Open The Show (Highland HL165/66/67#Y29)
Kultur Und Kongresszentrum Liederhalle, Stuttgart, Germany – March 20th, 1998
Disc 1 (58:27): Firebird Suite, Siberian Khatru, Rhythm Of Love, America, Open Your Eyes, And You And I, Heart Of The Sunrise
Disc 2 (43:13): Mood For A Day, Diary Of A Man Who Vanished, Clap, From The Balcony, Wonderous Stories, Khoroshev Solo, Long Distance Runaround / The Fish (including Tempus Fugit, Ritual, Sound Chaser), Owner Of A Lonely Heart
Disc 3 (53:08): The Revealing Science Of God, Jam, I’ve Seen All Good People, Roundabout, Starship Trooper
Yes’ Open Your Eyes tour in Europe in 1998 was their first visit to the continent in seven years. Beginning in Scotland at the end of February, they visited cities which they never did before in their heyday and ended up in London in April. Open The Show documents their stop in Stuttgart about a month into the tour. Highland use a very good but slightly distant DAT audience recording of the entire show. There is some hiss present and the softer parts are difficult to hear. No remastering was applied to this tape although a boost in the volume would have helped tremendously.
What is interesting about this tour is that the setlist reflects more the San Luis Obispo shows than their current album. The emphasis is upon the classic songs which weren’t played during the Rabin years. Only a short nod, with “Open Your Eyes” and “From The Balcony,” is made to the new album.
Jon Anderson is in good spirits as he tries to speak to the audience in German. It becomes a running joke throughout the show like before “And You And I” as he struggles with a greeting and before “From The Balcony” when he says, “we call it in English a duet and of course in German you’d call it a duet…that’s a joke.”
Yes alternate between softer, contemplative numbers with much heavier and louder ones. It’s the former that are more effective than the latter. While the opening four songs sound good “And You And I” sound magical in this recording. There is a similar sheen in “Heart Of The Sunrise” which emphasizes not the heavy chords but Igor Koroshev’s high register keyboards throughout the piece.
Steve Howe is given a long section in the middle of the show. He starts off with “Mood For A Day” followed by a rare acoustic performance of “Diary Of A Man Who Vanished” from The Steve Howe Album and misnamed “Ram” on the artwork. Howe dedicated “Clap” to the peole in the audience who came to see him play with Asia five years before but missed him when he got sick and couldn’t play. “Watch out for that industrial paint” is his cryptic joke. Anderson joins him onstage for a duet of “From The Balcony” (misnamed “State Of Mine” on the artwork).
Anderson jokes about the constant personnel changes before introducing Koroshev for his short solo leading into “Long Distance Runaround.” Chris Squire’s and Alan White’s “Whitefish” is very well recorded and injects a lot of energy into the show.
After a great twenty-one minute version of “The Revealing Science Of God” they play a short, forty second funky jam. Anderson introduces the final song “I’ve Seen All Good People” and tells the audience to do the “Stuttgart Shuffle” in the middle. The encores are “Roundabout” and a fifteen minute version of “Starship Trooper” which brings down the house at the end. Open The Show was released several months after the show at a time when Highland were keeping up with the tour. It is a good release from the tour which isn’t as good as the Paris release but still worth having.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)