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Thread: Who had the more surprising set?

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    Who had the more surprising set?

    I thought I'd look at the Yestival Yes set versus the ARW set and try to quantify how surprising each set was by looking at how many times previously each song had been played (by Yes, ABWH, or ARW). The Forgotten Yesterdays database is useful here, although it is not complete and it includes snippets of songs within a medley, so I've tried to account for that.

    Let's start with Yestival:
    song: previous live performances
    Survival: 1 (probably an underestimate, but we know it was played once on TV)
    Time and a Word: 220 (an underestimate as FY doesn't have set lists for most of the tour supporting that album, so probably nearer 250??)
    Yours is No Disgrace: 927
    South Side of the Sky: 285
    And You and I: 1628
    Leaves of Green: 249 (including as a separate piece and as part of the full side)
    Soon: 398 (including as a separate piece and as part of the full side)
    Going for the One: 259
    Don't Kill the Whale: 193
    Machine Messiah: 277
    Madrigal: 27
    Roundabout: 1916
    Starship Trooper: 1129

    That gives a median (average) of 277 prior plays.

    Now let's look at the ARW set. When they began touring, the numbers were:
    Cinema: 215
    Perpetual Change: 361
    Hold On: 225
    I've Seen All Good People: 1544
    Life Me Up: 66
    And You and I: 1552
    Rhythm of Love: 375
    Heart of the Sunrise: 1001
    Changes: 305
    Long Distance Runaround: 859
    The Fish: 266
    The Meeting: 77
    Awaken: 548
    Owner of a Lonely Heart: 969
    Roundabout: 1839

    That gives a median (average) of 375 prior plays.

    So, the average song in the Yestival set has been played about 100 times less often previously than the average song in the ARW set. That doesn't take into account when the songs where last played (lots of ARW's YesWest material had been long neglected, while many of the Yestival songs, while historically less played, have been done quite recently) or, of course, the thrill of seeing particular people perform those pieces.

    Both acts have pieces little performed at all: Yes have the lowest prior performances for "Survival" and "Madrigal", although ARW had "Lift Me Up" and "The Meeting" below 100 (although Anderson Wakeman also did "The Meeting" identically, which you could argue should count). Yes also have "Don't Kill the Whale" below 200, but ARW have nothing else below 200.

    At the other end of the scale, Yes have "Starship Trooper", "And You and I" and "Roundabout" at over 1000 previous performances, while ARW have "Heart of the Sunrise" (just over 1000), "I've Seen All Good People", "And You and I" and "Roundabout".

    We'll see what ARW's US summer set looks like. No change and you can just add 60 something to all those numbers. If they add any Talk material, those songs have only been performed 76 times previously and would drop their average a fair bit, although they'd have to pull something different out of the hat to match "Survival" or "Madrigal" (maybe "Our Song", "Saving My Heart", "Miracle of Life", "New Language", "I See You" or "Then").

    Henry
    Last edited by bondegezou; 1 Week Ago at 09:23 AM.
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    Re: Who had the more surprising set?

    I think both bands are playing songs they like playing and fans enjoy. So that means a lot of familiar tunes with a few surprises. And it works for both bands. But just as I expect Yes to play a more adventurous set list next year, ARW will need to as well. And I'm confident both can pull it off.

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    Re: Who had the more surprising set?

    I was most surprised by the ARW set list.

    I expected it to be around 60-70% Yeswest material...
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    Re: Who had the more surprising set?

    Agree with Relayer1..
    Was hoping the Rabin Yes would do more Yeswest tunes as well.
    (Damn, Henry! Thanks for those stats, my man! Quite interesting! )
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    Re: Who had the more surprising set?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kathi View Post
    (Damn, Henry! Thanks for those stats, my man! Quite interesting! )
    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by JMKUSA View Post
    I think both bands are playing songs they like playing and fans enjoy. So that means a lot of familiar tunes with a few surprises.
    Yes, indeed. Ultimately, bands have to play what works for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by RelayerI View Post
    I was most surprised by the ARW set list.

    I expected it to be around 60-70% Yeswest material...
    Me too. But for the purposes of the exercise, I had to turn "surprise" into something quantifiable.

