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YES - one of their very best performances ever!
on 23 August 2005
OK. Before I kick off...just what or who the hell is Tsongas???
I've been following Yes since the early eighties. 90125 was my first purchase (like prob a good number of current fans) and Topographic Oceans, followed by Relayer, were my first hearings of early Yes, thanks to my cousin's neolithic turntable. But hey, was I blown away with the tremendous spiritual feeling!
Though to date I still rank Trevor Rabin's input as a long awaited breath of fresh air (some might say suicidal!) into the crisp guitar-based AOR of the sweet 80's, undoubtedly the Anderson, Howe, Squire, Wakeman, White line-up remains the quintessential Yes, and though I will always remain pissed off big time at Rick when the only occasion that I managed to see the band in concert was the time when he decided to call it quits (following Keys, the Open Your Eyes Tour, live at Hammersmith UK) I am nowadays an avid admirer of this line-up.
Luckily I came across Tsongas by surprise, just a few days after its release, in Basel, Switzerland, on an unusually-warm Thursday eve. If I had to dare complain about anything on this collection, it would be the omission of my all time favourite, Siberian Khatru, beautifully interpreted on the intro to Keys To Ascension. Otherwise, a good chunk of all the Yes eras - including the under rated ABWH project, with the passionate The Meeting - are included, and it's very interesting to note Rick's input and interpretation of the tunes which he did not originally appear on - namely the Rabin period, with a splendidly interpreted Owner Of A Lonely Heart and the electrifying Rhythm Of Love. A definite highlight of the set is Mind Drive from the mid-nineties Keys To Ascension studio tracks, and also the acoustic / mellowed down (I hate the MTV term "unplugged" !!!) set including warm interpretations of Roundabout and the recent Time Is Time. Otherwise, a selection of classics are included, namely And You And I, Yours Is No Disgrace, Ritual, Starship Trooper, Going For The One etc.
I am not keen on DVD marketing perks so I won't go into the merits of the Roger Dean interview (quite frankly, you will never manage to capture the slightest fraction of Roger Dean's magnificent works in a 10 minute interview. The man is an icon!)
One final word - BUY THIS DVD. Though I can't compare with Symphonic Yes cause I ain't got a copy, Tsongas is a thousand times better than House Of Blues, and a winner by just a narrow margin over Keys To Ascension due to its wider selection of material (2 x DVD ) and the unmistakable DTS sound.