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Yes Montreux 2003 (DVD) album cover
3.97 | 149 ratings | 12 reviews | 36% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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DVD/Video, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Siberian Khatru
2. Magnification
3. Don't Kill The Whale
4. In The Presence Of
5. We Have Heaven
6. South Side Of The Sky
7. And You And I
8. To Be Over
9. Clap
10. Show Me
11. Rick Wakeman Solo Medley
12. Heart Of The Sunrise
13. Long Distance Runaround
14. The Fish
15. Awaken
16. I've Seen All Good People
17. Roundabout

Total Time: 2 hours 18 minutes (approx)

Line-up / Musicians

- Jon Anderson / vocals
- Steve Howe / guitars, vocals
- Chris Squire / bass, vocals
- Rick Wakeman / keyboards
- Alan White / drums

Releases information

Eagle Vision PGM-EREDV -627

Thanks to gimsom for the addition
and to SouthSideoftheSky for the last updates
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YES Montreux 2003 (DVD) ratings distribution

(149 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(36%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(49%)
Good, but non-essential (13%)
Collectors/fans only (1%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

YES Montreux 2003 (DVD) reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lor68
3 stars Well it's not properly the best live I've ever heard, talking about the immortal band from the UK, even though it's quite fascinating if you regard of the intelligent approach by Jon Anderson, involved in a different contest in comparison to his habit... his sensible choice concerning the songs, by forgetting a few great gems such as "Close to the Edge" or "The Gates of Delirium", which have been often included in their exhibitions, let me think of a versatile band... ok the choice of "Dont' kill the whale" is quite odd, but you can listen to the classic number of " Siberian Khatru", performed in a good execution, as well as to the immortal "Heart of the Sunrise", the most famous "mini-suite" by Yes (along with the hit single of the past - entitled "Roundabout", which is a must...). But at the end the DVD is good and - even though not essential at all - it can be included in you recent video collection of Yes...

Interesting, after all... you can add another half star at least!!

Review by Matti
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).

Review by Guillermo
4 stars How many people are still working at the (almost) age of sixty, and still enjoying success and still looking like they are enjoying their jobs? YES is one of this fortunate groups of people who are still working, doing their jobs with quality, success and apparent happiness, at that age, as this concert DVD shows them, in my opinion.

The set-list is almost the same as when I saw them playing in my city in December 8th, 2002, with the exception of "And You and I" (they played here "Close to the Edge" instead), "To Be Over" (Howe played here "Leaves of Green" from "The Ancient" instead), and in my city they also played "Starship Trooper" as the first Encore. So, this DVD brings me very good memories from that 2002 concert.

Despite the fact that I like more the set-list from the "Keys to Ascension" DVD (being more varied, in my opinion), this DVD is very good, despite including more songs from the "Fragile" album, which, to be honest, it is not one of my favourite albums from YES. But it was good to listen to "We Have Heaven" (which includes the use of some tapes to help the band to sing the vocals) and the complete version of "South Side of the Sky" (being the first tour on which Wakeman played the piano instrumental section, and the band also played and sang the next section of this song with both sections of the song never played on tour before). In 1971-72 (with Wakeman) and in 1975 (with Moraz) the band only played short versions of this song."Don`t Kill the Whale" wasn`t played since their 1978-79 tours, and it also was good to hear it again, with the additon (like "South Side of the Sky") of guitar/keyboards solos at the end of both songs. Howe also plays an almost complete (but instrumental) acoustic guitar solo version of "To Be Over" in a very good arrangement, with this song not being played by the band since their 1974-75 and 1976 tours with Moraz on keyboards."Heart of the Sunrise" also wasn`t played by the band on tour since 1991-92. "The Fish" also includes bass and drums parts of songs from "Drama" ("Tempus Fugit") and "Tormato" ("On the Silent Wings of Freedom"; why the band didn`t play the whole song?).

