The last of my five concerts on the UK leg of this tour, and my first time at Colston Hall, which is a fine venue. It was a late decision to go to this gig, so I found myself needing to buy two seats in order to get the one I wanted, towards the rear of the front stalls on Steve Howe’s side. (I was unsuccessful selling the spare one outside beforehand, even though the hall was almost full to capacity. However, I did spot someone on their own a block back and gave him the better seat next to me.)
This was a thoroughly enjoyable concert. The sound was good and full, and the band seemed at the top of their current game once again. Good to catch ‘Intersection Blues’ live from Steve for the first time, too. This line-up has suffered its (un)fair share of criticism from the diehards who cannot accept the absence of Jon Anderson, in particular. On this tour they have given a solid musical answer to their detractors. Those with relatively open ears, at any rate. This is not Yes at the very pinnacle of its powers, perhaps. But it is a band that still has something positive to offer, live at least.
After the show I joined a lengthy queue to buy the soundboard recording on a flash drive. It was nicely packaged, but when I got back to my hotel I discovered that I had one with nothing on it. This happened to a few people, I gather. So I couldn’t immediately revisit the concert to test my impressions. But it’s a nifty idea and I’ll replace it one day…
I remember listening to Yours is No Disgrace on LP at the Quay Club in Exeter when they experimented with a Wenesday night is rock night and it flopped (circa 1973). But that track stayed in my sub conscious until 3 years ago when I suddenly re-discovered their music better than before (Symphonic Yes and Yes at Montreux Jazz Festival) and began to buy the re-mastered CDs. My son Ryan humoured me by agreeing to come to the gig last night and I did not know how he would react being the youngest member in the audience!!!. But he was blown away from the very start (Siberian Khatru) Now he wants to hear more because, in his words, they are different, they are class musicians individually and collectively greater than the sum of their parts. I agree with earlier comment and was slightly disappointed with the sound mix up there with the gods but wow, did'nt the hall rock. One negative for me (and not everyone will agree)was Steve's performance which was brilliant at times but which felt rushed at other times. I am no musician so I should be shot down but it was just how i felt and if the guys want feedback then maybe they could respond. High points for me Heart of the Sunrise and Siberian Khatru, low point - Any You and I - the keyboards and the pedal steel guitar simply did not come across clear. Overall a night to remember.
Impressive being the lad at the front, who lets be honest, was nothing short of superb (apart from the twirling around and prancing about during during And You and I and Yours Is No Disgrace). There is no doubt he cuts the mustard here, Heart of the Sunrise was testament to that. I was left with the feeling at the end of the concert of "Chris, Steve, you cunning clever pair of b****rs"! I can't agree with the chap complaining about the sound. I can only assume he hasn't been to Wembley arena or worse, the Cardiff CIA. Steve Howe was outstanding as usual throughout, a real professional, and he looks a happier chap when he's playing these days. On YIND, I felt I was listening to the Yessongs version, and when he and Squire were going for it, it raised the hairs on the back of my neck. Yes have a reputation for being glossy and precise, but I think folk forget how they can 'let loose' also, and the back bone to all this live was always Howe and Squire. I particularly enjoyed Astral Traveller and Tempus Fugit, mainly for the contribution of Mr Squire. And on the subject of Squire, who I have slated on one previous tour for over posturing, poor choice of trousers and 'losing his balance' - I have to tip my hat tonite. Ok, the posturing was still there and I agree with everyone else about his dire Autumn collection in the trouser dept, however, if anyone can tell me where else I can go to see a Rock bassist as good as, or as delightful and down right interesting to watch play as he is, then please drop me a line. Well done Oliver Wakeman - a safe pair of hands indeed, however, I felt Alan was just going through the motions, and wondering where he was going to eat afterwards. Of all the things you could do as a percussionist in a band like this, to be creative here and there, or add a little twist to proceedings after all these years - but nothin! I wanna see Bill!!!!! Finally, I didn't miss Jon's smalshy dialogue in between songs tonight, but I do hope the great man is okay, and he is returned to the camp one last time in the future.
