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Hacman
04-14-2006, 01:36 PM
Another Steve show, another great time. Attendees from YesFans:
Frank(AllPureChance), Frank's wonderful sister, Michelle, Ron (Ron Drummond), Rich (RickyG) and Rob (RGFudd99) and me.
Pizza and beer at Mama's right next to Northern Lights, then to the waiting line (where Michelle was holding a place at the front of the line).

Waiting outside was so funny, there was a local hard rock radio station trying to do a promotion and the guys doing it were just know-nothings screaming into a microphone. Rob and I agreed that we had probably lost 10 points off our IQ just standing there listening to these bozos. Ron Drummond actually went over to them and "suggested" that they tone down their act. We cheered him on!

On to the good stuff...
Frank, Rich, Ron and Michelle scored a table literally 10-15 feet from Steve, dead center ( which Rob and I quickly went to).

The sound was a little off on the first part of his set, but his playing was sublime.

What beautiful playing, a balance of technical mastery and emotion. I'm not saying Frank and Michelle cried, exactly, but the maintainence crew at Northern Lights had to bring in extra mops!

Theirs were certainly not the only wet eyes. I defy anyone to listen to that soaring lap steel on Soon and not be overwhelmed.

To my surprise, Steve came out after the show and signed things people had brought. I'm glad I ended up hanging around, I've never done one of the meet and greet things in my life. I remembered that I had "Homebrew 3" in my car, ran out and got it and Steve signed it. I was wearing the same Steve Howe shirt I wore in Philly for TLA ( see RelayerJim's photos) and Steve said "Hold on a minute, let's have a look at this shirt" and I talked with him a bit, he thanked me (and Trudy, in absentia) for the birthday poster in Philly, etc. What a charming gentleman!

As usual, I had a wonderful time meeting and hanging out with fellow Yes fans. As I said to Frank, we were already friends, we just hadn't met yet.
He, Rich, Ron, Rob and Michelle (good luck!!!!!!) were fabulous company.

Time to head out for the 3rd leg of the Steve Howe road show at BB Kings.

TRUEYOUTRUEME
04-14-2006, 01:46 PM
I am sooo glad to hear of your time at Northern Lights and look forward sooo much to the show tonight at B.B. Kings.

I have been listening to Steve all day and am getting ready to go.

See ya there!!!

RickyG
04-14-2006, 01:56 PM
Here's the review I posted earlier at AGP:

I fully agree with Rob that Steve was in a fine mood last night, and of course his performance was astounding. Even as he dealt with sound problems, particularly a pronounced resonance on "G" that was muddying up the mix, he was able to make light of the situation. In fact the sound quality on all of the pieces he played on the classical guitar, which was his first guitar of the evening, was atrocious. At first I thought I might have lost some of my hearing as there were frequencies I expected to hear coming from the guitar that I could not locate!!

The sound improved greatly with a change of guitars, with an auditory high point for me being the 12 string. Particularly on "Sketches In The Sun" which had to be the most transcendent and dynamic performance of that piece that I have ever heard. "Masquerade" was also a 12 string highlight.

Steve's voice was also in good form on the three songs that he sang. Best I've ever heard him... really nice smooth vocal tone in fact. He has improved greatly in that regard. Also his singing voice is perfectly in my range so it was very comfortable to sing along with him!

I know Frank "Allpurechance" Houlihan (we crossed paths 27 years ago, and met anew about 5 months ago) and it was great to spend time with him and his sister Michele at the show, and it was also quite nice to meet Rob, Homer and Ron and to share dinner and the show with them as well.

The audience was reasonably attentive last night though there was a nearly constant background drone of voices coming from the bar area in the back. Steve should really be playing at acoustically superior concert halls instead of alcohol drenched rock clubs like Northern Lights, in my opinion. I told him this at the signing after the show. Which by the way I was told he has not been doing on most of the other dates so far. So it would seem he may have particularly liked us to give us this opportunity. Also there is an amazing acoustical wonder of a concert hall up here, the Troy Music Hall. It is literally one of the top acoustical gems on the planet. Steve actually wrote the name down when I told him about it, so maybe next time...?!

PS - Yeah, Homer... my eyes welled up a bit during Soon too! And the other two vocal pieces were highly emotionally charged as well.

And yes, we had the best seats in the house!! Actually Frank and I had the best of the best as we were both sitting at the front of the table at the edge of the stage with a view dead center between Steve's monitors, 10 feet at most from our vantage point to Steve's magic Master's hands.