The version of "Awaken" included in this DVD is very good, but a bit different that the version included in the "Keys to Ascension" DVD, with this 2003 version including some improvisations and different playing by Wakeman in some parts of the song. I have to say that the main reason to go to see them playing in concert in my city in 2002 was to listen to "Awaken", which is my favourite song from YES, and it wasn`t played by them here in their 1998 and 1999 tours. The other reason was to see YES with Wakeman on keyboards, because in 1998 and 1999 the band didn`t include him in the line-up, with Igor Khoroshev being the keyboard player (doing in those concerts a very good job, in my opinion).

Two songs drom the "Magnification" album are included: the title track and the very good song called "In the Presence of", with Wakeman reading scores while playing on keyboards the orchestral arrangements of these songs (he didn`t play on that album, with Alan White playing a bit of piano on that album). White said in one interview that "In the Presence of " was a song which was mostly composed by him.

I think that this is a very good concert DVD, most "honest" than the "Keys in Ascension" DVD in the sense of not really having overdubs, with the band recorded "as they played in concert". Particularly, Anderson looks tired and making some big efforts to reach the high tones in some songs, but he also looks very happy, really having fun. The band looks particularly very "inspired" while playing "Awaken", with all the musicians closing their eyes while playing! They obviously look older than in previous tours, but they still play very well as individual musicians and as a band.

The quality of the audio and video in this DVD is very good. In ontrast to the "Keys to Ascension" DVD, the band is presented without additional visuals and effects. But I like both DVDs, and in my opinion both are good companion to each other.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Having seen Yes live in the glory years doing their Tales from Topographic Oceans tour, I still remember the collective awe expressed by the 18,000 fans crammed into the Montreal Forum, dizzied by the seeming ease with which this complex music was being performed. We were a long way from the simplified blues-rock that generally characterized the arena events of the time. Looking at this live in Montreux performance some 28 years later, the admiration remains intact, even though the modern technology that surrounds us has made us complacent, as well as ultra-demanding, perhaps even blasť. Way back then as now, the thrill of listening to such masterful music played seemingly effortlessly still provokes deep trepidation. They are still introduced as five musicians combined as YES, all true masters of their craft, combining their efforts into this amazing musical display, a journey through time and space, the old classics just as resilient and relevant today than ever, alongside their newer material. Obviously, their repertoire of illustrious songs (Roundabout, Heart of the Sunrise, Siberian Khatru, And You & I , I've Seen All Good People, Long Distance Runaround, Awaken) have become legendary icons of enjoyment and art, played with apparent ease, flowing directly from their collective soul to the highly appreciative audience. Yes has often been accused of a certain coldness which I must rebuke with authority, as their live performances have rarely or never been mailed in, lackadaisical. This show is a case in point, while obviously respectfully composed in their stage appearance, Jon Anderson certainly exudes a certain worldly charm, Wakeman's usual eloquence draped all over his keyboards, Howe displays a dizzying command of his vast arsenal of six-stringed instruments while Squire still grinning like a cat as if the Owner of a Lonely Bass (reminding me visually of a British version of Gene Simmons). Alan White remains the consummate pro drummer, keeping this entire razzle-dazzle neatly in place. Contrary to reviewing a studio album, it's really superfluous to give a track by track account of a concert event that recapitulates all the band's historic episodes. Let it be said that all is there for a Yes fan to behold in total comfort, while non-fans should be impressed with this DVD, the usual suspects (See above ) being as always perfectly played , the cameo solo slots astonishing with Howe, Wakeman and Squire each unmistakably displaying why they continuously lead all fan polls for their respective instruments. As for the pieces, I sort of forgot what a great song "South Side of the Sky" was, having awoken to it recently via the latest Glass Hammer version (on their Culture of Ascent album), a magical piece that deserves more praise, proving once and for all Rick's rule over the ivories (a ridiculous Mini-Moog solo). "Don't Kill the Whale" has a revamped and reenergized grooming that rocks harder than the original version, with Howe in particular giving some much needed fret pizzazz. "In the Presence of" off the recent Magnification album also dazzles unexpectedly with some fine piano work, an instrument I have learnt to adore as I age elegantly, moving unhurriedly away from the enthrallment of the synthesizer. The entire piece ends as grandiose symphonic Prog of the highest caliber, with a hint of magic. My only slight peeve is the few occasional video glances at Squire, being a bass fetishist; I could just look at him playing all night, just like back in 1975! His solo spot is just not enough! A Fish is not enough! Finally, a word about the impish Jon Anderson, especially in an age where some of the past giants are loosing (or have lost) their voices, Jon keeps singing with that unique timbre he was born with, no one can accuse him of ripping off Elvis, Morrison, Bowie or Ferry. Hardly a bum note, remembering a vast catalogue of admittedly obtuse lyrics, the man still has the vocal goods, much to his genetic credit. The Montreux audience had as many younger people as old geezers, even a few hot babes which only proves again that Prog does have staying power. Viagra-Prog, indeed. In an interesting anecdote, King Crimson had played the night before in Montreux , eschewing all older material, playing exclusively contemporary material. Steve Howe stated to the press:" If Robert Fripp wants to do that, it's his choice , we like to make new music but combine it with old material. If Sinatra was still alive, you went to one of his shows and he didn't sing "My Way" or "NY, NY", you'd leave pretty disappointed". Yes, you certainly got that right. 4.5 Ouis
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I know that this DVD was released in 2007 but I only got a chance to purchase couple of weeks ago because I took many considerations to have this DVD - Yes had got so many DVDs, so it's gonna be "another" one. But I was wrong. Yes, I have owned and watched many DVDs from Yes but I could not afford to miss this one if I knew that this is another excellent performance by the band. The other thing is very personal to me because this concert was shot before the Second Leg Tour in Singapore where I wathed them on September 25, 2003 (of course I remember the date because it's the first time for me to see the band "live" and the first time for me to have a face to face conversation with Jon just before the show! And the photograph of me and Jon has been framed nicely, hang on my music room wall ..what a memorable event!). One thing that amazes me is the fact that Jon used the same gear as in this DVD and also during the performance in Singapore - exactly the same!!!

