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Archive for the month “October, 2016”

3rd Circuit Holds Catholic Healthcare Retirement Plan Is Not Exempt From ERISA

This is from religionclause.blogspot.com which you can find here:

“In a decision that could have major financial implications for religiously affiliated hospitals and healthcare systems, the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday gave the first appellate level victory to employees who, in a series of cases, are claiming that various healthcare system retirement plans do not qualify for the “church plan” exemption from ERISA.  In Kaplan v. St. Peters Healthcare System, (3d Cir., Dec. 29, 2015), the court read the definitional provisions in the statute literally and held that to qualify as a “church plan,” the retirement plan, while it may be “maintained” by the religiously-affiliated healthcare system whose employees are covered, must have been “established” by a church or convention or association of churches.  Since St. Peters’ plan was created by the healthcare system, and not by the Catholic diocese, it does not qualify.  In so holding, the court refused to give deference to IRS determination that St. Peters’ and plans like it are “church plans.”  Without the exemption, the plan is subject to the fiduciary and funding requirements of ERISA.  As of 2014, St. Peters Healthcare retirement plan was underfunded by $30 million. Pensions & Investments reports on the decision.”

You can learn more about this issue here.

The United Shapes of Arithmetic: Shot or Stabbed

Nathan Rudolph, my friend and fellow parishioner at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, has started a comic strip which I have greatly enjoyed and appreciated.  With his permission, I will repost them here after he posts them.  I think my readers will appreciate them as much as I do as they are rather insightful with a snarky edge.  Enjoy!

Here are the links to the previously posted strips:

Here is the latest strip:

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Yessource: The Yes Album Sessions

Here are my latest uploads to YesSource, my Yes rarities youtube page (about which you can read here).  This post is another addition to my series of Yes music posts.  I started this series here and a collection of all my Yes-related posts is here.  Yes, of course, is a, if not the, premier progressive rock band, and I am an enormous fan of it.

You can see all of my Yessource uploads here.

My latest YesSource uploads can be found here:

Yessource: Yes Live in Scandinavia 1/24&25/71 – including a jam with Iron Butterfly!

Here are my latest uploads to YesSource, my Yes rarities youtube page (about which you can read here).  This post is another addition to my series of Yes music posts.  I started this series here and a collection of all my Yes-related posts is here.  Yes, of course, is a, if not the, premier progressive rock band, and I am an enormous fan of it.

You can see all of my Yessource uploads here.

My latest YesSource uploads can be found here:

Yesstats Update: Post 10/16/16 show

This post is the part of my Yes concert series of posts.  I started this series here and you can read the others here.

I saw the progressive rock band Yes (technically ARW) play at the Keswick Theater in Glenside, PA on October 16, 2016 during the their ARW Tour – An Evening of Yes Music and More.  I posted a review of this show here.

As I tend to be a pedantic, borderline OCD, person, I like to statistically keep track of various aspects of the Yes shows I have seen over years.  I posted various catalogs of things regarding these shows to this blog, and after each subsequent concert I update all those posts.

The following posts have all been updated in light of the above-mentioned October 16, 2016 show:

If you keep track of these sorts of things, please share your stats in the comments section!


Trump and Hillary, models of fallen human nature

Every now and again I come across a fantastic article the warrants posting here; I recently came across one Aleteia which, I thought, was pretty insightful.  Be edified.


Their go-to responses to wrongdoing is deflection and dissimulation rather than repentance

Like many of you I was upset, though unsurprised, by the recently released tape in which Donald Trump brags about sexually assaulting women. However, what scandalized me more was to see how many Christians jumped to defend and downplay Trump’s behavior.

When I expressed dismay on social media about Donald Trump’s behavior, I was accused of being a Hillary supporter and of being indifferent to the pro-life cause. One man called me a “turncoat,” and another person told me I was a “fake nun.” I was told that I needed an exorcism and one man assured me that I would be responsible for Christians being thrown into gulags. And this reaction was tame compared to the response others received.

