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Yes' performances outshine the faint sound quality.
on June 6, 2003
This set here captures Yes in fine form, as they were performing songs to support their 1972 release _Close To The Edge_. As many reviewers have stated, the sound quality is quite faint, which can be inexcusable to many viewers, but the performances are top-notch, and on the whole, is worthwhile for the Yes fan.
The six performances on here are for: "Your Move/I've Seen All Good People," "The Clap," "And You And I," "Close To The Edge," "Jingle Bells/Hallelujah/Roundabout" and "Yours Is No Disgrace" as an encore.
"Your Move.." is quite a nice performance as vocalist Jon Anderson is using his ethereal upper-register, and Steve Howe is playing mind-blowing material on his guitar (though in the first half, he plays what looks like a mandolin.) The vocal harmonies exchanged by Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire and Steve are nice as well. I also liked watching keyboardist Rick Wakeman clapping his hands during the handclapping section. "The Clap" is an extraordinary workout by Steve Howe. It was nice watching the close-ups on the fretboard, and watching Steve's amazing technique and virtuosity.
Elsewhere, hearing and seeing this live performance of "Close To The Edge" was quite refreshing, and sits quite nicely with the studio version. The opening was melodic and mesmerizing, although there were some parts in the beginning where you couldn't see the bandmembers, due to some of the art collages. This may annoy some viewers as this appears in other places during the performance, particularly during the third movement, "I Get Up, I Get Down." It was almost like magic witnessing Rick Wakeman, wearing his glowing silver cape, playing that soaring synthesizer lead before the crashing rhythm section jumps in to close out that third movement.
And, for more Rick Wakeman, he continues his magic on the "Jingle Bells/Hallelujah/Roundabout" medley. The first two parts feature Rick on the keyboards alone. First, he starts with a fairly reverent version of "Jingle Bells," then all of a sudden, it turns into a funked-up, bluesy piece, with the audience members clapping along. Then comes his interpretation of "Hallelujah," which was magnificently done, as he plays a synthesizer with his left hand, and what I think is a mellotron with his right hand simultaneously. It's unbelievable how he could get orchestral/choiral effects out of his instrument. But, of course, that may as well have been the technology at the time. But, in any event, it was nice to watch what many non-prog rock fans would simply call silliness and indulgence. And to end it all, there's an energetic version of "Roundabout." The encore was lots of fun as well, which was the fiery live version of "Yours Is No Disgrace."
To end this horribly written review, I'll just say that this should be owned by Yes fans, especially for fans who wish they could have seen the band play live in their 1970s period. Despite the slightly lacking sound quality, this still shouldn't be ignored, as the performances are excellent.