YES – Like It Is; Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome (2014)
YES are currently preparing to release next December 8 on Frontiers Records their first live effort to feature current lead vocalist Jon Davison, “Like It Is; Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome” comprising selections from the group’s celebrated studio releases from the seventies.
Available on two-CD, DVD and Blu-ray, this new live package features Davison interpreting both ‘The Yes Album’ and ‘Going for the One’ with a veteran lineup including Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Alan White and Geoff Downes.
Working a setlist of classic Yes, “Like It Is” is a great collection of songs played to perfection. The energy is high, no 40-year band going through the motions here.
Starting with a surprisingly rockin’ version of “Going for the One”, the set runs through such greats as “Yours is no Disgrace”, Steve Howe’s “The Clap”, “Starship Trooper” and “I’ve Seen All Good People”, before finishing up on the rocking abandon of “Perpetual Change”.
All this classic stuff is performed with the trademark Yes shifting rhythms, virtuoso musicianship, sheer power and soaring over it all the high clear harmonies and sweeping melodies that make Yes… Yes.
One thing particularly good is the fact the band sounds like they did in the seventies, not as some ‘tired’ performances heard lately.
American Jon Davison (also lead singer in Glass Hammer) sounds scarily like Jon Anderson… if no one tells you, he’ll pass as a young Anderson without problem.
Howe can still play lightning fast and pure, delivering faithfully favourite old solos but also bringing new embellishments and invention. And Squire showed just how important a part his melodic driving basslines have always been to the distinctive Yes sound.
And when the band are playing as one they can still deliver moments that can take your breath away.
Surprisingly good, “Like It Is; Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome” is much, much better than I expected. Yes sounds vital, energised here, all recorded with great precision and a transparent sound.
It’s more than 40 years since Yes were first a huge name – able to release a triple-disc live album and have a top 10 hit with it. They and their audience may have aged a lot – but Yes still sound as good as ever when they hit those dizzyingly exuberant moments of wonder.
And their present audience is not entirely grey-haired and wallowingin nostalgia – my 15-year-old nephew loves Yes and liked “Like It Is; Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome” a lot.
1. Going For The One
2. Turn Of The Century
4. Wonderous Stories
1. Yours Is No Disgrace
3. Starship Trooper
4. Ive Seen All Good People
5. A Venture
6. Perpetual Change
Jon Davison: Vocals, percussion
Steve Howe: Guitars, vocals
Chris Squire: Bass, vocals
Geoff Downes: Keyboards
Alan White: Drums
BUY IT !