|The Dome - Doncaster||26 May 2003||by Anthony J O'Neill|
I have to say that having seen Rick Wakeman in live concerts for nearly 30 years, the length and breadth of the UK, The Out There concert is, I feel, one of the best he has done with a band, both sound and visually. I have seen him in concert in different formats, some which I have enjoyed more, only on a personal and location basis. I travelled from the North East to Doncaster to see Rick for The Out There concert, again this part of the area holds a lot of personal memories for me. The venue itself is very good being outside of the main part of Doncaster. The staff are very friendly in the Dome complex. I sent for my ticket by post, so if you do not know the venue seating, then you are really not sure what you are getting. I had a very good seat, just left of the lighting desk, so if I wanted to, I could see the lighting engineer doing his stuff. (By the way, in his profession, he had Rick"s dexterity and control over switches and sliders). Now to the concert.
It was the same format as the previous concerts have been reviewed. The main reason why we go to a Rick Wakeman concert is to go and see Rick. If he is with a band, then we tend to see them as backing musicians. Not so at this tour, I am sure.
Tony Fernandez has been with Rick for almost 30 years and I am sure, that he has been the kingpin in Rick"s live and album drum section without question. The physical effort for this tour to play Rick"s works plus his own drum solo, again highlighting the light show, is truly amazing.
Lee Pomeroy, what a find he must have been, thanks to Adam Wakeman. Solid, in time, talented, and most of all for a young man, not big headed (but he should be). LED fret board, is it his idea? (Must have one)
Ant Glynne, it is the first time I have seen him in the flesh, but I must say that when he came out of the audience to play his solo in Starship Trooper, I was truly amazed by his talent to overcome the unfortunate snapping of the high "E" string, earlier on in the piece, but carried on, using the other 5 strings to their best advantage.
I might now be putting myself in the firing line now about the vocalist. Ashley has not been my favourite vocalist for Rick, but tonight, I have really changed my outlook on him, and I wonder if it has anything to do with the loss of weight, ASH, because if it has, I am sure there could be a book written. He really was superb considering the time he had to step in. (A black mark to Damian, to which I am sure his career, will suffer).
On to Rick. The live video playing is a one I really liked and as I am sure, most of Rick"s "HAND" followers, really liked it themselves. Of the older followers of Synthesizers, the original Moog really does have the best sound; otherwise the Voyager would have been the main lead instrument, with the camera on it. As said of the previous concerts, Rick sits next to a smart young woman, and again he picked a stunner to come on stage and hold his Keytar (in my day we called it a strap on), for the Merlin solo. She came on stage and held the Keytar whilst Rick was still playing the solo piece. Then came the patch change to the final piano piece. It did not change, he tried again and only a couple of notes played before going silent again. He tried once more, and still it was silent. Rick then sprinted back to the GEM keyboard and carried on to finish the piece. The crowd loved it.
The end piece was the Yes classic, Starship Trooper, and everyone joined in including Stuart Sawney and Erik Jordan, who on the Out There tracks using the live triggered samples, gave us a live performance only dreamed about a few years ago.
Tour again soon, I will definitely be Out There.