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Yes Like It Is - Yes at the Mesa Arts Centre album cover
3.07 | 87 ratings | 5 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Live, released in 2015

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (40:00)
1. Close to the Edge (19:11)
2. And You and I (10:58)
3. Siberian Khatru (9:51)

CD 2 (43:34)
1. Roundabout (8:33)
2. Cans and Brahms (1:40)
3. We Have Heaven (1:31)
4. South Side of the Sky (9:35)
5. Five Per Cent for Nothing (0:42)
6. Long Distance Runaround (3:35)
7. The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus) (3:14)
8. Mood for a Day (3:03)
9. Heart of the Sunrise (11:41)

Total Time 83:34

1. Close to the Edge
2. And You and I
3. Siberian Khatru
4. Roundabout
5. Cans and Brahms
6. We Have Heaven
7. South Side of the Sky
8. Five Per Cent for Nothing
9. Long Distance Runaround
10. The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)
11. Mood for a Day
12. Heart of the Sunrise

Line-up / Musicians

- Jon Davison / vocals
- Steve Howe / guitars
- Geoff Downes / keyboards
- Chris Squire / bass, harmonica on "And You and I"
- Alan White / drums

Releases information

2CD/DVD, Blu-Ray or 2LP Frontiers Records

Release date : July 10, 2015

Thanks to rdtprog for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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YES Like It Is - Yes at the Mesa Arts Centre ratings distribution

(87 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (16%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

YES Like It Is - Yes at the Mesa Arts Centre reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
3 stars This is the suite of the Yes live at the Bristol Hippodrome of last year, recorded this time in Arizona, August 2014. It represents something special, because it's the last Chris Squire presence on a DVD release. They could have put those two shows on 1 Blu-Ray since it's only 1 hour and a half each show, or at least gives us a complete concert with the encore. The visuals have more importance on this one than on the previous DVD that had a poor light show. The camera angles gives us a better view of the whole stage. In the first minutes of "Close to the Edge", the video and the audio are not synced up correctly for a few seconds. But the stereo mix is fine with each instruments clearly heard. I can't help myself to have a closer look at Chris Squire who was looking healthy with his finger and leg in the air, and thinking that there's no justice when someone is hit by a disease that led him to the inevitable in only one month. I surprised myself enjoying againthe song "Roundabout" again after so many years with the unique Steve Howe guitar sound that i always enjoy. In the song "Cans and Brahms", Downes has to put his glasses on to read the notes.After the two shorts songs, "South Side of the Sky" that the band brought back about ten years ago is that nice little epic song that display some piano lines that could be perceive like a metaphor for someone climbing a mountain. I forgot about that little instrumental piece "5% for Nothing" that doesn't sound like Yes. It is in fact a Billl Bruford contribution and a joke on the music business. And how appropriate to see near the end of the show the song "Fish" with the unique solo and huge bass sound of Squire. I could not imagine Billy Sherwood replicate this in the future. For me this is a more enjoyable release than the Bristol show, and i am sure that many Yes fans will want this to complete their collection
Review by Guillermo
3 stars I think that this is the last YES's new official release on which Chris Squire appears. But in fact it was released shortly after his death in June 2015.

It is good to see Squire playing with the band during his last tour with them in 2014. This concert video / CD was recorded in August 2014 in Arizona with the band playing all the songs from two of their most popular and successful albums from the early seventies: "Fragile" (1971) and "Close to the Edge" (1972). From which is considered the "Classic Line-up" of the band which recorded both albums (Squire, Steve Howe, Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman, Bill Bruford) only Squire and Howe remained by 2014. Alan White replaced Bruford at the very last moment in 1972 for the "Close to the Edge" tour, and with Squire, Howe and White being by 2014 the members of the band which had a lot of years of being playing with the band since 1972 (with Howe being out of the band for several years). Since 2012, the line-up of the band had Squire, Howe and White joined by another "old" member, Geoff Downes, and by new lead singer Jon Davison. They had the idea to tour playing some of their old albums in full. In 2014 they previously played in full in concert their "Close to the Edge", "The Yes Album" and "Going for the One" albums. The songs from the "Going for the One" and "The Yes Album_" albums appear in their live album "Lke It Is - Live at the Bristol Hippodrome" which was released in late 2014.

If their concert in Bristol lacked some power and some good playing by the band as a whole (particularly in the songs from the"Going for the One" album), this concert in Arizona shows the band in a better shape, playing the songs with energy and better, even if the management of some tempos is not very good by the band as a whole. Anyway, the band sounds like they rehearsed better for this Arizona concert, and maybe the songs from the "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge" albums were not as demanding from them as some songs from the "Going for the One" album could have been, on which particularly Downes seemed like having some problems on songs like "Awaken". Or maybe "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge" are among Downes's favourite albums from YES (he and Trevor Horn said that both were fans of the band when they joined the band in 1980 for their "Drama" album).

