Episode 178 – Like It Is – Yes at The Bristol Hippodrome – Part 3

Like It Is
CD/DVD purchased 2014

This week I watch the first part of the DVD from  Like It Is – Yes at The Bristol Hippodrome. This is the whole of Going for the One.

  • How does this epic look on screen?
  • Does the minimal staging work?
  • What can we learn about the musicians from seeing them rather than hearing them?

Listen to the episode and then let me know what you think!

Show links and notes

Roman Guzman’s podcast

Alan White’s new website

Jon Kirkman’s Soundcloud Yes clips

Preston Frazier’s Union review

Trevor Horn concert

Retro 2 from Rick Wakeman

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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

8 thoughts on “Episode 178 – Like It Is – Yes at The Bristol Hippodrome – Part 3”

  1. Hello Kevin,

    Another fantastic episode. I find your views interesting especially since I haven’t had a chance to see this line up live yet. I’m hoping they will do a Toronto show during the Toto/Yes tour. One thing I find interesting is that they played a smaller venue, especially in the UK, where I would think their fan base is strongest. But i also think this size of venue is better for filming and live sound. Large venues tend to sound like playing in cement caves. Also I’m excited about the next Steven Wilson remix. Logic says it will be Fragile, but I’m hoping it will be Going For The One. Looking forward to next week’s episode.

    1. Thanks so much, Mark. You really should see them live if you possibly can! I think the Yes concert-going public in the UK has dwindled for some reason over the years. Not so for Pink Floyd, Genesis etc. All we can do is keep the faith!

      Steven Wilson – it has to be Tormato surely? 😉

  2. Hi Kevin,
    I am a faithful listener, but I need to work on being a better commentator! I really enjoyed this week. When I watched Like It Is, I noted the slower tempos, but as always I get swept up in the music and enjoy myself. I’m glad to be seeing Yes again live this summer, they shine right in front of you! Thanks much.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Wendy. It’s great to know you are listening. As you say, Yes still have the ability to sweep the listener up!

  3. Kevin, I listened to the latest show today. I wonder if we watched the same DVD!

    This is the review I wrote when I watched it. I will probably get shot down in flames but I remember Yes in their pomp so please take that into consideration.

    “I probably would have gone to the Bristol gig, had I realised there was one so close. The Birmingham one was twice as far and for that price…

    Anyway I eagerly anticipated seeing this DVD as it was the gig I missed, knowing it would not be ruined by an audience of noisy, whistling americans more interested in their own input as blights most live albums.

    Disappointing. I agree with Nick Baker whom you read out (in one of the earlier shows). No atmosphere at all. The editing is awful. No interaction with the audience, nothing. Davison hops around as a pale imitation of the master. Vocally he is ok but why try to dance like Anderson? The band looks like a bunch of tramps dressed up. All with wispy white hair unfeasible long like a convention of wizard has-beens. Unedifying to say the least. The only smile was Chris Squire on one of the few shots of him playing. Nothing but grimaces from White and Downes, the latter looked particularly uncomfortable filling Wakeman’s shoes (or should that be gloves?) The worst thing was that most of the time the screen was filled with Howe’s perfunctory performing. Already the least interesting yet most ‘up himself’ member of the band, now looking like some ne’er do well, all he needed were the fingerless gloves to complete the picture. Why was the camera always on him? Pathetic, lazy predictable editing . For me this came across as a run through rather than a performance. Totally joyless

    I’m sure that Nick was correct when he said it was better on the night but nothing made me feel as I’d missed out, quite the opposite, I’m glad I saw them several times at their peak, not to have this shadow performance as some kind of souvenir.

    As a concept the whole idea of a three album tour would have sold tickets by the bucketful. As a spectacle it may have worked to some extent, I can’t comment on that as I wasn’t there. I doubt it though as there is no surprise in store, and the order of songs doesn’t work live. As for the exclusion of all of Close to the Edge from this DVD, that is unforgivable given it is probably their greatest album. Especially so as Clap and A Venture were included, as was Wondrous Stories etc, much weaker songs which would not get into any Yes fan’s top 50. That makes my point as to the pointlessness of albums played live in the disc order.

