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Yes - Symphonic Live (DVD) CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.59 | 320 ratings

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5 stars True Masterpiece Prog Rock Concert of all time .!!

Wow! What a dream comes true .. !!! I had long imagined that one day YES would do a recording session with a symphonic orchestra. That was my dream when I first listened to Rick Wakeman's "Journey to The Center of The Earth" - the album that amazed me especially on how Rick did a wild idea to release an a recorded live album without releasing the studio version first! Of course, it's not the case with YES here because this show cast is basically the live performance with a symphonic orchestra: European Festival Orchestra. Actually, I was already happy with an album titled "Symphonic Music of YES" but . this live DVD set is much much grandiose and colossal, I would say. What really impress me also is the fact that the band members do not seem nervous or whatsoever blending their classic hits with a full blown symphonic orchestra. They just perform as they perform without any orchestra. That proves how senior these guys from YES are.

Let me tell you my first impression when I spin the DVD at the very first time where there was a Roger Dean's bridge at my large screen: I was totally stunned! Then the orchestra starts under the title "Overture" that is destined to be an atmosphere setter for the whole show, I guess. Don's expect that this is a sort of "Firebird Suite" usually appear during the opening of Yes concert where typically was continued with "Siberian Khatru" or "Parallels". This time, it's completely new orchestration work. When it is done it flows seamlessly with the legendary epic of the band "Close To The Edge". Oh my God! I never imagined that I would be as stunned as this time (whenever I watch this DVD). Chris Squire does his live acts wonderfully on stage - I really like his style. Musically, I feel that the whole track has been totally powered with full strings of symphonic orchestra. If you are Yes fan, I'm sure that you will definitely agree with me that this opening epic is damn wonderful! I like the use of timpani in critical transitions or break to enrich the textures of Yes music.

Having done with the great "Close To The Edge", the symphonic orchestra does another nice symphony to set the atmosphere for the next track "Long Distance Runaround". Well, I have to be honest that I feel like "disjointed" enjoying the end of orchestra with Steve's guitar fills to begin this tune. But it's immaterial compared to the excellent performance of the band. Next is the band's performance with their latest album "Magnification" through two excellent tracks " Don't Go" and "In the Presence Of". Alan White plays some keyboard at the intro part of "In The Presence Of". Musically, I love the compositions of "In The Presence Of" as it melody flows dynamically throughout the track and I like the ending part - so catchy.

For me personally, "Gates of Delirium" is the best of best tracks from YES. And I'm lucky that the band brings this track alive with symphonic orchestra! Yeaaahhh ...!!!! Before it starts, Jon does some conversation that stresses the no need of war. The opening part is fantastic - especially when I observe how Alan White plays his drum set; it's very dynamic and he plays it energetically. The keyboard that sounds like "boiling water" with Patrick Moraz studio version is disappearing (unfortunately) but luckily it is filled by excellent orchestration. Chris? Don's ask me man . he does his job wonderfully with his attractive stage acts! Unfortunately Steve (who used to be very energetic with Yessongs or Keys) this time looks so gloomy - face wise - it seems he has a lot of things in his mind; well, I don't know exactly what happen with him. But he plays his guitar excellently. Jon singing is different with the studio version - it's kind like voice line 2 but it's much more lively, I think. The DVD offers us with multiple angles so when I select angle 2 I can see a lot of documentary world war I film (black and white). The symphonic orchestra does their best in this epic. One thing that I really like about this song is its musical flow where it starts slow and gradually increase into more rocking tempo. When it reaches the bass guitar solo - that is the best part that I really enjoy about this track! Oh man . how can a human being can create this wonderful composition???? Tell me my friend! Tell me! Oh ... The music then turns into quieter passage and welcomes the ending part "Soon" until it ends .. Marvelous! (As for my individual preferense, I feel that the stage act of keyboard player Tom Brislin is way too much overacting. Sorry to say, it's disgusting for my taste especially when he plays his keyboard in a rude style . Indeed he cannot replace either Rick or Patrick - IMHO).

Steve Howe does his solo excellently even though without any smile from his face (unfortunately). "And You And I" is another classic performed beautifully. Jon then talks about the idea that the band made as inspired by a book and wanted to create into four-piece of music. "It's called .. RITUAL!". Yeah . my other favorite track from "Tales From Topographic Ocean". (In my review of "Tales" I did mention about the story behind the making of Tales where Jon was lent a book by Jamie Muir of King Crimson).

What really surprise me is that Steve plays "Owner of a Lonely Heart" - wow! It's hard to believe but it happens. It's quite funny actually especially during the guitar opening where he plays differently - but it's a treat. (It's totally different with the version of 90125 live DVD that also have - Trevor Rabin plays as the studio version). The guitar solo in the interlude part is now filled with a keyboard solo.

"Roundabout" is as usual serving as an encore to the whole live set. It's modified from the original version. It's bit annoying (for my personal taste) seeing the (beautiful) girls from the symphonic orchestra musicians all of them dance on stage during this track. Enough..enough ...

My version contains 2 discs with first disc is the DVD of full symphonic concert and disc 2 is basically the audio CD of the concert. Too bad, there is no "Gates of Delirium" in the CD version, but I have it in bonus disc of my "Magnification" album. It's OK then. Highly recommended!

Progressively yours,

GW - Indonesia.

Keep on progging!

Gatot | 5/5 |


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