Ahoy, Rotterdam,The Netherlands 24 June

It really has been a long time since Yes played in their "classic" Yes line-up; so with Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Alan White and Rick Wakeman. This line-up regrouped for the first time (since the late '70s) in 1996 to record the two "Keys To Ascension" packages and now we can enjoy Yes just like in the days of their famous live album "Yessongs" (1973).

Just like back in 1973 this show started with the excerpt from Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite", of course followed by "Siberian Khatru" from one of the best Yesalbums, "Close To The Edge" (1972), ever. Right from the start it became obvious that this was going to be one of those evenings that you will never forget; even though I have been to a Yes concert a zillion times. These guys are still able to amaze me; the agile vocal harmonies mixed with the complex, classically inspired music are still top of the bill.

After that flashback to 1973 "Magnification" and "In The Presence Of", both from their last album "Magnification" (2001), proved that also their latest work is still something that you just love to hear, even without a complete orchestra. The first real surprise of this evening was the song "Don't Kill The Whale" from the almost forgotten album "Tormato" (1978) later on followed by an old time Yes classic "And You And I"; a track that was almost always on their setlist. Just before the break the audience was treated to the "obligatory" Steve Howe acoustic solo ("The Clap"), not my cup of tea, guys...

Directly after the interval Rick Wakeman did his solothing and I must say it sounded almost just like in 1973, only he added a few things from his "King Arthur" album. Then the show really started rocking with "Long Distance Runaround", "The Fish", with Alan and especially Chris showing their musical capabilities. The second surprise of the evening was the song "South Side Of The Sky" ("Fragile", 1972), a track they have not played in a very long time. Highlight of the evening was Rick Wakeman's favourite Yessong "Awaken", the fifteen minute musical vision from "Going For The One"(1977).

The encores, "I've Seen All Good People" and "Roundabout", no surprises there, ended this beautiful Yesfeast. So, no songs from "Tales From Topographic Oceans", "Relayer", "90125", "Big Generator", "Talk", "Open Your Eyes" or "The Ladder". It was almost everyting from Wakeman times and especially from the album "Fragile", I didn't know that Rick had so much influence, or was it just coincedence??? Still I loved it and I am already looking forward to the next time.

Live report by Martien Koolen