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Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

YES, ‘SONGS FROM TSONGAS’ – DVD REVIEW



Yes has released enough concert DVDs to fill a broom closet, and most of them offer the same basic experience: classic prog-rock performed skillfully, and faithfully to the original recordings.

Spoiler alert: ‘Roundabout’ will make the setlist. Jon Anderson‘s voice will sound spacey and impossibly high, like a stoned songbird. Chris Squire will pluck out grumbled bass tones from his Rickenbacker. Steve Howe will conjure blissful tones from all varieties of guitar-like instruments, while furrowing his brow like a miffed schoolmaster. Regardless of the title or era, any Yes DVD will be worth exploring, if not necessarily re-exploring.

What distinguishes ‘Songs From Tsongas’ – a newly reissued CD/DVD/Blu-ray concert from the band’s 35th anniversary tour – is the unique breadth of its material and presentation. The full concert, recorded in 2004 at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Massachusetts, spans the band’s entire career – including oft-ignored early album tracks (the sugary 1970 rocker ‘Sweet Dreams’), buried gems (the forgotten 1997 epic ‘Mind Drive‘) and meandering prog pieces (the 20-minute ‘Ritual’ from 1973′s critically reviled ‘Tales From Topographic Oceans‘ – inserted as a bonus feature). There’s even an LSD-worthy stage backdrop filled with bulbous orbs, courtesy of resident cover art guru Roger Dean, who successfully aimed to design “a world that looked exactly like something but you couldn’t put your finger on.”

This date was the last stop of their American jaunt, but (minus a few out-of-tune backing vocals) the sonic strain is minimal. Anderson’s voice is appealingly raw, adding extra rasp to the propulsive wail on ‘Going for the One.’ The requisite setlist staples (‘Starship Trooper,’ ‘And You and I’) offer no revelations, but their visceral impact is multiplied here, sequenced strategically between the deep cuts.


Read on... 


CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Union (Standard DVD)
DVD - £9.99

Union (2CD)
2CD - £7.99

Rock Of The 70's
DVD - £12.99

Rock of the 70s
DVD - £9.99

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