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progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

concert review

Yes - Razzmatazz, Barcelona - July - 2003

Again it’s impossible to start this review without mentioning how inadequate the whole organization of this kind of event was. We are talking about one of the most important bands in the musical world and also a band with a great amount of fans that didn’t deserve to suffer such a bad production in terms of venue and sound quality.

After the bad experience of last time we got the chance to see them, most of us didn’t believe that the band would come back again to Barcelona, also the bad remarks about the 2000 gig coming from the group didn’t encourage us much about their returning. That was also one of the reasons why the group didn’t think about Spain when touring with the orchestra presenting their new album “Magnification”.

Nevertheless proving that man is the only animal to stumble twice with the same stone, Yes came back to Barcelona and to the same venue called Razzmatazz. So happy enough we gathered together again in a perfect musical Finish sauna with a horrible sound quality to enjoy one more time the Yes’ show. Apart from all that inconveniences, what we got was a great spectacle, a huge show that we were lucky to enjoy and that kept us amazed, almost two hours-and-a half concert of pure Yes music. The band appeared with the classic line up Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Alan White and one of the most expected musicians Rick Wakeman, dressed in a cloak like his early days.

The british band played a stunning set of songs focused mainly on their stuff from the “Fragile” period showing his incredible skills despite their age. The starting gun bursted with “Siberian Khatru” and from then on they delight us with a magnificent gig. The presence of Rick Wakeman made that the whole night became magical. There’s no doubt that this master of keys is a very important element within the band. The themes came one after another followed by the enthusiastic applause from the audience. They played two new pieces, “Magnification” and “In the presence of” in the middle of which they inserted “Don’t kill the whale”. The flurry of classics came with “And you and I”, “We have heaven”, “South side of the sky”, “Heart of the sunrise”, “Long distance runaround”, but on my opinion the most spectacular moments were the solos, and particularly the Chris Squire and Alan White solo. Honestly, that part of the show was worth the big amount of money that we had paid to see them. “In the course of the day” was the piece that Steve Howe picked up to show us his incredible talent with the guitar, an instrument which doesn’t seem even touched by Steve’s hands. Rick played a medley from his first album “The six wives of Henry the VIII”, a superb solo which kept us all stunt looking at him. This man looks like an octopussy!!. And then was the Chris’ turn. This man is a beast, it is incredible how he plays the bass, it seems that he is going to rip off the cords from the instrument. Along with Alan White they played a medley of some old pieces “The Fish/Tempus Fugit/Machine Messiah/something from Sound Chaser” anyway it was like bass-drum festival that ended with the great bass player on his knees on the stage and the whole venue screaming. Absolutely fantastic.

Of course the whole set ended up with the gorgeous “Awaken”, with the magnificent playing of Rick Wakeman at the keyboards. Then the band disappeared for 30 seconds from the stage and came in again to play two encores, “I’ve seen all good people” and “Roundabout”, a song that funny enough made the female fans dance like crazy.

A great concert that, in spite of the sound and the venue inconveniences, we’ll all keep in our minds for a long time. After the show we got in touch again with the fans that we had met outside before the concert, and the first question that I was asked was “How was it?” and ny answer was “there’s nobody better than these guys, it hasn’t exist a band better than Yes” and then I heard “Yeah, maybe Genesis in their hey days” “No, I’m sorry but no, Yes is the best band in the progressive rock history, and there hasn’t been any other band that could be as good as them, I’m sorry”.

Jordi Costa and Ramón Sellarès - July 2003


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