Sunday, July 26, 2009
Jackson, New Jersey
North Star Arena (Six Flags)
13 years, 7 months and 23 days ago
I'm only a teenager, and this was my first Yes concert of my life, so I was glad to see them play at all. Yes, it was shortened due to the freakin' ominous lightning that was a terrific compliment to the light show that was going on onstage, but it was fantastic none-the-less. At first, when Steve announced he was concerned about the lightning, I was pretty angry, but I then realized that lives were in danger, and it was the smart thing to call it short. I'm just glad they came back and played Tempus Fugit and Astral Traveler, along with Roundabout.
By the way, Asia was fantastic! Carl Palmer stole the show, and his drum solo in Fanfare was just epic. Heat of the Moment closed their set perfectly.
If Yes had not waited 45 minutes after Asia exited to start maybe they could have had a beefier set...but still it was amazing.
One more thing...Chris Squire's pants were WAY too tight. Cheers.
Asia rocked, roadies did a quick turnover, crowd waited a little; Yes finally came on, clearly hoping the ugly sky would clear...it didn't. Lightning to the North, real dark/funky skies in every direction.
They played Siberian Khatru and All good People, then were advised by their people that the storm was not to be ignored. Howe's on the side of the stage with the blasters going off in his periphery like crazy, the rest of the band a little more sheltered, but all vulnerable. Yes, Howe then points out that lightning = death. They introduce Tempus Fugit then are advised to leave the stage...quick apologies then off they go, promising to return.
~20' later they come back out, lightning still an issue and all seemingly nervous, especially Steve. They rip Tempus Fugit, followed by Astral Traveller. An official then takes the mike and claims a storm about 30' away is really nasty and the show has to stop. Roundabout and out.
My first yes show was 1978...it took me over 30 years to finally get in the front row to really appreciate Steve and Chris. I had my 14 year old son with me for his first concert...what a great way to start, front row at Yes. Unfortunately, no Wurm, or Squire solo...not to mention what might have come ouit of hte hands of the young Wakemen. The biggest dissapointment for me was not seeing Machine Messiah, my sons fave. They were apologetic, but spooked, especially after the mess in Washington.
In the end it would have been fine...the set could have easily been finished and the crowd/gear handled before everything actually came down, if it did at all (I was long gone and nothing major had yet happened). I do, however, live in the area the storm was coming from and it is a mess so I can't blame the venue for beng cautious, just kinda sucks making it so close then getting cut short. Take what I can get, I suppose...never ever saw Astral Traveller in the 20 or so shows I've seen. Cool.
Sad that people left after the first two songs - silly wabbits. Yes was awesome, as was Asia. First Asia - played what seems their standard set - extremely well, very in tune with the audience, which was only about half the arena, but vocal. Howe seemed concerned about the lightning that started near the park during their set, understandably.
Yes started out with Siberian Khatru and All Good People. Steve still showed concern about the lightning, but played his usual exceptional stuff. The only thing missing from Steve was the smiles and interaction with the audience. But the play was right on. The others were in top form. The sound was a little off where we were, particularly the keys were a bit too soft, the bass almost overwhelming (but I love Squire's bass so that was quite alright.
After two songs they announced they were concerned about the lightning. The crowd was overwhelmingly inconsiderate of the danger of course, just booing at that decision. But Steve quite correctly pointed to the lightning and said "See that? That's death to a guitarist." They left for about 15 minutes. Then came back on and played rousing renditions of Tempus Fugit and Astral Traveller (with a great Alan White drum solo, of course). Then a park supervisor came on stage and said there was a large storm front moving in the area in about 30 minutes, and they let Yes play one more song, but then they had to chase everyone out of the park immediately before the storm hit. Note that was NOT Yes' decision. Squire was obviously disappointed and very apologetic. The crowd (that remained - obviously not the dweebs that posted above about only 2 songs and took off early) was very supportive and responsive. They did another great performance of Roundabout followed by repeated apologies by Chris as security started to move people out. Frankly, I thought it was most appropriate that they called it short, and handled it very well. Steve doesn't talk a lot, and it was a treat to see and hear him say "That's death to a guitarist". That, and seeing them play as much as they did, with lighting over half the sky was a treat that we won't forget.
The show started late, Yes did 2 songs before HOWE POINTED TO THE SKY AND SAID, "SEE THAT, THAT'S DEATH" The show ended , and re-started with 1 more song, the rain never came in the time the park was opened. I feel I wasted my money to see a band I have enjoyed for over 30 years, Very disappointed.
