2006 - Jon and Rick

Saturday 14 October 2006

Jon Anderson has been doing many solo shows in these last years, always with a very simple approach, simple one-man show with simple instrumentation. A show of 2004 can be seen here. Then, in 2006, he noticed that Rick was also fond of this approach lately (after touring with orchestras and big bands, he seems to have got somewhat tired of that), and they decided to do a short tour in England. The result was a unique show, more interesting than Jon's solo ones (in my opinion), as it combines Jon's beautiful - and, here, not laid back at all - voice, his most simple acoustic guitar, and Rick's well known style accompanying, here using only a grand piano.
I really miss the guitars, basss and drums on most songs, but if you regard them as new and surprising arrangements, it's a very interesting concert.
Simpler songs, such as Your Move and Roundabout, became better than some more complex, like Ritual. Rick's solo section is so good, I'm sure their fans will love it. Oh, and of course his talent as a raconteur and joker are as entertaining as his piano playing!
Leap of Faith (Part 1)
Yours Is No Disgrace
Leap of Faith (Part 2)
Wonderous Stories
Anyway and Always
All Good People
South Side of the Sky
Time and a Word
The Garden
Piano Medley: -Set Sail - Close to the Edge - Who could Imagine? - Mary Me Again - The Revealing Science of God
Give Love Each Day
Nous Sommes Du Soleil
Nursery Rhyme Concerto
Catherine Howard
Eleanor Rigby
And You And I
Turn of the Century
Owner of a Lonely Heart
Sweet Dreams
Deeper Love
The Meeting

An excerpt of Turn of the Century:

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2007 - Steve Howe Trio

19 May, 2007 Morecambe, The Platform, UK
In 2007, momentarily free from Yes, Steve Howe decided to tour with a jazz-blues-rock-country (summing up, all the music he likes) trio, formed by:
Steve Howe - Guitars
Dylan Howe - Drums
Ross Stanley - Hammond Organ

They reworked some Yes classics, and songs from Steve's solo career, with little respect to the original arrangements. The result is a very original concert, with a jazzy feel recreating completely some well-known songs, some less commented pieces, and a couple of jazz/blues standards from a guitarrist he admires, Kenny Burrell.
Mood For A Day has to be heard to be believed, it was transformed in an exciting 8 minutes long jazz number, with a steady 9/8 meter.
As usual, there's an acoustic session, with less original but perfectly played versions of Cactus Boogie(from Steve Howe Album), Sketches in the Sun (from GTR) and Intersection Blues (from Natural Timbre.)
I must admit some songs get too long and rather loose, like Momenta, originally a 3 minutes long in Quantum Guitar, here it almost achieves 11 minutes, without having so much to say. But except this one, most extended jams are very well delivered.
If you want to hear Steve improvisating, here's a holy grail for you.

Some videos of the trio can be seen at Dylan Howe's Youtube page:

Here is the group's myspace page:
where they say they're going to record a studio album in October (sady they seem to have postponed it...) and say their influences are:
Kenny Burrell
Wes Montgomery
Tal Farlow
Elvin Jones
Philly-Jo Jones
Roy Haynes
Jimmy Smith
Larry Young
Larry Goldings

Dream River,
Chitlins Con Carne
Mood for a Day
Blue Bash!
Close to the Edge

Medley – Freight Trane/Whispering/Trambone
Cactus Boogie
Sketches in the Sun
Intersection Blues
Kenny's Sound
The Haunted Melody
Sweet Thunder
Siberian Khatru

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1972 - Suite Distance

August 13, 1972 - Columbia, Maryland, USA

One of the best known bootlegs from Close to the Edge tour. In this show, they didn't play Close to the Edge yet, the song was so complex and they lasted a while to have courage to take it to the stages. But And You And I and Siberian Khatru are there, in fresh versions.
Yours Is No Disgrace is very extended, similar to the one on Yessongs, and with some vocals by Jon in the introduction.
And hearing Jon say things like "Uh.. that was a song from the new album we, we finished about a few weeks ago. It will be out in about 3 weeks. It's called 'Siberian Khatru'" is wonderful.
Worth checking.
Sound quality is A-

Setlist :
Firebird Suite
Siberian Khatru
I've Seen All Good People
Mood For A Day
Heart Of The Sunrise
And You And I
Wakeman Solo
Yours Is No Disgrace

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2000 - Legendary Works

June 21, 2000
Concord, California, USA
Masterworks Tour

By 2000, Yes had lost Billy (who had seemed increasingly unneeded anyway), but didn't have a new album out. Therefore my expectation was for a retread tour of old material (as OYE had largely been), with Kansas as freebie opener. This turned out to be more-or-less the case, but I would not have guessed they'd choose this particular material!
And what songs! "Close to the Edge" to start! And "Starship Trooper" to follow! What could be next? Not -- "Gates of Delirium"! This wasn't a concert; this was a 'take no prisoners' blitzkrieg; I remember thinking the performance was mostly convincing -- not bad at all for the second day of the tour. "Leaves of Green" and "Heart of the Sunrise" were this show's equivalent of taking it easy before plunging into "Ritual", which built into a huge climax. Talk about stamina!
After all that, "Roundabout" and "All Good People" were familiar relief. Very much a four-star show, and I wouldn't doubt they managed five later in the tour :-)
(quoted from JPrisco)

