THE LADDER is a better album than any since ABWH and I dug the new material very much. Billy Sherwood still looked like he had the best seat in the house instead of being an actual contributor but tracks like "Homeworld" and "Yours is no Disgrace" made up for that distraction. And to see "Perpetual Change" after the teaser on TALK was cathartic!!!! Good show, "Awaken" being the highlight -- love that confetti!!!!
It was not Steve who almost caused the train wreck in Boston during YIND, it was Chris. Steve was jammin during his solo and when it was time to end, he gave his nod as he always does and started to get back into the melody of the song. Chris was off spacing as he basicly does the same bass riff while Steve is jammin and didn't notice him do this. So as the rest of the band was following Steve, Chris was looking out in to the audience and not paying attention. Steve saw this was happening and went back in to his solo for a little longer until Chris stared paying attention. Then Steve gave his nod again to signal the end of his solo and back in to the song they went. I actually thought they handled it quite well and really didn't cause too much of a gaf.(sp?) It appeared Igorbusted Chris about it after the song and they all seemed to have a good laugh. I was happy because we got a longer solo.
Oh, I almost forgot. Near the end of the concert when Jon is thanking us for being there, etc. prior to the last song, he stated they would be back in the summer of 2000 for another tour.
YES, after a day in Boston battling fierce winds we had the privilege of seeing YES! I went with two friends whom I had to explain who YES was, but I still had a fun. The last YES show I saw was TALK, an amazing show! This one was somewhat deminished in presentation and sound, but still excellent! The audience filed in quite late, filling the theater just before the show. The highlight of the light show was projected images on the background, which was quite a disapointment, but still very tasteful. (and within budget for the band, I'm sure!)
I am still remembering a mid 80s YES show, 90125, with the round silver stage and emense light show! The band did only a couple songs from the new album The Ladder.
All in all, it was a fantastic show!
I have seen many shows at the Orpheum and it seems that it is a very difficult room to control. When it was built it wasn't really designed for "loud" amplified music. I felt sorry for people sitting in the far right and far left floor area. All they could see was a column of speakers!!! I'm sure that their ears are still ringing today.
There were some balance problems through the night. Yes, Jon Anderson's vocals were buried. His voice is not naturally strong , so when he pushes it he cracks and begins to fatigue. He looked as though he was trying to be heard but the mix just would not let him through. The keyboard mix was in and out, almost as if the sound person was not sure about the songs (maybe HIS hearing was gone).
As far as Billy Sherwood is concerned, yes, he cheated on some of the solos. He really isn't a great guitarist but his function is to fill holes. He is a side man. History will remember YES but not Billy. If I was a guitarist I would love to be on stage with YES. Look at it this way: it is a paid education.
I have been playing drums since 1975 and if Jon Anderson asked me to play triangle with YES I would jump at the chance to learn from "the Masters". The highlight of the show to me was "AWAKEN". My all time favorite album is "GOING FOR THE ONE". Even the guy that passed out drunk beside me woke up and began to stand!!! It was incredible!!!!
All in all YES could never sound bad or give a bad show. It was only the second time that I have seen them live (my friend Neil's 17th) and I will be a fan forever.
One last comment. Why can't the Orpheum be non smoking!!!! For those of you that decided to smoke a joint, get a life. Nothing worse than having a cigerette on one side and a stinky joint on the other.
First and foremost, YES continues to deliver the goods after all these years. They may not be the same back in 1977+'78 tours when I first saw them.However, it is still a treat to see a warhorse rock band playing intimate theaters. Which is why I had to see them back in '97 also at the Orpheum and again at Harborlights in '98.
Okay, enough said. My highlights were the opening tune YIND. I was sitting first row in front of Steve Howe and had a field day watching him play the guitar. The prolonged standing ovation was well deserved. Next, a new tune, Homeworld. Yes, I like it. Sounds like an old tune updated by YES. Also, The Messenger, another new tune. Could it be? Alright, a highlight from the '98 tour: Perpetual Change. Howe, once again playing guitar lines to please any YES fan.
Somewhere during the next few songs, Jon Anderson talks about walking along the Boston Common and almost being toppled over by the wind. A single voice yelled out "I can't here you!" Where upon Anderson tells to turn up the PA. Then, continues talking louder into the microphone.
I mention this because one negative about the last two tours were Anderson's vocals. They were either lost or unable to hear. Another highlight, as always: And You and I. Anderson had the crowd on it's feet dancing to Face to Face. A refreshing change of pace from the lame It Would Be a Good Day. I was never a fan of YESwest, but Hearts was excellent. I kind of tune that keeps your head bobbing in time with the song. Okay, here we go, Squire bringing out the triple necked bass guitar. It's time for Awaken. Perhaps the biggest musical highlight of them all. Anderson did mention Boston fans being use to the cold, it started snowing during the last cresendo of Awaken. Actually, strips of confetti fell on the audience, it had me rising up with my arms stretching to meet the falling matter along with to clap at the rendition of Awaken unfolding in front of me. A true musical experience since The Revealing Science of God in '97
Negatives: The many idiots talking during the quite moments.
The set closing All Good People. Again????
The encores. Come on! Be original, do something different. At this time of the game.....a big downer!
I could not hear Igor Khoroshev most of the time.
Billy Sherwood is an obsolute waste of stage space.