When Christians look away from any form of evil rather than prophetically calling human nature to a higher ideal we water down the Gospel message. This becomes all the more important in this election because we have two candidates whose behavior often exemplifies precisely what Christians are called to reject. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are mirrors of our own sin and just how far our fallen nature, our culture, and our country can fall. (Please note, I am not presuming to judge our presidential candidates’ moral state before God, who alone knows our conscience, but simply assessing their objective actions).

In the beginning, Adam blamed both Eve and God when he ate the forbidden fruit: “The woman whom you put here with me—she gave me fruit from the tree” (3:12).

Eve similarly protested: “The snake tricked me, so I ate it” (3:13).

Both our presidential candidates have proven that their go-to response to wrongdoing is deflection and dissimulation rather than repentance. However, Trump and Clinton’s behavior often goes beyond the rationalizations of Adam and Eve and straight to the deliberate deception of the serpent. Hillary Clinton lies in a deliberate way when it seems politically convenient (the email debacle involved lie after calculated lie). Donald Trump’s denials, on the other hand, seem more frequent and instinctual rather than logical. He denies obvious, provable facts on national television without blinking an eye. And his “apologies” inevitably end with excuses and deflections.

When God heard Adam and Eve’s excuses and saw their lack of repentance, he expelled them from the Garden of Eden.

God cautioned Eve of the effects of original sin, “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you” (3:16).

Donald Trump’s life exemplifies this domination, abuse of power, and objectification of women that God warned Eve would happen. Trump has left his wives not once but twice. He’s boasted about his adulterous affairs. He has made multiple comments sexualizing underage girls, including his own daughter. And throughout his entire campaign, when the stakes are highest, Trump seems unable to avoid ridiculing, bullying, and making sexist comments about women. Donald Trump’s ongoing behavior concretely illustrates the way some fallen men treat women.

In the same way, Hillary Clinton exemplifies the fallen woman in her rejection of the feminine genius. As Hillary herself admits, she comes across as cold rather than warm and empathetic. This, no doubt, is related to her attempt to make it in a man’s world. But walling oneself off comes at a cost to both feminine authenticity and one’s moral worldview. Her turning away from the feminine genius further expresses itself in her unreserved support for abortion (a convenient solution for men who live a lifestyle similar to Donald Trump). Hillary also denigrates the feminine vocation to motherhood (which is not just biological) when she argues that babies can be aborted up to minutes before they are delivered. And she excuses fallen masculinity when she lauds the women who accuse Donald Trump of sexual assault while attacking the women who accused her husband.

When Adam and Eve sinned for the first time, their behavior immediately became selfish because their lives ceased to be centered on God.

Hillary and Trump typify behavior that seems centered on the wrong things, especially when it comes to money and power. For example, both run “charity” foundations that seem to do little more than serve their own respective interests. Trump has used his foundation to bribe public officials and to buy a huge 6-foot tall portrait of himself. In fact, Trump did not give a penny of his own money away through the foundation over a five-year period. Likewise, when Hillary was Secretary of State, Bill Clinton’s speaking fees doubled and in some cases tripled, causing many to suspect quid pro quo. Of the 154 people who met with Hillary when she was Secretary of State, at least 85 donated to the Clinton Foundation. It is against the law for foreigners to donate to political campaigns in the United States, yet Hillary accepted foreign donations for the Clinton Foundation from multiple foreign countries, including Saudi Arabia.  Just as troubling, are the leaked emails from the Clinton campaign mocking Catholics.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s questionable behavior and ethics is painfully evident. They both should have been unequivocally rejected as presidential candidates. Tragically, our country is so divided that we cannot unite behind even this obvious fact. Instead, people continue to cling to candidates who represent a ghost of their worldviews. Some people excuse or ignore their preferred candidate’s serious faults, and selectively become enraged when the other candidate does wrong.

