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YES in Seattle WA. 17th July 2002 (Opening Night) 

Even with only two weeks rehearsal under their belt, members of Yes despite their age were in surprisingly good form. The fact it was the first show of the tour was apparent, with Chris playing a bit lazily and Jon forgetting some lyrics on a Magnification tune. He still sounds as boyish as ever though. Even Steve Howe, who is looking like he should change his name to Jerry Hatrick, played some hot licks. They donít quite rip like twenty years ago, but they still put on a good show.

Rick Wakeman was definitely the highlight, nice and high in the mix, and showing his trademark flash. He even wore a cape! They played some unusual tunes that I havenít heard for a long time, which was nice. The highlight here was the rarely played, (and even then, never the full version of), South Side of the Sky. This was a real treat. Also the third time in three days that I heard it played. I was fortunate to attend a couple of rehearsals. They played Yours is No Disgrace at the Tuesday rehearsal but didnít include it opening night.

Other selections included the awesome Revealing Science Of God, and Awaken, which were both stunning performances. Also a couple of tunes from Magnification had Rick Wakeman playing some wonderful keyboard parts. At one point in the show they played something Iíd never heard before. And though I never did find out what it was, I believe it was something new, just to give the fans a taste of what might be in store.

One disappointment was the way they packaged some of the classic songs into solo medleys. Although it was nice to hear Chris play Tempest Fugit again live. Steve Howe also played a brilliant rendition of the acoustic solo from The Ancient. I was hoping that Jon would follow with the Leaves of Green section, but it was not be. At least they got them in there somewhere. It was also nice to hear Steve play a selection from Beginnings at the rehearsal but also did not include this opening night. But fans down the line are bound to see some of these other songs. Thankfully they left out, Iíve Seen All Good People this time around.

Was it worth $80 (£53 Ė phew! Ė Ed)? If you love Yes, it was definitely worth it. They still know how to work a crowd. The ovations were so loud between almost every song that Jon had to wave the crowd down before he could talk. And Chris was in his usual stylish mode of whimsy. Chris was also quite chatty, as he doesnít usually talk that much to the audience, but had a lot to say. The lights were colourful and thick, and Yes was on stage yet again. As the tour progresses, it can only get better. Fans down the line are in for a real treat! You canít help but to be (even if only a little) overwhelmed by the magnanimous adulation that is Yes in concert in 2002. Happy 34th year!!

Randy George,

Seattle WA.


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