I was 18 at the time and big into the "new" Yes, mostly because of Trevor's smokin' guitar playing. I won't go on forever (like some) because I really don't remember so much, other than having not-so-great seats and the house being about 70% empty. The old Charlotte Coliseum was a really lousy hall for music - 60's construction and all concrete...absolutely terrible! Better suited for a tractor-pull. But I remember being amped to see them and they seemed really tight, though hearing on stage was probably an issue due the abysmal acoustics. I just wish they had produced more recorded stuff in this formation, especially since new rock sucks so bad? Can I get an "AMEN"?
J. S. Smith
I attended this show in the old Charlotte Colisuem, and I was amazed at the music and lighting, especially on Shoot High, Aim Low, but the vocals were horrible. Apparently everyone in the band was sick, and all vocals were painful to listen to.
I've sung and played in bands since the early 80s, and I can sympathize with vocalists who have off nights, but this was a vocal disaster, and someone, somewhere, has to have a boot of this to prove me true on this critique.
Trevor Rabin, who's vocals have always been strong live, was the saddest sounding one of all. I really felt for him and Chris as they tried their best to get through the set.
One song that stood out in my mind as a clunker was Big Generator, mainly because Chris' bass was so far out of tune (to get that first low note) and loud that I turned to my brother who went along with me and asked if I was "hearing things" or did it really sound out of tune. He nodded and looked ahead in disbelief as our icons of prog rock limped through the opening part of the show.
Love Will Find A Way was hot at the time, and it rocked, as most of the other songs off Big Generator, so the concert wasn't a complete bust.
I have since seen Yes several more times, including the Masterworks tour with Kansas in Charlotte, and they continue to blow my mind musically. I'll post my reviews or memories of those shows at a later date.
If you have a chance to see them live, go for it. We all have off nights and hopefully theirs are few and far between.
After 90125 and its spawn I had just about given up on Yes, though their "Trooper" incarnations would remain atop my music pantheon no matter what.
As with Charlotte's 90125 stop, no one has had much to say about Yes' BG show here and it's time to fill the gap.
One day in late '87 I heard something called "Shoot High..." on the car radio. Many here and elsewhere have indicated a strong dislike of Big Generator, but I was impressed enough with that piece to start paying attention to contemporary Yes again, at least enough to gauge how far they might go in the direction it represented. Still poppish to be sure, but it had definite elements of seriousness and spirit utterly absent from 90125. I never had a problem with Yes keeping an eye on new trends in sound and music; in fact preferred it. Only with abject surrender to commercialism and a geometrically expanding mindlessness among mass markets, as 90125 clearly was.
I bought BG, liked much of it ["Shoot High"] and loved some of it ["I'm Running", "Almost Like Love"], though like many like-minded fans wasn't terribly happy with its title track. At its best it once again showcased at least some of what made Yes so impressive a decade before, solidified my favorable opinion of Trevor's abilities and his place in Yes, and strongly suggested that taking trouble to see them again would pay off. The energy missing from 90125 [at all ends] was there, even before the actual concert event. It even suggested the prospect of another tour without a true keyboard master would somehow be mitigated.
Mitigated it was, as was the profoundly disappointing circus we were treated to in 1984. While still not quite the otherworldy, multidimensional experience 14 Sept. 1978 had been, it was a most satisfying and largely genuine Yes concert. Alan's playing was actually more magnificent than I have seen or heard it before or since, and his role in Yes appeared to be more emphasized than it had been since the brilliant Relayer era. Trevor established once and for all his appropriateness in Yes as a musician, though his compositions for them always left me pretty cold. Renditions of "Shoot High", "WURM", HOTS and "And You & I" were downright awe inspiring.
The light show, aside from its uncannily perfect fit to BG's energy [album and tour], was the best I have ever seen. It heavily and ingeniously emphasized all-enveloping sheets of dark, strong, rich lighting [reds, golds, violets, etc.,] literally impailed by occasional huge shafts of piercing white and yellow which alternately formed swirling columns around musicians and shot out over audience. The latter was used to mindblowing effect for a stunningly rendered AY&I;'s opening and instrumental choruses [had this been in-the-round...Gotamighty]. Overall the experience resembled what careening through a nebula might be like. HOTS's instramental opening and first movement were driven by a slowly rising and brightening arc light center-stage behind Alan. Truly [wonderfully] blinding, and its heat could literally be felt anywhere in the venue. Here again, if someone had just thought of this in '78 or '79... [from that small hole in Jon's central podium;of course shades for Alan and Rick would have been required]. As much as lasers would have added, everything else was so perfectly done they weren't missed.
By then any band out of the garage or bar scene had an impressive, mega-buck light show, but this was a Yes light show - worth seeing even for people who scoff at expensive phototechnics [usually rightly] as intended distractions from nonexistent musicianship. Among other unfathomable Yes-related mysteries is why BG's tour is so poorly documented both visually and descriptively. A mystery equal in its frustration to the 1976 tour's nearly total lack of visual documentation, aside from a few still shots which Mr. Whipple thankfully has archived here. Nearly all Yes light shows have been cutting edge, with Talk [of all tours] and Masterworks among the best I have seen. BG's lighting, however, to me remains the pinnacle even for Yes. 90125 featured an extensive, up to date lighting effort - but it really didn't fit the consciousness of Yes as BG's did.
Disappointments included a full parade of BG's less than inspiring tracks [title track not the least among them], no performances of its best ones, and a nearly asphyxiating plateful of warmed-over 90125. It was the late 80's, of course, and we were quite lucky to get a series of shows as tasteful, highbrow and impressive as they were - especially after 90125's alarming precedent. Many herein have written of their love for the latter and total disregard for the former, which I suppose stems from younger fans not appreciating what "Trooper" Yes was and from older fans unable to bear any dilution of it. At least with BG we had some of what made Yes truly great years before and a reasonably balanced infusion of contemporary approaches, before the ravages of age began to effect their energy as they seem to be now.
Hope to soon see others share any similar memories of any BG show, and would love to see some photos of that light show!
Yes performed at the old Charlotte Coliseum on Independence Boulevard. As of this writing, the "new" Coliseum (completed in mid-1988) is set to be demolished in a couple of years. At taxpayer expense, the NBA will be getting a new arena with fewer seats than the current Coliseum. Luckily, the truly historic original Charlotte Coliseum survives as Cricket Arena.
Anyway, I was only eleven years old at the time of this show, but I was a die-hard Yes fan. It's hard to believe it's been sixteen years. I still have my tour T-shirt as a memento. To me, it's ironic that my little shirt predominately displays the word "BIG."
The performance was beyond my expectations, having seen 9012Live on MTV a few months before. This was back when MTV and VH1 actually featured music. I was very pleased to see and hear Heart Of The Sunrise, Yours Is No Disgrace and And You And I performed live. I was truly surprised and moved by Amazing Grace. Chris Squire has been my favorite Yes member ever since.
This concert marked the beginning of an unintentional tradition for Yes. The band has been playing in Charlotte every six years: 1988, 1994, 2000. They were supposed to play here in 1997 before the tour with Rick was cancelled. I do hope the band will end the six-year cycle and come back before 2006.