    Henry
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    Yes Old Fart Chris2210's Avatar
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    Re: Who had the more surprising set?

    it is interesting and not what I would have expected. Even with the small proportion of YesWest material in the set, as that music [obviously] has a necessarily shorter history, it should weight ARW's material in terms of this sort of comparison.

    I suppose it does demonstrate someone in the YesfARW's camp is making a land-grab on the classic material. To legitimise the idea that this version is Yes? Shurely shome mishtake?

    I have no problems with two Yesses [or rather as far as I see it, two Yes fragments], but much as I prefer the Classic material, I think I'd still favour any iteration of the band featuring Rabin as guitarist to play mostly YesWest material. But that's not the legacy they're punting at, is it?

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    Re: Who had the more surprising set?

    Yes's yestival set was far more surprising.
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    Re: Who had the more surprising set?

    Arw
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    Re: Who had the more surprising set?

    Thank you Henry. It confirms what many of us suspected.

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    Re: Who had the more surprising set?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris2210 View Post
    I have no problems with two Yesses [or rather as far as I see it, two Yes fragments], but much as I prefer the Classic material, I think I'd still favour any iteration of the band featuring Rabin as guitarist to play mostly YesWest material. But that's not the legacy they're punting at, is it?
    I'm happy with each band focusing more on their personal legacies. I think Yes have kind of done that, with more emphasis on Drama and a shift in the balance from TYA/Fragile/CttE (before White) to Tales/Going for the One/maybe Relayer (with White). I'd like to see more from Sherwood's and Davison's albums.

    We were all surprised that ARW aren't doing more YesWest material. The problem remains that I want to see Anderson/Wakeman doing the '70s greats, and I want to see Anderson/Rabin doing the '80s greats, but the Frankenstein nature of the line-up makes any set choice not quite fit. I think ARW, or at least Anderson and Lane, very much want to claim the Yes legacy, but they're happy for that to include both "Roundabout" and "Owner of a Lonely Heart"!

    Henry
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    Re: Who had the more surprising set?

    It's only fair to point out that we're comparing one legacy act's first bout of touring to another legacy act's high concept themed setlist, which was designed to include suprises, and which follows years of deliberate focus on their most popular albums (with a smattering of new material; a choice not available to ARW at present). I'm not arguing with the numbers, but I'm not going along with any suggestion that either act is markedly more daring or adventurous with their setlists than the other.

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    Re: Who had the more surprising set?

    Quote Originally Posted by dallasman View Post
    I'm not arguing with the numbers, but I'm not going along with any suggestion that either act is markedly more daring or adventurous with their setlists than the other.
    I would have to agree; which is not to say it's not an interesting topic and all, just that I don't assign the word "surprising" to either of these experiences. In fact, observing the reporting on the ARW Orlando show as it was happening I was shocked. I suppose I shouldn't have been, I should have opened my eyes a little wider because it was all right there in front of me, but...fool me once...
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    Re: Who had the more surprising set?

    Surprising...

    for me knowing this is what warmed up Yes I kinda find a little surprising...

    [IMG][/IMG]

    but if that's your thing... great, I hope you enjoy...

    Maybe Yes should get some singer/dancing girls for a few tunes too...

    still undefined

  14. #14
    Yes Old Fart Chris2210's Avatar
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    Re: Who had the more surprising set?

    Quote Originally Posted by bondegezou View Post
    We were all surprised that ARW aren't doing more YesWest material. The problem remains that I want to see Anderson/Wakeman doing the '70s greats, and I want to see Anderson/Rabin doing the '80s greats, but the Frankenstein nature of the line-up makes any set choice not quite fit. I think ARW, or at least Anderson and Lane, very much want to claim the Yes legacy, but they're happy for that to include both "Roundabout" and "Owner of a Lonely Heart"!

    Henry
    Can't argue with that. I think you can probably add to that the fact that in 2017, the 70s material is the main audience draw. Also to some degree the setlists are probably going to err on the safe side to attract an audience that may well expect to hear 'hits' [and in Yes' case that obviously doesn't mean mostly chart singles]. A lot of the hard-core fan base, complaints notwithstanding, are going to turn up anyway.

