Sunday, July 14, 2013
San Diego, California
Humphrey's Concerts by the Bay
9 years, 8 months and 12 days ago
Saturday, August 17, 2013 6:37 PM
Personally I found the show at Humphries to be the best I've seen since 2004, although I concede I went in with very diminished expectations, having been extremely saddened & disappointed with the San Diego show couple years back when Frampton opened. I'd pretty much written them off after that one as a band that just doesn't know when to call it a day, and I felt I'd seen them for the last time. However, the setlist, combined with some good reviews that they were playing well & things were gelling onstage, made me consider going again--- this btw was my 75th show, since 1974. And I have to say I'm glad I went, no major complaints, although I question the wisdom of opening with CttE. Since the Symphonic tour it's been played wayyyyy too slow, dirge-like even, and I really think an opening number should really kick ass, tempo wise. The rest of the night the tempos were fine, very close to the album versions, and I think they did justice to all 3 albums, nice prep, well rehearsed & tight, all things they've been criticised for in the past so kudos to them for "fixing" those issues. One thing-- Steve played well, but he didn't *look* well, at all, to me. Largely static with very little of the physical moves & little kicks & things he likes to do, I don't think he smiled once & he just looked very unwell, hope I'm wrong. But again, his playing was fine. Biggest surprise of the night was Davison, apparently, having talked to some people who'd attended other shows, he's often somewhat low in the mix, but not this show, his voice cut through loud and clear and was a good bit stronger vocally than I'd thought, having listened to innumerable online clips. The weak link of the entire band though is Downes. He just doesn't seem to *play* an awful lot, seemed every time I glanced his way he was just sort of standing there, milling about. Hands on keys Geoff, hands on keys. Listen to the albums closer, there's usually stuff going on there lol. But I like the guy & have spent a good amount of time talking to him (and, like the rest of the Yesmen, he's extremely hard of hearing lol, no surprises there) & think he's a talented writer with some interesting sounds, even if he's not the most virtuosic keysman that's occupied the podium through the years.
Smile of the night: Davison gets Downes through the complex tricky bits near the end of Perpetual Change by standing close to Geoff & playing the "melody" on a cowbell so Downes knows where he is. Watch a clip & tell me that's not exactly what's going on! :)
So, all in all a very enjoyable evening listening to some of my favorite music played by a group of musicians that can still deliver the goods, even at this late stage in the game. I'm proud of them, they won back my respect Sunday night, & *earned* my support. Onwards & upwards, now let's get a strong new studio album in the can, you've looked backwards again, and it was justified this tour, now it's time to forward, like you used to.
Nice job guys.