PS 2 - It's GREAT to be back here in YESFANS community!!!

rgfudd99
04-15-2006, 08:19 AM
Here's the review I posted earlier at AGP:

I fully agree with Rob that Steve was in a fine mood last night, and of course his performance was astounding. Even as he dealt with sound problems, particularly a pronounced resonance on "G" that was muddying up the mix, he was able to make light of the situation. In fact the sound quality on all of the pieces he played on the classical guitar, which was his first guitar of the evening, was atrocious. At first I thought I might have lost some of my hearing as there were frequencies I expected to hear coming from the guitar that I could not locate!!

The sound improved greatly with a change of guitars, with an auditory high point for me being the 12 string. Particularly on "Sketches In The Sun" which had to be the most transcendent and dynamic performance of that piece that I have ever heard. "Masquerade" was also a 12 string highlight.

Steve's voice was also in good form on the three songs that he sang. Best I've ever heard him... really nice smooth vocal tone in fact. He has improved greatly in that regard. Also his singing voice is perfectly in my range so it was very comfortable to sing along with him!

I know Frank "Allpurechance" Houlihan (we crossed paths 27 years ago, and met anew about 5 months ago) and it was great to spend time with him and his sister Michele at the show, and it was also quite nice to meet Rob, Homer and Ron and to share dinner and the show with them as well.

The audience was reasonably attentive last night though there was a nearly constant background drone of voices coming from the bar area in the back. Steve should really be playing at acoustically superior concert halls instead of alcohol drenched rock clubs like Northern Lights, in my opinion. I told him this at the signing after the show. Which by the way I was told he has not been doing on most of the other dates so far. So it would seem he may have particularly liked us to give us this opportunity. Also there is an amazing acoustical wonder of a concert hall up here, the Troy Music Hall. It is literally one of the top acoustical gems on the planet. Steve actually wrote the name down when I told him about it, so maybe next time...?!

PS - Yeah, Homer... my eyes welled up a bit during Soon too! And the other two vocal pieces were highly emotionally charged as well.

And yes, we had the best seats in the house!! Actually Frank and I had the best of the best as we were both sitting at the front of the table at the edge of the stage with a view dead center between Steve's monitors, 10 feet at most from our vantage point to Steve's magic Master's hands.

PS 2 - It's GREAT to be back here in YESFANS community!!!

Agreed, RickyG
Sketches was great as was the "grammy nominated" (Steve will have you know) Masquerade. That guitar with all the effects was great. I felt like he was teaching a guitar class at one point when he just playing bits of songs and demonstrating the sitar sound. I think he sang 4 songs- there were the 3 Yes songs and he also sang 'Goin Down the Road' after he talked about Chet Atkins , I think. I don't think he does that one every night. As faras the noise in the back of the room, I mean I heard it too. But what can you do with waitresses serving chicken wings and serving drinks and a couple of bars in the back of the hall. We were all so close that it didn't really matter, especially in the 2nd set when the music was much louder. That's cool that you got to tell him about Troy Savings Bank. It was nice to meet'cha, Rich!

Scottie
04-15-2006, 08:40 AM
Mr H.A.C. man it was a great pleasure seeing you again at BB's and your son Matt is wonderful company. The apple in deed does not! fall far from the tree.

And Maryland Heights - OMG!!! GREAT!!!!

Thank you so very much!!!!

allpurechance
04-15-2006, 09:31 AM
So, okay.Picked my sister up at about 2:30 pm.She was bound and determined to camp out at the door of the venue in her folding chair for the purpose of being the first to enter.We swung by Ron Drummond's, and arrived before 4 pm at Northern Lights.

Ron and I went to nearby Momma's Pizzeria, he was hungry, and I needing sugared, caffeinated beverages owing to a distinct sleep deficit.Ron had me run a few pieces of pizza and a beverage down the parking lot(Northern Lights is fairly right behind the pizzeria) to Michelle, my sister.She didn't want them, stating her stomach was "all tied in knots", so she distributed the comestibles amongst those who were already gathering for sound preshow placement.We began then to make friends with the other early arrivals.I kept shuttling between Momma's and the front doors of Northern Lights to keep tabs upon her, and the impending arrival of Rich(RickyG), Rob(rgfudd99) and Homer(Hacman), who were to meet us for dinner.Also on their way were three nurses I work with that I had somehow persuaded to attend.Homer,Rob and Rich appeared, and shortly after that, my nurse friends, Lisa, Terri and June.I conducted informal and impromptu introductions halfway across the restaurant.

