Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Yes at Staten Island

Now, there's not many times in your life that you go to a concert via a ferry.

Especially the Staten Island ferry.  With the Statue of Liberty...

..and the Queen Mary sailing out of harbour.

Here's the rather splendid poster outside the St George's Theatre.  (I was told by the management I couldn't have it, despite having travelled several thousand miles to be at the concert, but of course some other so and so then went off with it...)

The venue looks like a load of concrete tat from the outside, but on the inside, it's a com0letely different story.  It is a magical jaw-dropping grotto of gilded hyper-ornate opulence, formed out of solid gold, pure diamonds, plaster and (no doubt) finest quality asbestos.

So.  Here we go again.  Lots of nice quirky seating at the St George's Theatre.  I'm back in Row H, with my little snappy snaps Olympus camera.

Now, of course, there is no tribute to Chris to start the show.  In the UK leg in May, we had tributes to not only Chris, but Peter Banks as well, and in retrosepect, they did give a certain backward-looking melancholy to whole proceedingsThey certainly weighed heavily with Billy at times, who had the whole legend of Chris to live up to.  It invited comparison.  Now he has the space to be himself.

Machine Messiah.

Here's Mr Sherwood on bass.  You might like a look at his necklace, BTW, which is two intertwined fish. (Ok, it's a bit blurred, but I'm in Row H for goodness sake...!!)

Here's Steve, not kicking over any footstools tonight, but stopping songs because of distracting i-Pads all the same.  'Phones yes, i-Pads no'.

Jay, still counting away, with his mesmerising hair.  There were times when there was nice interaction between him and Jon, so the guy isn't simply 'gun for hire'.

 Big hands.

 We're still on Machine Messiah, BTW.

The keyboard god that is Geoff Downes.

The very focussed Mr Howe, leader of the pack.

Here is Jon, injecting the vocal passion and drama into Drama that the original recording so sadly lacked.

What has been noticeable on this US tour, even in comparison to the UK tour in May, is the way that Jon has been re-energised.  He's in a good place right now, and instead of singing up to a note, he sings down onto a note, and then holds it with wonderfully confident control and assurance.  It's a joy to hear.  It's so easy and effortless.

Okay..second track.  White Car.... Hit it, Geoff!

"I see a man in a white caaaaar..."

The final note. 

And now for the squeee moment.   Billy's opening bass line on Does It Really Happen.  Start shakin' your head from side to side in time to that beat...

 More of that kerrrr-azy seaweed.

Run to the light, and everything is okay...

Tempus Fugit.

Yes! Yes! It's so good to be near you...

And on to Tales... a more serious and intense edge.

Leaves of Green.

Does a lamb cry out before we shoot it dead?
Working those sandals.

Ritual.  Drums!  More drums!!  Smoke!!!

During Roundabout, Jon came down off the stage into the audience and danced among us. Actually danced - with us!!  We all jumped around in the mosh pit and sang our heads off.  But I don't have a photo of any of that.  

So you'll have to make do with the journey home on the Staten Island ferry, in the moonlight.

Thank you very much indeed to all our kind Yes friends for making the trip so wonderful.  It wouldn't be the same without you all.

I guess the question is, why do we all keep doing this?  People ask me why I insist on going to a dozen shows of the same band night after night - aren't they just all the same?  

Well, that's exactly the point.  No, they're not.  It's about far more than just the shows. Certainly, they give you an agenda, and a reason to be at certain places at certain times. But it's about the journey, who you're travelling with (which can be quite random) and the cumulative experience.  Knowing that you're seeing a lot of shows means that you can relax into each individual show, and appreciate its individuality, make it your own.  Yes, there are mistakes and some shows are better than others.  But that actually doesn't matter, and you can embrace that completely, because the whole experience is about a whole lot more.  It's about being there.

I guess it's difficult to explain, but just to say the whole trip is an affirmation - of those who make the journey, and still can, and for those who can't make the journey any longer. 

Have a look at my other Yesshow blogs - Wallingford, Connecticut and Westbury, Long Island.


  1. Excellent photos Judith! Oh and I concur about Jon's voice. He seems much more relaxed.
    It was a magical night.

  2. Excellent photos Judith! Oh and I concur about Jon's voice. He seems much more relaxed.
    It was a magical night.

  3. Fabulous pics once again, Judith. Wish I could have afforded to get back to the US for this tour! Thanks for sharing the experience.

  4. Judith I can hear you saying the words and experiencing the music as it unfolds -great communication. You have no idea how much you and one or two others help keep me connected to matters Yes. I hope we can do it all again in the U.K.

  5. Thank you so much for your very kind comments, everyone. Wish you could all have been there as well.