This was the first time I ever saw Yes, there have been many concerts since! It was my 19th birthday and my body was completely covered with poison ivy from a misadventure with my girlfriend in the woods a few days earlier. Needless to say, once the show began I was feeling no pain. A bunch of freaks were walking around throwing fistfuls of joints and some of them landed on me. Anointed by the weed fairy. I remember a light mist falling. You could see it but not really feel it. It made the lasers twinkle when they shot out of the stage into the night sky. The set was a kind of three headed mantis thing. Very cool.
Years later I took my two sons to see them on their 25th anniversary tour with Alan Parsons Project opening for them. It was less drug fueled of course, but my youngest son actually got us backstage and we met Jon Anderson and Chris Squire. Chris was extremely kind to my boys and I have a photo somewhere of them sitting on his lap like he was Santa.
Friday, July 24, 2020 9:22 PM
This was an amazing gig
Saturday, October 26, 2019 1:18 PM
My friends lined up tickets and greyhound buses from Colonie and Shaker High schools near Albany NY. We partied all the way there. We had a keg party in the parking lot when we got there, dropped some acid and got in early. I was right up front the whole time. Yes was one of my first albums and the music was great. The three headed snake with the laser beams hitting the light rain was one of the best light shows. I can't believe I still remember it so well after 43 years.
Thursday, March 2, 2017 11:07 AM
I was at this concert, and the place was packed, people were partying like no tomorrow, the laser show was one of the first of its time, I was 15 and learning the guitar, and was right up front, and saw Steve Howe do his magic, all I can say is after that show,I saw them about 5 more times, and they never let me down, one of my best shows ever!
Thursday, June 23, 2016 11:40 PM
I was there, a 17 year old head. We drove down from Springfield and parked wherever I could find a place. Brought in a cooler of beer and some indian native smoke. Warm up band, Pousette Dart band was actually very good. But then again it was still daylight and most people in the mob were still somewhat sober/straight. Yes, the place was packed, we got in early but before Yes came on place was choke people, no more sitting down or laying down had to stand up. Of course Yes was absolutely out of this world and the laser light show and fog just blew everyone away. There were a couple of scaffolding set up for the light show and we did climb the big one. Amazing view but there were so many people on the rig is a good thing security (hells angels) came and cleared everyone out otherwise dam thing would of fell over. I certainly did not agree with the security tactics of whipping chains without prejudice. So me and me mate jumped off before getting skull caved in. Is too bad that happened as I did see some poor blokes getting beat savage. After that decided to leave as that experience well ruined the night, although the music was, well Great. I am glad I had the opportunity to see my favorite band in person. Only live once. Experience of a life time one that cannot be repeated. a hui hou
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 10:45 PM
Please delete the former, Ive been hacked
From Mark's point of view, "the people on the huge lighting scaffold [being] pelted then belted to get off" may not have "distracted from the show." But from my point of view, that concert, as amazing as it was, may have been one flashlight blow to the head away from being another Altamont.
It's clear from the newspaper article that the kid I saw being beaten suffered head injuries and had to be taken to the hospital. To this day, I wonder how severe and permanent those injuries were, and whether or not I was remiss in not identifying myself to the police as an eyewitness. Had he died, I would have done so without a second thought.
There will never be another show to match Yes grandeur, as they displayed for 30K fans this evening.
Having just turned 16 years old, it was my first huge open-air concert experience. I had the luck of being able to stand for 3 plus hours just below the stage where Chris Squire was. The fog from the days rain and humidity produced an eerie effect that Yes took advantage of. From the thunderous first chords of Siberian Khatru , to the incredible Ritual from Tales, I was in awe of the equipment, the sound, lights and lazer, and the humongous crowd that were all great fans. I saw alot of recording equipment enter Colt Park that day in trunks and coolers. To have a copy of this show would be worth its weight in gold. The sound echoed off of the downtown Hartford skyscrapers, as did the beaded lights of lazer beam, which also went into the crowd. I particularly remember how energetic the show and crowd both were, and how that made the show more than anything.