Oh, I forgot to mention Alan White. His drum sound didn't rattle my pant leg, like it did in '98 (way too loud, guys), but he seemed to enjoy himself, the rest of the band, and the audience.
See you in 2000, and thanks YESWorld for the front row vantage point. An excellent evening!!!!
I have a few comments about the Orpheum show in Boston. Steve seemed much more into it than I was expecting given the impression people on this list had given me. He seemed genuinely into all of his solos. His solo on It Will Be A Good Day was quite nice, and he seemed really excited about what he was doing. This redeemed the song. I really don't care for that song one bit, but now I can see why they do it live, if Steve pulls this off regularly. He was not motionless on stage. His feet may have remained planted firmly, but everything else was moving with the music, including his head. Yes, his head was moving.
I was more impressed than let down by Billy. I think it's all the negative press he's been getting lately. He did cheat a bit on some of the Rabin parts, but the mix was so bad I could barely tell. It wasn't that he wasn't loud enough. He was way too loud when he had a solo, as was Steve. It was a bit ridiculous. I couldn't hear Igor one bit during most of his solos, but Steve and Billy were so much louder than everyone else that I almost had to plug my ears when they came in.
Awaken was really well done. This was my first live Awaken. It struck me that this song is just really well put together. It's about the only Yes song that really coheres. From beginning to end (well, except for the bit at the end that should have been left off) it really seems like one piece. It seems like whoever had the main ideas for this musically (probably Steve) had an idea of what it was going to be before the others came in and played around with things. One disadvantage of the group mentality of writing is that songs become very disjoint. Most of the early Yes and Genesis material is like this, and that's why I disagree quite strongly with Goran about Kansas. Kerry Livgren's compositions in Kansas were really strong on the entire feel of a song from beginning to end. He conceived of a united song, and then he wrote it. They band would add lots of things to it, particularly in arrangement, but the composition was usually much more coherent than anything in Yes and Genesis, and for that reason I consider their material much stronger. It's just much better composition according to the standards a music professor would appreciate. Awaken is of this kind of quality, and that's why it stands out to me as Yes's best effort.
I think what people have been saying about the note-bending problem in Billy's lead guitar work is dead right. If he just played the right notes instead of trying to bend his way up to them, he'd have a much easier time, and he'd be playing the right notes. He knows how to move his hand around the neck, and he gets to the right fret at the right time. His problem is that he doesn't have the feel for bending notes. He plays guitar like a bass player, which makes sense. I noticed that much of what he was doing throughout the night was duplicating Squire's part an octave of two higher. He also seems to be creative with his guitar sounds, although I think he goes a bit overboard.
Jon was great. He hit all the notes. He didn't say much, because the crowd was rude. Alan, Jon, and Igor all seemed to me to be less than prominent in the mix of what I was paying attention to, Igor because I couldn't hear him, Alan because I noticed him more when at times like Perpetual Change when he was being highly revisionary, and Jon because he had so many effects on his voice that I couldn't hear any of the lyrics, just notes. Chris was highly visible, but it seemed like whenever he did anything interesting, someone else was doing something interesting, so my attention was divided. I think Steve and Billy were just so loud that they overshadowed everyone.
Well, that's my first thoughts. I may add some more after reflecting on it a bit more.
Never posted a review here before but thought I give a few thoughts on last night at the Orpheum.
I had plans to go with a friend and his son but they got called away on family matters. The seats were way back in the last rows anyway so since I was gong solo I was happy able to find a single seat in the third row directly in front of Steve (thanks to Brian Young).
Now I've been to the Orpheum a few times and had no trouble getting in and out of Boston on previous excursions. However this time I got twisted up terrible and had to call my wife in Maine on my cell phone and have her direct me in with her map (who says women can't read a map). Anyway- got to the theater just in time.
The show started at 7:50. They played the full set list as has been reported here of late. Jon was apparently well over the flu as he was in strong voice and fine spirits all evening long. His wife Jane was 2 rows in front of me directly in front of hubby. Now tell me that don't get old. She disappeared by the last song.
I was surprised to see how the Direct TV concert correlated with the concert video presentation. There were images projected on the back wall at times during the show, i.e. archive footage of the band during the Firebird, the Homeward spaceship during that song (much less distracting than on TV), and during Owner - the rare footage of Steve playing Ram! The metal looking Yes logo went up and out of sight when they showed video. Whenever it came down again I had to admit I had a Spinal Tap Stonehendge memory that gave me a grin.
Being right in front of Steve was a real treat. Deadpan as usual, he was in top form all night long. On virtually every song Steve steals the show. (You would think that would make him happy!) Being right in front of him I could hear his guitar amps very clearly and while that made for a less than balanced mix it was great to hear him as he was hearing himself. As a proud owner of the new Martin 0018SH Edition, it was a real kick for me when he played his own copy during YIND and Homeworld.
Jon, Chris and Igor had the most fun, playing with crowd and hamming it up. Unfortunately Igor still seams lost in the mix at times. Perhaps it was where I was sitting. The 4 piece "Cinema band" was lots of fun, one of the highlights of the night, although the volume was so loud I thought I would lose my balance!
The best moment for me had to be the confetti at the Awaken crescendo. I didn't see any signs of "confetti dispensing equipment" whatever that might look like, so I was totally surprised when it happened.
Since I had seen the Direct TV broadcast a few times I was not as hyped over seeing this show (my 19th since 1974) but it turned out to be a great night.