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Yes - Like It Is - Yes at the Mesa Arts Centre CD (album) cover

LIKE IT IS - YES AT THE MESA ARTS CENTRE

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.34 | 78 ratings

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Guillermo
Prog Reviewer
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.

Guillermo | 3/5 |

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