All the members of the band played very well all the songs from the "Close to the Edge" and "Fragile" albums. Maybe the member who shines more is Jon Davison, showing a very solid voice. His voice is somewhat different to Jon Anderson's, but Davison reaches the original very high notes without apparent problems.

"Siberian Khatru" is really played very well, with Downes playing very well the harpsichord parts. He also plays "Cans and Brahms" in a very similar way as Wakeman played it. But in this song I think that he used some programmed keyboard parts to play it properly. In "South Side of the Sky" he also does a good job with the piano parts and the synthesiser solo at the end of the song. The band also used some pre-recorded vocal parts in "We Have Heaven", and in "The Fish" they also used some pre-recorded bass guitar parts apart from Squire playing his bass guitar on stage, having a lot of fun. In "Heart of the Sunrise" Downes played the song in a very similar way to the original studio recording (something that even Wakeman never did in concert!). In the "Close to the Edge" album title song Downes plays a different but very good organ solo.

As a whole, this live album and DVD is very good, showing the band playing and singing very well and having a lot of fun. Something which is not the same in their concert video and CD from Bristol. So, being this Arizona live recording the last official release from the band with Squire playing during his last tour with the band, it is good to see the band playing very well and the audience also having a good time. The recording and mixing of the sound and the quality of the images of the video are also very good.

A 3.5 stars rating for this album from me.

As everybody knows by now, YES still is playing on tour in 2016, but with Billy Sherwood replacing the late Chris Squire since their 2015 tour.

Review by tarkus1980
3 stars Welp, here it is, the latest-dated Yes material to feature Chris Squire (who died in 2015 from cancer, R.I.P.). After the release of Heaven and Earth, Yes did some token promotion of it in their concerts, but the main attraction was clearly the band's decision (after the success of the 2013 "Three Album Tour") to play both Close to the Edge and Fragile in their entirety. As before, Howe and Squire mostly sound fine, White sounds sluggish, Davison sounds anonymous, and Downes sounds passable but fairly generic. As before, this album is somewhat redundant and unnecessary, but it also features two of my favorite albums (and this time ups the ante by including two of my favorite 25 albums or so rather than two of my favorite 100 albums or so), so I ultimately end up enjoying it at a gut level even if I roll my eyes a little at an intellectual level.

The inclusion of a full performance of Close to the Edge (presented in original order even if, in concert, they did it backwards) is not especially noteworthy, seeing as most of their live albums since 1972 had included at least one of the three tracks (and in some cases all three). The performance of "And You and I" is extraordinary, an emotional assault that probably would have left me breathless if I had seen it in person, but both "Close to the Edge" and "Siberian Khatru," while perfectly fine (if a bit slow as had become customary), sound as if the band had long passed its prime in terms of playing them (which it kinda had). Now the Fragile material, well, this is where a bunch of novelty lies, for good and for bad. True to advertisement, they actually perform both "Cans and Brahms" and "Five Percent for Nothing," and while I think both are great tracks in the context of the original album, they sound kinda silly here. As for the other material, it's generally fine; the opening to "Roundabout" is tweaked in a curious way that I don't think is for the better, but I'll never get sick of hearing live "South Side of the Sky" versions (I don't care how many live versions have been put out in the 21st century, it was the great lost Yes gem for 30 years and is forever immune to any complaints about overexposure), and "Heart of the Sunrise" sounds especially crisp here (I'm kinda bummed that they didn't go full out and include the "We Have Heaven" reprise at the end, though). I do kinda wish that "The Fish" had been more stretched out in a more typical way rather than condensed to more closely mimic the studio version, but again, they were going for a specific performance vibe, so I don't especially mind it.

Frankly, I believe that a Yes fan should either get both this and its predecessor or get neither; even if the two albums are from two different tours, they serve identical purposes, and I feel nearly the exact same way about them. In a perfect world, neither of these albums would exist (Yes would have disbanded in 2004), but they're enjoyable enough and worth hearing a couple of times.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars "Tell the moon dog, tell the march hare"

The present album is the second of two Like It Is live albums. The idea was to take some of the band's classic albums and perform each album in its entirety "like it is" in its original album running order. On the first Like It Is release it was Going For The One and The Yes Album that got the full treatment and this time it is Close To The Edge and Fragile - two of the absolute masterpieces of progressive Rock. While the first Like It Is album lacked excitement, this second entry in the series is clearly an improvement.

