Review and Photos by Terry MayerThere was a buzz in the air for Yes fans in Milwaukee last week when after 34 years from their inception all of the original members of the prog-rock band assembled onstage together. They were all there amid the blinding strobes and flashes of luminnessic light - vocalist Jon Anderson, guitarist Steve Howe, bassist Chris Squire, drummer Alan White, along with keyboardist Rick Wakeman, who's name seemed to be on most people's lips that night.
Other than Howe's mesmerising leads and Squire's motivational attack on his instrument, the reunion proved less than the welcome homecoming that most had hoped for, however. Anderson still had the voice from some time ago, even if, at a constant pitch and tone, it didn't vary much thoughtout the night. Wakeman, showed little signs of emotion, despite a slight smile that emerged once or twice during the second set. He gave hints of "Toccata and Fugue" on his keys before breaking into what sounded like a soundtrack to a 1970s Roger Corman sci-fi flick.
"Hearts of the Sunrise" started with a feverish entrance only to peter into a mellow ending, while on "Long Distance Runaround/Whitefish" Wakeman's hands fevorishly moved in a blurred semi circle over the keys, but soon became tetouse and overdone. "Yours Is No Disgrace" and "Awaken" were likewise dragged out to the point of obnonixness.
There were quite a few parents, standing and clapping throughout the show, who made the mistake of bringing their children. Judging from the somber looks on the seated youngsters faces this was a show with no end in sight. There were a few strongpoints throughout their performance, though, such as "Close to the Edge" and "Don't Kill the Whale," which proved to be the highlights of the evening.
At $61.50 for a decent seat to see a band way past their prime who were unable to generate any real steam, I'll just have to say 'no' to Yes the next time they roll through town.
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