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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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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.
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on 1 October 2014
Purchased the UK Region 2 edition and the Japan Region free edition.
Both editions contain 2 concerts but on the UK edition both are edited.
They are as follows :-

UK Edition

Songs From Tsongas - 2hr 24min
Note - Ritual is cut from the main concert but included as an extra on the main menu
Which moron who decided to do this and why is beyond me.

Lugano 2004 - 1hr 10min
Note - Standard definition - not in HD - Heavily edited version from the original broadcast
and has been available on the bootleg circuit since 2004.

Japanese Edition (Region Free)

Songs From Tsongas - 2hr 52min
Note - Complete uncut show - Ritual is included in the main setlist running order.

Lugano 2004 - 2hr 2min
Note - Standard definition - not in HD - Complete uncut show
Includes the following tracks cut from the UK release :-

Mind Drive Part 1
South Side Of The Sky
My Eyes
Mind Drive Part 2
Yours Is No Disgrace
Second Initial (Howe Solo)
Jane Seymour (Wakeman Solo)
Rhythm Of Love

Summary
Would have preferred an HD version of the Lugano show.
Even on a separate disc. It's a cracking show. The square is nicely lit up in purple
and it's pouring with rain which gives it a nice atmosphere.
The version of And You & I at Lugano is probably the ultimate version you'll ever hear!!!!!
I've heard other fans comment that too.
Still I slight upgrade on the bootleg.