The most interesting tracks here are definitely Cans And Brahms, Five Per Cent For Nothing, and We Have Heaven, which have not been included on a live album before. The original idea for the Fragile studio album was to represent individually the members of the band at the time by having each member do a solo number on the album. Cans And Brahms was Rick Wakeman's individual selection and here we get to hear Geoff Downes perform it. Bill Bruford's Five Per Cent For Nothing is played by Alan White, and Jon Davison sings Jon Anderson's We Have Heaven. I do not think anybody ever expected to hear this! Mood For A Day and The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus) are played by their originators Steve Howe and Chris Squire respectively, the only two members who played on the original Fragile album.

The rest of the tracks from these albums have been included on a multitude of excellent live albums released over the years going back to the otherwordly Yessongs. Even though it is interesting for a fan like me to hear Geoff Downes replicate Rick Wakeman's parts, it is hard to motivate why one should listen to these particular renditions of these classic tracks given how many versions are already available on other live records. The weakest link in the line-up is again Jon Davison who fails to bring anything new and exciting to the songs.

Overall, a good but rather unnecessary live album.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Bought this double vinyl allured by both Roger Dean's beautiful album covers and realization this might be last vinyls where late bass maestro Chris Squire would play. Sadly I was actually quite shocked by the two vinyls, which I would claim document the murdering of "Close to The Edge" and "Fragile" albums.

The two studio record classics are performed emulating the originals in very conservative way, thus honoring the masterpieces. But this approach also holds the seed of destruction for the tribute experience from the original band, which I bet could have been totally different from the audience to new listener than for fan with few decades of listening history and spinning this from home stereo. The very start of "Close to The Edge" reveals weak and powerless interpretation from then existing line-up, which sadly I do not feel to strengthen during the complex musical epic. I even liked the orchestrated versions on "Symphonic Music of Yes", so that sets some reference point of my own alienation. I also do not have any specific problems to deal with the new line-up after Jon Anderson's departure, though he is the key voice for me in Yes legacy. I liked "Drama" earlier, and what have now heard after "Fly from Here" have been partially quite good. But here Jon Davison's vocal tone nor emulations of original singing does not sound right from the nearly holy compositions, which original studio version's seems to play synced in my imagination, pointing out constantly what does not go well. Also in my most honest feeling Geoff Downes or Steve Howe do not shine on these concert captures, and Chris Squire's bass performing seems to shine most powerfully from these disappointing tracks. Both the grandiosity of "And You and I" and vital groove of "Siberian Khatru" seem to be lost somewhere to past years, which only appear as shadows casted by the light of setting stars of the most classic symphonic progressive rock group. Also even though the new personnel of the band does not bother me, listening the "Fragile"'s solo tracks by absent Bruford, Wakeman and Anderson made me feel very uncomfortable and filled my mind with contradicting thoughts. I understand the album cannot be performed complete without them, but hearing them as tributes from other musicians felt somehow very bad.

When listening I contemplated my own stances for the here described divine comedy with most memorable visions of hell and only glimpses of medieval-concept sights of heaven. For example I liked Cream's 2005 reunion concert documents, as considered that band aged well. In addition of different styled rock performed, there the original musicians were at least physically alive, and could there be that I just am not open for the aged and less dynamic Yes than now deceased Bruce, Baker and Clapton (well maybe Eric is still alive, not sure), Sometimes strange are the paths of own mind; Though loved Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner", lost my interest for the never ending series of his director's cuts, and as a fanatic lover of David Lynch's "Dune" I did not even want to watch the new film versions, how amazing they might be. I guess this relates to the limited longevity of a human individual, and it's need to have something sacred where to anchor the mindset. When thinking of romanticized epochs of mankind, it might feel banal that contemporary holy artifacts would be commercially produced cinema films or art rock concepts, but if lowering the sight from divine idealized spheres, I think there could be worse choices, motivating individuals and societies to evil deeds.

I was thinking about the star rating of this album for long, and would prefer just to write about music without stamping releases with any rating judgements outside my text. I sold this away after few spins, but hope there are audiences which like this and other similar album the Yes institution running out of original members has released on rapid pace. Do not also consider my opinions meaningful for guiding the critical taste or other manipulation of approach for these 21st century Yes live recordings. The band was originally a Revelation for me like for many person I learned to know on the ProgArchives community. Thus I appreciate all attempts the band has done trying to keep it alive, despite any disputes there might be with original founding members in way of Hawkwind or Creedence Clearwater Revival, and like the album title suggests, it is "Like It Is", even if I like it or not. The show must go on, and though did not enjoy the album much, it allowed me some fuel for thinking and summarizing those for these words I hope would amuse You.

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