But Christians are called to another kind of behavior. We are called to step outside of political situations and to view them within the trajectory of salvation history. We are called to be prophets, to name evil when we see it, and not just when it is the evil of the party opposite to the one we endorse. Unfortunately, like Adam and Eve, many of us instead defend and deflect for our respective candidate. We are fallen human beings and it is easy to lose hope in the radical message of the Gospel. We forget that human nature is called to something more through the power of Christ’s death and resurrection. We have lowered the bar so low only a snake can slither through.

When this election is over, no matter who becomes president, we will enter an era of great difficulty for our country. My hope is that Christians will spend more time praying for our new president’s conversion than criticizing him or her. And I hope we will have learned the following lessons: We will never find salvation in a political party and we should be apologists and uncritical cheerleaders for no one but Jesus Christ.

By Sister Theresa Aletheia Noble and originally published on October 18, 2016 and can be seen here.

Yessource: Yes Live – the beginning of the Steve Howe era

Here are my latest uploads to YesSource, my Yes rarities youtube page (about which you can read here).  This post is another addition to my series of Yes music posts.  I started this series here and a collection of all my Yes-related posts is here.  Yes, of course, is a, if not the, premier progressive rock band, and I am an enormous fan of it.

You can see all of my Yessource uploads here.

My latest YesSource uploads can be found here:

Federal Courts Interpret Federal Law Even in State Court

In the matter of James v. City of Boise, Idaho (136 S.Ct. 685 (2016)), the Supreme Court of the United States has clarified for all state courts, including Pennsylvania, who/what has the ultimate authority, and indeed the jurisdiction, to interpret and apply federal law.


The Plaintiff in the James matter filed a claim under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 against the city of Boise and some of its police officers after she was bitten by one of their police dogs while they were responding to a burglary call.


Plaintiff brought suit in her local state trial court.  Plaintiff was unsuccessful at trial which led to her appealing the matter all the way to Idaho’s Supreme Court.  The Idaho Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of Plaintiff’s case and awarded the Defendants appellate attorneys’ fees.  Plaintiff again appealed, this time to the Supreme Court of the United States.


Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, the court may elect to award reasonable attorneys’ fees to a prevailing party in a civil rights law suit.  The United States Supreme Court, in the matter of Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5 (1980), interpreted 42 U.S.C. Section 1988 to allow attorneys’ fees to be assessed only if the underlying action was frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation.


When deciding the James case, the Idaho Supreme Court decided, unilaterally, that it was not bound by United States Supreme Court’s interpretation of 42 U.S.C. Section 1988 as enunciated in the Hughes matter.  The logic employed by the Idaho Supreme Court led it to conclude that while the United States Supreme Court can determine how federal courts can assess attorneys’ fees, it has no authority to do so for state courts such as the Idaho Supreme Court.  As a result, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled that it, and/or its lower courts, could assess attorneys’ fees without a prior determination of whether the underlying matter was frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation.


Upon review of the Idaho Supreme Court, the United States Supreme Court, in no uncertain terms, reversed the Idaho Supreme Court, indicating that federal statutes are definitively interpreted by federal courts, with the Supreme Court, of course, being the ultimate authoritative federal court, and those interpretations, must be respected by state courts.


In support of its decision, the United States Supreme Court went back to 1816 in citing Justice Story in Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee, 1 Wheat. 304, 348 when he ruled “the laws, the treaties, and the constitution of the United State would be different in different states, and might, perhaps, never have precisely the same construction, obligation, or efficacy, in any two states.  The public mischiefs that would attend such a state of things would be truly deplorable.”


In short, the Idaho courts, or the courts of any state including those in Pennsylvania, are bound by the United States Supreme Court’s interpretation of federal law regardless of whether the underlying matter is a state case or in state court.

Originally published in The Legal Intelligencer Blog on April 7, 2016 and can be seen here.

