YES FanFest – 50 True Summers – from a distance – 345

Ken Fuller’s programme!

Produced by Robert Nasir, Jeffrey Crecelius, Wayne Hall, Preston Frazier and Bill Govier

Neither Mark nor I were able to get to the YES50 FanFest in Philadelphia but we took part as well as we could remotely. This week we are reflecting on some of the performances and the general feel we picked up remotely. We also have a two pence about whether Yes are playing too often these days.

  • Which Yes men were there?
  • What was played?
  • Was it a worthwhile event?

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

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Ken Fuller’s photos from the FanFest:

Ken’s Q and A set up video:

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Show notes and links

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Yes Music PodcastYMP patrons:

Robert Nasir | Jeffrey Crecelius | Preston Frazier | Bill Govier | Wayne Hall |

Joseph Cottrell | Michael O’Connor | Paul Tomei | Geoffrey Mason | Lobate Scarp | Fergus Cubbage | Steve Dill | Steve Scott | Peter Hearnden |

Paul Wilson | Jamie McQuinn | Miguel Falcão | Ken Fuller | David Pannell | Brian Sullivan | Joost Doesburg | Jeremy North | Tim Stannard | David Watkinson | Steve Roehr | Geoff Baillie | William Hayes | Terence Sadler | Neal Kaforey | Simon Barrow | Dave Owen |

Robert


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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

10 thoughts on “YES FanFest – 50 True Summers – from a distance – 345”

  1. Well done guys for yet another good show.

    Having seen 4 Yes – ARW shows, what I thought about the O2 gig was, it benifitted the fan by having a really good sound system which was possibly different to the other venues. The large screens helped a lot for close ups. I’m not saying any of the others were bad at all. I loved them, however and the reason I go to at least three on a tour is because the position of your seat at the gig can make a massive change to the sound you get on the night.
    That was my first O2 gig, I’m not aware of its sound record, average/good/great compared to other around the UK.

    Wembley 78 takes some beating, as does RSOG in a tent in Liverpool with Yes some years ago. Thoughts?

  2. It drives me nuts when people say that Yes is playing a predictable, greatest-hits type show. Really? Check out the setslists from 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. The same? No new songs? The Drama-Topographic tour is the same as the summer 2017 setlist? I just can’t buy this argument. Even “Perpetual Change” is not a greatest hits song. “All Good People” would be the greatest hit from that album. While I would like to hear “The Remembering” and “Sound Chaser/To Be Over” as much as anyone, I’m not going to ignore the significance of playing “Madrigal,” “Believe Again,” “Survival,” “Time and a Word,” “Run Through the Light,” “Into the Lens,” “Don’t Kill the Whale,” “Nine Voices,” “Sweet Dreams,” “America,” and any other oddities I’ve forgotten. Even when the band plays things like Topographic Oceans and “Close to the Edge,” I’m all ears wondering how the new members are going to approach these works they have never performed before (four out of the five musicans had never performed Topographic Oceans in 2016). The only band playing a predictable setlist is ARW, and from what it sounds like Rabin is signaling that he is backing off from any extensive touring, that he hates the travel involved, and is accepting film scoring jobs again as well as working on two new solo albums. As for venues, Yes on this tour sold out both shows in the Chicago area, both shows in Philly, and both shows in Florida. These tended to be small venues (holding around 1000 people, although Philly’s venue held 2500), and the shows in the Chicago area were very exciting because of the small, packed audiences. After the opening song, “Close to the Edge,” the reaction was virtually ecstatic. I think the sound is much better in the small venues, and I prefer the indoor venues to outdoor ones both for the sound and for the light show which doesn’t get a good viewing when it is still light outside.

    1. I agree the progression of set lists over the past few years has been well designed. The set for the USA 50 was superb. Add in the TMR set and what a range of selections.

  3. I don’t remember the sound quality of specific Yes shows in the 70s all that well but concert sound was a problem for most artists in places bigger than the Roundhouse, Hammersmith Odeon or the New Victoria – as any Londoners who went to concerts at the Empire Pool or Earls Court or Olympia back then would probably attest. Genesis on the Wind and Wuthering tour springs to mind as a major exception. My recollection is that they sounded wonderful even in that setting. So it could be done. The Stones on the Black n Blue tour is the best / worst example of what we were served up back then on a bad night. Coming back to Yes, the 70s Wembley audience recordings are not a bad indicator of what those kinds of venues could be like on an average night.

    Outdoor shows could often be even worse with the sound blown hither and yon. The good thing about a football stadium like QPR (which is a fully enclosed shoebox now but back then had uncovered terracing at each end) is that at least the sound was to a great extent kept in the “room” but without echo from the back wall. I am pretty sure the sound that night was far far better than what the BBC captured though I was levitating through most of it!