With their matured ages of the members, I consider that this live concert has proven that they still rock their songs almost exactly the same with their original compositions and in fact in some songs are better played here than the original studio version. One of the examples is "Don't Kill The Whale" from Tormato album which sounds to me different than original version but it has great live vibes. Jon seems to sing so hard in his high register notes and Rick Wakeman plays his keyboards in great maneuvers bit different from the original one. Another example is "Southside of The Sky" - the classic from legendary "Fragile" album. Again, wakeman does some improvisations from the original version.

"Awaken" is something that I had been waiting for to see the differences with other versions of "Keys to Asenscion" and Live From The House of Blues where Igor Koroschev replaced Wakeman in keyboard. All the three versions are different and I love them all. The version that Igor played was quite similar with studio one but the overall performance was different because of a bit of improvisation by Wakeman as well as Jon.

I expected that Rick Wakeman played "To Be Over" . but I was a bit disappointed because it's basically Steve Howe solo. Nevermind, Steve's guitar solo here is great. But I just wanted to see whether or not Mr Wakeman is willing to play Mr Moraz' composition. Unfortunately not.

Overall, this DVD is really entertaining for those of you who have loved the band or for those newbie. It's an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Keep on proggin' .!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Montreux concerts are of considerable interest to me due to the rawness of the performances and plain concert stages - it is just the band and what they do - no frills. I wondered if Yes would suit this raw intimate stage environment. Yes, they do, I am pleased to state.

This DVD is excellent, though not as good as 'Tsongas Anniversary Concert'. The concert is captured in all its glory featuring some of Yes' best material. The best lineup of Yes play their greatest songs and it is a truly wonderful and remarkable achievement that they can sing and play so well at this late stage of their exceptional career.