    I have already made comments along the lines of Yes using their fan base as a cash cow. Middle aged blokes with disposable income looking for a taste of past glory, and then there’s the fans haha. All of those live albums they brought out in the 90s. The constant rehashing of members of the band. That ship cruise. Now these play throughs of classic albums. For me they lost the creative plot years ago artistically and replaced it with accountancy.

    I hate to rain on your parade Kevin but even the climax of Awaken fell flat, yes even that magical moment.”

    Pretty damning I know but they were my thoughts having watched it. I admire you for your positivity Kevin, I think you are from the Jon Anderson mold in that regard much to your credit. I think I’m from that of grumpy old git Rick Wakeman by contrast.

    I apologise to all the Yes fans who disagree with my opinion here. I just wish I could have had your joyous reaction.

    Best wishes to you all and especially you Kevin.

    1. Thanks for the comment Jeremy and I absolutely do recognise what you are pointing out. As always, all I can do is annotate my honest reaction to the experiences and if it comes out as positive that’s the way it is.

      What you do for me is get me to question what I am saying – and that’s priceless, so thank you again. Wouldn’t it be dull if we all had the same reactions to everything? What makes me sad is that I am not old enough to have experienced all the magic of Yes in those early days, like you were (not a comment on your age!) I bet those concerts were staggering.

      Hopefully I will indeed continue to have joyous reactions to Yes releases and hopefully you will continue to keep me grounded by adding your reactions!

      Great to know you are listening and staying in touch. 🙂

  4. We all have our opinions. I’m also of the positivity camp. But it is not an affectation. I genuinely love that Yes is doing their thing, even in it’s current incarnation, and the DVD and albums of this show, (particularly when paired with the next live release which will give us Fragile/CttE and a bit of Heaven and Earth to my understanding), are a quite welcome document of the recent tours and the this line up at work. I expect to listen/watch them numerous times. While it won’t be as magical as being there, I think it’s fair to say that no live album/DVD can do that. But if someone was there, it can be very enjoyable indeed to get a more in depth look/listen to what was going on while you were caught up in the moment. I am always caught up in the moment when at a Yes show. And that goes for the Yes shows I’ve seen on virtually every tour since the 74 Relayer tour, (with just a few misses). When I see a review, particularly by a Yes fan, of them not enjoying something the band has done, I don’t get angry or disparage. Usually, I just feel a little sad that the reviewer didn’t get to feel the same kind of enjoyment I felt at the music. They are being deprived of something in some way. And by the way……this includes me. There are a few Yes works that I am deprived of enjoying for reasons difficult for me to express, (which is why I rarely do direct reviews of albums, etc.). I don’t even listen to the studio material from Keys to Ascension, much of Union, much of Open Your Eyes, Some of Big Generator, or the first two albums. You don’t need to apologize for your review. We all like what we like, and Yes has enough material, and enough years under their belt that we can all find something as Yes fans which fills the bill quite nicely. Every effort is not going to please every fan. That’s just the way of things.

    1. Steve, that is a very generous and dignified response to my rant. As you said, no video can capture the feeling of being at a live concert.

      I see that we are of a similar vintage. My first Yes gig was the Relayer tour in 1975, though the last was Drama five or so years later. Once they’d decamped to the USA split and reformed etc etc I began to lose interest, though 90125 although not a prog LP was and still is a great album.Big Generator and Talk were ok .
      I see that even with your positivity you acknowledge that most of what they did since then were pot-boilers. The AWBH stuff was bland, Union was patchy and The Keys to Ascension debacle just shows how they wanted to milk us old timers for everything. They could have put all the live stuff out as a decent album but who would have bought the studio songs? For me that was the end of them as a creative force.
      Thinking about it, the only decent album they put together which didn’t involve both Anderson and Squire is Drama
      Unlike you, I love Time and a Word, I think it is probably their most under-rated. It is truly progressive. Give it a few more listens.

      I stand by my review of the recent DVD as a release rather than a concert souvenir. Perfunctory and joyless. I accept that it may be largely due to the terrible direction and editing. Actually I hope that is the case. I hate to think that the band could do all that performing and not enjoy doing so.

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