It was Felix Pappalardi and Creation that opened the show.
Yes did this show with solos that had before mainly been done with with Steve and Rick. This time all the members did a solo Patrick Moras did some classical sounding things. Jon played Olias of Sun Willow songs for his solos. This was the first time I saw him play his bell harp on stage. A great show!
On August 2nd, 1976, my friend Blake Thomas and I drove up to Bakersfield CA, from Van Nuys in the San Fernando Valley region of LA .to refund our tickets for Yes because the venue's ceiling was too "low" for the "Crab Nebula" set that Roger and Martyn Dean created for the tour. Blake and I arrived in Fresno the day before the show to meet Roger Meyers, and brothers Jim and Art Hazelwood. As we had some time to kill, Roger and Art drove to a nearby store and purchased "dinner'' and "sign" supplies. As Art H.took a shot at a "Roger Dean" style lettered sign for the band to see, I offered to help, and drew the "Midnight Hour" sign in a few minutes. I'm an artist with lettering expertise, in the "Dean-Yes-style". The sign was folded in quarters and carried by Blake, who quickly found two center-second row seats,and held the sign up during Heart of the Sunrise. After Jon's solo, the band returned to play a brief bit of "In the Midnight Hour". Directly after, Jon thanked Clair Bros. Sound - etc. before Ritual. To Correct the Bill Wolfe version further, Roger, Jim and Art sat in the 10th row not shouting at all, that happened in '77 with another group wearing the same "Midnight Hour - T-shirts", and once again Yes
I'm sure many people were surprised (even shocked) to hear Yes play a snippet of "In the Midnight Hour" during the encore. My high school friends, Roger Meyers and Jim Hazelwood, had driven up to Fresno from Encino in the San Fernando Valley region of L.A., being total Yes fanatics. Roger had read in Melody Maker or NME that "Midnight Hour" was one of Jon's favorite old soul/R&B songs or that it was one of the first songs the original members played during initial rehearsals in the late 60's. Roger and Jim made a big sign with the song title on it and shouted "Midnight Hour" repeatedly from their close-in floor seats until, to their utter amazement, their wish came true. I assure you this is the truth behind this obscure occurrence.
I saw this Fresno concert. The opening act was not actually "Mountain", it was "Felix Papalardi (sp?) & some band name". The audience was pretty hostile to Felix, probably because of the difference in style, and people were there to see Yes. People were tossing junk on the stage, especially when Felix introduced their "last song", which was announced "Johnny B. Goode". That got people really angry so Felix flipped his middle finger at the crowd and said something like "F!@# YOU!" and walked off stage, to loud applause of course. A great show it wasn't, except for the Yes set.....
This was the first Yes concert I attended and included the stage set with the "three headed monster" and a lot of laser effects. It was truly a spectacular visual production. Even though Yes music carries itself I was somewhat surprised at the subsequent concerts I attended that the stage productions were significantly toned down.
The opening band was Felix Papilliardi and Mountain
[I] recall that when I was behind the stage at the Fresno California concert in 1976, during the soundcheck, Jon hadn't arrived yet. So the band was rehearsing without him. They played a long piece that I had never heard before. It reminded me of bits of Apocalypse by Mahavishnu. It was awesome. I have no doubt that this was probably 'Awaken'. I asked Steve about this once and he said that it was possible.