Highlights include 'Siberian Khatru', 'South Side Of The Sky', 'And You And I', 'Rick Wakeman Solo Medley', 'Heart Of The Sunrise', 'Long Distance Runaround', 'Awaken', 'I've Seen All Good People' and 'Roundabout'. They are all sublimely played and a pleasure to watch these masters at their craft. I could have done without the environmental - save the whales, trees, bees - twaddle from Anderson, but he's doing what he loves. Selling the songs.

The concert clocks in at 2 hours 18 minutes and is a wonderful captivating and memorable Montreux event. Not a masterpiece but still worth serious consideration for Yes and symphonic prog fans alike, from the masters of prog.

Review by Sinusoid
4 stars I'm quite pleased with the performance on this DVD. The setlist is bound to please many a proghead as they stick with songs from their classic era. Most of the songs are from the FRAGILE and CLOSE TO THE EDGE albums, and while we hear great live versions of ''South Side of the Sky'', ''Siberian Khatru'' and ''Heart of the Sunrise'', I'm slightly disappointed that ''Close to the Edge'' is missing. ''Awaken'' (and Anderson playing harp) somewhat make up for this shortcoming. They also pulled a FRAGILE and gave every member solo time (Alan and Chris on the same jam); it's mostly annoying from my standpoint, but Steve Howe does give an interesting acoustic interpretation of ''To Be Over'' (I will always prefer the studio). Still, it's one DVD that would sit well in a prog collection.
Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A big disappointment for several reasons, but not at all a total one by any means, Yes's 2003 show at Montreux is great for fans who know and appreciate the material. But there are some problems. Where's Chris Squire anyway? Sure he is there, on stage, playing and audible and all that, but Squire is such a showman, it's a real shame that the only time the camera ever gives him any time is during his solo moments. Jon Anderson, the person who enjoys most of the time on camera, is usually known for his eccentric apparel even in more recent times, but on this show, it looks like he just got through with a brisk jog. The whole show is a bit strange in this respect. Anderson's goofy philosophizing in between songs is embarrassing, really. And why Wakeman suddenly dons sunglasses during the fourth song is beyond me. The footage is mainly of Anderson's throat and Steve Howe's fingers, but that's okay. The music is really good. However, the problems are evident immediately; as "Siberian Khatru" begins, it's clear instantly that either there are sound problems, or the soundman doesn't know what he is doing. The guitar is always too loud, the vocals fluctuate in volume, and the rest of the band is barely there. It takes several songs before this problem seems to be straightened out. "Magnification" sounds totally stripped down, as the keys of Rick Wakeman are not enough to compensate for the absent orchestra. On the other hand, "Don't Kill the Whale," an unexpected number, sounds more fleshed out than the original. The vocal harmonies are noticeably off with "In the Presence Of," and the echo on the vocals at the song's emptiest moment is laughable. The upside to this rendition is Wakeman's keys that fill things out a bit. "We Have Heaven," quite naturally, is a pointless inclusion on a live show, especially since most of the vocals are overdubs, and the song that follows is the dark introduction to "South Side of the Sky," and yet Anderson still goes on about how "we all have to climb mountains in life." That's fantastic, since the fate of the folks in that song is not a mystery. Sarcasm aside, that song is performed very well (almost as good as the Songs from Tsongas version). It's always impressive to watch Wakeman's right hand during a synthesizer solo, and it gives the piece, which can overstay its welcome, a cool (no pun intended) change. "And You and I" is less than perfect, but never fails to please or inspire. The biggest letdown, however, was seeing "To Be Over" on set list on the back of the DVD case- the impetus for my purchase- and coming to find out that it is merely a solo version on acoustic guitar by Steve Howe. I feel such things should be noted (like listing "Ritual" on the House of Yes DVD but only performing a brief, stripped down snippet). Howe's rendition is nothing less than amazing, and I'm thankful I got to hear it, but I still felt a little cheated. "Clap" follows, presumably so the band can continue with their break. "Show Me" from Anderson is a snoozer, but the solo bits aren't over. As I mentioned earlier, Wakeman's hands are such fun to watch, and he migrates from one keyboard to the next, playing excerpts from his own work. "Heart of the Sunrise" is a powerful rendition, and the visuals are great (especially all the red lighting). Howe's guitar phrasings are rather unique. After a solid version of "Long Distance Runaround," Squire gets the spotlight a little bit. Amusingly enough, Anderson accompanies Squire on percussion, and then can be seen leaving the stage as soon as Squire and White launch into an excerpt from "Tempus Fugit." Of course, Howe and Wakeman are gone to, but I find it funny that the camera is on Anderson during the transition. Watching Squire and White go nuts is a real treat. Soon the band returns to finish up "The Fish." Afterward, as Wakeman dazzles with his piano, Squire exits the stage, removing his Rickenbacker, which can only mean one thing: "Awaken." This version is certainly the highlight of this particular DVD experience. Howe's airy use of his steel guitar with Wakeman's bright synthesizer is simply beautiful. Squire's backup vocals are really full and spirited, and give the song a slightly heavier feel. Wakeman is astonishing in his solo bit during the middle, almost so much so that it would seem his actual solo spot was unnecessary. Anderson gets some criticism for his variety of instruments, including the harp, but the harp is an essential piece of this performance. The ending is perhaps more powerful than it has ever been, and makes this DVD well worth owning. The two obligatory pieces remain. "Your Move / I've Seen All Good People" is also extremely well done, particularly on Squire's end. It also isn't overly long and tedious (as the repetitive nature of the song can make it). After a short and out-of-place introduction, the band plays the final song, "Roundabout." As usual, the band rips out the middle section, only this time, bridging the verses and Wakeman's organ solo with some unnatural guitar bit. That said, it's a very energetic performance, probably the most so on this DVD.
Review by thehallway
4 stars Part of an expansive series of 'Live at Montreux' dvds from many artists, few of which top Yes.

