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Thread: Tough Review on Yes (THe Mess that is Yes [official]), some funny lines though.

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    Christopher YESOLA's Avatar
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    Tough Review on Yes (THe Mess that is Yes [official]), some funny lines though.

    Last edited by YESOLA; 09-07-2017 at 12:28 PM.
    So when we do concerts with any Yes music, I always say, there’s certain things you have to play that Chris played because without those notes, the voice doesn’t sing correctly. - Jon Anderson

    For me, it's Jon Anderson's distinctive, light but husky vocal that is as characteristic of their sound as anything - Andy MacIntyre





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    SR Mega Yesfan Mr. Holland's Avatar
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    Re: Tough Review on Yes (THe Mess that is Yes [official], some funny lines though.

    The page won't load on my phone. Perhaps that is telling?
    ReAwaken (after the Bethlehem Sands concert 2016):
    Sometimes in music, the songs can transcend the band members themselves - I think Yes is such a band.

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    Fishing Yesfan Mostly Harmless's Avatar
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    Re: Tough Review on Yes (THe Mess that is Yes [official], some funny lines though.

    Very harsh review.

    Was puzzled by his assertion that several drummers, (and keyboardists), had come and gone. Keyboardists...yes; Drummers...not so much.
    Practice peace.

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    Insane Yesfan Don the Cap's Avatar
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    Re: Tough Review on Yes (THe Mess that is Yes [official], some funny lines though.

    A lot of truth there. I thought it was heading for this near-nadir when I last saw them three years ago. True about Downes for me, and the flavour-free Davison

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    Fishing Yesfan Mostly Harmless's Avatar
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    Re: Tough Review on Yes (THe Mess that is Yes [official]), some funny lines though.

    For those that can't load the page:

    I'm still trying to digest what I witnessed last night. Went to the double bill at the Queen E. with Todd Rundgren and Yes (official), and I’m still feeling unsettled. Rundgren once again put on a masterful, high-energy show, and he pulled some deep cuts as well as some newer material that was very strong. He performs with the energy of a man half his age, and I’m in awe of all the cool harmonic twists and turns in his songwriting. His opening act performance was worth the price of admission, which was not insubstantial.

    And then there was Yes. They used to be one of my favourite bands, but since the death of founding bassist Chris Squire, things appear to have taken a darker turn for these lads. Yes has always had a revolving door of members. Several drummers and keyboardists have come and gone, and different incarnations have toured for years. Since Squire’s passing, there are now two versions of Yes touring at the same time! As any high school chemistry student knows, when you dilute a solution, it just ain’t as strong. An Americano is not an espresso.

    My friends, we have now arrived at the era of the rock band franchise. When you think about it, franchising a band is the logical extension of an increasingly corporate music business. These are dark days. This thing that I witnessed last night (lets call it “McYes”), was a complex emotional puzzle that I had a hard time decoding at the time.

    All I knew was that while I was having an unexplained, yet very visceral negative reaction that almost prompted me to leave several times, everyone around me seemed completely oblivious and actually were increasingly ecstatic as the set went on, like a weird hybrid of a middle-age nerd sausage party and high-school sock hop.

    To say that McYes phoned it in would be a disservice to the telephone system. Guitarist Steve Howe, a long-serving member, gamely did his best to keep the flame alight. Looking for all the world like a recently embalmed version of the guy on the Lucky Charms cereal box, this cadaverous septuagenarian led the ensemble through some historical backwaters of the band’s catalogue that may have been best left unexplored.He was clearly tired at the end of the set, and played in an increasingly meandering fashion that seemed a shadow of the virtuosity I remembered from years past.

    Another long-time member, drummer Alan White, left the stage numerous times, leaving Howe’s son to man a second kit in his absence. Perhaps he went for a nap? Slowly making his way to the front of the stage for a final bow, he looked for all the world like a slow-moving retiree on a cruise, shuffling along the deck while waiting for the buffet to open.

    New singer Jon Davison hits all the notes, and his pitch is actually quite good. This castrati elf moved about the stage quite nimbly and gamely and did his best to engage the audience of balding seniors as much as he could. Have you ever been in a Chinese bakery and seen those elaborate cakes in the beautifully lit display cases? They are impeccably decorated down to the last detail, and look like they promise to be amazing. Then you take a bite. There is absolutely no flavour to speak of.

    Jon Davison is that cake.

