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Yes

Live In Nottingham, England, June 6, 2003

Review by Bruce Stringer

Firebird Suite / Siberian Khatru was not the smashing introduction to the set that I had hoped, but none-the-less quite strong. The crowd had been stamping and yelling and were quite worked up over the 65 minute wait for Yes to arrive on stage. Siberian Khatru came across a little loose and there were a few moments when it felt like the band were slipping in their timing - I would like to believe that it was just me. A new classic and one of Yes's better tracks in recent years, Magnification was next. It was nice to see Rick successfully filling out the orchestral parts. The crowd really loved this and, although the band was still a little shaky, it really moved.

Eventually they made their way into "We Have Heaven", and, now we're talking! Fragile has always been one of my favourite albums and I often wondered if tracks like this would make it to a new live set. Jon's vocals were spot-on and the energy of the performance was incredible. Running through my mind I also wondered how they would end and whether we would get to hear South Side of the Sky. It seemed such cruel fate to keep us hanging at the end of We Have Heaven. Would they? Wouldn't they?

Andy Sutton
 
Andy Sutton
   
Our prayers were answered: they would! Alongside Roundabout and Heart of the Sunrise this is another favourite from Fragile. Rick was using a digital piano sound, but everything else seemed very close to the original studio version and some of the quirkier timings were executed without losing any of the energy of a great performance. Seems we were in for a few surprises on this night!


Andy Sutton
 
Andy Sutton
 
Andy Sutton
The next of those surprises came a bit later in the concert, with Show Me. This track, as Jon mentioned, was around during the Fragile sessions and was never used. It made for a bright little vocal and keyboard song which was a nice opener to the second set. A pity that Jon & Rick played this during the break and before most people had a chance to get back into their seats - nice.

Andy Sutton
       
We all knew it was coming (and there were more than a few Yes-philes who had the set list imbedded in their head). Here, in all its glory was Heart of the Sunrise: big, bold and loud. This is one of rock's most memorable riffs and, as a fan of Yes's music this is one of the reasons why I like them so much. The subtle vocal parts were quite dynamic, in that they were a brilliant counterpart to the heavy riff and the overall performance was great.

Awaken, in my opinion, is one of the greatest ever Yes epics. This track, found on Going for the One, has everything: smooth introduction, classic Yes riff, great Steve Howe guitar solo and some cool harp playing from Jon. This was the highlight of the evening for me and the chemistry really clicked on this number in particular. If you haven't seen Yes live this one song would be reason enough to go. Chris slung his triple-neck bass over his shoulder and all the guys looked like they were having loads of fun.

After two encores, there were standing ovations all around and the crowd were obviously not too phased about the 65 minute wait for the band to play.




Andy Sutton
 
Andy Sutton
   
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2003 Year Book Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.
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