The show had its fill of rowdies and dealers, witnessing a German Shepherd being dragged out for od'ing on acid, as well as seeing the people on the huge lighting scaffold pelted then belted to get off. This did not distract from the show, but added to its greatness of a bygone era not forgotten. The music I heard was intense and well rehearsed. Jon added alot of breadth with the Ludwig cocktail drum kit, the Gibson electric, and his large harp that was on a platform with assorted percussion. Steve was dressed in red, while the other members were dressed in white. I remember that Jon had a beard and mustache! Gosh, the memories still remain Close to the Edge.....
The Giotto Lady
When I saw the Relayer tour at Colt Park in Hartford, there was a misting rain. The lasers and lights bounced off the rain, the mist and the low blowing clouds. The sound crew were ecstatic over it. Absolutely incredible!
(who in all fairness should point out that *everyone* was extremely high)
I've been hesitant to share an experience I had at a Yes concert in 1976. I'm sure you'll understand why. But it did change the way I think about things, so I guess the story deserves to be told.
The outdoor Yes concert at Colt Park in Hartford, Conn. on June 19, 1976, was at the same time, the best and the worst concert experience of my life. It was the first time that I actually experienced the sort of Yes magic that Brooke is referring to, like what you can hear on Yessongs. It was also the first time in my life that real violence happened right in front of me.
This tour, Patrick Moraz's third with Yes, was definitely his best. They had dropped the songs, Close to the Edge in particular, on which Patrick's playing was only a poor imitation of Rick Wakeman's, and he had learned to play the others superbly.
All of the Yes concerts I had been to up to that point were good to great, but none had been magical. Each time, I expected to hear something that would truly blow me away, like the jammed out version of The Fish on Yessongs, but it had never happened. I was starting to wonder if it ever would.
I had two tickets to the show in Hartford the next night. The friend who had been planning to go with me copped out at the last moment so I dragged along one of my photo staff members instead. I took a 35mm SLR and a few lenses in a bag, along with a little Sony TC110-A tape deck (I hadn't yet acquired a Nakamichi) and a small tripod.
Colt Park was a huge, fenced-in field with the stage at one end and lighting towers in front of it. We got there in the afternoon, in time to get a good center-stage position for the Pousette-Dart Band set. Although the weather was cool with a misty drizzle on and off, the atmosphere was like Woodstock. People were sitting on blankets as far as you could see in any direction. The three huge Martyn Dean snake heads loomed over the stage, in anticipation of the concert yet to begin.
As soon as the Pousette-Dart Band began, people started to climb up the light towers, to get a better, if somewhat shaky, view of the stage. The towers had virtually no protective fencing around them. They were, for all intents and purposes, enormous jungle gyms. An announcer pleaded with the crowd not to climb the towers because they weren't designed to hold that much weight, but he was ignored. Several husky security guards, who looked like they would have been perfectly at home at Altamont, managed to get everyone down without much trouble.
When Yes began, it was dark and the drizzle had become continuous. I knew immediately that this show was going to be different from the others. There was a spark to Siberian Khatru that I'd never heard before. The Yes magic that I had been anticipating for so long finally arrived in Soundchaser. Steve's manic guitar solo ripped apart the night sky. I was in awe. It was as close to a religious experience as I've ever had.
However, people were again climbing the light towers, this time in greater numbers than before. Back came the security force and up they went. Most of the climbers got down without any trouble but six or seven refused until the security guards began beating them with police-style flashlights. One last fat guy simply wouldn't get down. I'll never forget the image of his silhouette clinging desperately to that light tower while a security guard smacked him on the head, over and over again, while Yes was playing so incredibly well. The fat guy finally slumped to the ground, unconscious, and was carried off.
As the show went on, the area we had staked out in front of the stage got more and more packed. I had a camera bag over my shoulder and was holding up a lightweight tripod with a microphone taped to it. When the set ended, I noticed some gang types circling around me and eyeing my camera bag. Expecting the encore to be "I'm Down", like the night before, we took off. As we worked our way to the exit at the back of the field, I was even more bummed to hear Yes playing Starship Trooper. But there was no going back.
It's the images from that concert that were burned into my memory: the idyllic, Woodstock-like afternoon followed by the incredible dichotomy of brutal violence happening directly in front of a magical Yes performance. Even now, listening to the tape confirms what a great performance it really was.