    Geoff Downes on keyboards was always in a tie with Tony Kaye as the least-talented member to hold down that chair, and to my eyes, he certainly lived up to that promise. Flabby and lethargic, he failed to instil any energy into the proceedings at all. In fact, his parts seemed like simplified reductions of the originals. At the end of the night, he looked like he was more excited about the Toblerone in the hotel mini-bar than he was about playing music.

    Poor Billy Sherwood. Trying to replace Chris Squire is an impossible task. He did give it the college try, but..

    All in all, what I heard was sloppy and uninspired ensemble playing, rough and ragged vocal harmonies (especially from Billy). I was saddened. It was like watching a relative with Alzheimer’s kind of fade away in front of you. They still look like themselves, they still answer to their name, but the inner wiring that gave them their unique personality has frayed and decayed to the point where they are unrecognizable.

    On the one hand, I understand the need for musicians to play, and I applaud these guys for continuing to go out and do it. I know how important it is. I wonder if the other Yes is any better? Perhaps. I don’t intend to find out. Would you like some fries with that order of Yes?

    As an aside, for my money, my friends in Earthbound Progrock can play circles around the sorry crew I witnessed last night. Go see them instead.

    Oh, did I mention that Todd Rundgren was great?
    Practice peace.

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    CAST IRON LEADR slamsound's Avatar
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    Re: Tough Review on Yes (THe Mess that is Yes [official]), some funny lines though.

    I still consider the Drama/Tales concert last year to be one of the best of their long career....

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    Insane Yesfan robusan's Avatar
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    Re: Tough Review on Yes (THe Mess that is Yes [official]), some funny lines though.

    Using words like "cadaverous", and "flabby" to describe the members of YES seems rather cheap to me . . . I disagree with virtually everything this "reviewer" has to say. I thought Geoff Downes was really "on the money" at the show. Steve Howe played great - see my comments in my main show review. Billy Sherwood's bass playing was a fitting tribute to Chris Squire and his vocals (although not quite as sweet as Chris) sounded pretty damn good from my 11th row. Jon Davison delivered the goods and really tried to work the crowd. I fail to see how he has "no flavour" . . . Dylan Howe played great. Alan White did admittedly still have some tempo issues on a few songs - but he was grooving on Machine Messiah - at the end of the night no less.
    I have to wonder if this reviewer was at the Jon Anderson solo show in Vancouver I was at about 5 years ago. Forgotten lyrics, wrong chords, even admitting to the audience "My wife said I should have practiced for this tour . . ." Well, I enjoyed Jon's show for what it was. I wasn't there to pull it apart. I wonder what the reviewer's thoughts on this show would have been?

    Oh well. Sour grapes.
    "All humans are sacred, whatever their culture, race, or religion, whatever their capacities or incapacities, and whatever their weaknesses or strengths may be. Each of us has an instrument to bring to the vast orchestra of humanity." - Jean Vanier


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    Hoping Brooklyn & Dad are together CybrKhatru's Avatar
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    Re: Tough Review on Yes (THe Mess that is Yes [official]), some funny lines though.

    Wow. That certainly is harsh. While I have seen at least one Yes show that kinda fits this description (it was during the Benoit years and we walked out halfway through), I thought the show I saw last week in L.A. was really good.
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    Fishing Yesfan Mostly Harmless's Avatar
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    Re: Tough Review on Yes (THe Mess that is Yes [official]), some funny lines though.

    Quote Originally Posted by robusan View Post
    Using words like "cadaverous", and "flabby" to describe the members of YES seems rather cheap to me . . . I disagree with virtually everything this "reviewer" has to say. I thought Geoff Downes was really "on the money" at the show. Steve Howe played great - see my comments in my main show review. Billy Sherwood's bass playing was a fitting tribute to Chris Squire and his vocals (although not quite as sweet as Chris) sounded pretty damn good from my 11th row. Jon Davison delivered the goods and really tried to work the crowd. I fail to see how he has "no flavour" . . . Dylan Howe played great. Alan White did admittedly still have some tempo issues on a few songs - but he was grooving on Machine Messiah - at the end of the night no less.
    I have to wonder if this reviewer was at the Jon Anderson solo show in Vancouver I was at about 5 years ago. Forgotten lyrics, wrong chords, even admitting to the audience "My wife said I should have practiced for this tour . . ." Well, I enjoyed Jon's show for what it was. I wasn't there to pull it apart. I wonder what the reviewer's thoughts on this show would have been?

