Had a fantastic time at this concert with lots of friends flying in for it (Anne Corris from Australia, Geoff Dunn from Napier and family from Christchurch and Northland plus many others). Our 15x seats in row B centre were perfect and the ASB theatre certainly has the best sound in Auckland. The evening started with a Yesfanz preshow dinner at the Mexican cafe where a large group of us shared stories of earlier Yes shows and travels before we relocated to the venue to get merch and watch the support act "Mice on Stilts".
They did a very cool, atmospheric set which was very well appreciated. Anticipation built as Young person guide...., accompanied by the photo montage, led into CTTE. Unlike the recent NA tour they played this in its natural running order so we got to see them open with ctte as they did when I saw them twice on the Masterworks tour.
Many highlights for me included the huge roar of appreciation from the crowd (approx 1300) at the end of ctte, multiple standing ovations, the two new songs from H&E, siberian khatru, LDR, Can and Brahms, Heart of the sunrise. Mood for a day, 5% for nothing and We have heaven.
The band were in great form and the sound, as mentioned earlier, fantastic (thanks Dean). Only real glitch was Howe's slide not working for the first slide solo in AYAI but when it kicked in for the second the crowds cheers drew a wry smile from Mr Howe. The evening was capped off by getting backstage passes for myself and 24 others to meet the band (thanks Paul Silveira) where all of the band happily chatted with fans, signed precious Yes memorabelia and were extremely gracious with their time before the evening came to an end.
As if all this wasn't enough, I'd managed to get invited to the bands rehearsal the day before where I spent lots of time chatting to Jon and his lovely wife Mumu, helping to pack in the gear with the crew, helping Paul S get lunch for everyone and watching the band run through the next evenings set. The most memorable moment was when they decided to run through 5% and they nailed it ... to an atom... and everyone rolled around laughing incredulously.