Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Yes 2015-08-30 Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Littleton, Colorado

Yes
Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield
Littleton, Colorado
August 30, 2015

Lineage: Sony ECM-717 (mic) / Sony PCM-M10 24/96 > Audacity (downsampled to 16/44 wav) > CD Wav (track splitting) >
Traders Little Helper (FLAC level 8)

Steve Howe
Alan White
Geoff Downes
Billy Sherwood
John Davison

Tracklist:

01 intro tape
02 Firebuid Suite excerpt
03 Don't Kill The Whale
04 Tempus Fugit
05 America
06 Going For The One
07 Time and a Word
08 I've Seen All Good People
09 Siberian Khatru
10 Owner of a Lonely Heart
11 Roundabout
12 Starship Trooper

Notes: I felt uncertain about this show going in - without Chris Squire, would this feel like Yes? Does this make them
their own tribute band? Certainly, on some levels, that's exactly how it feels - when Geoff Downes played a sloppy key-
board lick at the beginning of OoaLH, you can hear a few people in the audience groan; there's a surrealistic feeling to
this band playing TaaW, when nobody on stage played on the original recording; the longest tenured member of this band
is the drummer. Is this still Yes?

I attended this show with my wife and friend, who flew in from Texas to attend, as he has with past Yesshows. The venue
is actually a large field in the foothills of the Denver metro area that appeared to be largely attended by members of the
Gardens - by the time the show ended at 9:00 (!), most of the crowd had already vacated! Toto went on first, and they
actually played a bit longer than Yes - which was a huge disappointment to me; this is easily the shortest Yesshow that
I've seen. Plus, the sun was right in our faces for the entirety of Toto's performance - fortunately, the sun was going
down when Yes took the stage shortly after 7:30.

The tribute to Chris Squire did not really come off at this show, as the sun was still out and there was no video screen,
Onward played in a sort of isoloation - most of the crowd did not realize that this was part of the show. This was followed
by a shortened version of the Firebird Suite; the first thing I noticed was that Billy wore a long Squire-esque coat for
his performance. The opening DKTW worked better in person than it had the other shows I had heard - it's still a weird
choice for an opener. In fact, the crowd was obviously restless, as the first five songs were obscurities (to them) - it
reminded me that, during Toto's set, they announced at one point 'we're playing something from our new album' and the crowd
obviously exhaled in disappointment. To me, Tempus Fugit was the highlight - I've said it before and I'll say it again: if
you don't have Jon Anderson in the band, you should emphasize the material that isn't associated with him. I'm jealous that
Europe gets the Drama/Fragile tour in Spring 2016.

The band got tighter as they worked their way through the set - you can feel a palpable sense of relief in the crowd once
they get to ISAGP.

Overall, the setlist is an odd, but, enjoyable bird - at 1 hour, 26 minutes, it feels like a partial performance, but, the
music is magical, and there's a certain honor in these guys going on in Chris Squire's stead. Almost like he's there with
them in spirit - he knew they'd be going on without him, so, it feels like they're honoring him, even if not explicitly so.

My wife says this is the least enjoyable Yesshow that she has seen - for her, the best part was that it was short, and we
were home at a reasonable hour. For my friend, as long as Steve Howe is there, it's worth seeing and he felt that Steve was
on point and played well. To me, I was glad to see it, and will continue to patronage any band that can officially call
itself Yes - Alan White sounded much better at this show (to me) than he had in a long time (perhaps he's laying off the
sauce, in light of Chris' fate), Billy was fine as the hand picked replacement, Steve was really loud in the mix, but,
did not disappoint (too bad we didn't get Clap), Downes is acceptable and Davison is a Jon Anderson clone for whom most of
the crowd probably did not notice the difference.

Not to mention, as I get older, I imagine more and more of the shows I see will likely be playing in similar venues, ending
at earlier and earlier times - that's not necessarily bad!

Please do not sell this recording, but, share, share, share!



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