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YES In Concert, London Hammersmith Apollo, 2nd July 2003

Well, 35 years on and they are still going strong! From the opening Firebird Suite intro music, the band Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Alan White and welcome back Mr Rick Wakeman, stormed straight into Siberian Khatru. They say things get better with age, Jon Anderson says it too, and quite frankly, it's true!

This was a great night's entertainment from one of the Rock Giants, and after every song, the crowd gave the band a standing ovation. Moving onto the title song from the last album, Magnification, Rick's keyboards made a nice sound to enhance the song. Time for a little bounce around on Don't Kill The Whale came next, then the gentle In The Presence Of soon followed.

Jon Anderson then told us about the recording of Fragile, how he went and had a look around the studios of Advison, and he came up with We Have Heaven. Then he said 'We are going to do it', and for me the best part of the show, South Side Of The Sky. This took everyone by surprise, as it blasted out through the PA. Rick Wakeman had a great mellotron sound on this; it just came through the mix like a knife through butter, and Chris Squire's bass cut cleanly too, and not to mention the 'open string' style of playing!

Moving on to the classic And You And I, which featured Steve Howe playing three guitars, the songs just came over very well, and after a little solo from the aforementioned, it was time to get a drink during the interval.

We all went back in to the sound of Jon Anderson's voice on his solo bit, and then the king of keyboards Mr Wakeman showed us he has not lost his magic, and the magic is back with YES.

Yet another song from Fragile followed, Heart Of The Sunrise, yet another classic that again took the place apart, and Steve Howe's playing really blew the crowd away!

Another Fragile airing followed in Long Distance Runaround, leading on to Chris Squire's solo epic, The Fish, which had splatterings of Drama and Tormato songs incorporated into it.

Closing the set, Awaken was another highlight, with a nice starry space travel warp factor type effect on the large backdrop, and it was a nice scene when everyone stood up, something I will never forget.

Just two familiar encores followed in I've Seen All Good People and Roundabout, and it was a great shame that it had to end. This was YES at their very best, not much you could argue what they should have done, of course Close To The Edge would have been nice, along with Starship Trouper, but with so many songs in a long career, you have to leave out some.

Hope Yes continue along this path.

Danny Mayo

Set list....

Siberian Khatru

Magnification / Don't Kill the Whale

In The Presence Of

We Have Heaven / South Side of the Sky

And You And I

To Be Over / Clap  (Howe Solo)

(interval)

Birthday Song / Show me (Anderson solo)

Six Wives of Henry VIII etc (Wakeman solo)

Heart of the Sunrise

Long Distance Runaround

Tempus Fugit / Silent Wings of Freedom (Squire / White solo)

Awaken

I've Seen All Good People (encore)

Roundabout (encore)

 

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