In the Present - Live from Lyon

Disc One:
Siberian Khatru
I’ve Seen All Good People
Tempus Fugit
Astral Traveller
And You And I
Corkscrew (Acoustic Solo)
Disc Two:
Owner Of A Lonely Heart
Southside Of The Sky
Machine Messiah
Heart of the Sunrise
Starship Trooper

Benoit David: vocals
Steve Howe: guitar
Chris Squire: bass
Alan White: drums
Oliver Wakeman: keyboards

Yes (1969)
Time and a Word (1970)
The Yes Album (1971)
Fragile (1971)
Close to the Edge (1972)
Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973)
Relayer (1974)
Going for the One (1977)
Tormato (1978)
Drama (1980)
90125 (1983)
Big Generator (1987)
Union (1991)
Talk (1994)
Keys to Ascension (studio & live) (1996)
Keys to Ascension 2 (studio & live) (1997)
Open Your Eyes (1997)
The Ladder (1999)
Magnification (2001)
Fly from Here (2011)


Recorded in Lyon, Franceon December 1st 2009
On the DVD: Interviews, Excerpts from the Live Show, Roundabout, Machine Messiah (running time approx 55 mins.)

Released 2/12-2011
Reviewed 6/12-2011


2011 seems to a year for the big names of the progressive rock music, Rush, Uriah Heep and now Yes are releasing a live album this year and the latter names have now released two albums this year, one studio and one live. In the Present is the name of Yes’ effort in this matter, it is a 2-CD live album with an accompanying DVD that has some additional material and some footage from the show but this is a live album on CD mainly. The show was recorded in december 2009 in Lyon, and of course it features the band’s new singer Benoit David whom I am not going to say much about, he replaces Anderson. On the more important note we see many of the more known old stuff and the big hits of the days on this two discs, another thing we get is a classical looking Yes album cover art which is always fun.

Musically it is of course the progressive rock with symphonic undertones and all of that, it is of course a live album so it has the touch of live feel with the audience cheering and all of that. The sound is very good without the typical live drawbacks, I guess it is more or less what you can expect from Yes with a live album. We have a mix of stuff from many periods of the band’s music with some classics like Starship Trooper and Yours is no Disgrace from the olden times, songs that I came into yes by and the era of yes that I still think is the best one. But of course big hits like Owner of a Lonely Heart is also there and it feels a bit like a healthy mix when you look at the track list. The album is on two discs and has fourteen tracks, it plays for two hours and a bit so you get a lot of Yes for your money, the question is just if the answer to shall I buy it is Yes as well.

So, is it any good then? Yes, of course it is, it is Yes. I enjoy listening to the old tracks from Yes and The Yes Album, and the new singer is very much like Anderson I would say and the band’s performance overall is impressive which probably isn’t that surprising as the band is really great. In parts the album is brilliant and in other parts it becomes a little bit dreary and sleepy, I think the problem is that it is over two hours long and many songs are very long which works well on albums that are around 40 minutes long but not albums that are over two hours long. So I feel that it is a bit of an up and down album for me, the main issue is the playing time as I have a hard time sustaining my interest in one album for over two hours almost no matter which one it is.

Thing is though that this is in all intents and purposes, this is a really good album the performances and the songs are flawless and no matter the setting Yes is always delivering their fantastic brand of music, I just lament the fact that this album isn’t shorter but it works much better when I skip a track here and there it works much better and I play through the album much faster and then it makes more sense to me and it feels a lot better to listen to.

So, an album I think most Yes fans should look into, not being a fan of live music I still find this album a good listen and an album well worth listening to and the best thing about is that it has some new and fascinating versions of stuff from the early seventies which is the era that I like best from this band and I really enjoy listening to those songs, Starhip Troopers is one of my real favourite songs so it is great to hear it in this live version as well, Benoit David makes a very good vocal work on this and the other tracks and I think the band is on top, the only thing I wish is that the album was a bit shorter and then I would have said Yes this album is a given purchase.


Label: Frontier Records
Three similar bands: Boston/Elo/Rush
Ratings: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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