Opener was "CTTE..." only on a tour featuring "Gates" could this be construed as an opening song! Jon had been sick and cracked a little during "I Get Up," but otherwise a fine, slightly relaxed version. An amusing quasi-recitation of "Starship Trooper" lyrics pre-tune by Jon...as often with him, seemingly delivered with a knowing wink and not too seriously. "Gates," was not as raw and anarchic as the album sounds (to me), but Jon's voice has improved tremendously. As everyone knows, this piece is as challenging as most symphonies and requires the utmost concentration; I would say Squire and Howe were flawless, with White solid but having cut down the more baroque fills almost completely.

I was actually more impressed by "Ritual," which surprised me...the lengthy, mainly wordless vocal section preceding the first verse seemed to wax and wane naturally. Squire, a narrow (from that distance) giant in black spandex, took over the stage mid - "Ritual" - he'd made pleasingly, exaggerated strides across the stage during the subsonic bass notes in "Trooper," and now seemed determined to shatter his instrument , so hard did he play it.

After that, the standard encores (ISAGP in the Jon-strummed YesWest version) may have seemed anticlimactic, but it was worth listening for Igor's interpretation of the solo in "Roundabout" - he substitutes a wild, almost Tony Kaye-esque flailing for Rick's surgical precision, to pleasing effect - and one might also find space to praise "Heart Of The Sunrise," as it is so often taken for granted. The song is much better live, and evokes a world of differing timbres and moods in 10 min... almost a precis of Yescography in one number, and a spectacular rendition this evening. I see too that I have not mentioned Steve, and it's never fair to take him for granted...he's the glue that holds it all together, especially on steel guitar.
(quoted from Alexander Jones)

Young Persons Guide To The Orchestra
Close To The Edge
Starship Trooper
Gates Of Delirium
Leaves Of Green
Heart Of The Sunrise
I've Seen All Good People

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1973 - Cans and Brahms

1973-03-21 - Live in Adelaide, Australia

This one is from the end of Close to the Edge tour.

While its not a complete show (some songs are missing and there is no crowd noise between songs) and the sound quality is about a B+, it has a few features which fans will find very interesting:
- During Siberian Khatru Steve Howe's pedal steel doesn't work so we get to hear his steel solo on regular guitar
- Also during Siberian Khatru Rick's mellotron sound for strings is not used during one section and we get to hear the choir sound instead; and later on he uses the organ instead of the mellotron until finally, I guess, it gets fixed during the end section.
- The band loses the PA during I've Seen All Good People except for the bass which continues on like nothing ever happened; the PA comes back on and the the band picks up awkwardly and starts the song over.
- Rick's solo spot pretty much mirrors the Yessongs version, but he adds Cans And Brahms in the middle

Set list:
Firebird Suite
Siberian Khatru
I've Seen All Good People
Heart Of The Sunrise
And You And I
Close To The Edge
Wakeman Solo/Cans And Brahms
Starship Trooper

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1991 - Mountain View

August 8, 1991, Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA, USA

Union Tour is loved by many. The idea of getting 8 musicians together playing Yes music makes some people go over the moon. But to me it's not the best, actually. How can you add a second guitar in complexly structured songs such as And You And I and Heart of the Sunrise? Or play Your Is No Disgrace with two drummers? It just doesn't work that well, in my opinion.
But there are interesting points, of course. Awaken is long, and its interlude is fantastic. The solo moments are all good: Steve, Trevor, Rick and Chris can do wonders alone... but when they're all together things don't work that well.
This is from soundboard, and the quality is so good that it's often called Yesshows 1991

Set List:
Firebird Suite
Yours Is No Disgrace
Rhythm Of Love
Shock To The System
Heart Of The Sunrise
Make It Easy/Owner Of A Lonely Heart
And You And I
Drum Duet
I've Seen All Good People
Solly's Beard
Saving My Heart/Whitefish/Amazing Grace
Lift Me Up
Wakeman Solo

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1974 Long Beach

Long BeachArena, California, USA March 19, 1974

Another Tales Tour bootleg, this one has clear strenghts and weaknesses.

One of the few Tales Tour boots of good sound quality.
Steve is in a great day and his guitar is very high on the mix.
Starship Trooper (not such a common song in that tour) is played very dinamically.


Siberian Khatru, And You And I and Ritual were played but don't feature in this bootleg. Were they ever recorded? I don't know.
In some moments sound quality is not that good.

Disc one
Close To The Edge
The Revealing Science Of God
The Ancient

Disc two
Starship Trooper

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