Fireworks

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YES - 'Songs From The Tsongas: The 35th Anniversary Concert' http://mail.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/4d/d6/d5/yes-songs-from-the-tsongas-35th-annivarsary-concert-23-1424118518.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 16, 2015    
 
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Yes continue to produce, amuse and energise. They leave a legacy but blaze a trail. Step on the Roundabout.

There's a saying; if you're going to have one, have a "big 'un". Yes know this, never knowingly undersold and using that natural flamboyance as a marketing tool too, reverting to type perhaps, but doing it so well. So it is little surprise that this CD and DVD package is large, three and two discs respectively; although it may be light on packaging (disappointingly so, actually), there is no denying the quality here.

Often close to a revolving soap opera cast, as bands with their length of service often have, this is Jon Anderson, Alan White, Rick Wakeman, Chris Squire and Steve Howe, for many the great line-up, and the mid-2000s gig which just happens to be their 35th anniversary; a bombastic, pitch perfect delivery of those great, iconic tunes.

What can we say? 'Roundabout', 'I've Seen All Good People', 'Wonderous Stories', 'Going For The One', even 'Rhythm Of Love', present and given to us by a band assured in their majesty and yet gentle; apart perhaps from Gentle Giant, Yes may be the only band to make a wonderful racket but also charm us with care. Nothing from 'Drama' though...

There is an acoustic section, which renders 'Owner Of A Lonely Heart' a little lumpen – it tends to thrive on its audacity – and if sometimes there doesn't seem to be much going on but a delivery of the songs, that doesn't have to be an enormous issue. The crowd love recognising the biggies anyway, but there are less well known gems too. Well, less well known to those who may have been living on one of Saturn's outer rings or something. 'Sweet Dreams', 'Mind Drive' perhaps, delivered so beautifully that you'll sigh with contentment.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The DVD's feature the concert from Tsongas and one from Lugano. The main event sometimes seem a little removed; the Roger Dean set is lovely, hanging lights and foliage framing the stage and although the chops cannot be denied, they do seem a bit, well, static. Wakeman is busy behind banks of keys, Howe is his usual bent-over brilliance, Squire attempts some shape throwing and Anderson is happy and sweet behind a lectern with lyrics.

Nice close ups, good crowd enjoyment shots, excellent music, shot by Joe Thomas to a high standard, but it does seem a little burnished, not sharp because it's fuzzy golds are there to bathe in. But they are delivering beautifully, softly joshing each other and those songs are irrefutable. The acoustic/slightly less electric section becomes a little boring, but the nice half hour 'Ritual' bonus with individual workouts and the sweet Dean interview add to an already excellent package.

The Lugano disc, open air at a town square in the rain, just looks better, clearer, more urgent. Stripped back and with the same love of the music and playing, this is a little static too, but then you need to concentrate when you play such inviting and involving music.

Yes continue to produce, amuse and energise. They leave a legacy but blaze a trail. Step on the Roundabout.

Steve Swift

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