We hit the jackpot !!!
In short: Gates: YES. Magnification: YES. !!
After three minutes into "In The Presence Of" I was certain: Ron, Steve's Guitar Technician was preparing Steve's guitars and was pulling out the electrical one used for "Gates". The were going to play Gates. Yes Yes! "We must have waited all our lives for this". By than I knew this would be the best concert I ever attended and YES it came out so. So, I, and the whole Audience was very happy. Also the band was rrrreally into it, if I may believe my American friend Scott, they are fans of Amsterdam (now how come that?) so we got a great night.
But let's start at the beginning, as a story should be told in the right way. (now from which album is the previous sentence :} )
After Dusseldorf we teamed up for the Amsterdam show in the new Heineken Halle. You can see at the venue why it is called that way, because it's all Heineken outside :}. I was very very nervous, with ticketstuff and such and when coming in we saw security was very tight. It's known that bringing stuff there is pretty dangerous but my friend, who records all shows, managed anyway. There were some people from the Dutch fanclub having a neat gathering, so we looked a bit at that. The venue is GOOD. AS said before it's new and it's allready famous for the neat acoustics. We were sitting 6th row, in front of Chris, well "Can you Imagine" !
To start with CTTE is such a pleasure I think. After a few minutes you forget about everything (this time I made sure my car was secured, lights were off, triple checked) and you can get floating. The orchestra is fantastic, don't you all think! Not to present all the time, but with some great additions. They must stay! The orchestra is the same now for all shows which really shows. Most of them are girls (i don't mind that at all) and they are all "Rocking The Orchestra". Many of them sing along with all and are doing air-drumming. (Glenn, you know what I mean :} ).
CTTE is such an experience, that allready pays up for the tickets! Tom Brislin's solo was not as good as in Dusseldorf, but still very, very good. You'll have to hear for yourself to believe it. After CTTE they went straight into LDR (with the Symphonic intermezzo pre attached). I don't think that one works so well, especially missing "The Fish" (but time for Chris would come later :} ). All seemed to be enjoying themselves especially Jon. He didn't like the Dutch weather (rain), but did see whole of Amsterdam. (He probably didn't go to the Rijksmuseum than ?). Tension was building when getting into Don't Go. THat song is NICE to hear live and it's good to see Jon dancing and waving. (He does have some nice tricks to get the attention from his personnel to put up his monitore volume :} ). The prestuff to "In The Presence Of" was very funny, with some mention from Jon to Amsterdam, the Canals and Ajax !! He also tried Manchester United, tjee Jon!! He Ruud van Nistelrooy comes from the same town as I!!
After Ron getting the correct guitar I was really getting excited!! Could enjoy all the way of "In The Presence OF" that song really comes out great live.
Some little hesitations afterwards, but then it was clear, they would play Gates. I couldn't resist yelling the year of 1974 when Jon asked for it, and he was actually please with that !! Contact :} So than it happens. I have many recordings of it, but live - it's a different story. OK I can go out whaling about every fragment, but I think you all know what I am talking about... The great introduction (and with a fine orchestra) and then the middle section. Wow what a musicians and what goosebumps. Tom is doing great here, love his playing. I think he's in another legau than Igor! Yes, the battlesection was amazing but more to come... Soon! (a little confession from me here: I didn't see the 1984 show in Rotterdam where he allready did it. But with a band and orchestra it's incomparable) Finally, finally, I hear Soon live. Brrrrr, what should I write... It was just perfect. It was as good as I hoped and you might know I had high expectations.
The audience was pretty shocked with it! Many people I heard before were coming for this and the applause was enormous. Standing ovations, etc.
After this I knew it was partytime for me - nothing could make this show fail from being my best Yesshow ever. and the guys didn't dissapoint me in any way.
Next was Steve's soloset. It is amazing he can just go on playing for a full audience after just having played the most beautiful and technical difficult music that exists. But he did it!. Note that he made a few mistakes compared to Dusseldorf so I think "Gates" does have some effect on this. Nevermind Steve, it still was great. Same two tunes as the day before - Corkscrew and "In the course of the day" so I think he want those two to be recorded tonight. (Speaking on this, tonight the DVD recording should take place, and did you note the complete different set compared to the House Of Blues or Keys To Ascention !) Still while the orchestra were drinking their coffee, the band went into Starship Trooper. Jon told us he got stuck in the elevator! ST, well two-part stort as usual... The first part went a bit by for me, still shaking from the Gates, but Wurm is so nice this tour. Chris is getting completely out of his band with great basstones filling all of the venue. What a show, what fun. It's too bad Tom doesn't try to play the Wakeman parts a la Wembley 1978, but it's still very good. So again a great rendition of this. Next was Magnification!! Well, at that time I was not surprised they'd be playing it after hearing all the rumours for having Mag recorded tomorrow for the American release of it, but still: It was the Jackpot !! Both Gates AND Mag for the first time. The performance was a bit muddy I think. I think it's a great track especially the first part, but the ending is a bit off, I think. But hey, I am not complaining :} The songs from Mag have all this extra touch with the Orchestra having their seperate parts which make them adventurous (the same holds for the album).
After that AYAI. This song is sooo great live. I normally skip it when playing it at home because it lasts too long, but live, man, you know it will be a highlight and that's great. Yesterday was no exception, they all like to play that, you can see it from their faces. Goosebums again, offcourse.
In Dusseldorf, before Ritual Jon joked around but yesterday they allmost went straight into it. And we were sitting before Chris!! Ritual is going so great live, but we knew that since 1976. Still it wasn't played overhere since the Tales tour and never in the long version. It's a great show stopper, but also the music is so fantastic. There were a couple of mistakes, but they all cleaned them up nicely. The dynamics in this one are soo great, and I am not only talking about The drumsolo and Basssolo. What to think of this great beginning and ending with Steve prominent. Mjam, mjam, almost crying.. (ok, not almost ;} ). O I REALLY love the drumpart where the orchestra does the crescendo which Rick and Patrick used to play (Tom is busy playing drums). FANTASTIC. After Ritual the drums of Jon fell down and it was funny to see how he tried to get them up by himself - To no effect though, the roadies had to help. :}
I was completely smashed with this show, how on earth do they pull it together. Three Long ones, new songs and also ST and AYAI. Tjee you guys overthere in America must have some great times last year as well. And who knows what to come...Tonight - o well, It's all in the Bonus section after last night. YES, I THANK YOU !!
Ahhhh, I almost forgot, they did some more songs :} Well for me, The People I love to hear as the closer of the show, just get into your chair and relax. But the crowd was getting MAD!!! Everyone was moving to the front rows clapping and doing things. It was one wild party, much differnt than the night before. It was ok with me, I just got into my chair and ok, I got up for the All Good People section. Yes were really pleased with the fanatism of the audience, you could see it from there faces. The encore...Steve Played Roundabout and Chris played Owner of a lonely heart !!!!!! OK, only for ten seconds and than they stopped. Chris acted as if being mad (maybe he was) and we though he might leave the stage but he only gripped for another Bass. (oops, could have spoiled it a bit if he had left!). So they did Roundabout - fine with me :} Still like the song, but not too much hassle on that.
After the show we went for another Beer and we were all, again, impressed by another Yes adventure. The verdict. Best show I ever saw, no doubt on that at all. I loved the 77, 97 shows, got bored at 91, but this one is Magnificent.