    Oh well. Sour grapes.
    My guess is that the reviewer has never really been that much of a fan. The perspective of an ardent fan and follower of the band would be understandably different from those that are not.

    I don't think this review would sway a hard-core fan to not attend, but if one was on the fence about going, this might put the nail in the coffin.
    Practice peace.

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    Christopher YESOLA's Avatar
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    Re: Tough Review on Yes (THe Mess that is Yes [official], some funny lines though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mostly Harmless View Post
    Very harsh review.

    Was puzzled by his assertion that several drummers, (and keyboardists), had come and gone. Keyboardists...yes; Drummers...not so much.
    Well Margie, perhaps he is thinking in the recent days with Jay and Dylan....of course during the concert you get drummers coming and going (Alan and Dylan, then Dylan only, then Alan, they Dylan, and Alan).
    So when we do concerts with any Yes music, I always say, there’s certain things you have to play that Chris played because without those notes, the voice doesn’t sing correctly. - Jon Anderson

    For me, it's Jon Anderson's distinctive, light but husky vocal that is as characteristic of their sound as anything - Andy MacIntyre

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    Re: Tough Review on Yes (THe Mess that is Yes [official]), some funny lines though.

    I was at this show and agree with Robusan 100%, I saw no phoning it in. I've been quite happy with YES performances in recent years but I felt this time it was turned up a notch. It was quite a tight show, probably one of the better YES shows I've seen since the 70's heydays. A guy I know who had not seen them was blown away,especially at Steve.

    Re: Alan. I think YES are making a major theatrical blunder. If you are off stage, get totally off stage where you cannot be seen by any audience members! We could see Alan clearly in an office chair behind the band during one of his breaks. I saw he sat there right in full view on a rotating stage at another show. To see an obviously ailing drummer, contributing nothing, sitting on the stage while the band rages really loses the vibe. Instead of being elated and enjoying Dylan's contributions I found myself sad and focussing on Alan there in his chair. Gives you the impression they do not care about optics and theatrics. Sure, have a rest but get off stage!
    [SIGPIC]

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    SR Super Yesfan downbyariver's Avatar
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    Re: Tough Review on Yes (THe Mess that is Yes [official]), some funny lines though.

    The reviewer really seems to mount what essentially seems like an attack on the elderly, people who may be a bit overweight, and people with intense back pain; stopping to "randomly" throw in with an air of desperation that he really, really loves Todd Rungren, in the same way a racist might weakly interject that he has black friends or really enjoyed watching Michael Jordan play basketball in order to seem less a racist.

    Actually, when I think of two ways to approach being a little older and still playing rock and roll, the more dignified way to do it does not seem to be to have Go-Go Dancers and spend entire concerts playing "youthful" sounding styles in front of audiences that have perhaps 2 people in the age range of the music one is trying to weakly imitate while ignoring the hit songs from the old days that people actually want to hear, which seems to be what Todd Rungren is doing from the reports I've read and the clips I've seen. The Yes approach where you just keep on being Yes seems much better to me.

    I also see the reviewer seemingly pining for Chris Squire, while criticizing Geoff Downes for being overweight, Steve Howe for being old, and Alan White for having health problems. Is the reviewer under the impression that Chris was trim, young, and free of health issues in his final days? The reviewer is just reaching for excuses to explain why he doesn't like the same music he may have enjoyed in 1972. Now, you don't have to enjoy the same music you used to enjoy, but why write a review like that for the world to announce it? As he admits, the rest of the crowd was into it, and getting more and more so as the show went on and they found themselves enjoying what was presented.

    The reviewer also speaks of Yes becoming diluted since Squire died, but, really, is that true? It's the same band, only with Billy Sherwood replacing Squire, and Dylan Howe sharing drum duties with Alan White. That Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, and Rick Wakeman have started this other thing, after not having been involved in Yes for over a decade, or in one case two decades, really has no baring on how diluted or undiluted Yes Official is, since no one in Yes Featuring ARW is a defection from the Yes Official camp. That there are two Yeses running around is not really on Yes Official either, as they've been pretty clear in my mind that they wish there weren't.

