YES IN CONCERT
Suntec City, Sept 25, 2003
Pictures by Cyril Ng

(click on the pictures for a better view)
Read the gig review by Paddy Chng below

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YES
Suntec City, Sept 25, 2003

One of rock music's most technically accomplished bands, Yes celebrated their 35 years in existence with a massive tour that included Singapore for the first time in its history. So it was with amusement that I saw a couple of six-year-old kids being brought along by their dads, some SPGs being dragged along by their foreigner partners, and some younger people who were obviously there out of curiosity. It seemed like the fans were outnumbered by the casual observers.

The place was barely 70 per cent filled up when Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, Chris Squire and Alan White kicked off the concert with the driving rocker, Siberian Khatru. Fans like myself hoping to hear Close To The Edge didn't get our wish. But the brilliant execution of And You And I was the highlight for me. Two songs out of three from the classic Close To The Edge album was a boon already. The other surprise was that the band chose to play about half of the Fragile album, like Heart Of The Sunrise, We Have Heaven, South Side Of The Sky, Roundabout, and Long Distance Runaround. They obviously knew which era the fans wanted to relive.

Howe stole most of the limelight with his sublime playing. His solo acoustic spot where he played one of his most renowned compositions, The Clap, was a lesson in versatility and dexterity. Then it was pee break time for many when Singapore's very own Vernon Cornelius came on stage to sing with Howe. A painful and totally unnecessary segment if you ask me.

Anderson's affable stage presence was the other charming feature of Yes in concert. This gig didn't have a barricade in front of the stage and one fan walked right up the front and just talked to Anderson in between songs. Definitely the most amusing moment of the night!

Near the end, the band played arguably their most popular hit, I've Seen All Good People, a rather conventional tune by their standards, which got the crowd up on its feet. Yes live is a feel-good affair. They've often been accused of being clinical and soulless, but this concert proved that the guys put in a lot of heart into their chops. The prog rock heroes moved the crowd spiritually as much as they wowed them with their virtuosity. New fans were won over in the end. And die-hard fans turned their heads so satisfied on their way out. — Paddy Chng


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