Had just returned from Puerto Rico visiting my father when I heard that the band was getting back together for this Union tour.Quickly bought the cassette and the tickets and played it over 20 times in 2 days to gat familiar with the tunes.Even though the Orlando Arena is a toilet bowl in a funky neighborhood I looked forward to this.I grew up in a Bronx slum so it felt like being home again.Show actually kicked ass.I didn't feel it was a train wreck with congestion as Rabin had suggested some of the shows were and was actually happy to see Wakeman stagger onto the stage to play for us despite his illness. 3 things I recall after downing 6 Coronas in the parking lot were Rabin playing a little Deliverance music acoustically for these hillbillies,my wife screaming when Buford shook his ass during the drum solo with White after the intermission(excellent playing by both-but Bill's Kung Fu pants had to go !)and me actually gettin a lump in my throat and tearing a bit during Awaken-especially when Jon was handed the harp from underneath the stage-just like 13 years ago.When the lights went on I sat there and thought about my past and the joy these guys have given me over the years-as a youth,and now as a dad.
I caught the Yes show in Orlando on Sun. July 7, I had 11th row floor seats and had a fantastic view. I've seen Yes on every Florida tour since 1973 and have been a fan since 1971. I can only say that the show lived up to my wildest expectations, a truly memorable experience in more ways than one
The show was 3 hours with a 15 minute intermission.
The show was prefixed with the announcement that Rick Wakeman was ill and would not play which put a damper on my expectations, but the band came out and started the concert with some of the songs that wouldn't miss Wakeman's Keyboards to much. Wakeman must not have wanted to disappoint his fans, and his bandmates so he made his entrance just before "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" to a thunderous ovation and smiles of pleasure from the band which lifted everyones spirits. Every one, including Rick, played their hearts out to a jubilant crowd. We could have sat through another 3 hours because it seemed to go too fast.
I was truly impressed with the show and with their eagerness to please the audience. After the show in an effort to find the band, I did get to meet Steve Howe in the Lobby of The Omni Hotel where some of the Band Members were staying. I was able to speak to him for a few minutes as he was giving autographs. I told him how much I enjoyed his music, and the Bands, and that I have followed his career since the early seventies. Steve said that his solo album "Turbulence" would be out later this month. Meeting Steve and getting his Autograph was highlight of a great evening of music.
Here's a little bit about the show in Orlando on July 7.
Before the show someone anounced that there was good and bad news: the bad news being that Wakeman had a heatstroke and wouldn't play, the good news being they would still pay the show. We were freaking out trying to figure out how they were going to do the show without Wakeman. They came out without him and played Disgrace, Rhythm Of Love, and Shock to the System, a la the first leg. Then they played "Your Move," saying again they were recording. Then at the beginning of "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" Rick made a triumphant entrance to the orgasm of everyone in the place. The rest of the show was great, but they playing nothing different from the first leg, only in a different order. The differences were: "Hold On" was after the drum duo, they did Changes minus the Kaye solo (he was introduced but just played the regulate Changes intro). No Starship Trooper.
But don't give up hope for the second leg. Bruford said on Rockline that they'd be playing different stuff. I was a little disappointed, having already seen the first leg, but Rick's return was so exciting they were all so psyched, that it was a great show. I'm really hoping for a review of the 2nd leg to see if they are playing different stuff, but didn't that night 'cause they were freaking out about Rick's problem.