Circa — Live
((Not on label) no#, 2008, DVD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2008-10-01
Billy Sherwood’s plan to get some kind of Yes-related project into play resulted in this DVD from one of the band’s first performances. On board are Yes stalwarts keyboardist Tony Kaye and drummer Alan White as well a guitarist Jimmy Hahn (ex- Chris Squire Experiment). Sherwood puts his best Yes foot forward presenting the band’s easily recognizable influences across the new songs. Poppier vocal elements are prevalent in tracks such as “Cut the Ties” and “Information Overload,” which benefit from a stronger live presence vs. studio incarnation of the songs. The second set is devoted to the continuous Yes medley entitled “Chronological Journey” which is the big interest for fans. Beginning with the band’s first album and ending with Magnification, Sherwood and team have arranged a surprise whirlwind trip through the band’s catalog with many peaks and few clunkers in their musical expedition. Hahn’s playing maps to Howe’s approach as he really shines on the Close to the Edge, Tormato, and Drama segments. Sherwood also knows his bass mentor’s parts upside down and backwards too. Kaye steps up in a few noticeable places as well on the older Yes material he is associated with. Closing out the set is this line-up’s version of Billy’s contribution to Union, the prophetic “The More We Live.” In summary, although obviously Yes-like in their approach, Circa comes off maybe a little too clone-like for your average prog listener, but I still like it.
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