Ruud Ermers:

The firebird intro started exactly at 20.15 and immediately got us going into another world. The end, which was played along by the band members blew off our head and Siberian Khatru started. Having seen them three times before (including 1977) it was a greay joy to see them at such short distance. I had read quite a lot of reviews of the foregoing concerts but had my doubts... These were completely washed away by SK which was played with enormous enthousiasm. All the members were enjoying it equally! We heard the first notes played by Igor an then allready knew that he's a great player. Personally, I would love them play just Relayer and TFTO complete so my enthousiasm was tempered when they played Rhythm of Love and America afterwards. I thought I like the latter song but didn't like it this time. So my first impressions were tempered as well as the overal audience. To make things worse, Open your Eyes was played. Now I know that some of you like this song and album, but I don't. Personally, I think OYE is the worst album they ever produced. The shock, in that manner, was even bigger, since I think the studio tracks from KtA2 are the best they ever did in 20 years! I think the crowd didn't like it that much either, there was a kind applause. Then they played And you and I. This was amazing! It really sounded great with enormous depths. Steve's play was great as well as Igor's. The crowd and myself went wild! Now this is quite amazing for me to write this, because I knew the setlist and thought: Why have they play And You and I and HotS and SB and I've seen... and so on. Now I know! With such great power these songs are perfect and the crowd enjoyed it really. (In contrast with Rhythm of love and America). So I think Yes allways has to make a balance between songs everyone wants to hear and the real Yes-die-Hards-who-only-want-them-to-play-TFTO-and-Relayer-completely. OK, further we went with Heart of the sunrise. All members could show that they are masters on their instruments, in this song, ofcourse it was Chris, who did the headlining. He is Great! I am still having a bit of trouble with him doing the WestCoast Yes era, but he's definitely back! Maybe still a bit overweighted, but hey, did you see me lately! On the other hand he (but also the others) must have a great condition, playing every night with such inspiration. Anyway, HotS was breathtaking. After this, it was time for some relaxation. (Btw. they didn't do a pause) Steve Howe came up and played 4 songs. I've seen him do this about five times before and most of the time I think it's a bit a waste of time. But this time was different! He played Mood for a day flawlessly and really enjoyed himself afterwards playing two unknown things (countrylike, I think they're on his soloalbums but I must admit I don't know these to well, especially the acoustic tracks). The crowd, and Steve, really enjoyed it. He finished off with Clap (Oops not The Clap) and again, man is he enjoying himself (and us!) After that, Jon joined to perform 'From the balcony'. Now I don't know what you think of that but I think this is Yes unworthy. It sounds like the stuff Jon did with Vangelis on Page of life. I can write such a tune as well. Anyway, we weren't bothered by that because the performance was quite nice and Jon... well, he's Jon! The bandmembers returned and they went on to play Wondrous stories. When I read in the reviews that they replaced Children of light by Wondrous Stories I was disappointed. The disappointed comes from the fact that I like both tracks very much! Furthermore I was afraid whether Igor could catch the tone set by Rick Wakeman. Well, my hesitation quickly went away when they played! Wow, what a great moment. It reminded me of the 1977 concert and Igor played great. After that the time had come for Igor's solo. First let me tell you that he's a great keyboardplayer. He played all parts on all tracks much better than Rick Wakeman does on KtA. Furthermore, he really used the great moogsounds, not the mellow stuff RW did. So, you must be a great player to even try this in Yesmusic, because every error you'll hear. To compare him with anyone is quite difficult. Let's just say he played the keyboardsparts as they were played on the original albums and that he came close. I really did NOT miss RW. I didn't know what to expect from his keyboardsolo (In my heart I was hoping for the Hallelujah chorus, but OK I admit, this is silly) but he only played a short solo on the piano which was technically really enjoyable but not interesting musically. I think you could compare it a bit with PMs solo in '75 (that's NOT the solo he played in '76 which included other keyboards) The solo's spot ended with Long distance Runaround followed by Fish/WhiteFish/Ritual outtake /Tempus fugit. This was great! I think