    Of the recent Yes shows the best sound I have experienced was from an Albert Hall stalls seat 20 feet from the stage on Steve’s side and about half way up the rake. This was for the TYA, CTTE, GFTO tour. Though the Palladium sounded great too.

    The ARW live sound was very good after some early problems were ironed out though I am not sure I would even take a free ticket to hear Rabin struggle through another evening wrestling with Steve Howe’s parts regardless of how good the audio is. In any case a Yes show with the bass buried in the mix is a Yes show in name only.

    These days venues built with hockey and basketball very much in mind still sound awful a lot of the time. The PA on the last Rush tour was awful even from just behind the mixing desk. To say it sounded like a two hour drum solo with the rest of the band playing from the car park would not be overstating the awfulness of the experience. Kiss, who really don’t need great sound to put on a great show, sounded pristine in the same room so it can be done. Then and now it is probably more about the adaptability of whatever the band in question is carrying as standard and what efforts are made to make it work for a specific venue. Some bands care to care. Some don’t.

    As for the set lists issue – the last three Yes Official UK tours have been very varied and massively enjoyable. I would like to have heard them play more from the first two records and to do all of Fly From Here (with JD singing) at some point but, as Steven Wright would say, you can’t have everything; where would you put it?

  4. Thanks for another great show. I was lucky enough to be there, and even last thought went to the Friday show as soon as we got to Philadelphia. I was afraid two in a row might be too much. It was not. Both were great and we got to hear all four acoustic pieces. The venue was great. I prefer a full small space to a half sold venue. Just better crowd emotions I think. Of course, it would be great if there were 10,000 fans, but…
    Billy has really settled into the “chair that fits” now. Much less iPad dependent.
    JonD is so versatile and helpful to his band mates. Seems he can play anything but a harp. His keys on Awaken work very well. My personal highlight was talking to him after TMR finished with Subway Walls. I know I spoke for many of us when I expressed hope Yes would play this live.
    I was thinking they toured too much until Steve jumped onto the drum stand at the end of the second show. He seemed so happy. What a contrast to the grumpy start Friday when he expressed irritation with crowd noise.
    Tony seemed to be having fun. What a nice way to round out his Yes career.
    I am not sure Patrick was ready for the show. He seemed to have more fun playing his solo show at the Fest. And I think JonD was cueing him into key changes during Soon. (Lip reading is not my talent, but it seemed so).
    Geoff was gracious to the fans and all those interlopers with keyboards. He fills in the gaps deftly.
    Jay seems like a member to me.
    Tom was great at the Fest. And very nice to the fans.
    Alan is the ultimate trooper. Amazing how he can still get into the flow for a few songs.
    FFH was a once in a lifetime live opportunity.
    Overall, the atmosphere was very positive. Enjoyed the hospitality of Superfan Ruth and Supercollector Doug.
    Last highlight after M and G was buying a print from Roger Dean (Tales). He is a very interesting man. And patient with his fans, including me.
    Looking forward to the next tour!
    Thanks again Kevin and Mark.

  5. I was just thinking that perhaps this episode might be a good bridge into a discussion of the various and sundry – and perhaps a few too many – live albums…

    Happy Anniversary, Kevin! I think we’d all probably agree that you could take a week off from the show if you need it.

    One.

    😉

    1. afraid of withdrawal? Recent medical evidence suggests half life of YMP fix is 8 days, so skipping one week should only lead to a few cases of severe withdrawal symptoms, but two weeks might lead to some fatalities.

  6. Greetings everyone,
    Once again some excellent comments on here and some great points made. I just to clarify something on my end..when we were talking in the 2 pence segment. .when I said they were touring too much behind nothing new …I literally meant new songs…like from a new album…I agree they have changed up their setlists very nicely over the years…much better then ARW have. So yeah…I really think it’s time for another album. ..that always gets the fans excited (mainly the die hard) and speaking as a musician who has toured and played quite a few shows. .I always found it more exciting when we were able to insert a few new songs into the set list and put aside some of the ones that are played to death. I’m sure it’s the same for Yes.

    1. Mark – Much like Rush and “Tom Sawyer,” I’ve wondered from time to time whether Yes might just be happy enough by now to put “Roundabout” to bed… for a while. It’s not like all the fans are clamoring for that NEW hit single from Fragile…

      1. Lol!! New hit single from Fragile!! Thats classic Joseph Cottrell gold right there!! Haha.

        And yeah..if Rush can not play songs like Closer to the Heart for two complete tours …I’m sure Yes can put to rest Roundabout or maybe even Siberian Khatru (hides from the eggs)..but I think that one I’ve heard once too often.

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