By the time we all got together outside the venue, the crowd had begun to grow rather strong.Two lines had assembled, and it had become ambiguous which one was for those needing tickets, and which was for those already in possession.Not to worry, Michelle had conferred with management, and all was going to be well whether it seemed to be or not!

Yes, the local classic rock station had placed loudspeakers pointed right at us at some point, and were busily shouting over some rather poorly selected Bon Jovi.Ron Drummond went over and had a quiet word with the gentlemen, and the situation was at least somewhat and slightly recitified.Initially they had urged me to do the talking, but I was too euphoric to do any rebuking, however gentle(six or seven Coca Colas, generously provided by our waitress at Momma's were working their charms!Hey, I was the Designated Driver!).

At last, we were afforded entry to the interior of Northern Lights.Somehow, we procured the table right in front of the stool Steve Howe was soon to occupy.With us, my sister and I, were Rich, Rob, Homer, Ron and another surprise arrival of a nurse friend from work, Barbara (a nurse instructor no less!) and her husband, both long time Yesfans who had fallen out of the loop over the years.I had spoken with her about the show earlier in the week, and she demonstrated her seriousness about loving Yes and Steve by attending, and dragging her husband along.Neither one of them had heard the band or any of it's members for years, and I had warned them lightheartedly that they were "in for a considerable treat!"

Somewhere in the crush of entry, I lost track of my fellow staffmembers June, Lisa and Terri, and I surely wish they could have been able to squeeze into seating at that table along with us, but we were already past capacity.I have since spoken with them, and although they left at some point into the second set, they did profess to having a really good time, and they somehow managed to make off with quite a few of the doorprizes the radio station was giving away in honor of the event!

We waited for Steve to take the stage for what seemed to be a minor eternity, but I was comforted by the strains of Weather Report's Live And Unreleased recording being piped in quietly over the p.a. - a double cd compilation I had acquired late last year, and an extremely entertaining set of music.

At last Steve took the stage.My sister Michelle, Rich and I were the three closest human beings, literally not more than twelve to fifteen feet directly in front of him.It was a beautiful show.As has been previously stated, there were some sound problems with the Spanish guitar opening segment, but watching his hands work the instrument more than compensated.All sonic difficulties seemed to evaporate once he donned the twelve string guitar.The first set was lovely and relaxed.

At the break, a well - dressed, somewhat greying gentleman approached the stage with two youngsters in tow, a seventeenish male, and a fourteenish female, both in Yes t - shirts.As I do with my own sons, of whom I was reminded immediately(and with some chagrin, for if they were there, then I surely could've taken my boys along, alas!), I told both of them, one after the other, "Hey!Nice shirt!"

As I am wont to do, I struck up conversation with all three of them and swiftly established that they had been attendance on another similarly wonderful night in 2002 at Albany's Pepsi Arena to see Yes.I asked Dad, a thought having struck me suddenly, if he might like a bootleg of that show.The boot was initially intended as a gift to Ron, but he graciously acquiesced to this act(....albeit after the fact!...).

The looks on all three of their faces was priceless!The boots were out in the back of my station wagon, and after the show I went and fetched them, and placed them in the young lady's hands.This itself was an immensely gratifying moment!Thank you, Ron!I will compensate, I promise!

The second set was much hotter than the first set, Steve having warmed up a little.He cooked so hard!He told us all the he "knew a good crowd when he saw one!", and thanked us all for being so attentive, and not "pitching a row" as I surmise had happened on an earlier night in his travels.Then he took up the Variax, and conducted a near seminar on it's uses and applications, promising a larger involvement with the company who produced this technological wonderment.By this time, everything he touched seemed to turn to gold.Soon, with vocal and lap slide was an extremely emotional point in the show, and I must say, for someone whose voice has come under at least a degree of criticism in his time, Steve Howe can sing, and do it with feeling!A further singalong Your Move was unbelievably poignant as by this time, crowd participation was enthusiastic and committed!

He closed with The Clap, during which, as a fellow patron pointed out later, seemed to be the first time an audience had made it all the way through the song without getting off syncopation.Until the final closing riffs, we clapped in fine time straight on through.I fantasize that Rich and I had a little something to do with that, stalwartly staying with our man Steve from right up there in front.

Then came the buzz through the crowd after the show that he might come out afterward to do some autographs.By this time, my poor sister was almost spent, having invested much of her energies in the show itself(she kept on pinching me in the back whenever he got us "right there"!I finally had to whisper to her to "please stop doing that!").The line formed, and she and I took up it's back end, quietly and calmly.Again I was in and out the door, as I had to run out and pick up those boots, and also I encountered yet another old friend of Erik's and mine.We exchanged huge hugs, I had not seen him since Erik had passed away.Hopefully we will get together again really soon.