The United Shapes of Arithmetic: 1000 Words

Nathan Rudolph, my friend and fellow parishioner at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, has started a comic strip which I have greatly enjoyed and appreciated.  With his permission, I will repost them here after he posts them.  I think my readers will appreciate them as much as I do as they are rather insightful with a snarky edge.  Enjoy!

Here are the links to the previously posted strips:

Here is the latest strip:

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Yesshow (ARW) Review (with pictures): 10/16/16 (Glenside, PA)

This post is the part of my Yes concert series of posts.  I started this series here and you can read the others here.

I saw the progressive rock band Yes (technically ARW) play a show at the at the Keswick Theater in Glenside, PA on October 16, 2016 during the their ARW Tour.  You can read more about this show here.

The line-up Yes(ARW) fielded that show was:

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

  • Intro
  • Cinema (90125)
  • Perpetual Change (The Yes Album)
  • Keyboard ditty
  • Hold On (90125)
  • I’ve Seen All Good People (The Yes Album)
  • Drum solo
  • Lift Me Up (Union)
  • And You And I (Close to the Edge)
  • Rhythm Of Love (Big Generator)
  • Heart Of The Sunrise (Fragile)
  • Long Distance Runaround (Fragile)
  • The Fish (Fragile)
  • The Meeting (ABWH)
  • Awaken (Going for the One)
  • Make It Easy
  • Owner Of A Lonely Heart (90125)
  • ENCORE: Roundabout  (Fragile)

About the band:

This concert was my twenty-third Yesshow, though technically it was an ARW show.  While the official Yes exists and is touring (see here), former Yes members Anderson, Rabin, and Wakeman decided to form a band and tour in order to do homage to their common heritage as members of Yes.  Anderson is, of course, a Yes founder and main song writer, while Wakeman is their most important keyboard player, and Rabin was their prime mover during their 1980s resurgence.  Wakeman recruited his friend Pomeroy while Rabin netted his friend Molina to flesh out the band.  While technically (i.e.: legally) not Yes, the band’s tour is being advertised as “An Evening of Yes Music and More” and in interviews the band seems to view themselves as the next phase of Yes or at least a Yes-band even if they cannot legally use the name.  A similar phenomenon happened in 1989 with ABWH and that band seems to have been folded into official Yes history.  So, I will treat ARW as Yes for the purpose of my review and concert statistics.  The official Yes has a lineup which has been greatly watered down and I have written a piece on whether it, philosophically/spiritually/ontologically (not legally) speaking, can really, legitimately, and in good faith claim the name Yes (see here).  Once I collect my thoughts on the subject, I will write a similar piece on ARW in the near future; I will not comment on the subject in this review as this post is really about the show itself.


As a Yes fan, I have to say that this show was something I never thought I would ever see: the return of Trevor Rabin into the Yes fold (after a 22 year absence) from his lucrative film scoring career and, not just that, but his return would also be accompanied by Rick Wakeman’s return as well (from an 11 year absence).  To top it off, Jon Anderson, who has not been in Yes since about 2006, returned as well.  So, needless to say, this show was a great nostalgia trip and a fulfillment of a fan’s dream.

Anderson, who has been struggling with health problems for several years (which caused him to be unable to sing with Yes for a few years), seems to have largely overcome them.  Granted, his singing is, at times, a little quieter (or less powerful), and sometimes the songs have been put into a different key, but it was still strong and on key.  It was wonderful to hear the original voice of Yes singing his own songs again!  I will say, though, he did play it safe.  He did not shoot for the dynamic high notes or take a more exciting or aggressive tone with his voice.  He kept his voice clear, deliberate, and, therefore, on key and consistent through the show.

