This was my first experience of Yes live, although I have seen both Steve Howe and Alan White on separate occasions. I still feel very much like a novice fan despite nearly two years worth of listening to them, but then there is a fair amount of back catalogue to listen to!
I do love this venue. It has a sloping floor so even though we were a few rows from the back there was a clear view of the stage. (Ladies should take note, if you are on the sloping bit and have to stand for a gig it's hard on the feet is you go in heels. I wore flats.)
The sound was pretty full on. The bass line was underwear vibratingly strong. Occasionally the instruments seemed to overpower the vocals but this appeared to be rectified quickly much to the credit of the sound man.
Benoit David is able to hold his own vocally giving a powerful performance and gelling seemlessly with the band. After the two new band members were introduced (the afore mentioned Mr David and Oliver Wakeman, son of Rick) it was pointed out that the last time the band got two new members at once they recorded the Drama album. Two tracks from that album featured in the set list - Tempus Fugit and Machine Messiah - both of which feature among my favourite songs by the band.
I expected a competent performance and that is what we got. Contrary to a lot of comments I got about going to the gig, there was more than four songs in the set. Plenty of familiar songs were offered to an appreciative audience who listened quite attentively. Perhaps the only thing that affected this attention was as the realisation hit that there was no interval in the show, and therefore toilet breaks had to be taken during selective songs. (Steve Howe's acoustic section seemed quite popular for this, mostly as it was approximately where a break would have been.)
As with all gigs nowadays, the encore was written into the set list, and after around two hours of fine entertainment the audience spilled out into the Manchester evening.
So, I enjoyed my first time (seeing Yes), the audience was great, the band was brilliant, the venue was pleasant and the overall effect was a happy little me who smiled all the way home, clutching my tour t-shirt!
It's been a bit quiet on the music front for me. Gigwise the terrible sound at the Brian Wilson gig in Liverpool drove me to leave in the interval. I believe there was an improvement in the second half but has my brain was attempting to exit through my eye due to only hearing the lead guitar parts I wasn't prepared to take the chance. Shame as the band are very good.
Next gig distaster - I was supposed to go and see Wishbone Ash, Focus and The Strawbs last Sunday but I injured my foot and couldn't go. I passed the ticket on to a friend, so it wasn't wasted.
I do have things to wrote up for here - a review of four Nice CDs recently reissued by EMI for a start! But right now I am out of the door to go and see Cliff Richard and The Shadows at the Liverpool Arena!
This is a video heavy post. Alan White, drummer for Yes and formerly of the Plastic Ono Band appeared at Liverpool Beatle Week 2009. He appeared with Apple Jam and was interviewed on the main stage on the Sunday Convention. He also performed with Yes tribute act Fragile and got up on drums with a band called Blue Jay Way.
Tomorrow I am off to Liverpool to see Jon Anderson at The Philharmonic Hall. I loved the gig at Bilston last month and managed to get a few photos too despite being surrounded by people much taller than me .
click the thumbnails for larger shots.
The sound in the Phil will be very different to the Robin 2, but then so will the atmosphere. I am very much looking forward to it to see how different it is.
I like all kinds of music. Certainly there's stuff I don't like, in fact there's stuff that I loathe with a passion, but it's not necessarily down to the type of music.
Unlike HMV, that has me all confused where to find the CDs I want because they have split them in to that many genres I tend to categorise my music into "stuff I like" and "stuff I don't like" and usually concentrate on the former because life's too short to dwell on the latter.
So here you will find alsorts, I can make no apology for that and only hope I make sense.