Night Must Fall (Siréne-201)
Concord Pavilion, Concord, CA – September 17th, 2004
Disc 1: Firebird Suite, Going For The One, Sweet Dreams, I’ve Seen All Good People, America, South Side Of The Sky, Yours Is No Disgrace, Clap, Long Distance Runaround, Wonderous Stories
Disc 2: Roundabout, Owner Of A Lonely Heart, And You And I, Awaken, Starship Trooper
Yes’ 35th Anniversary Tour began mid April 2004 in Seattle and ended September 22nd, 2004 in Monterrey, Mexico and featured the Anderson, Squire, Howe, Wakeman, and White lineup. The tour was broken into three legs starting with a Spring North American Tour, followed by the summer tours of Europe and North America. A nice cross section of material from over the years was chosen for this tour emphasizing the current members and also featuring “Sweet Dreams” from the pre – Howe era and Paul Simon’s “America” that was only released as a single in 1972. Another track that makes its appearance in the tour is the rarely played “South Side Of The Sky”.
The recording is an excellent stereo soundboard with some traces of compression. The mix is really good with the bass slightly overshadowed by the other instruments. It amazes me after all these years these guys still sound so good. There aren’t too many aging bands that can still pull off their music at this level. Vocally, they aren’t as sharp as they used to be, understandably so, but Anderson’s voice sometimes benefits from the slight raspiness giving him an edgier sound than he’s ever had before. “South Side Of The Sky” is a good example and sounds quite good with an extended section at the end with Wakeman and Howe trading solos.
The acoustic section features a really nice “Long Distance Runaround” followed by the usual tour story by Jon Anderson of when he wrote the song in Jamaica. The band then kicks into a short reggae version where Jon sings “long distance runaround/long time, waiting to get me some ganja/I still remember the dream there/I still remember the time I got so high” and goes on about how Bush and Kerry should start smoking again and stop talking about war before referencing the Barrett Strong anti-war anthem “War”, even getting the crowd to participate in the chant. The whole acoustic set is pretty loose with lots of stories and comic moments between songs with Rick Wakeman providing lounge style piano for background music. Chris Squire get his turn at a storyteller moment where he explains how he and Alan White called on Rick Wakeman to come up with a special 35th Anniversary blues version of “Roundabout” that ends in an enthusiastic “Fucking Brilliant!” from Chris. Keeping an open mind, the acoustic versions of “Long Distance Runaround”, “Roundabout” and even “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” come across really well and is a nice twist in the set. Rick Wakeman takes an outstanding piano solo in “Owner” in place of the guitar solo. Still, songs like “Awaken” and “Starship Trooper” really steal the show for the die-hard Yes fans and are a great way to end the night.
Sirene does it again with Night Must Fall; a superb sounding set and a worthwhile performance from the definitive Yes lineup giving this title essential status. (WGPSEC)