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YES FT. ARW: LIVE AT THE APOLLO

Yes

Symphonic Prog


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2 stars I was literally thrilled by the fact I'll be seeing Yes with Jon Anderson once again on a glorious blu ray format, even though there are, sadly, two Yeses at the moment; Chris was gone and Steve Howe is playing with a guy who, to be honest, is a good singer, but totally desecrates the spirit of Yes music when involve himself in singing things like "Close to the Edge" or "And You and I". But after watching the concert for about half an hour my only impression was disappointment and sadness. First of all, in my opinion, the production is terrible, you may hardly hear the sound of drums, especially the soft tones, there is too much noise in the whole event and the guitar help this version of Yes look like an average melodic rock band. Trevor Rabin is simply not a proper replace for Steve Howe. On "And You and I" there is no acoustic guitar, not to mention the slide guitar and the sensitive way of playing which makes Steve Howe's contribution so unique and exciting. Jon Anderson, as usual, is excellent, the rest of the band was simply doing its job. The repertoire is generally acceptable and expected, even though I don't like the 90125 stuff. This was, I would suppose, an event for a live experience, not for a home watching. My hard recommendation is Live at Montreux 2003. Live at the Apollo - definitely not my cup of tea.
Report this review (#2024697)
Posted Wednesday, September 12, 2018 | Review Permalink
rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
3 stars It's a good thing that Yes had many line-up changes in their career, that's maybe why they still play live after 50 years. They have a large directory of musicians to choose from each time someone left the band, And not only that, I don't know how many times Rick Wakeman, Trevor Rabin, and Jon Anderson left the band and come back. It's like a broken family that still have some love for each other despite many conflicts... Let's get to the main dish: Yes "Live At the Apollo"(Blu-Ray) It's no surprise that with Trevor Rabin on guitar we have some songs from his past experience with the band: "Changes", "Hold On", etc., and the miserable "Rhythm of Love". I am glad that they did "Lift Me Up" from the badly criticise "Union" album. And we have the classic songs of 8 minutes plus including "Awaken" with a new intro thanks to Rabin and the new drummer Louis Molino III. It's also the return of Rick Wakeman who have a bigger symphonic style then Downes who has toured with Yes recently.

The picture is sharp and the audio nice, except that they put more work into adding fake audience noise instead of doing a proper surround mix. Lee Pomeroy is on bass, he's been with Steve Hackett. He has the task to play a short version of "The Fish", and he succeeds nicely. We have a 2 hours show (30 minutes more than previous live releases) with no extra. For those fans who can't get enough Yes. I am still waiting for some great new fresh album, which probably will never materialize.

Report this review (#2024699)
Posted Wednesday, September 12, 2018 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yes has never sounded and looked better on digital format. Who would have imagined that after about fifteen years later since Anderson last time appeared on Yes dvd live at Tsongas, he would do miracle and give perfect sounding vocals for live in Apollo blu-ray. I think it's amazing. This is an amazing release with so superriorily playing band that I have to announce that Yes has never sounded better on digital format. All five band members does excellent job, not only playing well, but also by brinning these old songs back to life as they were, with warm hearted profeccionalism. No one can replace Jon Anderson, but other band members also feels unreplaceable. This is best Yes line up at the moment, no doubt. I just wish this same group would do more of this as long as they are able. Highest recommendations!
Report this review (#2024846)
Posted Thursday, September 13, 2018 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is pretty much what I thought it would be. As mostly Yes's popular 80s and some 70s tracks (and "Life Me Up" from 1991's "Union"), it's a great summary of 50 years of spectacular music. While 70s yes is my favorite period for ANY band in ANY genre, this album gave me an appreciation for their 80s output.

Wakeman and Rabin represent different eras in Yes's history. Wakeman adjusts well and shines in the 80s tracks that Rabin and Anderson wrote. However, Rabin just doesn't sound natural playing some of the seventies tracks. "And You and I", "Awaken", and "Roundabout" just don't sound the same without Howe's technical prowess and wailing riffs. Rabin has some pretty big shoes to fill for the 70s tracks and it's apparent that he doesn't (especially on "Roundabout" and "I've Seen All Good People"). And Anderson's voice sounds as good as ever, if not better than ever!

One of the biggest complaints for this album from others is the "canned" applause and cheering. This doesn't really get in the way of the music in my opinion but it seems a bit strange to add (essentially) white noise to a music record. Otherwise, the sound quality/production is great.

The problems I have with this is that some of the tracks just don't have the energy that they should. "Eclipse", the second part of "And You and I" and "The Fish" are supposed to be grandiose and filled with energy but both sound uninspiring on this release. "Roundabout" is the exception, though. This track sound is more energetic than the studio version and Anderson sings harmonies which sound spectacular.

That being said, "Awaken" sounds amazing! They took a 15 and a half minute track and stretched it to more than 22 minutes and it worked very well. It sounds different that the studio recording on Going for the One but is still just as beautiful. Just in a different way.

After all of the criticism, I still say that this is a must-buy for any Yes fan of both the 70s and the 80s.

Report this review (#2113456)
Posted Tuesday, January 1, 2019 | Review Permalink

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