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Yes - Keys to Ascension (DVD) CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.70 | 125 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
1 stars This here is a DVD that compiles a trio of shows that Yes did in 1996 in San Luis Obispo, CA, that functioned as a sort of "comeback special" for the band or something like that. Suffice to say that the performances, while not _stellar_, are still quite wonderful on an overall level. It's definitely my advice, if you want to hear the entire concert, to buy the albums Keys to Ascension and Keys to Ascension 2 (both discs would get 4-stars from me) and then take the live tracks and compile them in order on 2 CD-R's (it'll fit, trust me). The ordering is as follows:

Siberian Khatru

Close to the Edge

I've Seen All Good People

Time and a Word

And You and I

The Revealing Science of God

Going for the One

Turn of the Century





Starship Trooper

But you see, I'm not reviewing the music - I'm reviewing the DVD. And the DVD is plain hideous. Some blame can be attributed to the band itself, for sure - the band seems very stiff and cautious in these performances (by their standards), playing everything close to the vest as though they're afraid of what will happen otherwise. This also results in their stage movements being even more restricted than usual - Steve does occasionally show some life, but it's a sad sign when Squire isn't his usual happy-go-lucky self. Plus, Anderson is constipated to an almost hilarious degree - there's little of the goofy looseness that he would become comfortable with in subsequent years.

The main thrust of blame, though, goes to the video editors and choreographers. Simply put, this is one of the most spectacular hackjobs I have EVER seen. The main problem is this - like I said earlier, the performances are taken from three shows. Rather than just including one show's performance for each track, however, the editors decided to try and overlay all three performances into EACH TRACK. For one thing, this results in the video and audio not even being close to synching up more than a few times. There's also the fact that a common trick on the DVD is this - have a "far-off" shot of the band, with a closeup overly on top of it, only from a DIFFERENT NIGHT. This blow is made even worse by the fact that, during the pan-shots of the band, it often appears that the members are the result of poorly done claymation.

Oh, but it gets worse. See, the editors decided they wanted to make this into sort of a modern Yessongs, with "beautiful" graphic overlays and video trickery. Problem is, the effects aren't any good, and they're simply everywhere. It seems that in "Siberian Khatru," we are treated to every possible piece of studio wizardry the producers had at their disposal ... and then in the first ten minutes of "Close to the Edge" we see them all again! There's lame nature-shots, colored overlays (i.e. the whole screen turns blue or gold or whatever), random space images, whatever. All these are terribly distracting, and add nothing positive to the experience.

In short - save your money. Get Yes at the House of Blues or, better yet, Yessymphonic. I'm as hardcore a Yesfan as there comes, and it's still nearly impossible for me to watch this. I would also surmise that a newbie, were he to watch this, could be turned off to the band for ten years, it's that bad.

tarkus1980 | 1/5 |


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