Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Since I put my Yes In the Present review up on two other sites (click a category below for links), I'll put someone else's. I can't reveal his name, however, but if he can't have it out, this post is kaput.
"I took my wife to see the Yes/not Yes Howe, Squire &
White tour in Columbus, Ohio on Wed. night at the LC Pavilion, which holds 2,200
indoors (and also holds 4,500 outdoors-where we saw Dream Theatre's Progressive
Nation 2008 show a few months ago).
What an amazing experience to be in the front row, right in front of Oliver
Wakeman and a few feet to the right of Chris Squire. The best part was no
security in front of the stage and our seats were literally about 5 feet from
where the band stood.
I had 2nd row centre for Yes in '84 for 90125 and 3rd row centre for the '94
Talk tour, but we were so close that Chris was posing for my digital camera and
smiling at my wife, and his sweat hit me and guy on my left at one point! And
cameras allowed, which has never been the case at other Yes shows in the past at
I could make this very, very long, but suffice it to say that it was a fantastic
show, the band was in a great mood, Howe was smiling from the first song to the
last, which you might know is rare for him but he had a great night of playing
and no equipment problems, which always affects his attitude at shows.
If Rick can't tour then Oliver seems to be the best replacement; he did a great
job and only made one obvious error, a timing issue during "Close to the Edge"-
we could read his lips as Chris turned around towards him and Oliver said
"Sorry" and Chris laughed.
Benoît may not be Jon but close your eyes and the resemblance is uncanny-he
sounds almost exactly like Jon in his prime and has more power than Jon has had
in recent years. He even looks a little like Jon did in his younger days,
though with shorter hair, but he's the same build that Jon was for many years
and the same height, and wears white like Jon. He also plays very good acoustic
guitar, better than Jon, and various percussion like Jon- just no harp. He had
all the lyrics and nuances in the vocals done pat, but then he's been singing
Yes music for 14 years with his band Close to the Edge in Canada. His vocal
harmonies with Chris and Steve were perfect. And no airy talk or moves like
Jon. When he sang the first lines of the opener, "Siberian Khatru," people
literally said "wow" and "oh my god" at his voice.
If Jon can't return, this guy is the obvious choice to be the singer for Yes,
The set list was the best part. I won't give details, but it was the best set
I've seen them do since '96 at the Keys concerts. I've waited 28 years to
hear Drama again and they got a standing ovation with the songs. And they did 1
brand new song, which Chris sang lead on with some assistance from Benoît. Alan
was on top form also. It doesn't really matter, but Chris has gained quite a
few pounds/stone since the last tour in '04."