Once back inside the venue, the line had been reduced significantly, as Steve good naturedly affixed his signature to every napkin, poster off the wall and collectible placed before him.

Finally, it was Michelle's turn.I stood beside her, and a little behind.She quickly poured her heart out to the man, The Man, telling him how her surgery had been scheduled for THAT day, and how she had it rescheduled for a week later just to see his performance.My sister was very beautiful on this night, and I could see that she had touched Steve.He looked up into her face - he had already autographed her poster - and asked her name, telling her that he had seen her "enthusiastically enjoying the show".He added, above his signature "To Michelle", and extended his hand to her.She looked at it for a split second, and asked if it was alright to shake it.He shook her hand.

Steve Howe has always been a guitar hero to me.When my sister and I took our sons, my two boys and my nephew, her son, to Albany in 2002, and Steve dedicated The Clap to "anyone on the audience under the age of sixteen", he became my Hero, capital H.When he shook my sister's hand this past Thursday night(it was early Friday morning by this time), he became not just a guitar hero to me, or a Guitar Hero, but a Hero Of Humanity to me, and to my sister, I am sure.

Now it was my time, the last in line.I had nothing for him to sign.All I wanted to do was to tell him, and this is what I did, that I wanted to "thank you for being such a wonderful and positive influence on all of our lives".He thanked me, packed up his things, and I watched him depart alone into the night.

We will never forget these moments, my sister and I.We have been given an unforgettable experience.

Steve Howe is a warm, gentle, kind, gracious man.We will always love him.

Ron and Rich, it was great to see you both again!Homer, Rob, it was wonderful to meet you both!I enjoyed every minute of our time together, and I hope I can be forgiven if I am overstating the case that perhaps there was a special vibration, a warmth and depth of feeling and love coming from our table right there in front of Steve Howe on this magical evening.

Frank and Michelle

...loved you all, love you still, and most of all, we all loved and love still, and always will...Steve Howe.

RickyG
04-15-2006, 09:51 AM
Agreed, RickyG
Sketches was great as was the "grammy nominated" (Steve will have you know) Masquerade. That guitar with all the effects was great. I felt like he was teaching a guitar class at one point when he just playing bits of songs and demonstrating the sitar sound. I think he sang 4 songs- there were the 3 Yes songs and he also sang 'Goin Down the Road' after he talked about Chet Atkins , I think. I don't think he does that one every night. As faras the noise in the back of the room, I mean I heard it too. But what can you do with waitresses serving chicken wings and serving drinks and a couple of bars in the back of the hall. We were all so close that it didn't really matter, especially in the 2nd set when the music was much louder. That's cool that you got to tell him about Troy Savings Bank. It was nice to meet'cha, Rich!

Yeah, your right, I forgot about "Goin Down The Road".... he did sing four songs, but only three that I could sing along with!!

And by the way, another high point for me (amongst a supremely high plane of musical existence) was "Nine Voices". Not only did I thoroughly enjoy Steve's vocals on this (and my own unison sing along), but his mind blowing playing on the Portugese 12 string!! When he throws in those soloing riffs (which he extended far beyond the studio version).... it's just so over-the-top ecstatic to my ears!!!

Sheerah
04-15-2006, 12:09 PM
Thank you all for the indepth reviews. I'm so glad that you all got to experience the show! I am, admittedly, envious; but more than that, I'm very happy that you all had such a wonderful night!

muff
04-15-2006, 01:38 PM
Thank you all for your reviews of the night,

Frank, I agree,

"Steve Howe is a warm, gentle, kind, gracious man." to quote you,

I was lucky to meet him twice last June and shake his hand, rather gingerly, may I add.

I,m looking forward to seeing him again this June and I know that anyone going to see one of his shows, will not be disappointed, :D

Ron Drummond
04-16-2006, 07:12 PM
I find myself in awe of the kindness and generosity of Steve Howe, and of the kindness and generosity of Yesfans.

Frank's sister, Michelle, was a constant source of joy and positive affirmation from beginning to end. May all blessings be upon her this coming Thursday, for her surgery, and during the time of her healing afterwards. Michelle, you grace the world with your presence, long may you continue to do so! We need you!

Both Frank and Michelle are fountains of storytelling, a joy to behold -- bless you!

It was lovely to meet Rich and Homer and Rob and to be with them and Frank and Michelle for this amazing show.

