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Yes Concert Review: 4/2/11

Here is another addition to my series of Yes music posts.  I started this series here and you can read the others here.

I saw the progressive rock band Yes play at the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey on April 2, 2011 during their Rites of Spring Tour.  You can read more about this show here.

The line-up Yes fielded at this show was:

The set Yes played was (the album from which the song comes in parenthesis):

Recollections:

This tour took place immediately after the conclusion of the In the Present Tour.  This show was my fifth of five times seeing this lineup live.  I reviewed the show immediately prior to this one here.

This was another Atlantic City casino show and I lodge the same complaints about this one as previous ones: the show was short and the audience was annoying, drunk, and composed of too many random (non-Yes-fan) gamblers from the casino.

This show was very awkward for the band in some ways.  They were finishing their then latest album Fly From Here which came out a few months later but that album was done largely with Geoff Downes on keyboards who was soon to replace Oliver Wakeman.  So, basically, Wakeman was performing on this tour knowing he was no longer a band member (though the formal announcement had not yet been made to the fans), having been let go rather suddenly and ignominiously (as historically seems to be Yes’ way of doing things), and was simply performing out of contractual obligation.  Steve Howe descried this tour as a “mop up” tour, which had a negative impact on the fan base.  Indeed, this tour was peculiar, possibly superfluous, as it came immediately off the heels of the In the Present Tour (which concluded three months prior) and concluded not two months before the start of the Fly From Here Tour.  It seemed to be a strange sort of tour randomly and needless wedged into some free time the band had to play it.  This all suggests that perhaps they had some contractual obligation to Wakeman to go on tour to finish his contract with the band; I just do not know.

This tour has a different name than the In the Present Tour, though it does not have any substantive difference from it.  As this was a “mop up” tour, the set list was not really any different than the sets played over the last couple of years.  I saw four shows from the In the Present Tour and the set list got quite tiresome, boring, and laborious a this point.  I just don’t know why they did not shake things up by this point, except that they were just “mopping up.”  The only highlight for me in the set list was “Parallels,” which was the first time I ever heard that song (I had the bad luck to have seen shows over the prior three years when they dropped it for some reason).  It was great to hear, especially as the opener!  I also do not want to sound like an ingrate.  Even though “Tempus Fugit” and “Machine Messiah” had been a part of the set list for three years at this point, they are still extremely rare as, before 2008, they had not been played since 1980.  I was also disappointed to hear Howe and Squire play solos at this show.  The show was so short I just did not think solo spots were a good use of their time.

As if the above complaints were not enough, as I stated in my review of the show previous to this one (linked above), the band was clearly in decline by this point.  The music was slow, David’s voice was weak and clearly suffering fatigue and wear and tear, Wakeman’s playing was boring, and the band seemed tired from over-touring.  At this point, although I knew they had a new album coming out soon and was hoping that they would show themselves as still creative on it, this live unit was clearly showing signs of weakness, age, and wear and tear.  Even their stage presentation was just a large screen.  I sort of wrote off the previous show as a bad night, after this show I started to worry that the end was near.  This is definitely a show I could have skipped.

The above seems rather gloomy, and probably deservedly so, but as a Yes fan I have to say that despite the reduced tempos and increasingly off-key singing by David, the band still played well as always, I always love their music, and I always feel fortunate to see them live.

Photographs: Enjoy the photographs I took at the show posted below!

0402112203 0402112206 0402112206a 0402112210 0615102258 0615102258b 0615102258c 0615102258d 0615102259 0615102259a 0615102300 0615102302 0615102302a 0615102302b 0615102302c 0615102303 0615102319 635286306_2270945989_0 635286412_2270946374_0 635286576_2270946901_0 635286703_2270947429_0 635287073_2270948773_0  mms95picture

 

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6 thoughts on “Yes Concert Review: 4/2/11

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