The Jap edition I bought has the audio on 3 CDs making the whole set 4 discs. Cost a bit more though.
Can recommend this to fans although if you want to shell out a bit more.
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on 8 July 2005
It seems like a couple of hundred years ago when this DVD was first announced, and now, after the fourth or fifth delay, it's arrived.
No extras, apart from a disposable MSN Roger Dean featurette, but it does have DTS sound. So what you've got here is essentially the complete concert from the last date of the US leg of the 35th Anniversary tour.
I was lucky enough to have a second-row seat for the Birmingham show and this brought all the good memories flooding back. A terrific setlist, including my particular live favourite Yours Is No Disgrace closing the first half, and also a few rarely (or never) heard live Yessongs such as Mind Drive (split into two parts), Sweet Dreams and Lennon & McCartney's Every Little Thing - the latter being a bit of a treat for us here in the UK as it was dropped from the setlist when they crossed back to this side of the Atlantic.
Also there's a marvellous 30-minute unplugged(ish) section in the middle which breathes new life into old live warhorses such as "Roundabout" and "Owner Of A Lonely Heart". A first for the band in a live setting as far as I'm aware, and a real treat.
The stage set was a potential banana skin Spinal Tap-style, comprising of huge inflatables designed by long-time Yes album sleeve artist Roger Dean. I remember having concerns at Brum about one of them springing a slow leak and gradually deflating throughout, finally collapsing on Alan White during the climax to "Ritual", the show's closing number. But I needn't have worried. Didn't happen there, and didn't happen here. And you know what - the stage design looks just fine.
Kudos, too, for the DVD's producers who resisted the temptation of having loads of unnecessary graphics (slapped wrist for Starship Troupers (sic)), and to director Joe Thomas for not succumbing to the MTV disease of being afraid to stay on one shot for longer than half-a-second.
So try not to laugh too hard at the robodrums - which probably sounded a good idea on the drawing board but are Naff with a capital "N", ignore the occasional insertions of fake crowd noise, and enjoy close to three hours' worth of one of the finest live bands it's been my privilege to see (many times) through the years.
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on 1 August 2005
I pre-ordered this dvd prior to release and I have watched it 3 times before reading the other reviews. This is a very well filmed document of the last tour. You will love it if you saw the concerts and it is a very good substitute if you missed out.
As always the performance was immaculate and the choice of songs good - I have not seen Yes perform Every Little Thing before so that was a treat. I have to agree with others' comments: South Side of the Sky and the acoustic section are real highlights as are Ritual and Yours is no Disgrace.
It is difficult to capture the passion of being there but this is a good effort - something you can watch time and again and will make you want to see the band live (yet) again. Let's just hope that we get the chance!
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on 11 January 2016
Recommended highly to any Yes fan.This concert has THE proper line up of this great band.The music is note perfect,as expected,and the camera work is spot on.The band are obviously enjoying themselves playing the music that ,over the years,made them.All the band are great musicians but I would like to add a noteabout the late great bass player Mr. Chris Squire.He is renowned as one of the greatest rock bass players of all time, and proved it every time he swung his old faithful Rickenbeker.His harmonising backing was superb.His write up by Wikedpedia shows the respect given to him by fellow musicians.You will be be sadly missed Chris,R.I.P.
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on 4 December 2014
This is the best show embossed Yes. The band was epic moment, knit, and rely on the genius of great musicians like Jon, Howe, Squire and Wakeman, supplementing with White on drums. The best line-up. The repertoire very well chosen reviving great classics in more acoustic versions and other latest music of excellent quality as well. Who likes progressive rock can not do without this work and even for those who enjoy a good band with elaborate songs, quality musicians and the wonderful voice of Jon with the proper intensity. In addition, there is a part of the show made the Lugano Festival which continues with the same quality and the nearest versions of those studio. It is more than three-hour show. Excellent, fabulous. Note 9.5.
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on 26 June 2005
I don't want to sound too negative about this one, but as a huge Yes fan going back over 30 years with many concert experiences to draw upon, it's frankly a bit of a let down. The shows themselves were excellent, but this particular one doesn't capture the energy I witnessed. The opener Going for the One doesn't make it onto the stage very well and rarely has over the years, nor does Sweet Dreams. For me the band don't really get going until South Side of the Sky well into disc 1. The song Mind Drive had not been performed live until this tour and it was disappointing that the band felt it necessary to split the arrangement into two separate parts.
The band of course are pretty faultless throughout, but there's something missing from the DVD experience. It lacks some passion I think.
There are some issues with sound quality, and in particular, Ritual on disc 2, which features a Chris Squire bass segment, suffers from weedy bass sound, which is a real let down. It's also unacceptable that the post-production quality control allows mis-spelling of Yes songs such as Wonderous Stories.
The best part of the show on the disc is the acoustic set in the middle, which is an echo of the Acoustic Yes DVD set from last year, but played before an arena audience. It's reminiscent of Zeppelin's 'acoustic set' in their concerts and works really well.
On balance, if your're a fan I'm sure it has the usual appeal. If not, it's hardly likely to draw you in unless you like lots of close ups of guitarist's fingers and like me try to figure out what exotic chord he's playing!
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VINE VOICEon 25 September 2014
Yes but not at their best and not good blu-ray either. The concert is watchable but lacks emotion/buzz, Maybe 35 years is showing. The recent lineup change might inject a bit of new life into them... They can certainly do better than this.
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on 7 February 2005
Finally a great video with the full classic line-up that we all love. The set list is nothing short of spectacular if you like a good show this is it. I think all the people that saw them live agree. A good followup to yessymphonic, In an objective world this would be a major hit. In real world let's hope so! It's about time!
So buy more and give them to your friends and spread the joy!
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on 7 February 2016
Having caught Yes on this tour I was interested to see what this DVD was like. As is to be expected, quite a few classic songs are included here (there must've been some concerts without 'And you and I' since they wrote it, but there can't be many) and it is always good to see Rick Wakeman with them on keyboards. However, this does have a novelty value of having an acoustic rendition of some of their songs in the middle of the concert and it has a few surprises with some rarely played songs being performed live. It's great to have a live rendition of 'Sweet dreams' and good to have 'Mind drive parts 1 and 2' with 'South side of the sky' and 'Turn of the century' in-between the two parts. It's good to see Rick agreeing to play something from 'Topographic' in the form of 'Ritual' and that would be another high point, but here it loses out somewhat due to the fact that there is a better version on the 'Symphonic' DVD, but don't get me wrong this is still very good. However, they still managed as a surprise us with a great version of 'Every little thing' (a song I have never seen them play live) as the first encore. This is almost worth five stars, but it just loses as a sound doesn't seem as crisp as it should be and the 'Symphonic' version of 'Ritual' is just so much better!
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