I recall this being an enjoyable show. Though I was looking forward to watching Tony Levin in this lineup, Jeff Berlin did a great job subbing. He read charts for several of the tunes but, surprisingly, played "Close to the Edge" from memory! Kudos to Bruford who was definitely having a great night.
Mitchell S. Gorman
I arrived early for the Sept. 5 show at the Pacific Amphitheatre. Jon had just finished up a radio interview, and came over to the main gate to sign a few autographs and chat a bit (no, don't bother offering money, I didn't get one! :^). His voice sounded suspicious to me in conversation, and, sure enough, he was not nearly as "on" as I have seen and heard him be in the past. He looked as though he was having a bit of trouble with some of "Order Of The Universe", and other songs as well. Overall, I was happy to see the show, not to mention the fact that everyone there seemed to appreciate all of the music (the whole audience seemed to be familiar with all the music, something I haven't seen on the last three Yes tours).
Unfortunately, there were some things that bothered me... I didn't hear too many of the characteristic Howe riffs that he used to throw in on various songs. It seems that they were really serious about performing the album versions of older material exactly (or nearly) as recorded. I rather enjoyed the stuff Steve and Rick can do that is completely improv (as an example, those of you who can :^) should listen to the version of Starship Trooper from the 1978 Wembley concert tape), and felt like I had missed out on something when it wasn't there this time around. Oh, well, maybe next tour: Jon did say in that radio interview that they had started writing, and will be recording next spring, material for a new album.
Incidentally, the MC for the show mentioned that it was being recorded and rebroadcast. Anyone in SoCal know when that show will be played on the air?
One other thing... ...and it's a multiple-guess question: Who WAS that playing bass?? a) Tony Levin with a wig b) Tony Levin who no longer shaves his head c) some unannounced fill-in bassist because Tony was ill
It sure LOOKED like Tony, but where did all that thick black hair come from????
It was a Friday and my friend Marlena said "you want to go see YES." She said it was members from Yes and I knew immediately what she was talking about. I had heard 'big dream' on the radio but hadn't got the CD yet. I met her after work and thought we would at least get lawn view tix upon arrival. Imagine my surprize at the box office when I jokingly said "give me the best seats you've got". He offfered me 3rd row center!!!!!!!!! Amazed that we cut through Friday rush hour traffic to even get there, we got those miracle tickets.
It can happen!!! Further more there was Jon at the front gate walking around before the show. We called him over and he was super nice to all signing autographs and smiling the whole time. It was perfect weather as the sunset on came Jon for an acoustic beginning to a stunning show!!! I learned later that Jeff Berlin was playing bass. The music did not suffer one note believe me I'm a bassist and am watching/listening close to those parts. Not knowing the new music was no problem at this show thanks to the great players on the stage. Wakeman was pretending to be playing golf all night just having fun. The whole event was just that...FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!