This was the first concert I had ever attended - I was 17 and My friends had played Yes albums to me for about a week prior, which was my only experience hearing them to date. We drove down from the north GA mountains, picked up some pre-party cocktails (OK, we drank Jack Daniels out of the bottle) and headed in. It was awesome. I didn't know enough Yes at the time to recognize all the tunes, but I was hooked. By the time they came back in '79 I was an avowed fan. Everything was great - Wakeman, Howe, Squire...Went home, bought Fragile and Close to the Edge as soon as I could scratch up the money.The got hooked on Wakeman's solo stuff. It was a good transition into my early college years. Yes was the tightest band I've ever seen, and one of the few (along with Jethro Tull) that I saw live multiple times.
Monday, August 5, 2013 11:09 PM
I was sixteen and drove up to Atlanta from my hometown in central Alabama and went to the show with my older brother that was living in Atlanta at the time. Wakeman was back in the fold and the band's enthusiasm was palpable. I really got the feeling they were having a blast playing together. They road crew could not get the pedal steel to work and while they were trying to fix it Jon Anderson sang a song about Atlanta. Steve Howe improvised with a regular guitar on all the pedal steel parts and it sounded great. That is the mark of a great musician. They opened with "Parallels" and the highlight of the evening for me was "Awaken". GOOD TIMES!
I drove up several hours to this show from Florida, and rendevous at the Omni Hotel with a few friends. It was slightly surreal because I remember looking out over the enclosed Hotel from above and hearing strains from "Olias" playing out of someone's hotel room, the music drifting through the air, kind of coming in and out of focus...
Then we went up to our room, and literally almost ran into Squire, who was sitting outside of his room playing around with an acoustic 12-string. I think it was a Rickenbacker 12 Acoustic, which I'd never seen before.
I'm a Bass player, and heavily influenced by Squire, so I was kind of dumbfounded by almost literaly running right into him. My gut reaction was "Man is he tall, and man is he pastey white, and man does he speak really, really slowly..." Anyway, he was very nice to us and chatted for a bit, as we tried to sound somewhat intellegent for a couple of High School kids.
It was getting close to showtime, and we were rushing to get to the elevator from the Omni Hotel to the Omni venue itself where the show would play, and thinking "I dont want to miss the opening number -- let's hurry up!" We get in, and the elevator stops on the next floor, and I'm thinking "crap --let's speed it up" and the doors open, and into the elevator strolls Rick Wakeman! The only thing I could say was "Well I guess we're not late for the show then..." He chuckled a bit... Tall and pale white was the order of the day, at least with Wakeman & Squire.
We were lucky to get a few Backstage Passes, and I got some nice pics from the side of the stage. I watched the first half of the show from about 15 feet to Howe's right side. I remember he had a big row of Guitars all lined up, and basically used a different one for every song.
I already had "Going For The One" on album for a while, so I knew the new songs, and was hopig they'd play "Awaken" more than anything else, as I viewed it as the new "CTTE".
We had bets on what they would open with, and it was Parallels. I also remember Close To The Edge being in the show and them doing a pretty kicking version of it. They couldn't get the pedal steel to work in the middle of the show, and it seemed like they tried for a long time to figure it out, but to no avail. "And You And I" was up next, and Steve Howe played all of the Guitar parts and Pedal Steel parts on his 12-string, which is a bit of a feat since the Pedal Steel is a different style of instrument relying on heavy delay and a slide technique, and I'm pretty sure it's also in a different tuning, so Howe transposing from one instrument to the other -- and still playig it well -- was quite impressive. In the the middle of "And You and I", I walked out to center of the hall about 30 rows back and watched the big Bass Pedals section -- which was very cool with clouds projected on some screens behind the band -- very effective visual for that song.
"Awaken" was the highlight for me, and I watched this one from the side of the stage near Howe again. He played it on a Rickenbacker 12-string (elec), and I remember Anderson pulling out a tamborine with allsorts of bells and ribbons hanging down from it. Also, Squire had a 3-headed Bass -- which know makes me chuckle and think of Spinal Tap -- and I wouldn't be surprised if they got that idea from him. As a kid I thought "How cool! -- a 3 headed bass!" Anyway, "Awaken" was incredible -- and with that and CTTE and And You And I all in one show, plus the return of Wakeman, well I was a happy camper.
I remember the pedal steel incident! Thanks for the mind jog. I still have my ticket stub from this show. At this time Yes could do no wrong in my world.
I was at this show, got lucky and got very close seats. They were my favorite band at the time, David & Courtney do you remember this far back! Ha!
The show was great. I do remember Steve not getting his pedal steel to work for And You And I (the other person's review is how I knew I had found the right year/show!), and finally they removed it from the stage and he played it on one of his regular guitars. I'm no musician, but I was amazed he played that slide just as beautifully as he had played the pedal steel the toour before (Solo Album tour?). Amazing.
Yes is still very high on my list of bands that have really lasted over the years, and I have seen them in Atlanta many times since. Including several shows at Chastain Park which were great because of the small size of the venue, Anderson,Wakeman,Bruford&Howe, Union, and just Steve playing Solo at the Cotton Club I think (Bending Strings?)
Great band! Great show back in '77!
Ed the Rock
Cool. I was 17 years old. Just graduated high school from Berkmar in Lilburn in June... and all I remember was WOW !!! I was standing on the corner in the omni looking down at Rick- about 30 feet away. He looked up at me and a connection was made with him and the band that has never left... AT the time I did not know how really good of musicians they were though the music was great! Now 28 years later, I know what precision musicians they are. I have continually listened to the music and this is the only band (Besides player like Dimeola, Clarke,etc.) I have followed over this time. The music never gets old and boring like Pink FLoyd, Boston, RObin Trower etc... The only other band that I can compare to with Yes is UK.. I believe they played the same year as Yes (Or year after) at the Omni opening for Jethro Tull. Too bad only 2 albums) But Yes is still at the top of my list.. and I will continue to learn to play their music as Time Passes Away. Oh great ones- pass the torch to me!
Rick Wakeman was back in the fold, and "Going for the One" had been on my turntable (and on the radio) throughout that last carefree summer. (By that I mean, within a year I'd be married, working full-time, paying bills, shuffling inexorably toward heartache.) My wife-to-be and I walked to the show from our jobs at Rich's, across the dismal railroad gulch from the Omni. I didn't know at the time that she'd hired a photographer to take some shots of the show, which in October she gave to me as a birthday gift. Of course, I still have these, along with the obligatory ticket stubs and program.
The crowd was alive with energy. A very complimentary article in the next day's Atlanta Journal-Constitution, written by reviewer Scott Cain, described the atmosphere as "...scintillating, almost delirious." The stage was refreshingly simple (compared with earlier-70s Yes sets), and the band seemed lighthearted, even with technical glitches interrupting the show. Jon Anderson improvised through one such moment, singing a brief, unaccompanied bit including the line, "...have you ever been to Atlanta, Georgia?" Occasionally, I hum the melody.
Some twenty-six years later, this particular concert remains one of my favorites.
This was a good show, basically typical for them at this time. I'd like to mention that Steve couldn't get his pedal steel to work, they did And You and I without it, and dropped Going for the One.