Monday, August 21, 1972
Mississippi River Festival
Concert rescheduled from original July 26, 1972 date.
50 years, 7 months and 3 days ago
I remember this show well as it was the first concert I ever went to. My sister's boyfriend who had gotten the tickets couldn't go for some reason so I was pressed into service with the caveat that I couldn't tell mom and dad that we went some place that people were smoking dope, oh and by the way if you see anyone smoking don't stare. Didn't complain much because I was only nine and loved the band already. It rained like hell that day and the field in front of the stage was pretty soggy but it cleared up and we found a light stand to sit under right between the main speakers of the sound system so we had good sight and sound. It was festival seating so as soon as they opened the gates there was this mad rush to find a place to put your blanket. Chris wore his blue jump suit with the cape and Rick was in all silver. They did all the songs I wanted to hear, Seen All Good People, Roundabout, Mood for a Day, and I'm pretty sure they did Siberian Khatru and Close to the Edge, but since I was entirely unaware of that album those songs were new to me. My sister did buy CTTE shortly after that and I suspect the show was inspiration. Chris was real active during the show, I believe I described him later to my sister's boyfriend as having ants in his pants, and though I really wanted to see Bill Bruford and didn't understand why he wasn't there, Alan White did so well that I soon got over my disappointment. All in all it was one of the best times I ever had and I still remember it as vividly as any 40 something year old can remember something 34 years in the past.
I'm not sure which concert the preceding posts are referring to, perhaps, Kiel Aud six month later, but this concert was outdoors at the Mississippi River Festival in Edwardsville, IL. It was rescheduled from a month earlier. A group of us wannabe prog rocksters drove from Columbia, MO to see YES on short notice. It was excellent.
The Eagles didn't open and according to Steve Kerber, archivist at SIU-E, Jackson Browne and David Lindley did. The crowd was polite, but clearly there for YES. There were about 14,500 people there for the last concert of the season. We were surprised Bruford was not there, but after just a song or two, could tell that Alan White had the chops and realized perpetual change happens. Set list is accurate, except, CTTE was played. CTTE left us all stunned, sitting on the ground totally in awe of what had just happened. The musicianship was phenomenal.
Afterwards, we waited and wandered backstage, it was all very casual, no security and asked both Chris Squire and Steve Howe a few questions. Chris pointed out that regardless of the written credits, the music is the music of YES. After all of that, we floated on their music back to Columbia, MO...roundabout 3 am.
I was totally blown away. The best I can remember, they didn't even play CTTE at that show, I do remember &U&I, Long Distance, Siberian Khatru, and I think Perpetual Change and of course Roundabout. During Roundabout my friends and I got right up to the stage, and I was standing in front of Rick. When they finished the show and came to take a bow, Rick came to the edge of the stage to shake hands with fans, I grabbed his cape and wouldn't let go.(I was a goofy 14 yo) He looked at me like he was going to kick me in the head and I let go. From that moment on I was known in my school as the guy who grabbed Wakeman's cape.
That was my first Yes concert (actually my first concert). It was held at the old Kiel Auditorium (since torn down and replaced by the new Kiel Auditorium). Best of my recollection the concert started at 7:00 p.m. The opening act was a solo singer/acoustic guitarist named Charlie Starr. Now the only reason I remember Mr. Starr is he had on this dark outfit and he evidently had ripped out the inseam of his pants. So his white underwear was showing through this 2 inch rip in his pants. Felt sorry for the guy because everyone in the place was restless for Yes to come out.
Yes played about 2 hours and 30 plus minutes that night. Great concert. I'd always liked the music, but after that concert I was hooked for life.