Friday, April 26, 1991
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo Memorial Auditorium
31 years, 11 months and 6 days ago
Didn't look like I was going to be able to go, couldn't get out of work, and then suddenly, on the night of the show, I *could* --- so hustled down to Buffalo, bout an hour and change away, and was ready to buy a couple of scalps, when I saw people buying tickets at the wicket. So on a hunch, I ran up, said "give me 2 of the best seats you can find", by this time, the opening notes of YIND were blasting out, bought the tix without so much as looking at them, then ran up a ramp, usher pointed the way, and as we stepped into the arena, we were about 20 feet away from Squire! (revolving stage, but he was the first person I saw) Our seats were directly behind the soundboard, seems that area was reserved for wheelchairs, and since there werent any and the show had started......that was a night when the gods smiled favorably down, best sound I ever heard in an arena :) BTW, I also got a few funny looks with my binos, was possible to count the boys nose hairs hehe
It's 3:00 a.m. and I finally got the chance to put my thoughts down regarding Yes' show at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium.
Let me start by saying that this has been one of THE MOST AMAZING EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE!!!
Our seats were far better than I had dared to dream. Third row floor, on *THE* main aisle! Selfishly, and without any argument from my buds I acquired the aisle seat (I *was* the one who waited 2 1/2 hours for these tickets, and was, by far, the biggest Yes fan in the bunch :-) I kept asking them to pinch me; I must be dreaming, I thought. And this before the show had even started--just at the sheer excellence of my seat!
We checked out the stage before the show. Had to explain to Joan, Alison and Chris what the funny looking symbol in the center of the stage was (Jon's Olias of Sunhillow symbol). We watched as the roadies climbed up into their perches beneath every other arm of the set. Wow they have guts to sit up there for the full 3 hours! Watched 'em swing their legs to the music.
Got in good with the security guards, asked to make sure this would be THEIR enter/exit aisle (as if all the guards and the gate to the stage weren't enough of a clue), and my friend Joan had to ask "you'll let her touch them, right?", meaning me. Thanks Joan, I won't let this big burly dude stop me anyway :-)
So, the lights dimmed and they entered to Firebird Suite. I didn't manage to grab anyone that time through (don't worry, I got plenty of chances!), but I made some major eye contact with Jon and got a smile out of him. No one else was looking that time.
The set list for both sets was the same (I think) as the Philadelphia show. One exception is that they RECORDED!! "All Good People", so I sang my heart out (well, I guess I did for the whole show) Looks like we can expect a live Union album!!!!! I hope the Buffalo clip of All Good People makes it on, listen for me! :-)
Having seen them once already in Philly, and being so close to the stage, I concentrated less on the quality of the music and more on the physical performance. Alison and I had a blast playing with Chris. Everyone in the front two rows would sit down, so there we were, face to face. He loved us, and we loved him. Got millions of smiles from him, and we could tell some of those jams were for us. :-) He has such a cute smile. Joanie died when I blew him a kiss, but I explained that I promised someone (you, Diane) that I would. And hey, he deserved it :-) He really knew how to play on us, and I think we gave him a great time. By the end of the show Alison and I were both ready to give him a great big hug--he was great. Such the boyish charm.
Caught Rick's eye only once, and elicited a grand smile from him. He's just too intent on the music, but hey, that's not bad! His solo was as amazing as possible. Huge standing ovation.
Forget Steve, man, he was always staring off into la-la land :-) But of course he played magnificently. Unfortunately he stuck to the same two pieces--the Clap and Mood For a Day.
Tony displayed his chest to us; minor strip show, actually. He took his jacket off half way and flaunted. I chuckled. :-)
Alan and Bill hid behind their drums for most of the show, although Bill did manage to get up and "jam" on the tambourine with Steve, I think, and wiggled his hips excessively.
Jon was aloof at center stage. The one time he sang at the edge, during "Changes", he was on the far side of the stage the whole time. I was bummed. But he did notice us from center stage a couple of times, and sang at us with a smile.
Trev wasn't as playful as Chris, he's too into the music too, or something, but I caught his eye several times. A few smiles.
