It was a rainy Friday morning as we left for Louisville with a truckload of dreams and expectations. My last real chance to see Yes in concert was 7/6/76 in Huntsville, Ala. I was a fan of 13 back then and I was just beginning to get Turned On! to many cool things in this world, courtesy of my older brother. I had in the previous few months been introduced to quite a few things, one of which was the music of Yes. The first few times I ever got high I heard Yes. Fragile was a big thing in the group of folks I hung out with. At the time I had been to only a few concerts, the biggest of which was Kiss(hey I was only 13, OK). Unfortunately, my mom wasn't as excited about me going to this concert as I was, and for reasons I can't remember now , she didn't let me go. So began the waiting.
Fast forward 21 years to Louisville, Ky., The Palace Theatre, November 21, 1997. THIS WAS THE SHIT MAN!!!! THIS WAS THE SHIT!!! The set list was the same and I for one was extremely grateful. I was in awe! I loved every minute of the show. It was one great moment after another. I HOPE THEY TOUR AGAIN REAL SOON! The show was all and more than I could have asked for. Seeing as Close To The Edge is my favorite I was totally blown away by SK & AYAI. All the songs were played with the proper spirit and skill. Igor did very good IMO. Let us not forget that that is the proverbial hotseat in this band. No, he isn't Rick, stop whining and live in the present with the rest of us. I'm happy they were able to find someone to do as good a job as Igor, did. He only got 2 or 3 weeks of rehearsal with the band for Rick's sake, before the tour began. He's on stage with a group of musicians he has idolized. It must be a very humbling position he is in. Good job Igor! The rest of the guys were all their usual selves, GREAT! Jon sang as only Jon can and that was all that could be expected of him.Thank you Jon. Steve just smoked all night long. He is, and will always be, THE Yes guitarist. Thank you Steve. Chris was the rumble and thunder. He shook me to the core. I loved it. Thank you Chris. Alan was great although he seemed a little tired. Thank you Alan. Billy was pretty much the non-entity as previous reviews have stated.
The stage set was tasteful and complimented the music rather than distracting from the true purpose of the show. The Palace is a wonderful place to see a show and I am so happy I was able to see Yes there. I had seen one other show at this venue and was thrilled when I found out the tour would bring the band to this place. If you get the chance to see a show here, go.
After the show we went behind the theatre where about 30 or so people were gathered awaiting the exit of the band from the building. We got separated from the other couple who were with us and I went back around to the front of the place to try and find them. No such luck. So I went back around the building and we ended up getting Steve, Chris and Igors autographs. It was the perfect end to a euphoric experience. Catch this show! CATCH THIS SHOW! I waited a long time to see Yes and they were great and magical. I hope I don't have to wait 21 years to see them again. THANK YOU YES!!!
My wife Ruth and I drove up to the show from Montgomery Alabama so we could hear the concert for her birthday. What a great show! After the concert we went back down Fourth street to the Seelbach Hotel where we were staying. I kind of thought that the band might be staying there because I thought that I'd seen Alan earlier in the afternoon. There were a bunch of autograph seekers milling around in the lobby as we went into the downstairs lounge. There was a decent jazz band playing and we were basking in the afterglow of the eve when in walks Jon, then Igor, and then Chris. They were all really nice. We told them how much we had enjoyed the show and everything. I went up to Igor while he was sitting with some buds at the bar and talked to him for a couple seconds telling him how great I thought he'd done. I was pretty surprised at how well he spoke english. (I know awfully ethno-centric of me eh?) Chris was sitting off with a lady at a side table. She seemed a little agitated so I didn't want to bother them. My wife Ruth went up a bit later to talk to Jon and she got a hug and a kiss on the cheek. She was thrilled. It was the perfect end to a wonderful birthday for her.
This is a most enjoyable concert, though far from flawless, it gives one a sense of things that remain important to us after all these years, and that be fine music!
Additional comments from me and my two older brothers who raised me, the little bro, (on Close to the Edge) and decided to have a reunion from the 1978 days....we thought America was a peculiar tune to play live, and quite frankly, we all thought it fell rather flat. I don't care to hear a cover version of a Paul Simon song when I can hear another Yes tune. Yours Is No Disgrace would have made a very good concert a great one. I also believe the crowd would have gone bonkers if Close To the Edge were performed in lieu of The Revealing Science Of God...both are 20 minute songs, but "Close" highlights all the strengths of Yes, it is their definitive song, with many stages and rhythms, and is timeless.
It is not my aim to rate tours versus past performance. Unfortunately, reading reviews in this column led me to believe that I might see something better than the Tormato tour or the 90125 tour. My opinion is that this did not occur. Those two tours had much stronger new material mixed with the golden oldies. For those who saw Yes in 1978 play On the Silent Wings of Freedom and Arriving UFO in Louisville's Freedom Hall, you know what I'm talking about. There is alot to be said of the driving force of 90125's cream of the crop tunes as well. It Can Happen To You or Changes or Leave It all would have received a heightened reaction from this rowdy Friday night crowd, moreso that Rhythm Of Love. How about Final Eyes or Shoot High, Aim Low?....these are the things that run through my mind.....not that I favor any particular Yes line-up....I just say play a songlist that will blow them AWAY....and those two aforementioned tours did exactly that....you don't need Wakeman or Rabin in order to do that....and I agree that rotating five or six songs in and out of successive nights keeps each show fresh and unique.
Next time I will just go out and listen to the show as they present it, without expectations from reading reviews in advance....it can lead to disappointment.
