Wednesday, September 21, 1977
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
45 years, 5 months and 27 days ago
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 5:16 PM
My Third Yes show. I had just gotten out of the Army in June, and had moved back to Reno. Several friends and I piled in a van and headed out on what would turn out for me to the first of many "road trips" to see the band. For most fans, there was deep excitement at having Wakeman back in the line up. I was just the reverse. For me, he had to prove he could fill the shoes of Patrick Moraz, (Who was the keyboardist for my first two shows, AND on my favorite album of all time, to this day). Wakeman was marvelous. I especially liked his playing Parallels and Turn of the Century. To be fair though, Relayer songs had all been dropped from the set. I didn't enjoy his solo spot as much as those of Patrick.
Still.......I was in heaven. What a night!!!
I'm also a Donovan fan, and though it was an odd match, I loved Donovan's set of hits, plus some of Cosmic Wheels, (my favorite Donovan album).
The " In the Round" tour began a year later with the "Tormato Tour", and ran thru until the summer of 1979. The particular show you may be thinking of took place on Saturday Oct. 7th, 1978. Just thought I'd help you out on that one ( actually, I looked it up on this website for you).
Wasn't this the tour in the round when the Oakland Raiders Cheerleaders came out on the stage during Roundabout?
What a lovely time to be alive. 1977. Driving across the Berkeley/Richmond bridge to Oakland to see YES. To be in one's early 20's, a musician and with the lady you love. As we enter the arena Donovan is just starting his finale "Alantis". Wish I'd started out sooner. The familiar strains of Firebird commence and blends into the opening organ strains of "Parallels". Yes are on form and look incredibly sexy and well dressed. The stage is spartan by comparison to other tours. Perhaps a passing nod to the minimalism of prevailing punk trends. My date notes how Steve Howe's exudes pure sex. (Yes THAT Steve Howe). Jon has clearly found a talented hair colorist and a new exotic 10 string guitar. Mid-set Steve suddenly repairs to the area behind his amp and apparently has a whiff or toke of something nice, because the crowd behind the stage starts whooping and whistling in a "you naughty boy" manner. Good way to get a San Francisco crowd on your side.
"And You and I" premiers Chris Squire's harmonica playing during the during the acoustic "colored doors of time" bit. Nice touch that amazingly works perfectly. He is wearing a very loud striped suit and matching earrings. Steve how plays a beautiful guitar cadenza at the conclusion of "Turn of the Century" while a projection of a ballarina is dancing behind him on the back wall of the arena. Lovely. Rick Wakemans innovation is the birotron and a electric pipe organ that featured in the transcendant set closer Awaken. Jon's celtic harp playing is a musical and viceral treat on the new classic "Awaken". "Awaken" is a leap forward on the established YES formula. The climaxes are bigger, and the soft sections more delicate. A spirituality pervades where before there was ambiguity.
The crowd seems stunned at sets close but applause is sustained and steady. It's as if they are moved rather than excited by the music. YES returns for two encores and it is clear the band has rebounded into the commercially viable (pre-"Tails") unit they once were. They will live to fight another day in spite of the scorched earth campaign of the punks back across the pond.
We drive home to Marin county fully satified with our YES experience. It was my date's first YES concert. She comments she has just fallen in love with 5 men. She is not the only one.
An interesting thing about the Oakland shows was that the first night YES had a laser show that was similar to the Solos Tour laser show. It was, however, the only show we saw to include it. As a matter of fact the last time I ever saw lasers at a YES show.
Unofficial Rumor (might have even been in the newspaper at the time?): Someone in the crowd had gotten injured on the first night by the laser light shinning directly into their eyes. The band canceled the laser show on the second night.
before 'Wonderous Stories'
transcribed by: Geoff DunnJon Anderson:
Just a little earlier this year, we recorded an album, which is on sale now, it's called 'Going For The One'. And this is one of the songs, ahh, that we're going to play for you. It's one of the songs. It's called, ahh, 'Wonderous Stories'