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Concert Review Birmingham 24.6.22

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    Concert Review Birmingham 24.6.22

    Well that was absolutely brilliant.

    The energy of the entire band was awesome.

    Steve, was on brilliant form. Jay was fantastic, Geoff was great on keys, don’t know why some people are negative about him. Jon’s voice was crystal clear and he was really having a great time. What can I say about Billy, he was unbelievable, he was outstanding, the tones from his bass were superb. He was high up in the mix.

    Loved the light show and screens were very good.

    Plus Roger Deans talk with slides was very interesting.

    A superb night, the audience were great.

    Got myself a great t shirt, so glad I went. If you can still get tickets , get them. You will not be disappointed.

    Must give a special shout out to Steve, he played with so much energy and he looked liked he was really enjoying the evening. Hope I have as much energy as him when I get to his age.

    This band are YES, and hopefully will be for years to come.

    Glad you liked the show
    "We all gotta climb mountains!" - Jon Anderson 2003


      great summary, and I really like your positive attitude. I too feel that the band is firing on all cylinders and the show I saw (RAH) was fantastic.


        TLDR: I enjoyed the concert.
        (This is not a ‘review’ of the music or performance – I don’t have the technical or musical knowledge or terminology for that. It just describes my personal experience. Please read on if that might interest you. Please don’t if you’re looking for a more meaningful critique – you will be highly disappointed!)

        Apologies for the gap between concert and comments. I wanted to spend the following couple of days or so, fully submersed in the echoes of the concert that were still playing in my head, before writing about it. I did, however, write some brief notes immediately afterwards, to ensure that my comments would be based on the actual experience, rather than my prolonged inner one. However, unfortunately, when I finally got around to posting it, the site disappeared for a while, so it is now even longer since the concert. It’s the end of the tour, so perhaps this isn’t relevant anymore? I decided to post it anyway, in case someone might still be interested.

        As mentioned above, this isn’t a review, since I’m not attempting to analyse the music or performance. I agree wholeheartedly with the review above, and also with some of what others have said about various aspects of the other shows. There is nothing particularly meaningful that I can add to those.

        My seat was at the front, but right out to the side of the stalls area, very CLOSE TO THE EDGE of the seating, on Steve’s side. I had a raised side-on view out over the heads of those in the main stalls. I like this position because there is nobody obstructing my view (I am relatively short), and I am close enough to see the band’s faces. I much prefer this over getting a more distant position, even if that is better for the sound. This location did mean, however, that I couldn’t see most of the video wall behind the band, as it was blocked by the speakers.

        The speakers were so close, and made me vibrate so much, that I sometimes felt like I was inside them. That was weirdly satisfying. This position meant that Steve, Jon and Jay were easily directly in my line of sight, so I noticed more of what they were doing.

        Because of where I was sitting, with the screens largely obscured, I unfortunately got little out of Roger’s presentation at the start. But I’m sure it would have been good for anyone who could actually see what he was talking about! The same applied to the tribute to Alan. Nevertheless, during those moments I quietly thought about Alan, and his incredible contributions to Yes across so many years.

        JON: Jon was animated throughout, which was an absolutely delightful pleasure to watch. This was even more the case during Roundabout, where he was energetic beyond what I might have imagined (had I tried to imagine it beforehand). I particularly enjoyed watching Jon approach other band members during some of the songs, hanging around them for a while; especially when he seemed to be almost ‘flirting’ with Steve!

        STEVE: Steve smiled. He seemed nicely engaged with the evening. I loved the moment he started jumping up and down, with Billy and Jon watching on closely, in apparent amusement. He gave a calm, but charmingly absorbed influence to the show. His solo was fun. (I found the guitar on the stand to be hilarious. I know it’s not that odd. Indeed, it’s practical. But for some reason, the whole idea of a guitar standing there on its own, with hands creeping around it, made me laugh (in an absolutely positive way).)

        JAY: Unanticipatedly, I enjoyed watching Jay the most. He seemed to be having a fantastic time, and was grinning throughout. He was also mouthing something a lot of the time – it actually looked as though he was yelling as loudly as he could but, of course, that may not have been the case at all. He was just fun to watch. It’s so sad about Alan, but I did enjoy Jay’s performance.

        GEOFF: I have often read that people don’t like Geoff’s set-up, with him facing away from the audience. In last Friday’s show, I found it good. There was no keyboard in front of him to partly obscure him, and a lot of the time he was actually sideways-on. As I was sitting off to one side, this was good for me. But maybe if you are in the centre, it is different. Because of where I was sitting, Geoff was not directly in my line of sight, so I didn’t notice as much of what he was doing. However, he did seem to be happy, content and relaxed, whenever I was looking at him, and he sounded very good to me.

