Monday, August 1, 1977
45 years, 8 months ago
Yes Defies Coliseum Acoustics
August 3, 1977
By Susan Bruno
Yes gave Coliseum crowd some good hard rock despite sound problems.
As far as rock concerts, go, Hampton Coliseum is good for many things, hanging out (for a mere %7.50 per ticket), masquerading, parading, meeting people, getting drunk, scoring dope, having a rowdy good time - but it is NOT a place to hear music.
Outstanding bands sound woefully disjointed, good bands sound bad, and bad bands stink.
At Monday night's concert superstar group Yes was no exception. At their best, they were good, but not becasue they didn't try. They were very loud, some-what together and giving it their all.
The five-piece band of superstar fame, with pianist and keyboards man Rick Wakeman back in attendance, gets and "A" for effort. After all, you can only do so much with sound in a concrete bubble.
But the band of professionals, obviously accustomed to playing poor-quality acoustic halls, made up for this blatant deficiency with flash, splendor, theatrics Broadway-style - and some good, hard-rocking music.
They certainly had their act together - from their elegant entrance symphonicaly accompanied by excerpts from Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite, " to the synchronizaion of the mechanical haze flooded in multi-colored light. Yes indeed, can put on one heck of a quality performance.
Musically, Yes offered a variety of old and new tunes - each bringing a wave of appreciateion rippling across the sold-out (I even daresay over-sold) audience.
They offered a superiour rendition of their hit "All Good People," with their vocal harmonies intact - even inspired - led by Jon Anderson, who remained in excellent voice throughout the duration of the show.
Among the songs from their brand new album, "Going For The One," which has hit the record stands only within the last two weeks or so, was a remarkable rendition of "Wonderous Stories." A kaleidoscope of sounds beginnig with haunting innuendos from Wakeman's blue lighted, organ, the song also highlighted solos by drummer Alan White and lead guitarist Chris Squire.
The opening notes of the famous "Your Move," once again captured the audience's undivided attention as their restlessness was channeled into the many sights and sounds of the electronic, audio-visual extravaganza-presented by the band.
"And You & I" and "Close To The Edge," two very well-known Yes songs, were heartily recieved. Both took on new dimension when played beneath slides and films of star galaxies, visual perspectives of planet Earth, troubled cloouds [sic], flickering flames - and an isolated pas de chat performed by an anonymous ballerina.
Regardless of sound quality, the full-house audience couldn't have been more pleasd. In spite of the idle law enforement threats outside the arena and the clumsly, bungling, sporadic searches by rent-a-cops, spectators got in their firecrackers, cherry bomb, day-glo tennis balls and other oh-so-sophisticated play toys with which to accost their fellow spectators.
In a nutshell, the Yes concert was nothing short of a happening 1977 style - an undoubted box office success. And when you get right down to it, which many at this rather strange affair did, Yes was as good - if not better than any band could ever be in Hampton's music-defying Coliseum.