Before Colt Park, I held the naive belief that the ambiance of a Yes concert could somehow infuse the audience with positive energy, the way a Grateful Dead concert does. I left Colt Park knowing that to be untrue. The world holds great beauty and magic, along with frightening ugliness. Most of us live our lives seeking out beauty and magic, but finding it at a rock concert, even a Yes concert, doesn't protect us from ugliness. We have to do that for ourselves.
Hartford Courant 06/20/76 "Crime Attends a Rock Concert" by J. Greg Robertson
"More than 30,000 young rock fans from several states turned out Saturday night for the first in a series of summer rock concerts in Colt Park.
"Although the even was generally peaceful, there were complaints from area citizens, at least 25 arrests on a variety of charges outside the fenced concert area and claims that private security guards inside the concert area were physically abusive. Some area youths assaulted concertgoers after the event.
"Several hundred concert goers began arriving late Friday night and early Saturday morning from as far away as New York and New Jersey and spend the night in tents or campers or sleeping on the ground.
"Residents of Curcombe Street, next to the park, complained to police their garages were broken into, lawn chairs were stolen and, after the main crowd began arriving Saturday afternoon, people reportedly were relieving themselves in the yards of private homes. About 5 p.m., 8-year old Michael Kula of 13 Curcombe St. was thrown to the ground, according to his brother, after he objected to a young man urinating in the family yard. He was taken to Hartford Hospital and released after being put in a neck brace. Afterward, a member of the Kula family stood guard with a baseball bat on the sidewalk outside the yard.
"Cars were parked on streets and in lots from blocks around the park. Before 6 p.m., it was announced that "29,999" persons had been admitted to the concert area. People continued to be admitted for more than another hour.
"The concert began at 7:25 p.m. with the Pouisset-Dart [sic] Band, which played for a half hour.
"Police Capt. Neil Sullivan, who was in charge of supervising security outside the concert area fence with 92 men, was pleased with the audience's behavior. "they've been great," he said.
"Later, at 8:50 p.m., several hundred persons outside the concert fence rushed onto an embankment to get a better view of the stage. As several dozen police attempted to keep them from moving across the embankment, and them tried to move them off the bank, bottles and other debris were thrown.
"One police motorcycle was hit and Policeman Robert Wojcik was struck in the abdomen. He was treated at St. Francis Hospital and was expected to be released. Police then pushed several hundred persons outside the fence back about 100 yards from the embankment, making several arrests in the process.
"The main attraction, British rock group, "Yes," began playing at 9 p.m. and continued until 11 p.m.
"About 10 p.m., a 17-year-old youth was removed with a head injury and taken by police car to Hartford Hospital. A friend said he had been struck by a chain-wielding private security guard without provocation. There were other reports of concert-goers being struck with flashlights or clubs by members of the internal security force hired by concert sponsors Contemporary Concerts Corp.
"After the concert ended at 11 p.m. gangs of youths from the neighboring Dutch Point housing project were reported attacking the exiting concertgoers with pipes and other weapons. A half dozen muggings were reported by midnight.
"Thousands of empty and broken bottle and cans and pieces of food, paper and other debris littered the area.
"Several cars were reported stolen and others vandalized.
transcribed by: Pete Whipple
Announcer: um..let me just quickly uh tell you a few things, please, no climbing on the scaffording, that's not safe, we haven't got that approved by the city of Hartford yet, that's really for the next show here, so..uh..don't get on that, you really may fall off and I'm not really..uh..telling any lies you really might fall off this time. Uh..over on my left are the concesion stands, there's food, t-shirts, Yes T-shirts, things like that on my left. Behind you the blue things of course are Portsants, bathrooms, anybody that go there can go there. We had the Nod 8 people, they used to be called Number 9, it's for the trip tent. Anybody that's, anybody that's not feeling too good and you know why...uh..go on over there, you can lie down, no problem. [???] Okay? Remember everybody, also, we've got a fence up here that Yes put up because they had a few problems at another show so if you could just stay away from the fence we'd appreciate that. Also the people, uh..there are some people out there that we're going to have some policemen come up. There are no loitering outside the facility. Come on in, buy your tickets and have a great time because that's what we're going to have tonight. This is the..this is the biggest concert crowd ever in the state of Connecticut.
before 'Gates Of Delirium, The'
transcribed by: Pete Whipple
Jon Anderson: A very gentle rain. Here's a song from 'Relayer'. It's a song called 'Gates Of Delirium'.