Ruud Ermers:

Last Tuesday I went to see Yes for the third time this tour, now Antwerpen, Belgium. I will spent one more paragraph on Lichtenvoorde and after that I'll shut up: I think it's a shame I have to go to Belgium to see Yes again. They should have at least done one show in the beautiful Heineken Hall where they were in 2001, I think they would have been amazed by the enthousiasm of the real fans in Holland. Instead of that we only got a jolly feast at Willow's farm at the end of the world. Anyway, the venue was a very small theater (about 2000 seats) but everything was very much in style. You can leave it to our lower neighbours to make nice venues like this one. The show started a bit late so I had a good chance to look around. My seat, first row at Wakeman didn't seem to be as good as expected, I was sitting a bit aside, more on that later. The set before the pause had a lot of energy and, again, everyone was enjoying it very much. That is, the band and the audience. Something really went wrong in the middle of Turn Of The Century, but you may not believe it, but I loved it very much! They were searching for clues from each other, everyone tried, there was a fantastic symphonic sound going on, but alas they failed to find each other before the well known clue. Magical after all, especially when Jon did his part! They DID look pretty embarrased though. No need to ! The first set of this tour (well, after "People") I think is very good, very balanced between rock, ethereal, atmosphere, just plain fantastic. Wakeman had big trouble at YIND and since I was sitting at two metres I could see he was VERY angry. (Tried to relax him but he didn't notice me :} ) After the break (I later heard it was 1-0 for the Germans against Holland at the European soccer event) they did the fantastic acoustic set, which BTW was a copy of Dusseldorfs' (including Wakeman's Tokyo joke :} ) Highlight here was Wonderous Stories, boy these boys can play! Let's forget Rhythm of Love (quick!), and go the magic of AYAI - great as allways, but this time, there was MORE! In the second set, Wakeman's Monitor was adjusted and I got to hear all of what he normally hears. In Dusseldorf we wondered ourselves sometimes what Wakey is doing in Yes, as his tasks are not as great compared to his solo performances, but boY I now know why. Rick's completely in trance during playing, singing along, but especially he's doing wonderful things on his keyboards. He, maestro at the mix, maybe you should consider putting him much louder, the carpets he lays are extremely wonderful. I don't think he plays the same any night, in fact he's improvising a lot I think. The highlight on this was Ritual. This was the first time with Wakeman since 74 (I didn't see them then ) and boy, what he's doing on this is just plain great. Loved every note of it. It in fact became a fantastic ritual, with chants, drums, timpani's. Alan even had 6 bowls around him in which you can cook a meal or a warrior from another tribe! (:}) Anyway, it was fantastic, especially what Rick adds in this. And of course Jon. Finishing Ritual together with Steve is such a great piece. I thought by myself "why don't they do the Ancient next time" and on a.m.y. I saw equal thoughts. I am sure Rick would love to do it, so guys, maybe the second U.S. leg? Ok, time to finish off the show with Trooper. Heard it too many times to get thrilled by this until, he wait a minute, I was sitting fronrow.. and everyone got on his feet, so I stould against the stage and boy, Rick again was great! Could see his full soloing on the Moog and hear it, including the low notes in my stomach. That's another cup a tea, I think! not as good as Wembley 78 but close (ok I was biased by the fantastic sound) After that it was quickly over, the Dutch fortunately scored against Germany, we had a bear, bought a tourbook (what, all silver pressed moneymakers??? Can't figure this out, a shame) and that was another tour for me. Yes were back very soon this time, I remember I bought tickets during last tour, still they managed to put on a very different atmosphere from last time (and in fact, much, much better). The Roger Dean set I think is a great addition, from where I was standing it looked like the cover of Yesshows this time! Thanks, Yes for two great nights!