Monday, October 18, 2010

Yes Union DVD -- mixed reactions

A Concert from the 1991 Yes Union tour is finally being released! I was originally very excited when I heard this news; it was the first time I ever saw them in concert (I was 18 at the time), and it was quite spectacular. "In the Round," performing on a circular stage in the center of the Rose Garden in Portland, with this huge metal multi-armed spider-like light rigging up above them, the stage would revolve slowly giving you a great view of all 8 members of the tour, bringing them together onstage for the only tour in the band's history like this. Just the fact that they were able to get Howe and Rabin onstage at the same time is saying something!

However, I was quite disappointed today when I went and looked at the official video clips on YouTube from this DVD. The concert that is presented in the video is NOT "In the Round," but is on a traditional stage. I was really looking forward to seeing them perform on the revolving stage, as I remember it.

And why does Tony Kaye's T-Shirt say "HARD?" That made me laugh. Perhaps he's finding Wakeman's parts a bit too difficult? Or perhaps he just has a hard time playing them one handed while waving the other hand up in the air?

And poor Bruford looks like he's bored, perhaps thinking... "Only one time signature at a time... sheesh. But at least I get my electronic drumpad endorsement."

I wonder if Rabin plays the same acoustic guitar solo that I still remember way back from that concert I watched in 1991 -- I mean, he's a great guitarist in his own right, but when he's up against Steve Howe, who's doing one of his amazing acoustic guitar solos, perhaps Trevor should have just grabbed his electric instead and done some nice fast shredding or something -- perhaps accompanied by one of the drummers. That's what he seemed best at.

Which reminds me ... Hmmm, I think I remember Bruford and White did a rather awesome drum duet. Might be worth getting the DVD just for that.

I read that this was filmed during the last concert of the tour-- perhaps that's why they all look so tired and disinterested.

All gripes and jokes aside, I'm looking forward to getting this DVD. I just wish they had filmed a concert "In the Round" as I remember it.

I've incuded a short clip of Awaken for your (hopefully) enjoyment.

BUT WAIT!!!!!! Look what I just found: a professionally filmed video clip of Yes performing in the round on the Union Tour in Denver ... so the film exists. Wonder why they never released it? Aparently the sound of the full concert isn't very good, but Trevor Rabin did a nice sound mix for some of the tracks. Luckily someone has put quite a bit of it on Youtube -- 12 segments. I'm guessing I'd like this better than the DVD that's being released -- and since I (and you) can watch it free on YouTube, I think it may be far the better alternative.

The playlist can be found here:

and you can watch it below. I've got the full playlist embedded:


  1. Greetings ... funny jokes about the musicians. I saw this tour twice in Philly when I was 20. I have mixed feelings about this release as well. The Union Tour video they most likely are going to release is incomplete and has been around for sometime but only in Japan. I bought mine on VHS years ago! No drums solos or great songs like Changes and And You and I. However, despite being incomplete it captured some funny moments ... like the inside joke regarding Squire injecting water in Rabin's stool consequently ruining his solo performance. Rabin expresses "You're very kind" to the audience due to his lack luster performance!

    I believe there are 3 possibilities for the second complete Union Tour DVD.

    Union Tour Live in Denver - complete show but really bad sound mix and reckless filming. Some songs available on youtube.

    Union Tour Live in Denver (Trevor Rabin Edit) - incomplete show but much better mixing and filming. Available on youtube.

    Union Tour Live in Pensacola - Not too sure about this one but I think it's a complete show limited to only 2 cameras. Snippets can be seen on the YesYears documentary.

    Personally I'd like to see the Pensacola show as it is rare and they play more songs. You can find it online as a torrent download.

    Well see soon!

  2. I was lucky to have been at the Denver show. One of the best concerts - ever!

  3. Ordered my copy this weekend.HEADS UP !!!!,for all of my fellow " currency symbol illiterate " Yes folk near and far : Don't be fooled by the invoice stating " total " or your final price "after ship and handle" .After the Brits and Gonzo and whoever else gets their cut ,my debit card was sucked out of 55 American buck -a - roos. As I commented to Gonzo ,which promptly got back to me and explained the (non U.S. currency) charges ,I felt it is a bit misleading. All aside,I guess I'll find out if its all worth it.Onward,thru the fog .... ;)

  4. Hey, it would be great to see posts from people who have actually received it and can comment on the content of the package. As the most recent poster comments, the package is expensive for those buying from USA, so...can anyone comment on whether the package is worth it? It appears to only be available on Gonzo's site (and not on Amazon). I saw the tour when it came to Boston in 1991, and really enjoyed the show (not in the round), so I don't care about that form of stage presentation. How's the quality of the video, sound? Can anyone make definitive comment at this point? Thanks, jd

  5. I personally haven't gotten it--I've enjoyed watching the Denver show footage on Youtube, and I'm thinking the DVD release may be a bit of a disappointment to me so it's farther down in my wishlist. You'll probably be able to find some feedback on it at

  6. If you're interested: I have an extensive review up on my blog of the Yes Union Live box set. Here is the link:

    I did not know about the Trevor Rabin edit clips on YouTube. I will certainly go and check them out sometime soon.


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