I just saw YES at the Louisville Palace Theatre in Louisville, Ky on 11-21-97. The Palace holds about 2000 people and it is a very elegant decor. It looks a little bit like the Syria Mosque in Pitt. Pa. but had been newly remodeled with millions of dollars.
Now onto YES!
After reviewing this site, it seems that the set lists have been the same for everyshow. Maybe, that is reason for cancelled dates. It would be nice if YES would alter setlists at least every two show, I'm sure, it would help sales. I sat in the balcony; after listening to the DAT, I must say the sound was excellent and rather loud. They start a little timid, but then like the good muscians they are, they find their niche in the venues accoustics. Igor was fine in the mix, the only thing I thought could be better were White's hi-hat's and other cymabals could have been louder, however, I was in the balcony center. Highlights, Siberian Khatru, definately, America, Soon, Starship Trooper, the end jam of Owner.. Lonely Heart. And you and I, Heart of the Sunrise, Long distance... out of the fish!! Disappointments: No, yours is no disgrace, close to the edge, (yeah, I know it's long, but let's let the next generation have a chance to see it, in it's entireity).
As a muscian myself, I can usally tell if a band is playing above or below it's par, providing I'm somewhat familiar with their music. I saw all band members, communincating well with cues, energietic, and generally democratic with their solos. ( on the songs as well as features of ) I've never seen Steve Howe play before so I'll say I was blown away, he kinda sounds like the jazz guitar legend Jim Hall trying to play progessive "rock" music. I thought steve's emotional quality was great, as well as: note selection on solos, and his musical phrasing is incredible. Despite, what people say about Steve being past his mark, we must remember that "real" muscians change with age, they might not play as fast, but they choose the better notes. Chris Squire always plays great, flawless and clean, great vocals and very enegetic, and sometimes acts weird on stage, but I kinda like it. Jon Anderson is great, good vioce mix, however, I don't know if he uses a in ear monitor system but this might be Jon's answer to ocassional flat pitch. I'm just nit-pickin' a little, he'salways great and full of light. Alan White great player, good mix and is exceptional covering the Bill Bruford stuff. The only thing I could do without, and would be neat if they did it, if he used a huge bass drum with a mallet on seen all good people instead of the midi trigger, it certainly would be more dramatic. Igor, the new key board player, sounds great, I loved his Piano Solo, full of influences to have been from the USSR. Keep it up, Igor, it sounds great. And for the producer, the other guitar player, he sounded good, especially on the cover of Rabin's solo on Owner ... Heart, I really think they should drop that song, it kind of a embarassment for this YES line-up especially Howe. C'mon, he had to take the abridged solo to re-deem himself. I thought the concert lighting was good, especially the ol' 70's mirror ball effect on a coulple of songs, espcially starship trooper.
I thought the band played above par; I saw many smiles on the bands faces from the balcony. Although, I think the ambiance of the Palace Theatre, entices a good perfomance from many bands. It's trurely, some thing to see, a work of art; Anderson, comments many times about the decor of the theatre.
I have seen YES on the Big Generator Tour out of high school and I thought this tour was overall better because I think this lineup is a little more definative and honest to the YES sound. I really missed howe during the 80's and I'm sorry, but it ain't YES with out Squire. However, I really enjoyed the Rabin line-up in the 80's, that was hot seeing all that. Can't wait to hear the "Open Your Eyes" release. I hope YES will come back to Louis
The show is Yes, the place is the Palace, it's Friday night, and you can tell the 2,500-plus crowd is over 40 only by the hair. As art rock's premiere institution takes the stage for a solid three-hour trip down Mushroom Lane, the fortysomething faithful degenerate into unruly teen-agers.
You can count on one hand the bands that started in the '60s that are still making new music today, and Yes is one of them. The music is stable; the membership is not, and the band's guiding light through the '80s -- guitarist Trevor Rabin -- is two years departed. Vocalist Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe and drummer Alan White compose the band's core now. Which of the band's many musical faces will we see?
From the opening notes of "Siberian Khatru," however, there's a vitality that takes the crowd to its feet. But will the band linger there? Will the Napoleonic Anderson excise the pop-friendly, danceable legacy of Rabin, which he resisted incessantly at the time?
The answer comes immediately, as the band launches into "Rhythm of Love," easily the most meaningless track Yes ever did, though newcomer Billy Sherwood is well showcased on guitar. Back-handed compliment or a subtle trivialization? Shame on Anderson. We'd rather have heard the punchy "Leave It" or the haunting, lovely "Final Eyes."
Paul Simon's "America," "Heart of the Sunrise" and "And You and I" manage to inspire and excite this increasingly youthful crowd.
Steve Howe is breathtaking in an acoustic guitar solo spot that brings the crowd to a standing ovation in the middle of the solo. Sideman Igor Khoroshev on keyboards acquits himself well in the shadow of the recently departed Rick Wakeman.
Chris Squire has never failed to mesmerize in his solo moments. Tonight, however, he hits an all-time high, coaxing sounds and textures and energy from his instrument like nothing we've ever heard. He does it with showmanship that no MTV band could match.
And suddenly we realize that Anderson hasn't erased the Rabin years; the ferocious energy and presence Squire and White cultivated during that phase of the band's history are sweeping this crowd into teen spirit, and combining the best of the music and the youthful, primal heart with which its Middle Earth ruminations and cosmic meanderings have finally reconciled.
This is a band to embrace, and the crowd does so with deep affection.