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Yes - House Of Yes: Live From The House Of Blues (DVD) CD (album) cover

HOUSE OF YES: LIVE FROM THE HOUSE OF BLUES (DVD)

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.58 | 98 ratings

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Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I have rarely seen real live of prog bands that's why whenever they release the live video (except video clips that I don't quite favor) I try my best to purchase it, including this performance by legendary prog band Yes. Filmed during their performance at the House Of Blues, Las Vegas, in 1999, the band features Steve Howe on guitar, Igor Khoroshev on keys, Jon Anderson on vocals (percussion and harp, too), Alan White on drums and percussion, Chris Squire on bass, and Billy Sherwood on guitar. I did not really expect a lot before seeing the DVD as Rick Wakeman was not featured. This proved to be a wrong perception as Igor Khoroshev is a great keyboardist and he can replace Rick in this performance. And, he does not over act during the show like what Tom Brislin did with Yessymphonic.

The Performance

I'm ready to be blamed as being too naïve saying that this is an excellent show with flawless delivery by the band. They did the gig very well. They seemed to delight in expanding the tracks here and there. The video camera seemed to shoot Steve Howe and Jon Anderson with a big proportion while actually I was expecting Igor to be shot larger as he contributed well with his keyboard skills. It does not mean that Howe and Anderson did not deserve the shot, but it's bit too much and we have known it that they appeared quite a big share of screens with other video shows as well. I would say, the new members Khoroshev and Sherwood were focused on the least.

The set list for this performance includes five tracks from The Ladder, plus a smattering of classics. As we know, Howe was uncomfortable playing Rabin's parts on their 80s albums, I was not surprised that Howe was absent for the encore of "Cinema" (from 90125). Goot to see him play on "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" and played great solo at the end. Sherwood, who then left the band, to play Rabin's parts. It's not due to I'm more inclined towards Howe but as a matter of fact the guitar works of Sherwood were not really obvious. I even thought crazy of crazy question: "Did he really play his guitar?".

Anderson seemed to enjoy the show, demonstrating his contacts with the audience. Squire and White looked happy to be there, White perhaps more so as he almost always had a smile on his face while his hands were busy with the sticks. Howe seemed focus on his performance. Sherwood did seem so attractive on stage as he might think that the band had good enough with one Howe guitar. Almost all solos were performed by Howe. Khoroshev seemed even more focused on his tasks than Howe, but as he was shot very got little by the cameramen. But his keyboard sounds can be heard clearly unlike Sherwood with his guitar.

The show starts off with their classic track "Yours Is No Disgrace", performed smoothly and energetically. A series of snap shots of Yes through the years appears, leading into the live performance. Those who've seen Yes live more than once might be in a better position to put this concert in context with their past performances (and other live Yes videos). The performance is very attractive. When my favorite track "Homeworld (The Ladder)" was performed, my screen was filled- up with digital spaceships into the background. It's a bit distracting for my viewing pleasure, actually. I'd rather, in any live video show, see the stage without any insertion of other films or acts because it disrupts my appreciation to the performance of the band. "Perpetual Change" is one of my favorites and the band played it well. But "Lightning Strike" is not the kind of song that I expect Yes would have ever created and played. But it's there in "The Ladder" album already - what can I say?

If I have to select the best of best cuts for the show is the performance for "Awaken" from Going For The One album. Two factors why I think this is best of best: first, it's a great track with powerful composition and not straight forward structure, it offers a lot of variations. Second, I wondered how Igor would play the keyboard solo during quiet passage where only keyboard and Jon's triangle fill the music. Wow! Igor did his job really well! I salute him for his coolness and speedy fingers punched at his keyboard. This part has always been my ultimate enjoyment of this song. After this track was performed brilliantly, I don't actually really care about how other tracks would be performed. It's a masterpiece song. It's a legend.

The Package

The sonic quality is excellent, all details can be heard clearly. Listeners may be able to take advantage of the video being recorded using 5.1 Digital Audio. The sound production is truly a balanced one where the mid-range is clear, the treble is transparent enough and the bass is at the right level. The only thing that I sometimes wonder was the guitar sound of Sherwood that I could only hear during "Cinema" but disappeared on the other tracks. Was it intentionally mixed thinly as the band used to perform with single player? I don't really know. On Igor, even though it's quite clear but I don't think it's the same sound level if Rick did play it.

Another feature of the DVD that I do enjoy is the bonus materals on Homeworld with remixed version. When I played at my player I did really enjoy the sonic quality especially when I played it loud.

Summary

Highly recommended DVD. Overall rating is 4 ½ out of 5 stars. The half-point to go for five star is basically attributable to song selection as some of tracks were not that the band should play. But, you might have different taste with me. Keep on proggin' .!

Progressively yours,

GW - Review #313

Gatot | 4/5 |

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