This show captures the classic line-up at their recent best. The set list is enjoyable, although with some odd choices (not odd as in uncommon; I'd welcome that. Odd as in not very fitting) such as 'Don't Kill the Whale' and 'Awaken', which NEVER works live because of the overdubbs on the studio version. It's good overall though, and there are no REALLY long pieces so the concert flows well. Wakeman is especially enjoying himself here, rocking the classics with a retrospective look on his face. Squire too, is particularly energetic. It's only Jon who makes a mistake, not in his singing, but by bringing along his apparently unreliable MIDI guitar, which fails to make a sound at all.

Highlights include the rare gem 'South Side of the Sky', with extended dueling from Howe and Wakeman. Also, 'And You And I', although played on many tours, is especially beatutiful on this night. Sound-wise, everything is modestly mixed with a clean seperation between instruments, which works well on every song but 'Awaken'. And the filming is neccesaryily simple; no silly camera tricks here. So, a good buy, but it isn't needed if you own the Yes-Speak concert(s) because the line-up and set-list are identical.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Their best line up: classic Yes. The tour was very good. The show was very well filmed. Focussed on Steve and Rick, but a very good DVD for our collection. You must buy it. Sure.So many years ago from "Fragile" but there is the same spirit, quality and music. The best group ever. ... (read more)

Report this review (#122438) | Posted by jagp20 | Wednesday, May 16, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Agree with previous reviews but I have experienced some difficulty with the sound quality on my copy of the DVD. Sound fades in and out and occasionally is "bass heavy" and then "bass light". Quality of the DVD aside, a good set with a representative selection from across their career. Tsongas ... (read more)

Report this review (#122431) | Posted by Billymac | Wednesday, May 16, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars So the band finally officially released this one. Good call. It shows the band on their Full Circle/35th anniversary tour in '03. As far as I know it was filmed for a Television broadcast. This DVD has a rather dismal track list. No sign of Close to the Edge, Ritual, or Gates of Delirium. Some ... (read more)

Report this review (#115619) | Posted by OGTL | Monday, March 19, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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