STEVE FROM THE BRONX
A DAY OF YES AND ROLLER COASTERS.AFTER SEEING YES FOR THE 41ST TIME ,IT WAS BEAUTIFUL TO SEE THEM FOR FREE. TOO BAD A LIGHTING STORM CAUSED THE MANAGEMENT TO CALL THE SHOW OFF. STEVE HOWE WAS WAILING FROM THE START.ALAN WHITE DID A DRUM SOLO THAT WAS VERY GOOD,AND ASTALL TRAVELLER WAS TRULY OUTSTANDING. THE LOW POINT CAME WHEN MANAGENT SAID,YES WILL PLAY ONLY ONE MORE SONG,ROUNDABOUT FINISHED TO ME DISCONTENT.BUT FOR A FIVE SONG SET THEY COOKED AS USUAL. ASIAS SET WAS HIGHTLIGHTED BY FANFARE FOR THE COMMON MAN IN WHICH CARL PALMER UPSTAGE EVERYONE WITH HIS SPECTACTULAR DRUM SOLO.BENIOT DOES A NICE JOB FILLING IN BUT HOPEFULLY IF YES TOURS AGAIN, JON WILL BE BACK.SEE YOU ALL ON THE ROAD.
Let it first be noted that The Northern Arena at Six Flags has no seats in the 'orchestra' area. Let it next be noted that the only food an drink served within it are popcorn and lemonade. Let it third be noted that the restrooms are all outside of it. So to take a bathroom break, or get a beer or hot dog, you had to leave the arena.
Still, the crowd seemed psyched to hear Yes after a generally pleasant and well-received Asia set. My own 'seat' was in the equivalent of 7th row center, outside the small 'VIP' area. Sound was quite good for hearing Howe, Squire, and White, while Benoit and Olvier, who mainly go through PA, were less well heard from that vantage (which is too close to the stage for forward-firing PA speakers to cover well). Still, they all seemed to be playing and singing very well. I didn't notice any glaring errors, timing problems etc, except that Squire missed the vocal cue for the 'dah dah' near the end of Siberian Khatru, so they had to repeat the theme an extra time until his entrance came around again.
By the end of Siberian and All Good People, lightning was flashing in the sky, the band left the stage for a conference then came back. Howe pointed to the lighnting and yelled something like , "That is DEATH! That is DEATH to a guitar player!!" Squire seemed at a loss as to how to react to this, apart from expressing his regrets that the show might end like the one in Maryland (which he kept calling 'Washington').
Then Howe, who clearly wanted to get the hell out of Dodge, informed us that the promoter wasn't insured for electrocution *of the musicians*. As a means to evoke the standing/wet/sunburnt/lightning-exposed crowd's sympathy, that perhaps wasn't the best.
Anyway the crowd -- already thin on the standing-only ground and already leaving after it rained a little in between Asia and Yes -- kept cheering for more. It wasn't actually raining at this point, and as the lightning seemed to lessen, Yes decided to launch into Tempus Fugit and Astral Traveller, both of which they brought off very nicely. In fact, all five tunes they managed to get through were done quite well, with Benoit carring off his part flawlessly afaict (he was perhaps a bit lower in the mix than JA would have been...).
Then the skies darkened further and the promoter came out to say 'there will be no encore, Springdon". No, actually he said that a violent storm was a half hour away (he may have been referring to backstage...KIDDING) and the next song would tbe the last. It turned out to be...ROundabout. Full version, well done, but still. During Roundabout the roadies released the dry ice smoke, one jet of which was aimed right into Chris Squire's face, inducing some frantic angry one-handed gesturing by him.
The band took its bows, then the lights came partly on...then went off again...and came fully on, and finally we left. To drive straight into hellish Turnpike traffic in a rainstorm.
A gig neither I nor Yes will likely forget.
That Annoying Yes Drunk
Steve Howe at Great Adventure (Flash of lightening about 2 miles away), RUN AWAY!.....RUN AWAY!!
He said, "They don't have insurance for electrocution here."
He kept looking up and around ready to dart (picture 1970's Steve Howe jump) out of the way of the lightening bolt he was sure was on the way just waiting for the chance to zap him in the head.
You should have seen Squire's face
Probably the shortest Yes concert I've ever been to.
Even before the show, the clouds came in and it rained a bit.
Asia played their whole set and sounded great. In fact when Yes took the stage it almost sounded like all the soundboard settings were still set for Asia because the levels were way unbalanced for everyone until about song 4 (the next to last song).
Set list was:
All Good People (your move)
***announcement of approaching storm and they'd have to stop***
Again..Asia was very impressive. Yes had sound problems and at times had some problems with everyone playing in time with each other.
I'm glad I'll be seeing them again indoors on Wednesday night in Montclair, NJ. Should be a much better show. By the way, Beniot David sounds great covering Jon's parts! Can't wait for Jon to get back tho..just not the same feeling when you see them.
Yes factoid: Steve Howe is TERRIFIED of lightning! Granted there's a lot of electronics on stage but he is worse than my mom...and she used to hide in the basement anytime there was a storm. :-)