J. Geils Band was the opening band for Yes at the old I.M.A. auditorium. This show was produced by a Detroit production company, some 60 miles away. Luckily they hired most of their peer-security guys from the usual LOCAL promoter's group of "cheap help". As I was part of the $10 per night help, I felt no real need to go up in the balconies and stop folks from smoking, and I was very interested in seeing this band for the First time. I had seen Flash with Peter Banks and was impressed with the direction that British Prog was going. Seemed like a decent concert, a few bucks in my pocket and an evening of partying. Several of the local crew joked about the fact that Jon Anderson had "cue cards" set up for the "Close to the Edge" parts. Opinions changed quickly after the band started. This was NOT just another show.
Essentially the show that they performed was the same one that they released as Yessongs. This would have been just another show, except these guys were F@#$ing Brilliant! From Firebird to the end, they grabbed the audience and dragged us on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride! Some 32 years later, and almost as many shows, I still go see these guys anytime that they are around the Midwest. I have tickets to 2 shows Spring 2004.
It is pretty hard to write a review of a show 32 years in the past. I was lucky enough to stand in front of Steve Howe, and finally be amazed by another guitarist. Pete Banks was the first that I ever saw do things so well with a volume pedal. Steve used a few different axes, not nearly as many as he currently uses in concert. Wakeman was Rock-Liberace with so much sound coming from so many keyboards. Chris looked like some tall elf from Lord of the Bass. Jon had that "voice of the angels" thing going for him, as usual. I was totally unaware of the change of drummers, and the fact that I was standing directly in front of a 6 ft tall stage, I never saw Alan.
How was the show? They may have missed a lick here or there, they may not have duplicated the sounds from the albums like so many in the newsgroups feel that they should. They did impress me enough that I have not followed any band as faithfully. They made me aware of the possibilities of where rock music could go. I was quite literally blown away by this show.