According to Mike Lasky's review the show took place at Cornals barton hall to a sellout crowd of 14.000 people.
Thursday, April 26, 2018 9:00 AM
I received a tape of the end of this show just recently (April 2018) and can confirm that the last song of the show was "Starship Trooper," not "Yours Is No Disgrace" as shown in the setlist.
I was going to school in Oswego, NY & I had Tales express mailed to me from a record store in Manhattan on the day it hit the stores there in the Fall of 73. Upstate NY winter or not, we DROVE to Ithaca to buy tickets for Yes the day they went on sale at Cornell. We acquired, cultured and grew just the right chemical products for the occasion way in advance.
On the day of the show SEVEN of us crowded into a Chevy Vega for the two-hour drive down to Ithaca. The show was in Barton Hall, a huge, ominous, castle-like building that was used for hockey or basketball or something. The jam at the doors getting in was maddening, especially with the pre-concert partying and the effects of people injesting things too early. I vaguely remember a medical section set up inside as I was entering the main hall.
Everyone seemed to share our idea of the concert, which was to spread out on blankets and settle in. Quadrophonic was in and an ELP concert gave me the idea of what it could do, so I was looking for to hearing how Yes would use it. John Martyn was awesome with simply an acoustic guitar being routed through what were then largely analog electronics. Very spacey and very cool music to transform the crowd into the right frame of mind.
The set, with the tunnel, the glowing covers over the acoustic monitors and the bug covering over the drum kit was the best set that I had seen up to that point and remained so until I saw Tool two years ago. The crowd was definitely into the show - giving standing ovations for each number, then settling down for the next. The band seemed very patient, and as usual, tight. I think that we all were anticipating the intensity of "Ritual", not expecting the surprise of the wings opening on the bug, everyone on drums except Rick (I think), and no one was displeased in the least.
The night was cold and clear as we tumbled out of the place (I always hate when the house lights come up at the end of the show - back to reality!) and I rode in the back of the tiny Vega on the way to Oswego, staring up into the starlit sky all the way.
Of the 100+ shows I have seen from 1970 to now, I definitely have developed a top ten list, and somewhere in the top three, is this show. Great musicians, wonderful show. Many thanks to the band.
I'd been into Yes since their very first album in 1969, but had never been able to catch them in concert. In 1974, I was going to RPI in Troy, NY, and my girlfriend Karen was attending Cornell, so naturally I drove out to visit and catch the show. It was in a very large, gymnasium-like hall on the campus. We got there fairly early and parked ourselves near the doors. As the afternoon wore on the crowd became increasingly tightly-packed, and as the doors opened we were lifted off our feet by the press of the crowd who jammed towards the entrance. I remember the security guards having to pull people from the pack because the couldn't move to get through the door---a bit scary!
We selected a good spot about halfway between the soundboard and the stage, right in the middle, spread out our little blanket, and sat down to wait for the show. The stage setup was really elaborate, and seeing some of the pictures on your site brings back memories! I'd never seen anything quite like that before.
John Martyn opened, and we got off on that. The music was spacey acoustic guitar, and the sound guy was doing these cool quadraphonic effects, bouncing the guitar sound all around the hall.
Then it was time for Yes. The stage was dark as the closing section of the Firebird Suite came out of the PA, but pretty soon we could see the members of Yes taking their places, and I remember the crow roaring as Steve Howe hit the opening notes of Siberian Khatru. A killer opener, sounding much like on Yessongs, and then came And You And I, which was one of our favorites. We were anticipating Tales, and were blown away when we heard the opening of Close to the Edge. I think they were also doing quadraphonic effects on that because it just seemed to come from all directions, and between the music and the "refreshments" we were just floating. And then was Tales. I don't have a clear memory of the performance, only that we were pretty stunned, and it seemed much more dynamic live than on the album. I do remember Wakeman's keyboards and all the craziness whirling around the hall during the "freakout" part of Ritual---it was pretty intense! They closed the mammoth set with Roundabout. Starship Trooper, to the best of my recollection, was the encore.
We stumbled out into the cold night air of Ithaca in February, convinced we'd seen one of the best concerts of our lives.
Though I saw Yes again a number of times, no other performance affected me quite the way that first one did at Cornell. And there's a touch of wistful nostalgia associated with it as well: Karen and I broke up shortly thereafter, and though we remained friends and hung out together during the summer of '74, we somehow lost touch soon after that...