ARW live in Birmingham – 13th March 2017 – 273

ARW live!
Produced by Preston Frazier, David Gordon, Bill Govier, Wayne Hall and Michel Arsenault.

Kevin feeds back from the ARW concert. Wow. Mark interviews him about his experiences and there’s even time for a Patrick Moraz review!

  • What was the ARW concert experience like?
  • Were the band on top form?
  • How was the venue and the sound?

Listen to the episode then let us know what you think!

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The ARW Trip!



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Show notes and links

Yes and Rick Wakeman photos from Scott A Lee:

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Theme music

The music I use is the last movement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. This has been used as introduction music at many Yes concerts. My theme music is not take from a live concert – I put it together from the following two creative commons sources: thanvannispen and archive.org

25 thoughts on “ARW live in Birmingham – 13th March 2017 – 273”

  1. Hi guys just to say the Brighton gig we fantastic and no issues. The reason I go to a few concerts on a tour is you get a different feel, view, sound and more. If you get one gig off..with issues..then the next gig will be different. Go to three and then compare..seriously. Its live stuff happens. Go again…really do. Dave.

  2. Absolutely agree, I was at Birmingham, now looking forward to Hammersmith on Sunday. Birmingham was great. What struck me about the re-arrangements is how they have brought out the strengths of the respective members. Awaken was outstanding and another standout for me, although fleeting was when Lee Pomeroy worked the ‘Revealing’ theme into his solo during The Fish. I guessed Jon would wait to make an entrance during Cinema and I found it really emotional to see him back with a full scale Yes ensemble. You could see what a blast they were having throughout and long may it continue to be so!

  3. Hi Kevin
    Great to meet you and your son after the show I greatly enjoyed our conversation. I think your review was pretty much spot on and certainly summed up my own experience of the show. Whilst I did not mention it at the time I have to agree with you regarding the actual mix of the sound, there were indeed times when from where I was sitting it was difficult to make out the individual instruments particularly some of Trevor’s guitar playing I could see him very well indeed from my fairly close to the stage position but could not actually hear him that well, I also felt the same at times with Rick and Lee. Jon however was clear throughout and I can honestly say.that in 35 years of attending Yes gigs and related projects I have never heard him sound better which is quite remarkable. I greatly enjoyed the show and if I could afford it would probably see more. On the classic tracks in particular I did miss Steve Howe , but I have always found Trevor’s reworking interesting and enjoyable. I would have preferred to have heard more Rabin era tracks from this band, but the ones they did play did not disappoint. As you said in your review this was not Yes, but still they are a wonderful band and I look forward to hearing new material and shows from them in the future. It is great that we have presently the current Yes playing such a wide variety of more progressive material so well AND we have ARW putting on greatly entertaining but perhaps more “popularist” shows. As fans of Yesmusic ” there’s no way we can lose”

    Best wishes

    Gary

  4. Great job Kevin,
    I think your review was spot on and the reason I say that is you nailed it this was not a Yes concert Trevor Rabin is not Yes as everyone knows. He revamped the band no doubt at all.Thank you, you reassured us that these are two different bands hands down.
    I wonder what it will sound like when they are up on the stage at the RRHOF ?
    Great show guys !

  5. Your review and comparison of ARW to Yes was a much more eloquent rendering of my impressions of last years concerts I attended in the USA. Thanks for your dedication to Yes music and it’s fans.

  6. First I just want to echo Jeffrey’s remarks – you’re much better at language-wrangling than most of us, Kevin.

    The issue with Trevor’s guitar(s) seems to have been going on for quite a while (you think they’d have fixed this problem by now) – when I saw them last November I couldn’t hear anything from him in the mix during ‘Cinema’ either, although the trouble was over before the song ended.

    SOOO sorry about ‘Heart of the Sunrise’ – that was the high point of the show I saw – they scorched earth with it from beginning to end.

    It took you a while to get to it, but it seems as if you now know exactly what I meant last year when I said “this is NOT Yes.”

    Mark – I predict you’re going to like the ‘Patrick Moraz’ album (I always think of it as ‘Primitivisation’) about 147% better than ‘Timecode.’ It reaches levels of Progginess only previously attained by ‘Ritual’ and ‘Gates.’

    …and – late breaking news – it seems both Jeffrey and I are headed back out to sea next February.
    You should join us. . .

    1. Hello Gentlemen,
      Since most of the comments this week are directed at Kevin (and rightly so…he did a fantastic job reviewing the show and going a little deeper with my questions)..I’m just going to say that I agree with you all…Kevin does have a great way with words..always a pleasure to listen to…oh and Joseph ..I think your right …the next Moraz album will be much more enjoyable a listen….oh and I may…just may be able to join you guys at sea. I’ll know more in a few weeks.

      1. Now THAT would be cool, Mark. Right now I have a cabin reserved all by myself (my wife just isn’t quite as into this whole thing as I) – I’m trying to convince a couple of friends to come with me, but I’m not sure how successful that effort may be – “I’ll know more in a few weeks…”

        Also, it’s a great way to get your music noticed. There was a Brazilian prog band called ‘Anxtron’ on board – not as artist, just guests – and they were handing out free copies of their latest CD – which is pretty darn good, if I do say myself.

        Or maybe you could petition to be on board as an artist…

  7. Mark, even though you rated Timecode as a ‘3’, which as you say, may be your lowest rating ever, now I find compelled to go get it. The other two Moraz albums were on Apple Music so I was able to download them immediately and listen. However, they just didn’t gel for me. It was a disappointment because I love Moraz on YES’ Relayer, and I really love him on Moody Blues’ Long Distance Voyager and The Present… so I was in high hopes for Story of I and Out in the Sun… but they left me … um with a Nervous Breakdown, and thinking it’s Time for Change?

