I went to this show with a lot of personal emotion that I had to get out of me.
The last time I saw the band was back in 2003 with Rick and Jon.
I recently experienced a personal tragedy and recently came to my senses that this would be a great way for me to emotionaly and spiritually heal.
I had gotten front row seat for me and my friend Yvette. Right between Benoit and Chris. The experience that I had was beyond words. The mix was difficult between Benoit's vocals and Oliver's keyboards. Even though I was in the front row, I heard parts of Oliver but the vocals on Benoit were difficult. Steve was smokin the whole night and being animated, Chris introduced the place as his "Living Room". Chris was again the showman as usual. He did not let me down.
Now, Onward which is one of my favorites was played and I broke down on that one, then Benoit introduced And You and I, I lost it through the whole song and just put my head down and let it out. This for me personally was the only way for me to heal inside.
I am seeing the band again next Saturday in Detroit and should be good.
Just a little tip, if you ever doubt about seeing Yes in NY or Philly, GO!!!!!!!!!! They really put on a great show in the States and they do not disappoint. Last night was sold out and the crowd was very respectful with total silence in the correct breaks of the song.
A very special and personal thank you to the band for a great performance. It was a great spiritual healing.
I love you all.
HOLY CRAP!! Chris wore actual pants!!...uh wait...I mean...HOLY CRAP!! Oliver flashed a number of huge grins at the audience!! No...let me start again. HOLY CRAP!! Yes was smokin' at Town Hall.
The guys were on fire from the opening note. The tempos of "Siberian Khatru" and "Tempus Fugit" were spot on. Steve was amazing. He, Chris and Benoit were having a great time!! I've never seen them more playful on stage.
And having heard some of the official live recordings from Europe I was paying particular attention to Benoit's vocals to hear if I could detect any of the struggle I heard in some of them. There wasn't. His voice was strong last night. He gave his best rendition of "Onward" to date.
Don't get me wrong, there was a missed lyric here, a flubbed note there, but it was a fantastic show all around.
Seeing YES front row, right in front of Chris Squire, then going to the Meet and Greet last night was one of the best experiences of my life. They played every song with incredible energy playing the original music almost flawlessly, with some really great improvisations. I've seen YES two other times (I'm not old enough to have seen them in the 70s like so many other reviewers), and this was by far the best I've seen them play. The sound levels were perfect unlike last time I saw YES, and the mix was quite good. I wish they had played either Close to the Edge or Awaken, as those are my two favorite YES songs, but the setlist was still very good. Siberian Khatru and I've Seen All Good People got the band off to a great start, they played all the songs so well, that even the songs that I don't like as much as many other YES songs were still great to watch and listen to. Owner of a Lonely Heart actually sounded quite good, considering that is one of my least favorite Yes songs. I also now have a newfound respect for the Drama tracks which I have never really liked all that much, but they were played so well last night, I really enjoyed them a lot. Machine Messiah managed to be both fierce and subtle, and Tempus Fugit had some of the coolest and most powerful bass riffs played with much enthusiasm. Heart of the Sunrise showed how dynamic this band could be, even in a live setting, with both the loud and soft parts contrasting perfectly. Speaking of dynamics, it was also neat to hear Steve Howe playing without any amplification as he swelled his volume into Astral Traveler which had a wonderful drum solo. Steve Howe's acoustic solo consisted of Bareback and Clap, both of which were the best performances I've heard of these songs. Onward and And You and I were both played very emotionally (although I wish the crowd would not shout during And You And I). South Side of the Sky was especially a treat, with Oliver Wakeman playing the keyboards in the middle, then the moog and guitar solos at the end which was the second best part of the show for me. My favorite part of the show was Starship Trooper, and Steve Howe played some of the best guitar solos I've heard him play at the end of that. Roundabout was also a lot of fun. The entire band was on fire the entire night, and delivered the best show I've ever been to my entire life.
Standard set list: Siberian Khatru -- good but hard to pay attention because of f---head with iPhone next to us (see below) All Good People Tempus Fugit Onward Astral Traveler -- Alan does some tasty ride-cymbal in the beginning, which I greatly appreciate... Yours is no Disgrace And You And I -- atypically strong ending after Preacher/Teacher ? (Steve Howe piece I know not the name) Clap -- its good that he doesn't play this at every show, and it is now a rarity to see live. This was undoubtedly the best I've seen it... it was very dynamic, inventive, and Steve displayed an almost Hendrix-like mastery. It was fresh, it was interesting. It was freakin' cool. Owner South Side of the Sky Machine Messiah Heart of the Sunrise -- sublime and better than the average HotS. Always my favorite part of the show. Roundabout Starship Trooper -- kinda sloppy. Left before Wurm to avoid wait at the parking garage.
A nice show. Now onto the crowd... we were SURROUNDED by people who couldn't stop playing with their cell phones. A guy next to us had his iPhone out every couple of minutes, with the bright distracting screen, checkin' his email, taking pictures and uploading his facebook page, IMing, googling old pictures of the band and even sending an email saying that the two replacement guys were there because the other two were dead... then the guys in front of us, behind us, all over, taking pictures, doing stuff. Good lord.
As a bright spot, all of this did lead to a poetic moment. During the second part of Machine Messiah, there were no cell phones to be seen. Maybe at some level, for a few minutes, they got the message.
The show started with a great SK and never let up. Steve ripped a great lead at the end and we knew we were in for a big night. Town Hall was packed with very boisterous and appreciative Yes fans. Thunderous standing ovations after every song and the band rocked and delivered a killer set. Had to go stand along the back wall later because I needed to let loose. Thanks to the girl rocking back there with me, she was clearly an over the top fan and made it even more fun. My 2 sons loved every minute with my younger one especially getting in to Machine Messiah. They joined me in the back to get crazy during Starship Trooper which brought the house down. Fantastic night and I'm off to the Wellmont in Jersey Tuesday for more. Can't wait.
Yes played for about 2 hours and 45 minutes with incredible intensity and showmanship. I'm wondering if anyone else has noticed that it's taken them a while to get "warmed up" on this tour. Siberian Khatru -- a great musical workout to kick things off -- sounded a bit labored in keeping time department -- but phenomenal nonetheless. By the time they got to South Side of the Sky, in addition to the extended jam to close out that song, everything had clearly fallen into place. Highlights included that piece, the two Drama cuts (Machine Messiah and Tempus Fugit), Yours Is No Disgrace, and, of course, Starship Trooper. Seeing them again Tuesday in Jersey -- definitely looking forward to it.
I was at the show last night which was very good but have to say tonight's show was simply incredible. The venue, first of all, was extremely intimate. When they opened with SK and Steve broke into his solo at the end the place started to go nuts. I could have left at that moment and felt I got my money's worth. I've seen a ton of Yes shows in the NY area, and this was a great audience. The band really appreciated it. Steve mentioned something to that affect at the end of the show. The energy just never stopped all night. I don't understand why people question the current lineup? It is what it is. Yes has always changed. Appreciate this lineup for what it has to offer: Tempus Fugit, Machine Messiah. Can't tell you what a treat it is to hear those songs. I feel truly lucky to still see my favorite band after all these years.