|Westbury Music Fair - Westbury, NY||26 October 2003||by Ken Jonach|
Seeing and hearing the October 26 show in Westbury, NY cemented the fact for me that Rick Wakeman is the best keyboard player. And I found out that he is one of the nicest guys in the world - plus he's seriously funny! What an evening! While making the audience feel like we have known him all our lives by recounting stories from his life to us, he masterfully presented gems from his and Yes's catalog of music. Jane Seymour sounded as fresh and vibrant as ever, Merlin the Magician was spectacularly, flawlessly and magically presented with some help from a member of the audience, and Dance of a Thousand Lights was beautifully presented. The list of classics goes on (Wonderous Stories, The Meeting, The Hymn, And You And I, Catherine Howard (all brilliant)). And the stories about getting a speeding ticket, performing to 10 senior citizens in the first row at a concert and falling through the stage in Seattle were hilarious! After the show, Rick met, took pictures with and signed autographs for any fan who wanted to wait in line. I had just missed getting his autoraph at HMV Music (NYC) in October 1996 when he and Yes were promoting the Keys I album, as Rick had to leave a bit early to catch a flight. So what a special treat it was to meet him for the first time. He is such a cool guy!! Thanks for all the fantastic tunes over the years, and for being such a great inspiration for Yes fans, aspiring musicians and human beings everywhere!!