Rick Wakeman was, for me, the man to see.  I have not seen him since his last tour with Yes in 2004 (see here).  For all his health problems and seemingly being, at times, down and out, he seems ageless when he performs.  His playing is, I think, as good as it’s ever been, and his showmanship is always great to see.  He is an exciting and dynamic player and he keeps his stage performance at a high level.  As usual, he had an enormous keyboard rig, including a keytar, his famous cape, a mini-moog, and his signature lightening fast fingers.  He always seems to add something new to his performance repertoire.  This time around, his new element (new to me at least) is to play his keyboards from behind them.  During “Owner of a Lonely Heart” he walked around with his keytar and, instead of going back behind his keyboard rig, he simply reached over the back of the keyboard and played it from behind.  Amazing stuff!

Trevor Rabin finds himself back into the Yes fold for the first time since 1994.  Rabin and Wakeman never played on a Yes album together, but they did tour together in 1991-92 during the Union Tour.  They each really respected each other and enjoyed playing with each other and expressed a desire to do it again.  Unfortunately, it took nearly twenty-five years to make it happen, but, hey, better late than never!  Aside from a performance here and there, Rabin has not played live since he left Yes in 1994.  Although I was excited to see Rabin’s return to Yes, and see him reunite with Wakeman, his years away from live performance was readily apparent.   His singing was warbley at times and his playing lacked the excitement and pyrotechnics he used to exhibit during his prior tenure with Yes.  He used to a showman, walking the stage and playing to the audience, but, now, that aspect of his performance was gone.  His stage performance was reserved, perhaps even conservative, as he seemed to be concentrating on his playing as opposed to his stage presence.  I do hope this is all due to some rust and getting reacclimated to live performance instead of a decline in his musicianship; only time will tell.  I have to admit, also, that I am not a Rabin fan.  Although, as a Yes fan, and a fan of its history, I was excited to see Rabin back, my preferred guitar player for Yes has always been, and remains, Steve Howe.  Rabin’s style has always tended toward a sort of one dimensional generic 1980’s shredder sort of playing (with a vague John McLaughlin edge).  His playing always seems to tend toward screaming Stratocaster sounds, with a lot of notes and a lack of diversity in sounds, tones, and instrumentation.  As a result, just as he did in his last tenure with Yes, he continues to reinterpret Steve Howe’s guitar parts by flatting them out, eliminating the subtly and stylistic variety and tonal variety and instrumental variety (replacing acoustics, twelve string, steel guitars, etc with a single electric guitar) Steve Howe brought to the music, and replacing all of that with his trademark faux-Van Halen playing.  In this way, he has not changed one iota.

The band was fleshed out with a drummer and a bass player (noted above).  Unlike Yes – or a true five piece band – these two musicians were clearly support musicians.  They, more or less, stayed out of the spotlight and were there to support the main three – the ARW.  The drummer played a low sort of drum set that looked like a jazz drum set with double bass drums.  He was a capable drummer, but largely stayed out of the way of ARW.  Although he was a decent drummer, I have to say that his snare drum sounded like a cardboard box filled with old clothes, which is not at all what Yes drums sound like.  The bass player seemed like he was a good bass player, but, unlike Chris Squire, Billy Sherwood, or even Tony Levin, his sound levels was rather low as compared to the other members.  Again, because I think he and the drummer were to get out of the way of ARW.

The show was clearly one of nostalgia and enjoying the company of one another and, in that way, it was a great night with a lot of great memories.  In saying that, though, if there was one thing that marked the show is that it was safe.  The performances – notably Anderson and Rabin – tended toward the safe notes.  Instead of a dynamic high note, a safer more standard note was sung.  Instead of the blistering solos of old, Rabin tended to play it safe and were more measured.  Even Wakeman – though still amazing (noted above) – did not play some of the things he used to play.  For example, he did not play his more juiced up keyboard parts on “Rhythm of Love” as he did on the Union Tour or similar interesting playing on “Cinema” that Igor Khoroshev played.  In his case it seems like a lack of preparation.

