First of all, let me start off by saying that I have not seen Yes perform in 15 years. I was a little nervous that they would not be the same band I saw over a decade ago. The Atlantic City Press had run an article on the tour and did say the Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman were not on this tour. This disappointed me, but I went to the concert with an open mind. I became a Yes fan initially because I was in awe of Rick Wakeman's playing. This was also the first tour I saw where they were not promoting an album.
I absolutely loved the set list. Many of the songs completely caught me off guard. I was thrilled to hear Tempus Fugit an Machine Messiah. Chris Squire was in incredible form. As the night went on, Steve Howe's playing got better and better. It was also nice to see Steve and Chris move to the front rather than be backing up Jon. I was also in shock at Benoit David's voice sounding so much like Jon Anderson. My only criticism of him was that close to the end of the concert, his voice seemed slightly tired and a little flat at times, however, that could have been the result of the monitors.
Now, what I was unhappy with- the sound engineers were horrible. I am hoping that they were the Trop's engineers and not the sound guys for YES. As a professional musician who has played in the AC casinos hundreds of times, I hate playing at the casinos that do not allow a band to run their own sound. When the concert began, Steve Howe was deafeningly loud. He was the only person I could hear coming through the house system. The balance was pretty good by the end of the concert, but it should not have taken an hour and a half to get it right. Alan White's drums were poorly miced and sounded muddy, and I could barely hear the keyboards at all. This aside, I still had a great time and really enjoyed the concert.
Dr. David makes an excellent point. Half of the crowd was obnoxious. I was getting a play by play as to when Steve was going to play what from the guy behind me, til I turned around and gave him the stare. He said "what?" I said I'd just like to listen to the show please. He shut up. The point is : as Yes fans we all want the same thing. Their music is sacred and should be treated as such. In spite of all our little critiques of last night's show, what we all would really love is for Yes not only to continue to present this music in as fine a form as possible, but to maybe create new music--yes, a new studio album. And without Jon Anderson? Can Benoit David write music? It's hard to imagine a more productive and visionary songwriting team than Anderson/Howe. Isn't that what we all want? With all due respect to Chris Squire/Alan White and whoever else is fanning this illusion of a complete Yes without Jon--sorry, we're not buying it--not in 1985 with Trevor Rabin, and not now. Trevor Rabin is a great gutarist/ songwriter, Trever Horn is a great producer/singer/songwriter. But neither replaces the spirit or vision of a Jon Anderson. And that's the last I have to say on this matter......
Dr. David Wimer
Overall I had a good time at the show, especially the jam during Yours is No Disgrace. I think the band played well, but this show was marred by a few different things. First of all, I saw them in Jim Thorpe, PA last week and the show then was almost an hour longer. Most of the songs I wanted to see (such as South Side of the Sky) were cut from the set list. If the curfew at the Tropicana is 11:00pm, then why not start the show at 8:00pm instead of 9:00pm? I felt a little ripped off because the Jim Thorpe show was less expensive yet much longer.
The biggest problem though was the crowd - everybody in my vicinity was drunk, obnoxious, and talking loudly and incessantly throughout the entire show such that I had trouble focusing on the music. It pretty much ruined the concert for my girlfriend and myself. The purpose of going to a concert is to actually LISTEN to the music - especially a talented band playing complex stuff like Yes. It seemed like most of the fans there were more interested in drinking beer and talking to their companions. I've noticed over the years that there seem to be two kinds of people who attend Yes shows - Yes fans who are there for the music and then Classic Rock fans who are there to hear songs that are on the radio while they get drunk. I've noticed this at Jethro Tull concerts too - there are the real fans who are interested in the music and then the people who only care about Aqualung and Locomotive Breath. Anyway, it's a shame that last night's show was ruined by an overabundance of rude and inconsiderate Classic Rock fans.
Finally, I agree with the guy who said that Yes with Benoit is better than no Yes at all. I hope this wasn't my last opportunity to see them live because they can still jam.
