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Yes - Montreux 2003 (DVD) CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.97 | 146 ratings

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4 stars It's been said that this Montreux gig is among the best that Yes ever filmed. Big words, but there is some truth in it. Visually it's kept quite simple, there are no video montage, just a stabile stage design and a well done lightshow. The musicianship itself gets into the focus, and the atmosphere is very positive. As we know, Yes recorded Going For the One album in Montreux. Maybe also the fact that it's a jazz festival brings some feeling (though it didn't do that to Moody Blues, whose Live in Montreux is so boring I won't review it).

Over 2 hours long, the set has many highlights. The newer stuff is scarce and well chosen: 'Magnification', 'In the Presence Of' (which is actually beutiful) and 'Show Me' which Jon began writing in 1972 and finished in 2003. Not bad at all. Simple and touchy but not too sweet. From the classic era it's Fragile that gets most air; almost the whole album is played. Seldom heard 'South Side of the Sky' works brilliantly, and 'The Fish' is a show-off for Chris Squire's bass and Alan White's drums. They throw in some 'Tempus Fugit' and 'Silent Wings of Freedom'. Squire is a real master of bass guitar as a solo instrument! Steve Howe's acoustic guitar solo performance is built on 'To Be Over' and 'The Clap'. I wonder how many different guitars he plays on the show in total. With his grey hair and bony face he looks like a guru - and indeed plays like a guitar guru. Wakeman's solo medley is his usual virtuoso stuff and fits just fine to the set.

For me the absence of some seminal tracks is no fault at all. Instead it's refreshing to have a different set in various DVD's. The classic Yes highlights include 'And You And I', 'Heart of the Sunrise' and - mmmmm!!! - 'Awaken', here maybe in its best recorded live form. This may be among the best concert DVD's I've seen lately. 4,5 stars, but I round it down because I think the direction focuses a bit too much on Jon and has very little panoramic view (typical for concert films of today).

Matti | 4/5 |


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