Even the set list did not really have anything creative.  I was surprised to see how few Rabin songs there was in the set.  I got tickets hoping to see a good swath of Rabin material, but, alas, that was not to be.  Indeed – obviously – his guitar style on those songs works a lot better than the other Yes songs.  Perhaps the set was due to the fact that these guys – as coming back into the Yes fold – really wanted to play the songs they enjoyed from tours of old as opposed to try something new and interesting.  Also, as noted above, this tour was supposed to be “Yes music and more,” but unfortunately there was no “and more” (in favor of the safer route of playing tried and true classics), and even the “reinterpretations” that were to happen amounted only to, more or less, keying down some songs and bringing back how Rabin played the Howe songs from his previous tenure in Yes.

What was not safe was the stage set which was an interesting screen of multiple intersecting parts with cool lights and images projected onto it.  It seemed like an interesting mesh of the classic Roger Dean art work with the art from the Rabin era of thee 1980s.

There were some interesting moments during some of the songs.  First of all, I have never seen “Hold On” and “Lift Me Up” live before, and it was great to finally see these songs in a live setting.  Cinema was a great experience too as I have only seen that song once before (see here) and it was not played by Rabin and suffered for it.  Wakeman played the weird vocal sounds on “Hold On” on a keyboard which was a cool change from prior performances way back when.  Unfortunately, Wakeman added very little to “Hold On,” “Lift Me Up,” and “Cinema.”  I am not a fan of “Rhythm of Love” but I enjoyed this performance because the introduction (which consists of layered vocals on the album) was done in a different way with Wakeman filling out the music and vocals on keyboards while the four singers contributed to the vocal parts on the introduction.  It, I think, was the best arrangement of the introduction Yes has ever attempted live.  Wakeman played a solo at the end of the song, but, unlike his performance of the song on the Union Tour, he played it on his mini-moog instead of a digital keyboard and, this time, it was so much better.  I really liked the little keyboard ditty before “Hold On.”   Granted it was only about a minute long, but it showed promise, and I hope more of that starts to develop as ARW continues to perform and mesh as a group.  While I loved hearing “Lift Me Up,” the drum sound was completely wrong.  The clacking sort of drum pattern was sorely missed as it is a key element to the sound of the song.  The pattern was played but on the wrong sort of drums (standard drums instead of whatever was played on the album).  On “Long Distance Runaround” Rabin did not double the keyboards like Howe does.  Instead he played these swiping sort of chords over the keyboard parts.  This changed the dynamic of the song and was one of the few truly interesting reinterpretations of the show.  “The Fish” was a weird piece to include.  “The Fish” is not so much a piece as a solo feature for Chris Squire, so it is a little weird for someone to play someone else’s solo.  Anderson presented “The Fish” as an homage to Squire and, to his credit, Pomeroy played it in a way that I would have expected Yes to play it for years.  “The Fish,” on the album, consists of multiple bass lines, all played by Squire, overdubbed over each other.  In a live setting, Squire merely played a bass solo that – no pun intended – was based on the album as opposed to play the album itself.  Pomeroy, using on stage recording devices, played each separate bass line, recording himself live, and then played the next bass line over his own live recording.  Once he finished layering his own recordings he went ahead and played a solo.  Again, to Pomeroy’s credit, once he created his layers of bass guitars (which duplicated Squire’s rhythms on “The Fish”), the solo Pomeroy played was entirely his own as opposed to trying to duplicate Squire’s solo.  “Awaken” started with something that sounded like the “Flight Jam” they would play before it back in the 1970s.  The “Flight Jam” and the middle portion took on a theatric aspect, and some tribal drumming, to give it a modern and different interpretation.  To my ears, the reinterpretations reminded me a lot of the reinterpretation of “Firth of Fifth” on The Tokyo TapesUnfortunately, the bass player only used his standard bass (instead of a triple neck) and Rabin did not use a twelve-string or steel guitar, and those changed the dynamics to the song (though not in a positive way to my ears).  The middle portion was less classical (or baroque) and more theatrical with tribal drums.  Unlike Howe, Rabin stayed on stage and he played the ticking-clock sort of guitar line instead of the bass player.  As far as “Roundabout” is concerned, after 22 Yesshows I sort of tune it out, but I did really enjoy Wakeman playing the solo as only he can play it.  In saying that, they played the shortened version – with the middle section taken out – which is disappointing to me as that is my favorite part of the song.  I have no idea why they remove that part of the song.  It makes no sense.  Finally, I have to comment on “Owner of a Lonely Heart.”  I am not a fan of that song and I have seen it live so many times I tend to tune out during it as much as I do with “Roundabout.”  In saying that, this was the best “Owner” I have ever seen.  First and foremost, it had Rabin playing the guitar lines and solo as they were meant to be played (no disrespect to Howe’s attempts).  Further, it also reintroduced the “Make it Easy” introduction.  Perhaps what made the song so cool, for me, is that they added an instrumental jam at the end of the song which featured Wakeman (on keytar) and Rabin trading solos.  While they were playing they walked through the audience for a little while!  In addition, their soloing would recapitulate the “Make it Easy” theme in order to keep it all together.  So very cool!