        BILLY: From where I was sitting, it was harder to see Billy. Because I was on the edge, away on the other side, his hair was obscuring his face quite often. He also seemed to be in the dark a lot of the time, which made it harder still to see him. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed his playing. He seemed to be having a good time, and sounded great.

        Overall, the tempos seemed good, to me. So much so, that the music was worming right into me, and I couldn’t stop wriggling throughout some of the songs. I was in absolute ecstasy!

        Elsewhere there was a negative comment about Jon and Billy singing together. However, I really enjoyed watching them. Harmonies are the main reason I was drawn to Yes in the first place, over other prog bands at that time (which I did, and do, also like a lot), and harmonies are a large part of why Yes remain my favourite band. For this reason, I really enjoyed watching Jon and Billy singing together; and in particular, Jon, Billy and Steve in Wonderous Stories. It was not the same as Jon A and Chris, of course, who were the key people in my initial appreciation of the band. But Jon D and Billy managed to capture my attention, and certainly drew me in effortlessly.

        I enjoyed the whole show. I had anticipated that I may not like No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed as much but, although it took me a while to jump into it, I did like it rather more than I expected. Still not one of my favourites from the night, though. Additionally, after reading others’ comments about On the Silent Wings of Freedom, I had wondered about what my reaction would be to that one, too. Although I would have liked the whole song, I enjoyed what was offered. The only song I struggled with a bit, was Dare to Know. Parts of it I really enjoyed, but it always feels a bit disjointed, to me. This is in large part because it feels like I keep getting dragged off into an old film by the keyboards, and I can’t keep my concentration on the song. This happens when I listen to it on The Quest, and the same occurred during the live performance. I had hoped that the live playing would overcome that, but it didn’t. I loved The Ice Bridge, though. (And I really enjoy listening to most of The Quest.) I found myself getting very confused during Does It Really Happen, and kept forgetting what song it was. I eventually worked out that it was because Jon’s vocals were distant enough from the original (compared to Jon A’s vocals as the comparison for most of the other songs), that my brain couldn’t quite keep up with what it was hearing! That isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy that song – I did. My head was just stumbling around in happy confusion.

        During the interval, I met a man in the queue for the bar, who was not a Yes fan. He said he found the music too complicated for his taste. That’s interesting to me, because that’s exactly one of the reasons I like it so much! It keeps my brain very happily occupied (stops it wandering off and doing something else, instead).

        I bought a T-shirt. Unfortunately, it hangs a little oddly on one side, and the image on the back is a bit off-centre. Maybe it’s supposed to be like that, but I find small things like that to be irritating! Nevertheless, I really like the Yes logo on the front, even though I don’t like green as a colour. On the black T-shirt it looks sublime, somehow! (I’m less keen on the eyes on the back of the T-shirt, as they seem a bit disturbing. However, to get just the logo on the front, you had to have the eyes on the back. And in any case, it will be whoever is behind me that will get freaked out by them, rather than me!)

        Well, that’s all I have to say, I think. I loved the concert. I want to go again. I saw that it was going to Ireland, but it would just have been too expensive to follow it there, sadly. But I’m delighted with the wonderful evening I had, and excitedly look forward to the next tour. Relayer?


          Wow great review!
          "We all gotta climb mountains!" - Jon Anderson 2003


            Glad you had a great time Shufflin' Suzie 🙂


              Great review!


                Thanks for your comments. It's nice to know that a few people still read my 'review' of the show, even though I was so late in posting it. One thing I didn't mention above was how scared I was when YIND started. It was so sudden and loud! It's not like I didn't know it was coming, or that I didn't know how it begins. But I was right by the speakers, and the sound felt enormous. Yes were some way into the song before I managed to regain my composure!


                  The energy of the crowd was the best at this show of the 4 that I attended. Most likely due to the sound mix. They finally got Billy's bass to vibrate the building - just like Chris


                    Originally posted by jskawaken1 View Post
                    The energy of the crowd was the best at this show of the 4 that I attended. Most likely due to the sound mix. They finally got Billy's bass to vibrate the building - just like Chris
                    I also saw four (Notttingham, Liverpool, London and Birmingham) and agree this was the best. The sound was excellent.


                      Originally posted by bluegrunt
                      Lovely review, glad you enjoyed the show, it was special, wasn't it?
                      Yes, it really did feel special. It's hard to describe, but the energy was overwhelming, and the band seemed so content, and fully engaged with their playing and with each other.

                      You're right about Symphony Hall. I love that venue. It adds to the experience. Comfortable, attractive, and somehow it seems to facilitate an excited atmosphere all by itself.

                      Great pictures. Do you have one of the full band playing?




                          Originally posted by bluegrunt
                          Birmingham is a really special venue, great sound, nice wide stage, good views from all over.
                          Incredibly this was my first time at the venue. Absolutely amazing. Billy's bass was just thunderous all night.