Richard A. Siler | Chamblee, GA United States | 08/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The much-delayed live DVD from Yes' 35th Anniversary tour is finally here, and it was well worth the wait. The sound is good, the direction and editing are good, the performances are stellar musically, and the whole thing is put together very well.
If you weren't able to see the tour, then you'll especially enjoy this DVD immensely. This is unlike any other Yes tour. The first thing that is unique is the inclusion of an acoustic set, which is fun and informal, but includes some impressive music. Second, this show is a true retrospective of the band's entire career. We get the standards, of course ("Your is No Disgrace", "All Good People", "Starship Trooper", "Owner of a Lonely Heart", etc). But the rest of the show is made up of rarely-played material: two songs from the early albums ("Sweet Dreams" and a terrific "Every Little Thing"), an ABWH song ("The Meeting"), finally some inclusion of music from the mid-90s ("Mind Drive" and the intro from "Footprints" dressed up as a short song), two Rabin-era songs ("Rhythm of Love" plus the obligatory "Owner"), some newer material ("Time is Time" from MAGNIFICATION and "Show Me"), and a few deep cuts like "Turn of the Century". The whole thing kicks off with "Going for the One" and culminates with a searing "Ritual".
The highlights are an amazing rendition of "South Side of the Sky", one of the most emotional performances of "And You and I" I've ever heard, the gorgeous "Wonderous Stories", possibly the most perfect Yes song ever, and a truly lovely "Century". Other really great moments are Rick's lovely piano intro to the acoustic set, his solos in the Rabin-era songs, Steve's beautiful "Second Initial" which closes the acoustic set, and of course Chris' bass solo in "Ritual", although it is not as long or as raucous as I've seen it before.
I highly recommend this DVD to other Yes fans. If you enjoyed the band's other DVD releases in recent years, then this one will certainly not disappoint. I'll have to go back through my collection to reevaluate everything, but this may be one of the best DVDs Yes has released."
Songs From SAGNOST ........ TSONGAS from songs........
t'amant | WA | 11/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are a big YES fan, your eyes will be crossed after going into trance mode with this incredible dvd. The production is top notch and the sound is excellent for a live setting. Play guitar, play drums, bass or sing the hell out of these songs or just meditate and don't move a muscle (okay, even keyboards or a bouzouki will do), you will NOT BELIEVE the incredible level of musicianship these old friends achieve. If ever anyone had a doubt, even after YES Symphonic - which was great, that YES could ever bring back the magic...you've been far too stingy with your appreciation!
This concert disk is a YES-power-totem frisbee soaring to the stratosphere...WE HAVE HEAVEN! Parts that thrilled me: South Side of the Sky, a deep cut from my favorite album (Fragile)...how great to see this rocked out again (not acoustic), they do a superb job! Turn of the Century, the lost cut from Going for the One...unbelievably true to the original and played with total finesse and loving care...VERY BEAUTIFUL! Long Distance Runaround (acoustic) - seeing the classic line-up play this with a playful but powerful tone and spirit - far @#^& out!! Wouldn't it be nice to sit down with a few friends and play like that so effortlessly? Wonderous Stories is a melodic, musical magic bell of a composition that Jon channels like a lost hymn. And You & I is done very sweetly, I love this song, as do most YES fans...INSPIRED - and the set by Roger Dean is really majestic for the atmosphere here. Ritual, the Topographic favorite of many (Pt. 1 - Revealing Science of God/Dance of the Dawn would be nice) is one of the main highlights for sure, they take this song to the limit! How do they perform every nuance with such total recall, while still adding 30 years of musical growth? WOW! Yours is no Disgrace rivals the Yessongs version - this is one of the jam breaks for Steve. For me, the huge surprise is this Starship Trooper (Symphonic's version is outstanding too) in the finale, already one of my favorite songs - they sound like Jehovas favorite choir doing this song (delivered with joy by all of them, but Jon particularly), and get a HUGE standing ovation afterwords...UNREAL! It is a great opportunity to get a good look at great new material like Mind Drive and revisit early works like Sweet Dreams & Every Little Thing.
They are so tuned into the magic of the music they have created it is a sight and sound to behold, the audience obviously thinks so! If only all bands with a great songbook could pull together for a concert gift of this magnitude so many years later! This line-up of classic members are clearly back on the bus with the music and their relationships, they appear to be getting on very well together which is wonderful (and all healthy and happy). Having Rick Wakeman back for this concert is reason enough to get it, he effortlessly rocks the house and plays his parts with precision.
I see that there IS HOPE for getting older, even into your 60's and beyond, to seem ageless, timeless and plain old KICK ASS as you dance your way to oblivion...and they hopefully will be doing this for a long time to come! THANK YOU YES for inspiring us all in so many ways!
if some are skeptical of YES ravers like me who enjoy this so much...take into account how much of a YES fan you are before you buy because of opinions like mine, although this is a very nice package and a great place to experience the magic of YES! PEACE YES FANS...ENJOY!
P.S. Steve Howe fans...the new Howe solo piece played here, Second Initial, is really cool - He has a new album out (Spectrum - don't have it yet) and a new concert dvd (Remedy Live - I bought it recently and IT IS GREAT)."
