They had a M.C. Escher-esque stage [on the GFTO tour] with black and white tiles that disappeared in weird angles.
[Colours Of The Rainbow] It was a little ditty that Jon sang -- not completely unaccompanied, because Alan White played tuned percussion during the song -- as a prelude to Turn of the Century on the 1977 tour. Just a short list of colours that make up the rainbow, with examples -- e.g. 'green is the color of a Siamese cat's eyes'. As he sang, each color was projected onto him. It was very nice, though it only lasted about a minute or two.
"Colors of the Rainbow" as sung by Jon Anderson is the first verse of "The Beautiful Land" from the 1964 musical "The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd" by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley. It's got of lot of other great tunes.
I like them even more when they subvert the aweh that some people project on to them. The concerts have been good for this kind of stuff. Rick Wakeman playing the theme from "Match of the Day" (British soccer show) whilst others are tuning between numbers on the "Going for the Bum" tour.
CIRCUS Magazine October 27, 1977 Jim Farber
Before the latest _Going For The One_ album and tour were unleashed onto the unsuspecting public, a whole lot of critics and even some fans were praying Yes would own up to their dinosaur musical style of Cecil B. DeMille bombast and quietly hurl themselves into the nearest tar pit. Many fans felt Yes had become lost in space on _Relayer_ and even you guys who hung on during the last three years probably did so more in the spirit of hopeful loyalty than true enthusiasm. But this latest issuance from the band has once again established Yes as a viable entity one still relevant in an age where it's more de rigeur to stab your face with safety pins or succumb to the heaving metal drone of Kiss and Rush than to fold into Yes' Cosmik harmonium. Whereas fellow monoliths, ELP, have had both critical and financial problems with their latest Con Ed-hoarding album and tour, Yes have been incredibly successful by presenting a more accessible show than ever before, featuring an on-stage attitude that's loose and at times almost (gasp!) funky.
As Jon Anderson revealed to Circus Magazine just before the tour began, the stage is a simpler one, without the Roger Dean designed giant space globs of the last stint, featuring instead a dramatically lighted cubist design, highlighted by 3-D stretched fabric backdrops, similar to ones often used by such dance troupes as Alvin Ailey's company. The band's new sound system has also helped, offering a surprisingly clear delivery considering the mangling acoustics of the overgrown halls the band has been playing in. Most importantly, though, for Yes' new earthly success is their more spontaneous stage manner, aided by Chris Squire's enrollment in the Jack Bruce school of intruding bassists, making for some fierce push and shove sessions with Alan White's drums.
As Anderson promised, the band are not performing anything from _Relayer_ or _Topographic_, in reverence to Rick Wakeman's wishes, concentrating on the highly successful new LP plus old faves all the way from "Yours Is No Disgrace" through "Close To The Edge." Wakeman's role has been re- duced a bit for this tour but, as he explains, the band wanted to avoid the solo showcases this time around in order to give a shorter, more unified concert.
"We didn't want to have one guy have a blow while the rest of the guys go off to take a piss," says Wakeman demurely. Still, with this format all egos are in check and no one has to suffer through a "beat-yer-brains-out" drum solo just to satisfy the democratic whims of the band.
Anderson's munchkin vocals remain a standout, ever emphasizing his cosmik overload Lyrics chock full of phrases like "total mass retain" which I still think sounds like something from an Evelyn Woods Reading Course. As for his stage presence, Jon is still the one canned guru that we've all come to know and flinch at, but with the fine sound system, one can see that the emotion in his voice is actually what establishes Yes as one of the few technocrat bands with heart. The wave of the future may be punk instead of Yes' polyrhythms, but you can be sure that with this type of trend-transcending emotion, Yes will remain among the top performing bands for years to come.