Yes has a great live sound which could really be heard by the playing of Chris Squire. The lowest note (is that an E?) on his bass really hit the building. He pulled out a great show with Alan White, which he does every night, but it was with such enjoyment that everyone went crazy. One minor point here is, why does Alan White start a tape with Ritual when doing his drumsolo? I know this lightens up things but he's such a great player, he should do it without. Maybe Jon and Chris then could join on percussion (No, I am not going to mention the cowbell act of Igor, yet!). The crowd at this point was really wild and were heaving a tremendous evening enjoying the best Yes live set ever. Maybe you missed some comments on Billy Sherwood up till now. Well, there's really not much to say! Allthough he might be a nice guy, here is what I think of it: I think it's a pity that he joined Yes since now we have another Trevor-Rabin-Like guitar player and composer. Don't get me wrong: I think Trevor Rabin was the worst thing that ever happened to Yes. On Billy live: He is really only there for two things: Taking over the high vocals from Chris and playing the Trevor Rabin stuff on The Rhythm of Love and Owner of a lonely heart. I don't like his voice that much (when singing with Jon, allthough on the World Trade's albums he does a good job) and playing the Trevor Rabin tracks:: Well guys, please skip these... Come talking of it, they did play Owner of a lonely heart. I heard some guys for whom this (and RoL) were the only two tracks the knew! My god, how do they survive on this planet. Well, there eyes will be opened by now. (Oh that's why it's called the OYE tour!) Ofcourse everyone knew Owner and everyone sang along. I think most of the crowd thought it was just a little joke, Yes playing themselves from another era. For me it was a good moment to begin to sit on the top of my chair, waiting for things to come... When they started RsoG I really got the shivers for the so manyeth time this evening. They played it again with so much enthousiasm and power that it really hit your heart. I could never have hoped that they would ever perform this track before my eyes. Since TFTO is my favourite album of all times and all groups and RsoG is my favourite track you'll know what I'm talking about! The mystic from the song and album was there just as it has always been. The lightshow which was not too big, but very enjoyable gave the last magic touch needed. The performance was intense and Jon was at his best. This is a good moment to say some things on Jon. He really surprises over and over again. What to think of the Yes reunions but also his solo albums like Earth Mother Earth. Also, a short time ago I acquired his Chagall demotape which again amazed me. His voice is better than ever and he really seemed to enjoy himself. He is completely off this planet but with such charisma, he is so enjoyable to look at. Anyway RsoG was performed great and we were heading for the last few minutes from the track where Igor has to play the highlight-solo. I was very disappointed with Rick's performance on KtA so I was prepared... Igor played it great! He really hit the right keys at the right moment and even had time to play more notes in between. Then they played the last verses and well..This was so full of motion, I can't repeat!! Then the song was over and I fell back in my chair. This was the finest performance of a song ever! I knew from the setlist that they'd be playing I've seen all good people next. Now I hate that song. But after RsoG what else is there to play! I really liked the way they played Your Move, quite a relaxation after this heavy epos. And OK, let the guys enjoy themselves with All good People.After that, the show was over. Ofcourse they came back to play Roundabout and Starship Trooper as encores. The cowbell act by Igor is allready famous but I will repeat it here. He really hits that bell so hard I'd be happy I wasn't born a cowbell! In the meantime he playes the organ (well, synth.) as well! And if he's doing nothing on the eyboards he really pulls off a show with that bell! As long as you haven't seen it you'll just say, 'So what'. But afterwards you know better! Starship Trooper I found a disappointment becausae Wurm wasn't played as in RW days. Igor just played Organ Sounds and only in the ending he played synth. By that time Steve and also Billy were playing solo's so that ended in a little mess. The crowd didn't mind and I didn't either. It was a great feast ending the best Yes concert I have ever seen. So this was it. We left, and all had enjoyed it so much. Fortunately they're back next month! (Allthough I'm doubting a bit since they can never beat this performance. On the other hand, even if it's half as good as this concert, it's something I don't want to miss.