Nona | 11/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a YES fan since I was in the first grade--1973. I grew up with a rock loving Uncle who introduced me and my brother to some great music--ELP, Allman Bros., Joe Walsh, Fleetwood Mac--and of course, the mighty Yes. I took a particluar liking to Yes-- I was a goner when I first heard Starship trooper. I thought Jon Anderson was cute, and I had a crush on Chris Squire. They were my Beatles. I started playing bass in high school, and I wanted a Rickenbacker like my hero--Squire. Never got it--but now maybe I will. This DVD has reawakend my longtime admiration of this amazing band. Their playing is emotional, masterful, fun--Jon's singing is clear and sweet--and he's 60 years old. He looks to be in fine health and he is obviously enjoying himself onstage. Howe still commands the stage with his quiet genius, Wakeman plays with his usual awe inspiring flair (but minus the silver cape--I kinda miss that cape!), Alan White still beats the living daylights out of his skins, and Squire is in fine form--musically and physically. It looks as though he's lost some weight and started eating organic veggies and brown rice again! Yay! He looks healthier than he did on the YESSPEAK dvd. It was good to see---we need Squire around for a long time. He needs to show these young whippersnappers how to REALLY play a bass. All in all, they all look and sound great. They are getting older--pushing 60--and Jon IS 60 (but you would never know it), and they still put on the best rock show spectacle--complete with a Roger Dean stage design. They haven't lost the energy, the flair, or the feeling. These aren't grandpas onstage--they are YES. I hope they keep touring--they really enjoy it--and so do we. Thanks, YES. Keep on keepin' on."
Night of the Living Yes
Sky | New York | 01/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of my fondest Yes memories is watching from the 14th row at Madison Square Garden circa 1977 (it was the Going For the One tour) as the band rocked out. And back then they truly were all about rock...albeit prog rock, but indeed it was about rock. Jon Anderson sang like an angel. Rick Wakeman returned to his rightful place in the band (replacing a fair Patrick Moraz) and hid behind long flowing blonde hair as he literally almost rocked his keyboards off the stage at one point. And Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Alan White pumped out their intricate, precisely played melodies. All woven together to absolutely knock The Garden audience out of their seats. Literally. Everyone stood on their seats throughout the whole show.
Flash forward to May 2004 where the boys are together to shoot a DVD during their 35th Anniversary tour. Well, seems that the guys have aged a bit from 1977 to 2004 (almost 30 years!!!), but certainly you'd never know it from listening to the musical performances in Songs from Tsongas. Jon Anderson's vocals sound superb. He hits every note (in the '77 show that I saw he had an unforgettable mis-step in Roundabout); Howe and Squire play their instruments precisely and their back up vocals sound as if you're listening to the studio versions; Wakeman and White are also as precise as the studio versions of their setlist. And that setlist is as follows:
Disc 1 (65:17) 1. Intro/Firebird suite 2. Going for the one 3. Sweet dreams 4. Your move/I've seen all good people 5. Mind drive Part 1 and 2 6. South side of the sky 7. Turn of the century 8. My eyes/Mind drive part 3 9. Yours is no disgrace
Disc 2 (85:14) 1. The meeting room/The meeting 2. Long distance runaround 3. Wonderous stories 4. Time is time 5. Rounabout 6. Show me 7. Owner of a lonely heart 8. Second initial 9. Rhythm of love 10. And you and I 11. Ritual 12. Every little thing 13. Starship trooper
Total Time: 150:31. Now that's a nice dose! The picture is crystal clear, and you have a choice between Dolby or DTS 5.1; it sounded very, very good. The DVD quality lends a nice effect of being in the front row of the show instead of simply sitting in front of the TV.
It took away from the live effect a bit for me, but I skipped around to the pre-1980s stuff first, then I watched the whole show again the next evening. I was really glad that I did that, because there was a lot of material that (I couldn't believe that) I didn't even know from the 1980 forward period. The new and newer stuff is a nice bonus and "nice to have", but the pre-1980 stuff is why I bought the disk, it's performed precisely and it's "need to have" for Yes fans of that era.
Yes fans need to hit the buy button now!
P.S. - Warning: For those fans that were teenagers or older in the 70s, this DVD will make you feel your age! The Yes in my mind were the Yes from 1977. Silly, I know. But it was a shock in this DVD for me to see Steve Howe looking like the Cryptkeeper (he still rocked though). And an aged Rick Wakeman literally just stood there behind his keyboards like a zombie completely, emotionlessly still through each song (didn't take away from his awesome renditions)."
Rob Stuart | Utrecht, Netherlands | 10/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In what was indisputably their heyday and the golden age of progressive rock, the 1970s, YES set the standard for composition, musicianmanship, pure spirituality and ecstatic emotion to which lesser mortals --even other great bands like ELP, Genesis and the Floyd-- could only dream of aspiring. I saw them three times back then (on tours following the releases of Close to the Edge, Relayer and Going for the One) and found them --incredibly-- to be even better live than in the studio. Then, in the eighties, tragically, they caught a fatal dose of the Buggles and turned pathetically frivolous and blandly commercial (i.e. they completely lost the plot). I, like countless YES fans of the definitive period, gave up on them altogether. Since then, I've viewed any new product bearing the traditional or redesigned YES logo with extreme caution, but treasured those classic albums as true gems --the lofty pinnacles of progressive rock. Imagine my unadulterated joy, when, having dared to purchase this anniversary DVD, and upon pressing the play button with a sense of trepidation, I discover that, as if by some miracle of reincarnation, the 'classic line-up' is reunited and making old and new music as if that desperate interim period were just a bad dream. They've rediscovered themselves and the confidence in what they originally stood for - they've entered their second youth. No other progressive band that peaked in the 70s and then faded into mediocrity (and there were so many of them) can match the brilliance of this comeback. A moving performance, captured with reverence, that had me leaping about the room in sheer, blissful abandon as if I were still the long-haired, fur-coated, patchouli-reeking, adolescent YES fan that I once was (not the greying, middle-aged, father of two that I now am!). Paradise regained! If God had a houseband, this is (approximately) how it would sound. There's only one answer to life: and it's YES! Thanks, lads, for restoring my faith. (And dear reader: ignore the pathetic whinging of those other reviewers who need to get a life.)"