For Steve's solo, Jon left down our aisle (everyone else hid under the stage), and I managed to grab his hand and give it a squeeze. I was psyched. (And yes, I let him go, Joe :-)
Best part was the beginning
I was in section 22 of the reds, row H, seats 5 and 6 (I didn't need two seats- my girlfriend went too...:^) Which would put me right on the blue line for a hockey game (i.e. near the stage), so I had very good sightlines for the show.
I got to sit next to two guys who first saw Yes back in 1972, and it was the one fellow's 9th time seeing them. He mentioned that at *every* show he was at, Yes always played "And You and I". He smiled at me when Steve hit those opening notes during the show. Someone else I know talked with someone who was at his 15th Yes concert. Wow!
Before the show, we talked about our fav Yes albums, and he mentioned to me that Close to the Edge was his fav, and that "maybe I didn't know that one" because I look young (I'm 22 but still look much younger), figuring that I was there to see 90125 and BG stuff. He had a good belly laugh when I told him that I still have a copy of Close to the Edge on 8-track which is kinda worn out. (Since been replaced with CDs of course...)
Before the show, I was noticing that from the side the band entered and exited, there was a mixing board that looked alot like some digital recording/mixing boards I've seen before. The guy I was sitting with pointed out that maybe the concert was being recorded because he saw what he thought were the tapes, but he wasn't sure. It will be fun to hear from others if they tell that line "it's being recorded" to other shows. Roger Waters in 1987 told just about every concert audience that it was being broadcast somewhere else, usually someone out of the way (in Buffalo he said it was a live broadcast in California.)
I really hope it was though. It was a great version in any case. Maybe a live album of Yes classics/new stuff would help the group make peace with Arista, who I understand took a bath with the ABWH project. I don't expect a live album any time before at least 1-2 years, due to the box set release. But that is on another label, so who knows.
Yes, I believe it was during Awaken. Did anyone catch what Jon said about it? I couldn't pick it up. Something like "except this one" he added to a lyric during the song.
I was thinking that, with a show in MI the next day, that they would cut us in Buffalo off to pack up the stage. Are they using just the one or two stages this time around?
As much as I liked the concert, I really had an empty feeling about it. I was a fine performance, but I kinda liked the song list for ABWH's show alot better. As much as I liked hearing "Awaken" and a great version of a song I didn't really like too much, "Hold On", seeing a Yes concert without hearing "Starship Trooper" and "Close to the Edge" (my two fav songs!) is like seeing Sherri Lewis without Lambchop. :^) Actually, I was pretty bummed after the show. Sure, they played ~3.5 hours, and they can't play *everything*, especially since most of their songs frequently go over the 10 minute mark. But missing CttE and ST really didn't seem like a "Yes" show for me. That's why I went in the first place. But oh well I guess. I did get my money's worth from "And You And I" and even the two new songs.
Ok, was I the only one who thought that Tony Kaye was just there because the other guys (maybe not Rick or Bill) didn't have the guts to tell him the wrong location of the concert (or the whole tour for that matter?) I'm not that good a keyboardist, but I honestly think *I* could have done more on stage than Tony. Between his poor use of samplers and over-use of sequencers, they might as well put a computer on stage.
My girlfriend, who didn't know that much about Yes, mentioned to me during the show something about "why is that guy up there" and "he belongs in a Holiday Inn playing "Lady of Spain" to tourists" or something of the effect. For me, Yes, much like the computer I'm using right now, is "keyboard driven". That's why I didn't go to the 90125 or BG tours- too pathetic seeing someone tryin
Well, In a word AWSOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...The show was great!...I was sitting fifth row upper golds in the corner, but with the stage rotating, the seats were still good. When the band walked out, the electricity started, and never quit!...My favorite thing about the show was each member's solo, especially Chris Squire's part on The Fish/Whitefish/whatever. Best song was a tie between Roundabout and And You and I....Lighting was great, stage was awsome,and the band members (with the possible exception of Steve Howe) played their hearts out. Steve just kinda stayed in la-la land for the show. One great show...Too bad it's a once-in-a-lifetime event.