Wow! One of the best gigs I have ever been to. The band were tight and their enthusiasm shined through. The volume was turned up to 11, which is what you want for a rock concert. I found the sound system very clear, which is quite remarkable for such an event. Some posters seem to be very negative about the whole thing and expected a crystal clearness for all instruments that you could probably only get listening to a CD with headphones. Perhaps they should have been tucked up in bed with cocoa and bickies. I was surprised about the constant movement of the audience though. Guys were coming and going all through the evening laden down with drinks and forcing lines of punters to stand up to let them through. Very odd. I did wonder what the three aging groupies down the front were on. They were certainly enjoying themsleves. A great evening had by all.
Different but the same if that makes any sense!The introduction of 2 new "members of the band"as Chris Squire introduced them(sounds pretty permanent to me!)definitely altered the dynamic & the "vibe" but thats by no means a bad thing.Still get the shivers when Firebird starts to play...the world is ok again.I thought the band took a little while to get into top gear(did anyone else think that Siberian seemed a tad slow!)but when they hit their straps boy did they rock.For me it really took off when they played Tempus & then just kept going. Personal highlights were Onward(just beautifull,gorgeous melody & the harmonies last night were spot on),Astral Traveller(great stuff from Steve & I disagree with comments from previous shows-the drum solo was just right,not too long & in keeping with the piece whilst demonstrating Alan chops-the boy can still play & some)Yind..still my all time favourite Yes track & played with fire & a great middle section last night,Hots..the Chris Squire show. Typical Colston reception..total enthusiasm & I think the band picked up on it..lots of smiles all round.The old boys were right on top of their game.As lots of other people have mentioned,Steve seems totally energised on this tour & for me playing some ,of the best & original rock guitar i've heard,Alan played superbly & drove everying forward but for me it was the Chris Squire show-big guy,big personality,great vocals & a demonstration of why this guy is at the top of the tree with regards to bass players.The new boys..Benoit has an impossible job but has the advantage of having not only a fabulous voice but one that is made for Yes music..Oliver..how do you step into the shoes of someone who is not only a bona fide genius but also your DAD!!!...he did a great job of playing the right parts but at no point did the hairs on the back of my neck stand up..a good example being his soloing with Steve on SSOTS...good but not memorable. Lots of comments/complaints on previous gigs about sound & light..both seemed pretty good to me last night..bass a bit overpowering in parts,mix a bit muddy occasionally but its a rock concert & it happens.Neither was it excessively loud. Overall...bargain of the year- £30 to watch 2hrs + of special music played by special musicians.A priviledge & make the most of it folks 'cos one day it won't be their & then life will seem just that little less special.
The set list above is incorrect, it was this: -
Firebird Suite Siberian Khatru I've Seen All Good People Tempus Fugit Onward Astral Traveller And You And I Yours Is No Disgrace Mood For A Day Intersection Blues Owner Of A Lonely Heart South Side Of The Sky Machine Messiah Heart Of The Sunrise Roundabout
Encore Starship Trooper
Overall it was a very well performed gig "Astral Traveller" "Machine Messiah" and "Heart of the Sunrise" were really powerful and sounded fantastic, the rest of the set was pretty damn good too. So much better than in 2004, Yes proved that they can still rock and push a few boundaries. It sounded like they had actually been listening to the original recordings again for inspiration, even Oliver W was playing the Tony Kay organ parts rather than his Dad,s parts on the early songs. Top Yes gig!
Wow - these guys rocked tonight! Having seen first seen them in 1971 as a 15 yr old and truly inspired by their music, I was thrilled that my 15 yr old son (first ever concert) was equally taken aback by the freshness of the renditions of some very classic tracks.
Benoit really earned his spurs tonite - he sings from the heart and boy, can he sing. The harmonies were a joy to hear (ok, a few dud notes, so what!) but the overall effect was a superb (Heart of the Sunrise was brilliant). Oliver should be congratulated for stepping into such huge shoes - he also pulled it off.
The core players were outstanding (Chris' bass sometimes too loud tho' and Alan lost in the mix at times) but Steve is incredible - he really excelled. After the lacklustre 2004 shows, this version really worked - long may it continue.
Just got home from the Yes show at the Colston Hall.
Having seen 10 Yes concerts since July 1984 this was one of the best.
I did have some doubts about Benoit David; but, as others have said, when I closed my eyes I could hardly tell that Jon was not there.
No need to repeat the setlist, but the Drama tracks were standouts.
The audience really enjoyed the show, nad I did not hear any negative comments on the way out.