Wednesday, August 19, 2015
St. Charles, Missouri
The Family Arena
7 years, 7 months and 5 days ago
Wednesday, October 12, 2016 3:03 PM
Review for: Yes, Family Arena, Aug 19
Lineup - Overall was impressed. Yes' Ship of Theseus style of piecing together a lineup was largely a success, with one exception I'll address later. The lead singer actually made me forget about Jon Anderson for a while. He was nails. The new bass player is actually a former Yes guitarist in a previous incarnation. He nailed the Squire sound and while not the same, he really handled the low-end well. Steve Howe was, as usual, a god on guitar. Alan White sounds like he's lost a step on drums but was solid. Which leaves Geoff Downes on keyboards, who was kind of a disappointment. Solos were mediocre, certain parts were missing, just not very inspiring. Was expecting more considering he was good when I saw them in 2011.
The setlist was really well put together. 90 minutes of music filled by 11 songs, no true 'epics' but they did a good job of picking some of the more expansive pieces like Siberian Khatru (love that bassline). Good mix of the old and the new(er), too, including their cover of Paul Simon's 'America' and Tempus Fugit, an underrated gem from their 1980 Drama album.
Highlights: Steve's guitar solo. He can still rattle off the fast counterpoint on 'Clap'. The new lead vocalist filled out the high harmonies on 'I've Seen All Good People' which I always missed when I saw them play with Jon Anderson. They didn't play anything from Fragile or the Yes Album until the second half of the set, instead focusing on the lesser known tunes.
Interesting moment - The band came back out to play an encore (Starship Trooper) and the guitar tech (who was tearing down gear) gave Steve his electric back, but did not roll back out the mounted acoustic that he uses on some songs. About 2 bars before the middle section of Starship Trooper, he realizes he doesn't have the acoustic guitar (which he plays in the middle section), so he starts making hilarious gestures and finally gets the tech's attention. Tech goes "oh shit!" and rolls the acoustic out just in time for Steve to switch to it before the bridge vocals begin. I bet Steve kneecapped that tech when the show was over.
Verdict - Not as good as when I saw them in '02 or '08, but considering the circumstances AND the short notice in which Sherwood got up to speed on bass, It's forgivable. Besides, seeing them one more time was worth not getting to sleep till 12:30. 7.5/10