Archive for the ‘Progrock’ Category

The Moody Blues
Masonic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA

I hadn’t planned to go as I’ve never been much of a progrock fan, and the Moody Blues are no exception, but I’ve always found their music intriguing. A couple days before the show I received an email from Goldstar with an offer for a cheap, last minute ticket so I picked one up.

The Moody Blues at the Masonic Auditorium

The Moody Blues at the Masonic Auditorium. Click for more photos.

My seat was near the front of the balcony but way around stage right. I had nice views of the band but the sound is awful at Masonic Auditorium unless you are FOB. Nonetheless, I had a good time, picked up a signed poster, and snapped a couple pictures. All-in-all, a good night.

Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA

First off, I come clean: I’ve never been a huge Yes fan. Because I’d never seen them before I decided to take the opportunity when I heard they were scheduled to play The Warfield. I got online right at 10:00 when tickets went on sale and picked up a seat in the front row.

Yes at Warfield Theatre. Click for more photos.

I’ve always associated Yes as a keyboard-dominated band but after seeing them I realized they are much more guitar heavy than I realized. OTOH, I was sitting directly in front of Steve Howe’s mic stand and that may have influenced my perception.

The show consistent of them performing The Yes Album, Close To The Edge, and Going For The One. I’ve always thought “come listen to us play a classic album straight through” was a gimmick and tend to skip those shows. In this case, while I’m familiar with their music I’ve never listened to a Yes album end-to-end so I enjoyed the experience.

The show started off a bit ragged as they had sound problems both in the monitor mix and in the hall for the first few songs. Everything finally came together for a very extended version of “Starship Trooper” which was one of the highlights of the show for me. Throughout their performance of the first album and especially on “I’ve All Good People” Steve Howe kept playing little Chuck Berryeque riffs as fill. I’d never noticed it in their studio work but that may not mean much given my opening sentence.

Close to the Edge was a bit too far on the prog rock side for me. It struck me as an acquired taste that becomes enjoyable once you become familiar with the music. I enjoyed the “I Get Up, I Get Down” portion and “You and I” both other than that, I was looking forward to the set break.

After the set break the came back for Going for the One which I found much more accessible. The band also seem to be having the most fun of the night. At point Steve Howe steel guitar was rolling a good foot or two from side-to-side as he bouncing around so much while playing it.

Set I:
The Yes Album
Close To The Edge

Set II:
Going For The One


Chris Squire – Bass
Steve Howe – Guitar
Alan White – Drums
Geoff Downes – keyboards
Jon Davison – Vocals

Roger Waters
HP Pavilion, San Jose, CA
This was a huge production and well worth the pricey tickets. The show was very tightly choreographed with lots of people and equipment moving around to build the wall, animate the marionettes, move musicians around to their appropriate place in the wall, etc.. I was sitting right up front so I was able to watch the stage hands put the bricks…in the wall and as an example of how tightly controlled everything was, they didn’t include space occupied by the new brick in the projection until it was completely in place.
Roger Waters at HP Pavilion

Roger Waters at HP Pavilion

Shockingly, the sound was actually pretty good despite HP Pavilion having the worst sound in the Bay Area; yes, even worse than the Cow Palace.

Set List:
Umm, The Wall.