Wow, Iím so glad to see a number of great reviews for this show. It was my only chance to see the musicians of Yes, with the exception of the 90215 tour. As a drummer and huge fan of Bill Bruford and King Crimson of the Bruford and Tony Levin era, I felt fortunate to catch the show. It has stuck in my memory for over 30 years vividly as these guys totally delivered the goods. (As opposed to the 90215 tour, which was more poppy reflecting that album).
One thing I wanted to mention. They did play ďIíve Seen all Good PeopleĒ at the end of the first set, I have that drilled into my mind, as I was ecstatic at how well they nailed it, and the high emotional effect it had in the audience.
I've been to several Yes shows, and this was the best by far. I was an eyewitness to history...the last show ever performed by the best Yes lineup ever. When Steve started to strum his guitar in the middle of the third hour, we knew we were in for something special...the "Sweet Dreams" Jon sang were the beautiful memories of an incredible night of music...not just rock music, but incredible classical guitar...wizardry from Wakeman's "Catherine Parr", impeccable rhythms from a master percussionist.
To the last reviewer, who felt so strongly that he posted several versions of his same comments...you truly missed the unique feelings of the concert. Thunderous ovations lasting several minutes between songs left the Yesmen drained and exhilirated.
How do I know this was one of the best Yes shows...ever? That night was with three great friends, but one of them being Tom Brislin, already a virtuoso by the time he reached high school. The inspiration he felt from that evening brought him to the mainstage of...you guessed it, YES...filling in as complimentary keyboardist to the myriad symphonies on the Magnification tour. His knowledge and understanding of the music would blow all of yours away, and he felt the same way about the MSG show.
When I listen to the live show, you get some of those same feelings. On the anniversary of perhaps the best Yes show ever...all hail the greatest band and the greatest era of Progressive Rock...ABWH!
This show was average. It really had no power. And for pete's sake why couldn't they do the best song on the album "Fist Of Fire" They never played it. You couldn't hear the pedel steel on And You and I. It was all orchestrated. Bland versions of the greatest songs!!! Also how this tour is #1 on the FORGOTTEN YESTERDAYS POLL IS BEYOND ME!!!!!! NO WAY.
With all due respect to the others that posted reviews on this show, it seemed like they mailed this one in.
If I remember correctly this show featured one of the worst train wrecks I have ever witnessed at a Yes concert. During the middle part of Starship Trooper (the part where Steve Howe plays acoustic guitar on the studio version) it seemed like the band lost one another and (if I remember correctly) I detected a look of terror on the faces of some of the band members (if anybody else saw this show and has a different take on it, please post it). I would go further as to say that there were other points in the show where it seemed like the band couldn't hear one another and there were other glitches.
I would agree with one of the other reviews and say that the highlight of the show was the Bruford/Levin duet.
David B Halm
This was the first highlight. Wakeman was simply incredible all night long. From what I could tell his opening solo consisted of the following:
Madrigal (from Yes' _Tormato_), with some development on the main theme, possibly incorporating some of his new age stuff. Stand-By (from his solo album _Rhapsodies_), the lightning-fast riff at the beginning of the song, with some development. return to the Madrigal section. Merlin the Magician (from his solo album _Myths and Legends..._), the wild and crazy middle section with the psuedo-Dixieland flavor. What an ending!
I believe this solo was even a bit different from the one he did the last time around. (C'mon Steve, would you get the hint!)
The first set closed with the most moving performance of "Close to the Edge" I've heard. The mix at this concert was much better than last summer, and you could hear each part clearly. I didn't have to strain to make out the guitar and keyboard solos. The "I Get Up, I Get Down" section was especially moving, with the grandiose church organ and synth solo. Absolutely amazing!
"Heart of the Sunrise" was also one of the best songs of the night; the band came together perfectly. Every note was right on, the energy level was at its peak. The encores were again "Roundabout" (without the middle section, but you didn't really miss it once Rick kicked in with the organ solo) and Starship Trooper (featuring Anderson, the Cosmological Warrior, waving his battle flag of peace during Wurm). The crowd's response was overwhelming. After a lengthy ovation, the band finally left the stage, but the crowd did not give up. This was the last show of the tour, and we wanted something special to end the evening.
And sure enough, after a few moments, Jon, Bill, Rick, and Steve came back on stage for one last encore. Bill stood in front of his drum set and began to play the "tuned box" that he used for "Sheltering Sky". Jon was shaking a maraca, Rick was playing some soft accompaniment chords, and Steve brought out this funny blue guitar (it was cut off at the top of the neck) and threw in a few notes here and there. Whatever they were playing it was not yet recognizable, but it had a laid-back, Carribean flavor to it. Then Jon began the lyrics:
"Sweet Dreams can solve the future Sweet Dreams provide the past..."
Those who recognized the song were ecstatic. (It was "Sweet Dreams", from the second Yes album _Time and a Word_.) I was hoping they would do something a bit different from the usual "hits", and this was it. It was a wonderful arrangement of the song. A bit slower than the album version, with a slightly different vocal melody, and without the middle section. It was essentially a two-chord pattern repeated with instrumental fills from the guitar between each stanza. It was a perfect ending to a wonderful music-making experience.
Let's hope they start work on another album soon, so we can have another tour before too long.
I've seen all Good People was not played at this show, Roundabout was played in edited form.
At MSG, the backdrop was simply a flat curtain. Above the stage was an assembly composed of four cloth triangles on chains. The chains were drawn up and down, making the triangles sometimes form pyramids, and other times look like a bird in flight. Neon line drawings were projected on the triangles.
The best show of the tour was definitely Madison Square Garden. Maybe it was because it was the last stop in the country, or maybe it was simply because I camped out overnight on the streets of New York to get good tickets (what an experience!) But they did a much better performance than any other show I've seen or heard.
I especially loved the Bill Bruford/Tony Levin duet. King Crimson appeared before me for a few minutes that night.
During one part, Jon noticed a young girl (about 5 years old) sitting in the front row and invited her on stage to say "Hi" to the audience. I can just imagine what the parents must have thought!
Another unusual thing: they closed the show with "Sweet Dreams", which surprised everybody in the audience. I don't think any other stops of the tour did that.