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Ghost Canyon

'YES Songs From Tsongas - 35th Aniversary Concert'
(YES / Blu ray / NR / 2014 / Eagle Rock)

Overview: Songs from Tsongas is the live concert by the progressive rock group Yes recorded live at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Massachusetts, on May 15th, 2004. Featuring the entire concert performed that night, which was part of the US leg of the band's 35th anniversary tour, it also showcases never-before-released highlights from another show they did on the tour, in Lugano, Switzerland.

Blu ray Verdict: This incredible, especially for fans of the band let alone music lovers in general, special edition of Songs From Tsongas contains two different concerts from Yes’ 35th Anniversary Tour back in 2004. Indeed, this was the very last tour to feature the classic line-up of Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman and Alan White.

The Songs From Tsongas’ set list features songs from all eras of the band’s career, including a large number of progressive rock classics from their 1970s heyday, as well as a rare performance of the band’s 1969 debut album, two tracks from the band’s 1980s pop rock era, and the first performance of the 1996 song ‘Mind Drive’ from the Keys to Ascension albums.

Combined, these performances include so many great songs that you’ll not be able to take your eyes of this dazzling live musical display. Included in this visual wonderment are tracks such as ‘Going For The One,’ ‘Roundabout,’ ‘Owner Of A Lonely Heart,’ ‘An You And I,’ ‘ Starship Trooper,’ ‘Wondrous Stories,’ ‘I’ve Seen All Good People,’ ‘Yours Is No Disgrace,’ ‘Ritual,’ ‘Turn Of The Century,’ and many, many more.

Released on this crystal clear Blu-ray, a 2DVD set, and as a 3CD set, you might well be forgiven for thinking that the title of the set means that Yes were off on a live trip somewhere deep in Central America. Or even South Africa. But no, for Tsongas Arena is actually in Lowell, Massachusetts! I know, right - it got me too!

Anyway, moving on and this Blu ray is jam-packed with a whopping 70 minutes of additional, never-before-released highlights from Lugano, Switzerland. Although not showcasing as much music, just the 10 songs here, filmed on the same tour in 2004, the first thing you notice is the stripped down stage layout. Well, that and the fact the entire audience was protecting themselves with umbrellas against a manic pouring rain at the outdoor festival!

This performance at Estival brings us tracks such as ‘Firebird Suite,’ ‘Going For The One,’ ‘Sweet Dreams,’ ‘I’ve Seen All Good People,’ ‘The fish,’ and both ‘Starship Trooper’ and the set finale, ‘Roundabout.’ Interestingly though, from my point of view, anyway, these are all rock versions of their acoustic tracks; the same ones they had performed in Tsongas.

As for what else can be crammed onto this Blu ray, well, there are actually two more items to behold. Firstly we have a bonus track in the form of ‘Ritual (Nous Somme De Soleil)’ and that is backed by a highly-entertaining, and rather interesting interview with Roger Dean. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.