to half the talent these guys evoke.
take away the plain in which we move and choose the course you running.
All 2,300 seats appeared to be filled for Yes' performance at the South Shore Music Circus. The In-the-Round seating and rotating stage bought back memories of the 1978-1980 tours. There wasn't a bad seat in the house. The last rows of seats were about the equivalent of sitting halfway back in Center Orchestra with a straight stage configuration. Nice!
Same setlist as previously noted on this leg of the tour with Asia. The only variation was Steve's solo acoustic spot--The Little Galliard and Intersection Blues were played tonight. The Yes machine was firing on all cylinders. The tempos were brisk and I didn't detect any miscues of any consequence. I think the relatively small, circular stage worked quite well for the band. Everyone was within a six-foot radius of Oliver Wakeman's rig which was set up in the center of the stage. Alan's kit was on a small riser to the rear of Wakeman. Benoit was front and center with Steve to his right and Chris to his left.
The crowd was very enthusiastic and jumped to their feet many times throughout the evening. I overheard a lot of people commenting on what a stellar job Benoit did filling in for Jon. He was indeed in fine voice tonight. Chris and Steve's harmonies and backing vocals were the strongest I've heard from them in quite some time as well. Oliver Wakeman was much louder in the mix than some early reviews suggested. He nailed all his parts and appeared to be having a ball onstage, smiling and joking with his bandmates. Alan pounded the kit with muscle and precision. Steve and Chris played with vigor, too. Judging by tonight's performance there seems to be plenty of gas left in Yes' tank. I hope they continue with this lineup and eventually record a studio album.