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BMG Music presents
Yes: House Of Yes—Live From House Of Blues (2000)

"Nous sommes du soleil, we love when we play."
- Jon Anderson (Ritual:Nous Sommes Du Soleil)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: July 28, 2000

Stars: Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Alan White, Igor Khoroshev, Billy Sherwood
Director: Michael Chloe

MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 01h:52m:00s
Release Date: July 11, 2000
UPC: 639857808493
Genre: music


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A A+AA- B+

DVD Review

For over 30 years Yes has been delivering first class progressive music, and have been inspiring musicians of all styles. Their music, though imitated by numerous other bands, has always been unique, fronted by Jon Anderson's signature vocals, and supported by a collection of musicians who have been ranked top of their class by their peers and audiences alike: guitarists Steve Howe, Peter Banks and Trevor Rabin, bass legend Chris Squire, keyboardists Rick Wakeman and Patrick Moraz, and drummers Bill Bruford and Alan White. Their success in the 1970's with albums like The Yes Album (hit single Roundabout), Fragile, Close To The Edge and the monumental Tales From Topographic Oceans, they virtually defined the progressive rock movement. The band was reborn in the early '80s when producer/guitarist Trevor Rabin spearheaded the Yes project with the triple platinum album 90125 (and the single Owner Of A Lonely Heart). Through numerous lineup changes, the band has maintained an identity unto itself, based on an uncompromised level of musicianship and a sound that, though ever evolving, always sounds like Yes.

In support of their most recent album The Ladder, Yes once again took to the road, in this incarnation: Anderson, Howe, Squire, and White, accompanied by keyboardist Igor Khoroshev and second guitarist Billy Sherwood (who joined the band in 1997 as producer on tracks for the Keys To Ascension album). Filmed at the House of Blues in Las Vegas in October 1999, this concert presents modern incarnations of Yes favorites including Yours Is No Disgrace, Roundabout, Your Move/I've Seen All Good People, And You And I, and a fantastic version of Awaken. Also included are 5 songs from the new album: Homeworld (The Ladder), It Will Be A Good Day (The River), Lightening Strikes, The Messenger and Face To Face along with Rabin era Owner Of A Lonely Heart and Cinema. Excerpts from Ritual-Nous Sommes Du Soleil and Time And A Word round out the set.

Steve Howe is his usual tour-de-force pulling out a collection of acoustic and electric guitars, juggling 12 string, steel and electrics within the epic scope of their longer pieces. Chris Squire dons his trademark cream Rickenbacker, his triple necked Wal bass and various other instruments while delivering Yes' complicated bass arrangements. As always, Anderson's stage presence is cool and graceful, and he delivers his performances with an obvious love for his work. For long time Yes fans, the absence of Rick Wakeman on keyboards is a difficult spot to fill, but Igor Khoroshev takes to the task effortlessly, suitably highlighted in the 17 plus minute rendition of Awaken with Anderson accompanying on harp. Billy Sherwood is featured in the two 90125 pieces, and drummer Alan White keeps the band as tight as ever throughout the show.

As with any band that has material spanning decades, there are always favorites that don't make it to the set, and this is the case for this performance as well, though it is hard to cram too many 9 plus minute pieces into a couple of hours! The newer material, while still very good, may not be as easily accepted as tried and true classics from the past, but do add refreshing new content to what could be a greatest hits performance if done by other bands. All around a great performance by one of the world's finest bands.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Shot live on high definition video, the image is immaculate, with no anomalies other than an oversaturation of intense blue lighting. Craned cameras capture the performance from all angles, and the clarity is a welcome change from some of the older video releases of the band in concert. Colors are vibrant and detail level is excellent - the scratches on the surface of Steve Howe's prized Gibson ES175D are clear as day.

Image quality in the supplements is also very good, with the minor exception of the Homeworld (The Ladder) video, which suffers as a result of its computer game sourced content. This would be less noticible on smaller screens.

Image Transfer Grade: A

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The 5.1 format is a great way to experience music as diverse as Yes. The live setting is well represented with good separation of the instruments and a very wide soundstage. The only thing I found somewhat alienating was the level of the center channel which doesn't really anchor the vocals to center stage. The 2.0 stereo track is collapsed compared to the 5.1 mix, but both sound very good, though I would have preferred more bass extension in the mix. Still, compared to other Yes releases, this one ranks way up there in terms of sound quality.

In contrast, the 5.1 sound on the supplemental Homeworld (The Ladder) video features a much more solid mix, with great bottom end and more focussed and directional sound.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Music/Song Access with 15 cues and remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
2 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Alpha
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual
Layers Switch: 01h:11m:00s

Extra Extras:
  1. Homeworld (The Ladder) music video
  2. Making of The Ladder
  3. Virtual Tourbook
  4. Yesworld DVD-ROM content (HTML)/Web links
Extras Review: Homeworld (The Ladder) music video
Presented in 5.1 surround, the title track from the band's latest album is set to scenes from the Homeworld video game. On a larger screen the image here is pretty choppy computer animation, but the outer space atmosphere suits the music which sounds great in surround. This album was one of the first recorded in 5.1, and I hope to see a DVD version released soon. The track runs just under 10 minutes.

Making of The Ladder
Yes' 1999 album The Ladder was recorded in Vancouver, Canada and produced by the legendary Bruce Fairburn (Aerosmith, AC/DC, Bon Jovi), who passed away as the album neared completion. The documentary features video interviews with Fairburn and the members of Yes during the recording of the album. We also get in-studio performance excerpts from Homeworld and If Only You Knew. It is great to have this type of material included, though not all encompassing, it at least gives insight from each member on the recording of the album, and is a nice homage to Bruce Fairburn as well.

The Virtual Tourbook features a number of stills, memorabilia and artwork from over the years, including conceptual Roger Dean artwork (Dean's artwork adorns a great deal of the Yes catalogue as well as this DVD cover). Some of the concert posters featured have interesting lineups, including Yes in opening spots for Family and Elton John.

The disc also includes a (limited) local version of the Yesworld website as DVD-ROM content, which will also link into the online site if you are connected to the internet. This version is nice for posterity, as Billy Sherwood has now left the band, and the DVD provides a time capsule of sorts for this incarnation of Yes.

Extras Grade: B+

 

Final Comments

After over 30 years in the industry, Yes can still deliver a great concert experience. This DVD captures almost a full 2 hours of that experience in an intimate venue, with a great surround sound environment. The supplements feature interesting perspectives on the band's outlook during the recording of The Ladder along with a collection of memorabilia from the current tour and days past. For Yes fans or anyone interested in witnessing the performance of some of the finest musicians this planet has to offer, there can only be one recommendation for this one - YES.

 


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