Pretty much Yes, or is it?
John Sposato | Syracuse, NY, USA | 08/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Longtime Yes fans know about the civil war that erupted between the two factions of Yes in the late '80s-1990. The "West" lineup owned the name, so the "East" lot had to use a lawyer's office byline. It was still Yes as far as fans were concerned, given the endless turnover throughout the years. (Let's just call a spade a shovel!)
This concert was recorded and filmed on 9 September 1989 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountainview, CA (outside San José, as Jon Anderson mentioned, around where he lives now). Session players filled out the rest of the band (Stick-master Tony Levin was on sick leave).
Tracks from the sole studio album and old Yes chestnuts are featured. I have the original EU indie release from 1993, and "Starship Trooper" is omitted. It was on the 1994 US edition on Herald/Caroline I used to have (real fans would buy some imports).
There are some typos. The biggest is "Gone But Not Forgotten", a poignant Rick Wakeman instrumental from 1983, which isn't here, but "Madrigal" from 1978's "Tormato", is instead used in his solo medley. "Owner of a Lonely Heart" is performed acoustically in Anderson's solo allotment, as the others may not have wanted to touch that one (they would on the "Union" and other later tours, however).
Not wanting to leave out Bill Bruford, his drumming is stronger than before, where he had a more of a jazz fusion approach, which he still uses, I suppose.
This was recently reissued by leading UK independent Voiceprint, who have a number of solo and side releases in the Yes and Asia family."
Prog Nerd | Southern California | 11/21/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I always loved this live album by Yes-in-all-but-name. The clarity of instruments is wonderful, the crowd is clearly heard and enthusiastic, the sound is raw and live (no overdubs I'm aware of), and the setlist is expertly chosen and played well.
It seems strange to open a show with acoustic solo medleys, but that's exactly what they do here. Jon Anderson throws casual 90125 fans a bone by including "Owner of a Lonely Heart" in between "Time And A Word" and a short excerpt of "Teakbois", before Steve Howe comes in with "Clap/Mood For A Day". After a gorgeous Rick Wakeman medley (notice his use of piano and keyboard textures and how good they sound here, as opposed to later in the 90's) which features "Madrigal" (from Tormato; and not "Gone But Not Forgotten" as the tracklisting says) as well as some stuff from Six Wives/King Arthur, before Bruford joins them onstage and launches into an odd version of "Long Distance Runaround", which segues into excerpts of "Heart of the Sunrise" as well as a percussion solo (utilizing his cheesy electronic Simmons drum pads.)
The ABWH songs from their one album all sound wonderful live (in most cases even better -- such as "Brother of Mine" and "Order of the Universe"), and although the classic Yes material is good, it is sorely missing Chris Squire's chunky bass presence. (Tony Levin played bass on the ABWH album and tour, but was sick for the recording of this show -- filled in by Bruford's fellow jazz-fusion compatriate Jeff Berlin, who does an adequate job.) "Close To The Edge" has an extended organ solo, and you can practically smell the excitement as the audience goes bonkers. "And You And I" is done well enough, but I prefer YesWest's overtly dramatic rendition of it over the more subtle one here. However, this concert contains the *definitive* "Starship Trooper", with crystal-clear vocals, wonderful harmonies, and the best "Wurm" outro ever, especially the first minute or so as Wakeman teases the 3-note motif with gorgeous deep keyboards.
Different versions of An Evening of Yes Music Plus (gosh, what a dumb title) exist, some containing "Starship Trooper", while more recent ones include "I've Seen all Good People". Roger Dean again provides the artwork, which is quite nice.
Recommended for seasoned Yes fans. Others should start with their greatest hits or familiarize themselves with the classics 70's material first (as well as 1989's ABWH) before picking this up."