What a fantastic concert at the Armadillo. I had come up to Scotland the night before (as I was living down south at the time) in order to catch a nearby home game for my football team, Dumbarton – we lost 3-0 to Alloa – and then to travel on to Glasgow for the highlight of the weekend. I spotted a couple of travelling Yes friends, including Krista Wallhagen, before the show.
The gig itself was energetic and tight, Jon Anderson’s senior moment of lyric-misplacing in the midst of ‘The Revealing Science of God’ aside. The set list nodded in several directions. The real substance was the classic material, including staples from Fragile and the Yes Album, ‘Siberian Khatru’ and ‘And You and I’ (from Close to the Edge) and the first side of Tales from Topographic Oceans, which was the real highlight . It transported me away to another musical realm. Then there was a hint of the ‘80s, with ‘Rhythm of Love’ and the almost obligatory ‘Owner’, plus a few choices from the recent albums, Keys to Ascension and Open Your Eyes.
It was a lengthy, well-balanced selection, laced with solos all round (perhaps a little too much in that department) and some fine individual and group playing. The sound mix was great from my front stalls seat. After the gig I spotted the iconic Scottish jazz guitarist Martin Taylor, who has been collaborating with Steve Howe. I had a brief word with him. It was the first time he had seen Yes, and he enjoyed it, he told me. I think he was a little surprised to have been recognized at a rock gig, but I explained that I was very much a jazzer. A memorable evening all round.
Yes were fabulous, absolutely fabulous, one of the greatest concerts I've ever seen by anyone.....and I've seen the Church and the Fall!
In Glasgow 98, Jon forgot the words to "The Revealing Science of God" - the band played on through his flub, and cued him back in on "what happened to this song we once knew so well" - Classic!!
I had been waiting since 1979 for this concert and I was not disappointed in any way. I wondered at the end just how many times Chris, Jon and Steve have played tracks like Roundabout because they looked like they were playing it almost like a new track, full of enthusiasm, Chris particularly loving every minute of it when one could have expected them to be jaded by now. Best of all they really look like they are a real working, touring, recording band now.
As every one has noticed Jon did forget the words in the Revealing Science of God at the 'Called out..' bit but he looked over to Chris, who laughed, kept playing and mouthed the words at him and for me this was, oddly enough, the most moving part of the whole show. Please make Igor a full member now, his keyboards properly forward in the mix as they were, are as good as any keyboard player yes have had. Only one quibble:Chris please stop playing the harmonica on AYAI.
The Armadillo - Clyde Auditorium to give it it's correct title - is a structure which could have been designed by Roger Dean himself. It is also accoustically superb, having been designed specifically as an concert hall. It was therefore a joy and a privilege to be able to see a "Classic" Yes lineup playing classic old songs like Revealing Science of God, And You And I, Heart of the Sunrise, America, and Long Distance Runaround in such a wonderfull venue.
The audience was very receptive and captivated, and gave the band massive long standing ovations after And You and I and Revealing Science of God in particular. The band seemed really happy, relaxed and inspired by the reaction and their playing was absolutely wonderful.
Jon was in wonderful voice, seeming particularly relaxed and happy. He did miss his cue into one of the vocal sections of RSoG, but the band picked it up effortlessly and gave us an extra bar or two to let Jon back in. Jon was joking with the crowd about the Apollo having changed a lot, and the heavy snow we had that day. He also gave an extended into to And You and I, talking about Eddie Offord and his magic tea.
Igor Khoroshev is a very worthy replacement for Rick - he seems to be injecting a little bit of his own accent into some things - I liked his staccato organ stuff in America - while really holding up his end in everything else. He was also going bananas during Roundabout, manically playing percussion and keyboards at the same time !
As for Steve, Chris and Alan, well they were simply incredible, words fail me !
Billy seems to be adding to the richness of the vocals, but I couldn't really hear what he was adding with the Guitar apart from Owner of a Lonely Heart, and during Chris's solo.
Overall it was a wonderful, memorable performance. My particular highlights were And You and I and RSoG. RSoG was worth the ticket price alone. Can't wait for Edinburgh.
YES including, 'The Keeper of the Flame' returned to Scotland for the first time since 1980 and to the relatively new Glasgow venue - otherwise known as the 'Armadillo Theatre'. I won't go over the set list again and this is not so much a review of the fantastic show which has been told before, but a series of observations and thoughts.
