Oops -- I caught this concert on June 8, 1979 -- the first of three Chicago dates in'79/.
Funny -- the magic that Bill Voight points out during Awaken performance, the boys in Yes were able to capture it all again nine months later.
Ott Lake Rambler
This was my first (and only) Yes concert. I was 16 and rapidly becoming a big Yes fan. I can't say I'm a huge fan anymore, but I can say this was one hell of a concert experience which brings back great memories.
I recall some clowns dropping M-80s from some upper seats onto the lap of some poor soul at just prior to the beginning of the show.
But more importantly, I completely agree with Bill Voight when he writes "I recall Awaken as being the most mind blowing moment of the night. During Jon's harp section the stage was dimly lit in blue and the harp had some heavy echo effects on it.... A mind blower."
I had never heard Awaken before this concert -- indeed, I originally thought that Jon was singing "We can take the message" (as opposed to "Awaken gentle mass touch"). When it started I made my way from my rather poor ground-floor seat up to the stage. I was standing in an aisle at the front row -- nobody bothered me --and everything about that song, about that performance, sent me into a peak experience (without the use of drugs). It was magic. Absolutely unbelievable.
I also recall listening to a Chicago FM radio station (The Loop?) the next night for a live stereo simulcast of Yes at the Amphitheater. It didn't have the same magic -- I suppose I was trying to relive all what I experienced the night before.
Kevin from Naperville
very enjoyable concert. Had 3rd row seats and enjoyed one of my first LSD trips... MIND EXPANDING!
This was a great Concert,but we had terrible seats(I think they were in the 58th row,main floor or something like that). Even with the stage being "in the round", our seats were bad.They did play "MADRIGAL"in 2 parts at this one.Chris Squire really got the crowd pumped up during "ON THE SILENT WINGS OF FREEDOM",and I really got a kick out of the "BIG MEDLEY".I wished they would have done "RELEASE,RELEASE" and "ARRIVING UFO". Even though many regard "TORMATO" as a weak album,I liked it (and still do)and thought the songs came off great live.If alot of fans claim they dislike "CIRCUS OF HEAVEN",you wouldn't of known it by the applause it got.The audience Loved it!!! AS I DID.So there you go.
I remember this show because it was three weeks into the Tormato tour and the album had still not been released yet in the U.S. (One release date, perhaps UK, is given as September 20, 1978.) An acquaintance of mine who worked at a record store had scored a promo copy of the LP and I quickly managed to get a cassette copy just days before the concert. I listened to it nonstop in preparation. Although generally regarded as a weak album by 70s Yes standards, I was immediately in love with Tormato. The cover was dreadful to be sure-- one of the worst Hipgnosis album covers of all time-- and a blot on Yes' tradition of fantastic, surreal artwork. The songs were obviously shorter, but in my opinion the band covered much of the musical ground that made up their essential style-- the classical-like "Madrigal," the epic feeling of "Future Times/Rejoice" and "On the Silent Wings of Freedom," the rocking elements on "Release Release," the fanciful angle on "Circus of Heaven," and the romantic side on "Onward." Musically, it was a little less intense because of the lack of the substantial complex arrangements found on the epics from "Close to the Edge" to "Awaken," and the substitution with ballads like "Onward" and pop rock like "Don't Kill the Whale." But I was delirious about the album nonetheless and still enjoy it to this day. Lyrically, Jon was a prophetic voice for the new age concerns that would burst forth in the 1980s via the popular new age movement-- UFOs (Arriving UFO), alien enlightened beings (Madrigal), and environmentalism and compassionate activism (Release Release and Don't Kill The Whale) were all ideas that persist in the religious counterculture to this day. These were not subjects to be taken lightly, and Jon sang with his usual reverential quality, a rarity in the world of rock. The band only gave us about half the album in concert, which was surprising since Yes usually would play an entire new album. (When they came back in 1979 for an even lengthier tour, they would play even less.) "Future Times/Rejoice" was the closest to that old epic feel, and was a welcomed song. This website says "Madrigal" was dropped, but I thought it was played in the excerpted form and used as introductions to other songs. Perhaps I'm just remembering this from the bootleg tapes of the tour that surfaced later. "Don't Kill The Whale" and "On The Silent Wings of Freedom" were great rockers in concert, and "Circus of Heaven" was just plain fun-- I loved the audience reaction to the tape of Jon's son Damian being played at the close of the song. The band constructed a medley of songs that began with "Time And A Word" and ended with "Soon." Although I'm normally averse to medleys, this one didn't seem to edit the songs (not sure if this is true of "Perpetual Change") but merely strung them together in a creative way. It was yet another highlight of the show. This was also the first "In The Round" tour for Yes, and the affect it had on the audience was electrifying. First of all, the sound was so much better because it didn't have to travel to the far end of a cavernous hall and bounce around. Secondly, almost all the seats seemed great due to the fact that so many people were able to get closer to the stage. It eliminated the usual situation at Chicago's dreadful International Amphitheater of only a handful of rows of people being able to see, while the hordes of standing masses on the main floor could hardly see anything. All in all, a great concert. --=-=om-= Nick (SoulQuest7@aol.com)
Yes,this was my first concert ever. Went with 2 non-Yes fans and my brother. I remember looking up and around the stadium as the little boy spoke at the end of "Circus". Squire looked cool in his "tails" and Awaken was unbelievable. Being a freshman in Highschool, my dad had to drive us and thinking back now that was kind of nice of him. What did he do during the concert? The only bad memory is my brother turning to me after it was done and said "Roundabout is their only good song." I only talk to him once a year now.
I had been a Yes fan since 1971 at the tender age of 9 years old, yet this was my first Yes concert experience and it was beyond believe musically. I still recall seeing Steve Howe's hands ripping through scales at the close of Heart of the Sunrise. Yes music is always synonomous with the Fall season for me and this was a wonderful compliment. I was in my second year of high school and drove to the show in a beat up junker a friend of mine owned. Thankfully he did the driving all the way from Elgin, ILL. to the glorious southside of Chicago. The IA use to be a slaughterhouse and in it's concert days stilled slaughtered the sound. This was pre-Rosemont Horizon times ya know. Two white boys from the outer burbs driving straight down Halsted Ave through areas that white people usually got jacked in. Scary.
After scampering for bootleg t-shirts outside for $5 a piece we made our way to our seats. In the Round. Not the greatest way to see Yes and I feel cheated to this day for having not been allowed (parental control) to attend the 1976 Yes show with Frampton. I am a Moraz disciple. There was no Gates of Delirium at this show or Tales From Topographic Oceans. Two of my favorite Yes albums along with Drama. Tormato is probably the weakest of Yes' 70's material. During Chris' bass solo Jon Anderson would break into bits from Survival with Steve accompanying on his lap steel guitar. Very nice. I recall Awaken as being the most mind blowing moment of the night. During Jon's harp section the stage was dimly lit in blue and the harp had some heavy echo effects on it. There were a couple of dudes so tripped out by it all that they started to wail as if in misery. A mind blower. A nice touch also was using Madrigal as an intro to each member's solo section. No opening act. Incredible musically, yet basically dissatisfying visually and no Gates! Damn. To this day though I am moved by the music of Yes (including the Drama period...) and can claim the music as a soundtrack to my life. God bless all existing and former members of Yes!