Background: I just turned 50 and receved two tickets to this show as a present. Dug out my old Relayer T-shirt and drove four hours to see my favorite band.
I saw Yes back in the late 70's, then again in the early 90's. It was Steve Howe that caused me to become a weekend warrior guitar player.
I had no interest in Frampton, thought he'd just take away from Yes' time on stage.
Review: Frampton came about and owned the stage. He played hard, and with an infectious joy. I actually can relate more to his playing. Great tone, tight band, happy to be in front of an audience. The crowd loved him and I felt bad about my earlier misgivings.
After the 30 minute set change Yes took the stage. I was actually giddy, felt like I did all those years ago when I saw Yes at the Hershey Park Arena in Pennsylvania.
That euphoria lasted exactly 30 seconds. It was the most lackluster, phoned in performance I've seen in a long time. To make matters worse, both Squire and Benoit David made numerous mistakes. David's I can understand but Squire??? One gaff was so bad I thought the band was actually going to stop playing.
Wakeman was fine, Alan White was okay but he seems to have deteriorated into a banger, not a drummer.
The only guy who seemed to have kept his chops up was Steve Howe. He's just brilliant.
Part of the problem may lie in the fact that the songs have been slowed to a crawl. Perpetual Change had absolutely zero energy and seemed more like a dirge.
Everybody has an off night now and again but, wow, this was uncannily bad.
I actually left before as the last strains of a limp Roundabout wafted across the room. One third of the crowd had already vacated the theatre. I say this as a 35 year fan of the band. It actually hurt to see them play this poorly.
Last night they wouldn't have even qualified as a decent Yes cover band.
I hope this was just a blip on the screen for them and that their other shows are worthy of the collective musicianship on stage.
They could take a lesson from Frampton: at this stage of their careers, if they're going to prove to the world they still have it then they have to really bring it and not go through the motions. I felt betrayed. One final observation, at the risk of sounding petty. Benoit David really does sing like Jon, it's almost eerie. The problem for me is that he looked like a Vegas lounge singer with a bright orange shirt and sequined black vest. It was almost like an Elvis impersonator.