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Yes - In The Present - Live From Lyon CD (album) cover

IN THE PRESENT - LIVE FROM LYON

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.56 | 91 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
3 stars When it comes to classic progressive rock, you'll have a tough time discussing the genre before Yes comes up conversationally. Their legacy is one that few bands can rival, and a long string of classic albums have made them a staple in nearly every rock fan's collection. The latest incarnation of Yes, which contains vocalist Benoit David in place of Jon Anderson, has been met with some controversy, but I've actually been quite pleased by what the band has to offer with their new vocalist - his performances on Fly From Here are excellent, and I also remember being quite impressed with his pipes when I saw Yes in a live setting a few years back. To showcase this new lineup, the band has also released a new double live album from their performance in Lyon, France on December 1, 2009. In the Present - Live From Lyon mostly shows the band performing their most classic tracks from the seventies', and it's clear that the band is as inspired as ever - Benoit David's vocals are consistently excellent, and the rest of these aging rockers also sound fresh and inspired. While I would've liked to see a bit more focus on new material, In the Present - Live From Lyon is still a well-performed and highly enjoyable live effort for any fan of Yes.

On this live album, you get some of Yes' mandatory classics like "Siberian Kathru", "I've Seen All Good People", "Owner of a Lonely Heart", and "Roundabout", as well as symphonic epics like "And You And I", "Southside of the Sky", and "Heart of the Sunrise". The band delivers all of the songs with a high level of professionalism, and the warmth found on the studio versions is never lost in the live setting. Killer performances of songs like "Siberian Kathru" and "Machine Messiah" prove that Yes is still far from running out of energy, and the tasteful Steve Howe acoustic guitar piece "Corkscrew" as well as the AOR track "Owner of a Lonely Heart" means that all sides of this multifaceted act are showcased throughout In the Present - Live From Lyon. While the setlist will unquestionably satisfy most Yes fans (myself included), I would've liked to see a few tunes from their more recent catalog. As difficult as it is to complain about an album with this many killer tracks, the fact that most of these songs are readily available on other live albums makes In the Present - Live From Lyon more of a fan item than an essential part of Yes' canon.

Though a few newer Yes songs would've enhanced my general opinion of In the Present - Live From Lyon, there's still no question that this is an immensely entertaining live experience. The quintet is at the top of their game throughout the full set, and the wealth of classic tunes should satisfy any fan of the band's masterpieces from the seventies'. As a sampler of what Oliver Wakeman and Benoit David are capable of as members of Yes, In the Present - Live From Lyon is a more than worthy taste of their abilities. While In the Present - Live From Lyon won't hold much appeal to Yes newcomers, it is a solid live experience of one of progressive rock's finest assets. I'd say 3.5 stars are well-deserved.

J-Man | 3/5 |

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