Bill Graham and his crew recorded all shows in Winterland Ballroom S.F.
Tuesday, June 11, 2019 12:15 PM
At Winterland it was general admission, so once your ticket was taken, you had to run to find your spot. We had already picked out our option for the balcony, racing up the stairs and ended up on the railing seats just above Rick Wakeman’s position. We were looking down on his mini moogs adorned with busts of Beethoven. Some guy came over to our spot with what looked like a speaker and a cable and placed it by our feet, and said please don’t touch it. He did the same on the other side of the arena. Found out years later that there is a bootleg recording of this show. It was probably the best live show I have ever seen. I remember the “birds chirping” loop to Close to the Edge playing constantly before the concert began. Side note, an hour or so before the doors even opened Jon Anderson was out walking on Steiner street with a crowd following him. I also don’t recall any warm up act, but the windowpane was kicking in at that point, so who knows.. Fond memories
Friday, September 2, 2016 5:13 PM
As usual, I hitchhiked down and back from Sacramento. I was in my senior year of High School. I agree - one of the best Winterland shows I ever attended. Close To The Edge was an amazing album and Yes did not disappoint that night. Ethereal and other worldly at times, but also they could really rock. And Jon Anderson's high tenor voice! Anybody else remember the huge mirror ball (disco)? I don't remember Poco or Focus. Saw them 3 more times after this in LA & NYC. They were very good - but this one was the best ever!!
Drove from Lodi to SanFran with Robie. Main floor. I remember looking up and the crowd, with heads bowed down, music droning nothing so sophisticated as they ever had heard, humbled them as individuals. Close to the Edge came as I looked up and watched Jon Anderson singing, and if he had really been walking instead of only making the motion of taking real steps, he would have been walking across the thin ethereal layer formed from sound but manifested in dreams. For those who remember Winterland, this was one of Winterlands finest concerts. YES broke the sound barrier.
This springtime show in the city by the bay was exquisite to me for many reasons. For one, it was my first Yes concert experience, and as I lived with Close To The Edge from its' day of release, you can imagine my anticipation. As an added plus, another of my favorite groups, Poco, was also on the bill. Needless to say, me and my friend Ray Turner were both overwhelmed by the sights and sounds that night! Of course, the songlist was pretty much what you hear on Yessongs, released a mere month later. Poco was sublime, with pedal steel guitarist Rusty Young getting some otherworldly sounds out of his rig, and their vocal harmonies were right up there with Yes. Still, once the opening strains of the Firebird Suite came up in the p.a., we all knew this was going to be a regal musical experience. Those slashing, opening chords of Siberian Khatru kicked the show off in proper fashion, and for the next two hours everyone in that glorious ballroom was transfixed by the sheer power and beauty that comes with great synphonic music in a live concert setting. I still have the t-shirt!!
Just to set the record straight. Paul means he saw Yes 2 years later in Salt Lake City on the Relayer tour. As the following year Mr Wakeman was still with Yes performing Tales From Topographic Oceans.
Yes at Winterland was a treat. Winterland in my opinion was one of the only true rock concert halls in America. It was a full house that night and the crowd was not disappointed. In this late review, Rick Wakeman's performance still stands out in my mine, I am not sure if it was because he was so good or so dominant. Vocals also left a big impression. I also saw yes the following year while making a trip through Salt Lake city. They left even less of an impression with out Rick Wakeman but I recall they still put on a good show with the house being full again.