The most vivid memory I have is the way the show started. The colorful Roger Dean styled pod that covered the drums began to split open in the middle and rise on either side(like a flower opening)slowly to reveal Alan White. After that it was a spectral orgy of colored lights and soaring sounds, as we sat in the rafters watching. The hair stood up on the back of my neck at the beginning. Wow. An amazing show!
Jim, if you ever find the tape, I'd love a copy of it. Please e-mail me at email@example.com. Thank you!
This was not only my second Yes show, but also the second time to see them in the twin cities. I brought a mini cassette recorder and recorded most of the show (I have since misplaced the tape!) and to be honest, was disappointed. Several issues may have contributed to my disappointment, but I had hopes of a repeat of the first time I saw them, which didn't happen. The only true problem with the show was the addition of all of the stage props. The first time I saw them they used no props and devoted all of their energy and attention to the music. The major disappointments were more superficial and imagined. First, Alan White was playing drums instead of Bill Bruford. This is a reflection on my bias because until recently I have been unable to be honest with myself in that White was with them the first time I saw them and it was a life altering event, so why should it make a difference? Only because the first time I didn't have a clue who Yes was and the second show I was well versed in not only their music but more importantly, Bill Bruford. The other let down, "assigned seating". The first concert was festival seating in a much smaller more intimate venue. For the most part, because I had a jaded view I ruined what should have been a great concert memory.
This was the 1st time I saw Yes. I was familiar with some of their music and, being a fledgling musician, had been to a few concerts already. I was 16, going on 17 in March of '74. I had seen Creedence, Doobie Brothers, Grand Funk, Black Sabbath, and maybe a few others.
I will never forget the opening. When I heard Siberian Khatru, I was so taken by the Mellotron voicing in the beginning. That, and the song itself, struck me DEEP; I "knew" I would be a musician for a long time. That was the 1st time my mind was opened up by a higher form of Rock music. I also swore that I would learn to play that keyboard part! I still do not know of anyone else who figured it out, but I've taught it to many players.
Those were banner years ('73 - '75). It infuriates me to no end when I hear "The Seventies" being dismissed. The '70's to me means (I'll keep it short)
Close to the Edge Tales from Topographic Oceans Thick as a Brick - Tull A Passion Play - Tull Octopus - Gentle Giant Free Hand - Gentle Giant Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd Roxy and Elsewhere - Zappa Happy the Man - Happy the Man
Need I say more? I have yet to hear of another era that can surpass this.
Yes did not play "The Remembering" in Minneapolis in 1974. Being a fan of Rick Wakeman, I waited for the song, but they moved directly to "The Ancient" from the "Reveling Science of God"
YES played all four sections of Tales From Topographic Oceans stopping only to grab a breath in between "movements". My most vivid recollection was the stage set. Roger Dean in every sense of the word. Lot's of blues..... reds..... greens... interwoven as to create and illusion and suggestion of the ocean floor depicted on the TFTO cover. Many of the set lights were mounted inside of "pods" that were connected to "tentacles".
At the climax of Ritual, White began the frenetic percussion, joined by Steve, Chris, and Jon on other percusive instruments (John played timpani if I remember correctly). As the pace built, the set "came alive". The "tentacles" of lights began to writhe up and down..... the lights within the set pieces began to strobe, flash, and move in a swirl of greens, reds, and blues. Smoke (dry ice) began to pour forth out onto the stage from behind White's kit. There were a pair of "pods" over White's kit that began to "unfold" like wings and began to "flutter" amid the lights and smoke. The entire set seemed alive and breathing with movement as the percussion pounded. Building..... bit by bit... into a frenzy.... the cancaphony of sound finally broke with the sweet song of Steve's pedal steel breaking through. The set came "to rest" and Jon's voice sanguinly moved into the next section of the piece.