Finding this site was a bit of a mind blower because this concert was the first concert I ever attended. I recall a fantastic stage set designed by Roger Dean and how the group was able to play all of this music from memory AND they sounded exactly like the record, an opinion I would later be chastised for......
As a huge Wakeman fan, my focus was on him. I was in section 221, row H, seat 8 and there was some good weed going around there. Ticket cost a whole $6.50. One of the best experiences of my life. Thanks so much for posting the set list.
My first yes show, what a rush. Had been a long time coming...three years of being a devoted fan before actually seeing the band, was a long time to wait, and the two plus hour drive from Connecticut did little to dampen the anticpation...Me and 3 of my closest buddies from high school, gettin' ripped on the way to the show, groovin' to Scott Muni on the way out to the show and Alison Steele the Nightbird taking us home.
Sandwiched in between, was a great show. After the opening by Larry Coryell...somebody with a lot of talent, but someone, who I have yet to truly dig, but yet respect. Anyway, we didn't come to hear Larry, no disrespect intended.
The setlist was basicaly the same as previous nights...Close to the Edge played in reverse order of the LP layout followed by the entire Tales performance...These two recordings have always been among my favorite recordings of any band let alone YES. They had been cassette staples for any road cruise so we had all memorized every note, and were sure, with the little assistance we were getting from the artifical substances, we could get up on stage and fill in at any point.
The band was in incredible form...in true YES fashion, they hit every note of every song just as it had been put down on vinyl. Revealing Science and Ritual were among my favorites from the night. Ritual, from its meodlies to the loud, high intensity of the drum break back to its crystal clear finale were just what the doctor ordered.
During the course of the night Rick had been commanding quite a lot of attention. His roadies had to make at least a dozen trips out to the stage with new Heinekens...By the end of the evening, he had two dozen empties lined up across his grand piano.
After wrapping up the main set, the band took the obligatory 5 minute break, and returned for a show closing version of Roundabout. Too much airplay has burned this song out over the years, but in February '74 it was still a much anticipated and expected show closer. Jon was on all night, and Steve (one of my favorite gutiarists of all time)could not have had any more fun....and as the band gathered to take their 'final' bow, they band turned back to their instruments, all except for Rick, who in gold lame cape was drunkenly weaving his way offstage. Chris and Alan, caught up with him just as he was disappearing from sight, and picked Rick up, firemen style, and toted him back over to stage left and plunked him down unceremoniously behind his bank of keyboards.
What followd was a wonderful surprise. The song that had turned me onto this band in 1971, was about to be delivered as a surprise second encore. Steve, really gave it his own touch(similar to that on Yessongs), with a 2+ minute introit before the band joined in behind him and finally took "Yours is no Disgrace" to its rightfull place as one of bands masterpieces.