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    Inside The Sound enoesque's Avatar
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    Re: Who had the more surprising set?

    The bigger surprise is Survival and Madrigal in Yes' set. Sure they're pulling out some standards, but at least they've pulled out standards that they knock out of the park. ARW played pretty much the same set as they did when it was part of the Union tour. I saw them twice at different points of this tour. The first time they were sloppy because they didn't know the material well.. The second time they were sloppy because they were playing too many notes and showing off.

    Last year Yes did all of Drama, and two sides of Tales.. This year we got some hits, but also those hits that haven't been played for a little while, some of which are being played for the first time with Billy Sherwood (who is kicking ass already) and certainly the first time for Dylan Howe.. Right out of the gate, the band is pretty tight and playing well. Can't say the same for ARW, whose ONLY selling point is the fact that this is their first tour together and the first time A, R and W have toured together since 1992. That alone is worth seeing. I get that, and I enjoyed it as such, but R&W were not really featured as the powerhouses that they both are, except at the end when they're strolling around the venue soloing to the end of Owner.. Yes has their band mates onstage as equals, not shoved in the back as sidemen.
    Last edited by enoesque; 1 Week Ago at 12:54 PM.
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    Re: Who had the more surprising set?

    Quote Originally Posted by dallasman View Post
    It's only fair to point out that we're comparing one legacy act's first bout of touring to another legacy act's high concept themed setlist, which was designed to include suprises, and which follows years of deliberate focus on their most popular albums (with a smattering of new material; a choice not available to ARW at present). I'm not arguing with the numbers, but I'm not going along with any suggestion that either act is markedly more daring or adventurous with their setlists than the other.
    I was going to note that first point, but couldn't think how to phrase it. Do ARW go out there as if they are an old band reuniting after a long absence? At which point, you can consider all set list choices as having been neglected. Or do they go out there in the context of much of this material having been regularly toured by Yes? At which point, much of the set seems very familiar. You can argue it either way. They kind of did the former, acting as if Yes had ceased to exist and they were bringing it back, and that was perhaps true for some of their audience. But I suspect much of their audience had been seeing at least some of the Anderson-less shows by Howe/Squire/White-Yes in between.

    As an audience member, I was happy to hear ARW do "And You and I" and "Heart of the Sunrise" because it was about seeing these people rather than those people do the songs, but my experience of the set list was that it felt a bit stale because I came to it after 8 years of seeing the other Yes do most of these songs (and indeed after two Anderson Wakeman tours as well). I wanted ARW to focus more on the material that the other Yes hadn't explored, the '80s and '90s stuff.

    I'm not claiming any definitive answer on who has had the more daring or adventurous set list. The comparison is illuminating, without any answer necessarily being forthcoming. But I thought the numbers were an interesting way to explore the issue. I went in without knowing what they would say. I was surprised how little some pieces had been performed, like "South Side of the Sky" and "Leaves of Green". "SSotS" is an interesting one: it's been performed quite a bit in recent years, but of course hardly ever in the '70s, so that depresses its numbers compared to most of Fragile.

    Henry
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    Re: Who had the more surprising set?

    If I had to say more surprising, I don't know. Possibly the ARW, just because I thought maybe they'd play a few more YesWest songs.

    5 of the 15 songs played were YesWest. I might have guessed 6 or 7.

    But, I think for all of the people bashing/complaining about ARW, saying their set isn't adventurous enough, there might be something(s) to consider:

    1. Rabin was basically retired (from that lead guitar role), and likely not in his best playing shape upon shifting back out of the movie soundtrack gig.

    2. They have/had no new material to play yet.

    3. The reality is Yes has a whole bunch of songs that are classics; and each of those are considered "must plays" by some contingent of Yes fans casual or more serious (and they are LONG songs). And typically concerts are going to pull out a lot of casual fans looking to hear the "hits"... the guy in front of me last fall was wondering where Steve Howe was.... :l

    4. This was their first time all playing together in a long, long time - and as a group, they were getting familiar.

    So what I'm getting at is based on what many of the concert-goers expect, and based on several check-boxes the members themselves feel like they have hit, and based on the fact that the more classic Yes material was covered by Rabin in previous concert years (compared to YesWest stuff by Wakeman)... and that they HAVE to play Owner, Roundabout and probably LDR or All Good People... it might have just made the most sense to select what they did for their first tour out. I felt like Perpetual Change, The Meeting, and Awaken were not necessarily expected; and were great to hear. I believe the Fish was included mostly because of Chris's recent passing.

