I recall that there was a false start to the show when the mechanical "spider's legs" (or were they spacecraft legs?) surrounding the stage did not raise on cue to allow the band to walk on. "Firebird" stopped, the band walked off while the problem was fixed - maybe 5 minutes? Then "Firebird" started from the beginning again, the "legs" raised this time, and the band filed on. A rare Spinal Tap moment that made me chuckle at the time.
Luckily this setback didn't seem to throw the band off, for they played a wonderful show. I'm no big fan of the Rabin-era material either, but happily the bulk of the set was comprised of "real" Yes music. I recall feeling very excited and privileged to be witnessing this one-off, historical version of the band.
I had seen Bill Bruford with Crimson in Toronto some years earlier, now I was getting to see him with his other great band! It was cool experiencing Bruford freed-up to be an embellishing percussionist - complete with electronic rig - while Alan White laid down the core pulse of the show. It's hard to express just how much sheer texture Bruford's complex contributions added to the music. I'd also never dreamt I'd ever see Tony Kaye in person, now there he was! If only he'd had a real Hammond with him...It was eye-opening to see Kaye quite easily keep up with everything Rick Wakeman did, and add plenty of worthwhile ideas of his own.
As usual, Chris Squire stole the show with his bass section on "Heart of the Sunrise" and his "Whitefish" solo spot. As I recall, the intermission came after "And You and I" and the show resumed with the riveting drum showdown between Bruford and White. But the absolute highlight was "Awaken". As the piece slowly built, then sent the whole stadium into a hypnotic dream, then took us right to the mountain top, I was left so emotionally leveled that I was nearly in tears from the sheer force of the experience.
May 20 1991 was one of the great days of my life, for sure.
Sorry Greg, I was there too and having Rabin in the band severely affects what this band is all about to its core. It was not a bad show, but it was not a great show. The high points were Awaken when the lighting spots around the stage began moving up and down effectively creating a giant spider walking through the good ole Coliseum. One of the most outstanding special effects I have ever seen. Also at the intro...Firebird Suite just Jon walked out by himself almost to the stage when he realized nobody was behind him. He scurried back behind the curtain they cued the intro again and this time Rick and all the other public school boys emerged from behind the curtain with big silly grins on. That alone was worth the trip from Victora. Keep it loud, never quit. Thank you for giving back.Unlike The Kinks!
I managed to buy 3 choice seats for this show; second row floor right next to the walkway from the stage entrance. My good friend Joel Tibbits and I walked all the way around the stage prior to the show to admire their equipment.
Just before the show started a roadie brought Chris Squire's Rickenbacker bass past us to the area below the stage, which made us very excited. Then the lights came down and the into music started and the entire group filed right past us to incredible applause. Having never seen Yes in concert I didn't know quite what to expect, but they were incredible! The eight man group play the songs with great feeling and flare, they clearly were not in it solely for the money. The moments where the classic lineup of Anderson, Squire, Bruford, Howe, & Wakeman played Long distance run around with the Fish were a dream come true.
We took pictures with 2 disposable cameras loaded with high ASA film for low light. A few turned alright.
The show went about 2.5 hours with a 15 minute intermission and was worth every penny. Here in Vancouver a prominent music critic named Tom Harrison had the nerve to criticize the group for stage clothes and the like, and overall trashed the show. Within days many angry readers who had been to the show sent in letters to the Vancouver Province slamming Tom's review, some of them even were printed. This was particularly satisfying.
I have seen many groups and artist live such as Rush, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, and Peter Gabriel among others and this show stands out in my memory as one of the best.