Going For Mind Drive (Highland HL653/654)
Piazza Della Riforma, Lugano Estival Jazz, Switzerland – July 8th, 2004
Disc 1 (61:42): Opening/Firebird Suite, Going For The One, Sweet Dreams, I’ve Seen All Good People, Mind Drive/South Side Of The Sky/Footprints/Mind Drive, Yours Is No Disgrace
Disc 2 (64:05): Second Initial (Steve solo), Rick Wakeman solo, Long Distance Runaround, White Fish (includes On The Silent Wings of Freedom), Owner Of A Lonely Heart, Rhythm Of Love, And You And I, Starship Trooper, Roundabout
Excellent, stupendous, and engaging are some of the words I would use to describe this soundboard recording from the television broadcast of Yes’ set in Switzerland in July. And to recall this set was played in the rain in adds to its mystique. Highland have really surpassed themselves with this latest release. The complaints about this set expressed on Yes websites, dropping “Turn Of The Century” and “Ritual”, are a very minor sacrifice in favor of enjoying the quality of this two hour set.
The biggest complaint on the current tour was the low sound volume and dubious mixing at the beginning of the concert (“Going For The One” suffers as a result). Indeed that was an issue when I caught the tour in Toronto in May. These concerns are rectified in the sterling quality on mix on this tape. Alan White’s drums sound especially heavy on “Sweet Dreams”!
The main point of this tour is the live debut of “Mind Drive” from 1996’s Keys To Ascension. The band elected to play the song in a medley with “South Side Of The Sky” and “Footprints” (also from Keys) which I think is the right artistic decision. All the points of the medley work very well, with “Footprints” played in a “Leave It” style arrangement.
The rest of the show is pretty standard. They dropped the acoustic set that was a highlight in the other shows which included their “Chicago-blues” arrangement of “Roundabout.” The design contains a drawing of the set for the 35th Anniversary tour on the cover and several Eric Schwab photos from the Toronto concert the previous May (which happened to be the show which I attended). Overall a great title from Highland and definitely worth having this document.