We set off from sunny Aberdeen about an hour later than planned around 1 pm on Saturday. Really put the boot down and arrived in Glasgow in a snow storm some 150 miles later and just after 3 pm. We checked into the Marriott Hotel and met up with friends from Dundee and Dunfermline in the bar - where else!. I decided on a 'strategy' of no drink, especially no beer, so I could last through the show without going to the toilet. This went fairly well until about 5:30 pm when the tension was too much to bear and I started on the pints (!). After something to eat we set of for the theatre and arrived in 3 taxis around 7:15 pm. The sign said YES would be onstage at 8:00 pm, so plenty of time to go to one of the many bars. The kind people showed us to a bar with virtually no queue and we got wired in as they say in these parts. The 'strategy' now in tatters. We made our way to our excellent seats, 4th row stalls, bang in the middle at 8:00 pm. We introduced ourselves to Brian and Krista who were in the row in front of us. I think it was about 10 or 15 minutes later and the strains of the Firebird Suite started and the band took the stage to a great roar from the crowd. With the stage still in darkness Chris comes right to the front and raises what seems to be a large glass of water (!) in salute and we go absolutely nuts. (Neil told me later that he saw Chris getting out of a taxi at 7:55 pm!).
The band launch into Siberian Khatru and we're in heaven. Jon mentions that the 'Apollo' has changed a bit - (for those of you who don't know. This was THE classic rock venue for many bands). As Jon is speaking my friend and I are wondering if he's a bit hoarse or is it the acoustics?. This was a theme we discussed after the show. We felt the sound could have been a bit louder and Jon's vocals especially seemed to go over our heads (sound - NOT the meaning). Did we get that impression because we were that close to the stage?. Was that the mixing desk at the side of the stage and if so why??. Anyway it's a minor point.
The highlights were many but here's a few:-
HotS - epic with Chris Squire's intro just superb.
RoL - a great version and the band were really rocking.
AYAI - magic, what a song, what a band. Alan you are indeed the 'Thunder God'.
The Solos - Very, very good. Steve was great, sorry Steve couldn't wait any longer, I ran to the toilet and back - honest. Chris was simply awesome. Igor's slot was excellent although brief - only Jon on stage at this point and sitting on Alan's drum riser just listening and watching a young guy come of age and playing with his heros. Alan - well what can I say, he just put everything into it and kicked ass. As he stood up to take the great applause, Jon says, 'Alan White - SUCH A QUIET CHAP'. Ha ha nice one Jon.
tRSoG - Fantastic, everyone just playing out of their skins (well, except Billy). Igor - THE MAN. As the band take the standing ovation - Jon and Alan are almost doubled up in laughter, still cracked up about Jon's earlier flub mentioned by other reviewers.
ISAGP - Sing-a-long a YES. Nice lights.
Encores - Roundabout's just great, once again Chris is different class - what a bass sound. Igor's going nuts on this one and having a ball.
Starship Trooper rounds it all off. My mate, who is a guitarist, says Billy's solo is a nightmare. I wasn't watching.
Well that's it for now - roll on Edinburgh in April. Before I sign off, for any of you non-Scots that were at the show and couldn't figure out the terms of endearment shouted out by the (unusually well behaved) Glaswegians,
Yes moved from Newcastle to a new theatre in Glasgow, the Clyde Auditorium, which looks like a huge armadillo sat on the banks of the River Clyde. Very impressive with great viewing inside. Jon's welcome to the show commented that the Apollo had changed a lot since his last visit to Glasgow. Having seen Yes at Newcastle I now realise that they only had about half their light and stage show and tonight at Glasgow we were give the full monty which certainly added to the event.
Yes seem a very happy band at the moment eagerly feeding off the energy and warmth of the audience, and this inspires them to, in my opinion, some of their best performances ever - and I have seen them many times. In terms of contrast to Newcastle I think they played slightly better at Newcastle, but this is really marginal, Steve seemed slightly less fired up tonight. Igor, however, continues to shine and he was further up on the mix tonight and I was full able to appreciate what a fine keyboard player he is. Speaking to some people after the audience all agreed he is now the way forward for Yes.
The set list was the same except that Corkscrew replaced Classical Gas. Steve's introduction to Clap was great, delivered in Old Music Hall style...."and now (chord) especially for you (chord) tonight in Glasgow (chord) live Clap" and straight into the piece. The audience went wild. He also made reference to returning to Scotland in April at Edinburgh and received a muted response, he then realised that there is a long rivalry between Edinburgh and Glasgow and backtracked quickly, in almost a Basil Fawlty style, saying that he was only pointing out that Yes were playing more than one show in Scotland.
Jon made a rare glitch in RSoG when he failed to make the microphone in time for the first proper vocal section. We were treated to an additional, short, instrumental section before Jon came in correctly. However, when he then sang "whatever happened to this song we once knew so well" he realised the irony of the words and nearly lost it and giggles appeared to be on the verge of breaking out all over the stage.
Overall then another great performance. Tracks of the night - all the usual suspects are on display, SK, AY&I, RsoG, ST... but special mention goes to Rhythm of Love - this track is really growing into something special. I now have 6 weeks to wait for Edinburgh and wonder if the set will change at all. Meantime its Genesis tonight in Glasgow again. They have a lot to follow.