    So when your review started off with references to Thomas Dolby, 80’s electronics, Duran Duran, etc… I actually thought of that as a good thing, so I decided to get Timecode. It’s not available on Apple Music, so I have to wait for a copy to come via Amazon. I’ll let you know what I think.

    1. Greetings Wayne,
      I find this absolutely fascinating. .just because it didn’t click for me doesn’t mean it won’t click for you. That’s one reason why I try to be as accurate in the description of the music as possible. Because some people. ..like yourself…might find the description appealing. So I’m curious to hear what you think. One thing is for sure …if you like 80’s style electronic commercial music…this is the album for you.

      1. Yes, definitely… I’m glad you went into details into the dislike. I like Dolby, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran and a lot of other 80’s bands whose names don’t start with “D” as well. I’m looking forward to Timecode… Amazon tells me to wait until around April 10th for it to arrive, at which time I’ll rip it and give it a good listen-to.

        1. Hi Wayne, Would you please provide a little review/opinion of your own here when you have Timecode in your hands? I also like quite a lot of the early 80’s synth originated pop so it might be ok even if its a bit of a museum piece.

  8. Excellent review.

    Based on the Sunday night show in London it is true that Lee Pomeroy’s bass doesn’t cut through the mix. Having seen him play with Steve Hackett that certainly isn’t a playing style issue. His Rick had a lot of top on it on that tour. Could be the venue. Could be the system. Could be the bass being placed more in the rear of the music in order to keep the focus on Rabin and Wakeman. Though if that is the case why give him such a long solo and why give him THAT solo? I could come up with a few theories on that but I am trying to be positive about something that over the last few weeks I have felt ambivalent about supporting with my £££.

    I am no fan of the two-gear, plod or gallop, 80s rock music in general so there were bits of the set list I could do without but that was less of a problem for me than the amount of what I think of core guitar parts in the Yes Album / Fragile / CTTE material that were skipped over or muddied. Reminded me in a strange way of Tommy Bolin’s stint with Purple. A miraculous guitar player in so many ways and one who contributed to a very good rock album with Lord, Paice et al but he was not the right tool for the job when it came to the Mk II and Mk III material. You might as well drop Pat Travers into the Mahavishnu Orchestra and expect it to work out. Same thing here.

    I felt they also had some collective problems with the rhythmic complexities. Not pointing the finger at any one but I guess there is some music that needs to be played by the people who invented it as every accent is burned into their DNA.

    Wakeman and Anderson were fabulous. As they were at the O2 Indigo in 2010 (?). And it was great to hear Wakeman play without dipping into his stock of 80s/90s New Age-y keyboard sounds.

    If anything hearing that material played at “only” 85% accuracy makes me appreciate the current Yes line up even more though they of course sometimes have the same problem with Downes trying to cover Wakeman’s territory. Others will feel differently but the one person I can’t do without when hearing this music is Steve Howe. Though I think perhaps Bruford and White just joined that list.

    In terms of the sound mix. There were some problems with what I assumed were Moog Taurus bass pedal notes from Wakeman or Pomeroy, There were also moments (and I stress moments) when Rabin was lost in mid range sludge. It certainly wasn’t too loud. I could have done with being enveloped in the sound more as I didn’t really get fully drawn into the music a lot of the time. Awaken being the shining exception.

    Worth going for £60? Totally. An experience on the par with the last two RAH concerts? Not for me. Something I am in a hurry to repeat? Not really. Or at least not unless I hear reports that Rabin has got his hands around more of the core Howe parts.

    1. Thanks for the detailed comment! Fascinating to hear you agree with some of the things I said and what you say about accuracy. Thank goodness we have both bands to enjoy! Long may it continue.

  9. Wonderful review, Kevin! I really enjoyed your answer to Mark’s last question! These are 2 different bands with different strengths, both playing Yes music but even different kinds of Yes music! I see in the pics above that you had your YMP mic and gear; I hope you were able to record more audio with people you met that we will hear next time?

    These audio problems have been going on since the first US shows. Seems like the sound engineers should have a better handle on them by now. Sure, there’s tweaking that needs to be done at each venue, but these sound like more of an ongoing problem than that.

    1. Thank you Brian. Unfortunately this time I couldn’t get any more audio. Next time it will be Yes again I think… hopefully more opportunities there. The audio problems are puzzling!

  10. I don’t understand why you had a different listening experience to the two Garys given that you had the same PA system.
    I offered a link to the Danny Baker Trevor Rabin interview weeks ago but you didn’t get back to me.

    1. That’s why I think it’s my ears…and sorry for not getting back to you. I’ve been rubbish recently but have promised myself that I will catch up…

      1. I was really pleased that you loved the gig all the same, especially the irrepressable Jon Anderson. He is still and will always be the heart and soul of Yes music.

      2. Well as I posted in my earlier comment I do not think Kevin did have that much of a different listening experience to me; there were certainly times when Rick, Lee and Trevor in particular were difficult to hear in the Mix. Interestingly Jon was clear throughout and Lou was a bit too loud .

        1. Think it was Ian Anderson who said “If you think we are too loud, you are too old”. I never subscribed to that opinion. I’ve been to many gigs where sticking the tip of your fingers into each ear reduced the distortion.
          Perhaps the sound was overcooked to get through to the over 60s who must have been the main audience. 🙂

          1. That made me smile. I will try your innovative technique. One day *I* will be the main audience – I wonder who will be in the band at that point!?

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