    Interestingly, the reviewer only has one listed story. Does he work for the paper, or is this free lance? If it's free-lance, would anyone say it is beneath Brian Lane's hype machine to have orchestrated a review like this? Or, hey, maybe the reviewer is just slowing down as he gets older. It's a good thing there's no one writing reviews of reviewers criticizing them for not being 21 anymore and for making references to things like "sock hop[s]" and "the telephone system" that clearly date the authors.
    Last edited by downbyariver; 09-07-2017 at 02:25 PM.
    "A lot of the heavier conversations I was having with Chris toward the end were about his desire for this thing to go forward. He kept reiterating that to me. He kept telling me, ‘No matter what happens, Yes needs to continue moving forward and make great music. So promise me that that’s something you want to do.’ And I have to keep making music. It’s just what I do. I’m a fan of the band and I want to see it thrive and that means new music." -Billy Sherwood (Quote edited to fit under character limit for sig files)

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    onward... somissound's Avatar
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    Re: Tough Review on Yes (THe Mess that is Yes [official]), some funny lines though.

    That was a little over the top harsh... Even though I do see where he is coming from and sort of agree with a few points. But the last tour they played Drama on all cylinders! It had a new chemistry feel, and a good one. And every single guy was so on point... Especially Geoff and Steve. I don't think the guy took into account what inning in the game it is... And while Yes will never be the same for me without Chris, it's hard to deny the band is still playing pretty good. Same goes for ARW. Nothing like 2014 (or 2004 for that matter) and before, but still a joy and a quality show, for most.

    It is what it is, both bands. You can tear it apart, find what you like about it, or love the whole experience. But both are still a celebration of Yes music! And that's cool :)
    Last edited by somissound; 09-07-2017 at 02:26 PM.

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    Insane Yesfan Eddie Yesongs's Avatar
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    Re: Tough Review on Yes (THe Mess that is Yes [official]), some funny lines though.

    "my friends in Earthbound Progrock can play circles around the sorry crew I witnessed last night. Go see them instead."

    Right

    Please

    E
    "When Yes appeared on stage, it was like, the gods appearing from the heavens, deigning to play in front of the people."

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    YES and YES , two YES's from me
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    Re: Tough Review on Yes (THe Mess that is Yes [official]), some funny lines though.

    YES official is not a mess
    I refused to read it

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    Dr. Fish will see you now. luna65's Avatar
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    Re: Tough Review on Yes (THe Mess that is Yes [official]), some funny lines though.

    The irony of this is as much as it may engender an equal and opposite reaction of "Dude, you are so full of sh!te" from many readers, his viewpoint matters not one whit in larger realm of opinion, even as he makes proclamations like people will actually pay attention to them and give them value. Simply put: he's just a guy like any other guy on the Internet, opining like he's the final word, the primary gatekeeper. But nobody is, anymore.
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    Yesfan True 7's Avatar
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    Re: Tough Review on Yes (THe Mess that is Yes [official]), some funny lines though.

    Well I've never heard of this publication. The writer is entitled to his view and I've seen reviews as harsh on this forum, I think. Don't know why reviewers sometimes feel that physical attributes or appearance is relevant (that Luciano Pavarotti is so flabby, so I did not enjoy his performance!).

    I do think there's merit in questioning the 2 drummer situation. I enjoyed the 2 drummer Union approach, but both drummers were playing most of the time. Crimson is using, what like 5 drummers now? But they are all playing. Perhaps White needs to focus on getting strong through rest and physical therapy as opposed to riding a tour bus around the country and sitting in a chair backstage. I think that if White went away for awhile it would be thrilling to see his return, as opposed to the his current "special guest" status.
    True

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    Is this some kind of sick joke? Tonto Goldstein's Avatar
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    Re: Tough Review on Yes (THe Mess that is Yes [official]), some funny lines though.

    That was a load of ageist cheap shot bs. I think he spent way more time thinking up "clever" lines than actually listening to the show.
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    Christopher YESOLA's Avatar
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    Re: Tough Review on Yes (THe Mess that is Yes [official]), some funny lines though.

    Quote Originally Posted by sherwoodfish1 View Post
    YES official is not a mess
    I refused to read it
    Keep in mind the "Official" was added by me just to reference what band he was reviewing.
    So when we do concerts with any Yes music, I always say, there’s certain things you have to play that Chris played because without those notes, the voice doesn’t sing correctly. - Jon Anderson

    For me, it's Jon Anderson's distinctive, light but husky vocal that is as characteristic of their sound as anything - Andy MacIntyre

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    Polishing the mirror Enlighten's Avatar
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    Re: Tough Review on Yes (THe Mess that is Yes [official]), some funny lines though.

    Sometimes a band has an off night too. I wonder if that was even taken into consideration.

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