Steve Howe is like a humble bodhisattva, full of grace and quiet joy. A fountain of music. Such a way to be in the world, to give oneself to the fountain of joy within, to open the inner paths so that it may pour forth and touch others -- to bring joy to others, what more could one ask of oneself or of others, than that?

Hearing Steve Howe was to be reminded of the fountain within, to feel it rise up to meet the fountain of music and beauty and insight that his deft fingers, his keen mind, his listening heart, his creating soul brought forth.

I feel silent awe, and know not what to say. So many stories, some to remain, others to slowly dissolve back into the dreaming loam of the unconscious.

I don't know what to say, except thank you to Steve Howe, and thank you to the wonderful Yesfans -- it was an honor to meet you! -- you are great of heart, every one of you.

Ron

allpurechance
04-17-2006, 01:33 AM
Ron!

Bless you as well!

It was such a pleasure, such a treat to share this experience with you, kind sir!

Gonna hafta ... just gotta ... hopeya don't mind if I ...

lmaoOOOOOOooo

...hug the living heck outtaya!...

((((((((((((((((((u, Ron)))))))))))))))))!!!!

We, Michelle and I, most seriously enjoyed your company also!

Ron Drummond
04-18-2006, 12:56 AM
Dang, Frank, if your hugs are that awesome on-line, I'm not sure I'd survive one in real life! But I'm willing to risk it if you are!

I wrote a letter to a friend today in which I described my encounter with Steve Howe after the concert:

Steve Howe was truly amazing. I was awe-struck. Saw him from a front table, dead-center, not more than ten feet away. Unbelievably sweet man, amazing range of styles, wonderful instruments, beautiful performance in every way.

Howe came out about 45 minutes after the concert and sat at a table near the entrance and signed stuff and talked to people.

I had a small stapled manuscript I wanted to give to him, that had my dramatic monologue "Rejcha to the Players" on top (which you can read here --

http://www.classical.net/music/comp.lst/articles/reicha/quartets/sounding2.html

) -- followed by "Broken Seashells" (my essay on ancestral memory and the music of Jethro Tull from Black Clock #4), followed by "A Creed for Yesfans" which I wrote six weeks ago --

http://www.yesfans.com/showpost.php?p=770766&postcount=1

-- a six-page document, is all.

But as I was waiting in line I kept thinking of more things I wanted to share with Steve,

and I knew there was no time to,

so on the back of the manuscript I wrote down my email address at the bottom,

then, starting at mid-page, I wrote out the following:

The Years of Rice and Salt
by Kim Stanley Robinson
(Bantam Books, 2002)

Lute music of Johannes Heironymus Kapsberger (17th century)

Guitar Sonatas of Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)

So I got up there and (without offering my hand, knowing he wasn't into that)

thanked him for the show,

got the copy of Spectrum I bought at the show signed,

then gave him the manuscript

and told him I wanted to share with him three short pieces of writing about music,

and that the third piece was called "A Creed for Yesfans," and

taking it Steve said, "I don't know what that is,"

and he put it under a short stack of home-burned CDs that someone had given him earlier, at the side of the table,

but I, a little bold perhaps but gently, pulled the manuscript out again

saying something like "Oh hey there was something else I just wanted to show you," and

I turned the manuscript over and pointed out the handwritten stuff there,

and said, "I wanted to tell you about this novelist, Kim Stanley Robinson, he's published a dozen books, he writes about environmental issues --"

and I could see that Steve was just starting to wonder why in hell I was telling him this, and I of course hurried on --

"and he's a huge fan of Yes and a huge fans of yours, and anyway in this novel --"

and I tapped the title on the paper --

"there's a character based on you, near the end, who's on stage for 50 pages or so -- it's a portrait of the artist."

And Steve -- who was wearing dark sun glasses! -- looked up at me and said, very matter-of-factly, "You're blowing my mind!"

and I said, "The book's in print -- you're going to New York CIty tomorrow? You can get it at any bookstore down there!"

and I started to back away so the next person could step up,

and I could see Steve looking at the list -- it seemed he was noting however glancingly that there were other items on the list, which I hadn't so much as mentioned, and

I said "Thank you! Bless you!"

as he folded the paper and once again slipped it under the short stack of CDs

and turned his attention to the next person up.

I think that's pretty accurate -- as accurate as I can remember, anyway, and the plug was actually pretty minimally premeditated.

He'd clearly never heard of [Robinson],

and I'd swear that Steve's "You're blowing my mind", though said with that inimitably British dryness we know and love, was not meant sarcastically at all but quite seriously.

Who knows if he'll follow up on it, though -- but there you have it.

I hope he does; I hope he does!

Cheers,

Ron