    I was frankly surprised that there was nothing from Talk, given what a strong album that was, and how material from it would really be able to fit Wakeman's skill set.

    Moving forward, for the next tour, I would hope they would include something from Talk and perhaps a couple of more/different YesWest selections. Would love to see them drop And You and I and Awaken (which would open up a LOT of time for other songs); and truly believe The Fish will not be included - it's kind of a waste as a staple (since it's not Chris). I would expect 5-6 changes for the 2017 tour. It will be interesting to see what they will be. If, IF, they come out and do a very similar tour with just 1-3 differences, I will be extremely disappointed. If they include a song from the new material they've been working on, I would be surprised; but I suppose that is a possibility.

    I think the expectations rise dramatically now that they are on their 2nd tour, and are planning on releasing a new album soon, and with the 50th coming up and YesOrig doing creative things on their tour, etc.....

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    Inside The Sound enoesque's Avatar
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    Re: Who had the more surprising set?

    I think for all the people who rationalise/apologise for ARW's pedestrian choices of setlist material, you should consider this:

    1. Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman have been talking about doing this for years.

    2. Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman have all "criticised" Yes for being a tribute band.

    3. Anderson and Wakeman claimed that their new band is the real Yes.

    4. Anderson, Rabin, and Wakeman were talking about new material long before the tour started. They really could have worked in at least ONE genuinely new idea. They didn't and no, that "new" intro to Awaken doesn't count. Sorry.

    5. Wakeman and his "Holy Trinity" comment, not to mention his passive aggressive statements about ARW being the Best Yes Evarrrr..


    And THEN they come out and just replay the Union tour. (minus the solo spots) and decide that they get to call themselves Yes.

    All the excuses and rationalisations about why they didn't play well and why their setlist was so unimaginative doesn't hold a thimble of water for me.


    Yes they should have done more to feature R and W, otherwise why are they there?
    Yes, they should have done a set that was worthy of all the hyperbolic bluster.
    Yes, they should step back and understand that there already is a band called Yes, which they all left, some multiple times..

    If they had just gone out as ARW, they could have actually done more than just cover Yes tunes.

    I will be super disappointed if they don't change up their setlist.
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    Super Yesfan Yessiree's Avatar
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    Re: Who had the more surprising set?

    Quote Originally Posted by enoesque View Post
    I think for all the people who rationalise/apologise for ARW's pedestrian choices of setlist material, you should consider this:

    1. Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman have been talking about doing this for years.
    2. Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman have all "criticised" Yes for being a tribute band.
    3. Anderson and Wakeman claimed that their new band is the real Yes.
    4. Anderson, Rabin, and Wakeman were talking about new material long before the tour started. They really could have worked in at least ONE genuinely new idea. They didn't and no, that "new" intro to Awaken doesn't count. Sorry.
    5. Wakeman and his "Holy Trinity" comment, not to mention his passive aggressive statements about ARW being the Best Yes Evarrrr..

    ...I will be super disappointed if they don't change up their setlist.
    I agree with you. I don't think you say anything that doesn't deserve to be said here. That whole "holy trinity of Yes" thing is pretty silly. You likely poll 100 yes fans randomly and say who is the holy trinity of Yes... and not one of them would pick those three as the combination-- LOL.

    But I digress. I was just trying to rationalize -- hope away -- the possible reasons for their 2016 tour set list choices. I am 100% with you, I will be super disappointed if they don't change it up as well. I hope for half new songs.

  20. #20
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    Re: Who had the more surprising set?

    Can't say the same for ARW, whose ONLY selling point is the fact that this is their first tour together and the first time A, R and W have toured together since 1992. 
    That's a big "only" up there. I wouldn't underestimate the fact that they have the original vocalist who wrote/co-wrote and sang on every song that ever got any real airplay, not to mention 100% of the material they perform live, as being a "selling point".
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