As I said above, I am not going to get into whether ARW is truly Yes in everything but name (that will be another post); however, I do want to make a brief comment on the band’s overall sound.  Yes’s sound has always been marked by the involvement of five completely integrated musicians, each often struggling to make themselves heard in the face of four other strong musicians.  Even Tony Kaye or Benoit David, arguably the weakest and/or most humble members of the band, were fully integrated into the sound of the band.  By contrast, the bass and drums were clearly secondary to ARW.  While it is difficult to down play the drums, to me the biggest contrast with Yes was the bass.  It has nothing to do with Pomeroy’s chops.  It has to do with the fact that a key element to Yes music is a big, fat, and prominent bass sound pushing back against the guitar and keyboards.  The bass parts are not just loud, but key elements to the music itself.  Sherwood has kept this tradition alive and, during his brief tenure, Levin respected it.  By contrast, Pomeroy’s bass was subdued, and not an equal part of the music as compared to ARW.  In addition, strong vocal harmonies is also a key element to Yes music.  While Anderson’s voice was backed up by the other members of the band, the strong vocal harmonies that are so integral to Yes were missing.  The other singers were not mixed nearly as high as Anderson and, quite frankly, Anderson’s voice was not mixed particularly high either.  Suffice it to say, the backing singing just was not as as strong as one would expect for Yes.  As a result, the music had a much different feel and sound than what one would expect from Yes.  This is not necessarily a criticism – it is just a way to reinterpret Yes music – but it, I think, speaks to ARW’s relationship to Yes and its music and history.


I had one of the coolest experiences I have ever had at a Yes concert at this show.  The break down of the stage seemed to take place at a record pace.  I left the theater within a reasonable time after the show and as I walked through the parking lot, I noted that the delivery doors were open and the staging was already being taken out the back and rested on the outside walls.  I could see into the theater to the back of the stage and saw the roadies breaking down the stage and instruments.  In doing this, the roadies blocked off a section of the parking lot with cones and ropes and the tour bus and truck were near.  I saw the roadies break down the keyboard rig and, suddenly, I saw the members of the band pass back and forth.  So, I waited about 30 minutes in the parking lot and, amazingly, Wakeman came out and shook hands and said hello, followed by Rabin, and finally by Anderson.  They all were so cool and personable and happy to see everyone!  I was able, among 40 other people, to shout my appreciation and pat them on the back.  Other people were ready and prepared for this (they seemed to know this would happen – with items to sign and ready to pose for photographs – but I was totally unprepared as I had no idea this would happen).  Either way, I was able to take a few snapshots and, at least momentarily, spend a little time in the presence of my musical heroes.  Thanks guys!


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