I've been a fan for over 32 years and have seen more Yes shows than I can count. I rarely complain because I appreciate Yes and all they have accomplished. Before sharing what I felt were the highlights, let me share two of the lowlights. First, the Tropicana showroom is a terrible place to see a concert. My seats were great, but most of the time I couldn't see the band because of people constantly walking back and forth. There wasn't one song played that I was able to watch and listen to without interruption. Also, as a previous reviewer mentioned, the setlist was shortened significantly. Not the fault of Yes, but they could have cut Owner Of A Lonely Heart and Roundabout instead of South Side Of The Sky and Starship Trooper. Secondly, the sound mix was horrendous, especially during the first couple of songs. Even though the sound got a little better later in the show, Oliver and Benoit were mixed way too low throughout. As for the highlights, Machine Messiah was absolutely incredible. I'm not saying that because it was necessarily the best song they played, but because it was the song they played the best -- or at least the song that sounded the best. Don't understand why all the others couldn't be mixed as good. Another highlight was the jam during Yours Is No Disgrace. Btw, MVP for the night goes to Steve Howe. The man is a perfectionist and was very precise on every song.
All in all, while it might not sound like it, I appreciate the fact that these guys are still playing. For those of you who keep begging for Jon, that's not gonna happen. Your choice is simple: Yes with Benoit or no Yes.
I just seen YES for the 60th time tonight at the Tropicana in Atlantic City 2nd row center. The set was fantastic Steve as usual on his game, Chris always a stage presence, Alan just keeps banging away, as far as the 2 new members Benoit David close your eyes imagine Jon and then open your eyes and and imagine Jon pretty much no difference as far as Oliver Wakeman: Rick's son for those who don't know that, the first time I saw him with YES he was good but tight, tonight he was on his game; you could see a lot of his father in him. He was on stage smiling and joking with the other band members especially Alan and Chris and his flair at the keyboards reminded me of his father. Oliver that is a compliment your father is one of the best. I hope to see them for another 60 times and soon were they belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I've seen every Yes tour since Close to the Edge (1973) at least once, stopped counting shows after 30. I've never been disappointed--musically. This is just the second time I've seen this line up. Benoit and Oliver were great both times--not quite Jon and Rick, but still great. My main complaint was the set list. Last tour, the highlights were Close to the Edge, Awaken and Soon--all left out of this tour. On top of that, they dropped a few others that they've done every other date so far--Onward, South Side, Starship and Steve's guitar solo--all nixed. But they still subjected us to Owner of a Lonely Tart. Go figure. I was really looking forward to South Side--when Steve and Oliver trade off 4 bar solos is very exciting. But not tonight. The casino was waiting afterall. But enough bitching. The show was awesome. Heart of the Sunrise was amazing. And You and I--breathtaking. Yours Is No Disgrace never sounded better. Steve Howe and Chris Squire just keep getting better with age--if that's possible. Their vocal harmonies are tighter than I've ever heard, even with Jon Anderson. Yes, go figure... Here is the "abridged" set list :
Siberian Khatru I've Seen All Good People Tempus Fugit Astral Traveller Yours Is No Disgrace And You And I Owner of a Lonely Heart Machine Messiah Heart of the Sunrise Roundabout (encore)
This was my first Yes show. I was in the 4th row on the right side of the audience. Right when 'Siberia Khatru' ended, I was smiling and cheering and Chris Squire was smiling at me. Right before they came back on for 'Roundabout,' I rushed to the front of the stage. When they were about to perform, I yelled out "Alan White!" and he gave me thumbs up. Also, I yelled out "Oliver!" and he waved at me. It was a show I would never forget.
I attended the Borgota show last year, which I reviewed on here, and the setlist wasn't much different. So this review will be brief. As expected, Yes was forced to truncate their setlist to accomodate casino rules. This unfortunately meant no South Side of the Sky or Starship Trooper as an encore :(. Here's the setlist, not positive the order is correct:
Firebird Suite Siberian Khatru I've Seen All Good People Tempus Fugit Astral Traveller Yours is No Disgrace And You and I Owner of a Lonely Heart Machine Messiah Heart of the Sunrise Roundabout
Dropped: Onward Steve Howe Solo South Side of the Sky Starship Trooper
Siberian Khatru was a bit shaky this time. Steve stumbled through the pre-verse passages, and overall the piece seemed slower than usual. It didn't really take off until his solo. All other songs were played spotlessly.
It was a pleasure to finally hear Yours is No Disgrace and Heart of the Sunrise live. Steve's soloing on the former track was phenomenal, and the latter track featured Squire up to his usual bass antics.