This was the first time for me to see Yes. I had graduated high school the previous month, and I had been listening to the Union CD constantly during my senior year. That album appealed to me in the sense that the Fragile/Close To The Edge lineup played some of the songs on the album and the 90125/Big Generator lineup played the others. Needless to say I was super excited to go see a band I had been worshipping since "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" was being played on the radio. As a matter of fact, my brother and I had that song on a 45" record. At the show, depending on the song, only the Fragile lineup would play and vice versa. However, there were songs like "Lift Me Up," "Awaken," and "Yours Is No Disgrace," when all eight members were on the same stage. Being a drummer myself, the obvious highlight was the drum duet between Bill Bruford and Alan White. Utterly amazing! Bruford's drumkit was all electronic, while Alan's was acoustic. They weren't the only ones with memorable solos: Steve Howe (The Clap/Mood For A Day), Rick Wakeman (Catherine The Great, Merlin The Magician), and Chris Squire (The Fish/Amazing Grace) all had awesome solos. I think they ended the show with "Awaken." Actually they ended with "Roundabout." For those of you who are familiar with the 10+ minute masterpiece from the "Going For The One" album, you would've probably felt very similar to me, like they were purposefully trying to blow my mind with the middle part that's very moody and provoking as only Yes can do it. I walked out of there feeling like I had just got stoned but I was sober as a judge. A true natural high! One last thing in case ya'll forgot, this was the Yes supergroup. They had two drummers: Bill Bruford & Alan White. They had two keyboardists: Rick Wakeman & Tony Kaye. We can't forget about the two guitarists: Steve Howe & Trevor Rabin. Rounding out numbers seven & eight were: Jon Anderson on lead vocals, and Chris Squire on his mighty Rickenbacher bass. Great show!
I too was at this show. I got to the venue about 3:00 in the afternoon, and hung out with the back gate guard all day long, even went and got him beer(i was only 18 at the time). so i wanted to meet the band as they came in through the gate. Well the only one that didn't come in a tinted limo was Steve Howe (He was in a Mercedes station wagon), so i got to meet him and get his autogragh (which was weird because he refused at first thinking i wanted something else?) So hangin out with the back gate guy paid off. I had pretty good seats, but when the gate guy came and got me, he took me right in front of Trevor, and said "behave yourself and you can stay here all night". So i did and watched a incredible show which i am proud to say was my first Yes show. The moment i remember most is the two drummers playing on And You and I had such an incredible groove. A night (day) to remember
This Atlanta show remains the only YES show i've ever seen. I was in high school and had just recently been turned on to the music of YES. As an example of my YES infancy, i thought that the Trevor on Drama and the Trevor on 90125 were the same man!
Five of us, not the best buddies but united in our interest in this music, spent at least an hour and a half on crowded public transportation getting to this show. One of my friends had strict Catholic parents who claimed that "Jesus doesn't like the African back-beat" and had to lie to get to this show. Our seats weren't the best, but they did the trick; this show was not in the round, as the Lakewood is a huge outside ampitheatre. I do remember it being a full house, though -- even the lawn was packed.
Being a new fan, i didn't have any Rabin/Howe, Kaye/Wakeman, or White/Bruford opinions. It was just a band. A great band! I remember the opening lines to "Yours Is No Disgrace." It blew me away! It was loud, tight, and grooving, with Howe's lines coming out brighter and clearer than on record. Recalling that moment gives me chills!
Rabin's solo was technically impressive, and i remember a lot of communication between he and Wakeman. Your set list puzzles me. There was definitely a Tony Kaye solo, before "Changes" prabably. It was pleasant enough. He (or his techs) got a very real piano sound out of his keyboards. But Rabin must have done a little something between "Lift Me Up" and Wakeman's solo, because i remember a blindingly fast guitar riff that Wakeman took over and led into his solo. Yes, i remember some hiddeous thing that Wakeman did at the end of "Owner" but fortunately i can't explicitly recall it! Also, the drum duet had a definite Genesis sound to it, undoubtedly something that Bruford picked up along the way.
I remember some oaf behind me spilling his beer all over my tour book. I turned around and said, "how'd ya like to buy me a new tour book?" He was so drunk that i was actually impressed. He smiled at me sheepishly and said, "uh...mmm...no...huh,huh."
Hearing "Awaken" at this concert solidified the piece as (to me anyway) a true work of art, especially lyrically. Every listening i've done of the record since this concert acts as a reminder of this amazing performance. There was a threat of rain that evening, but it never materialized, remaining overcast for most of the evening. Finally, the clouds parted to the Heavenly Host just as Anderson sang "as eyes see young stars assemble" pointing skyward. The audience went wild with joy. I almost cried. My girlfriend thinks i'm a freak for liking this music, but that moment alone would be justification enough for anyone.
When the band came back after intermission, my friends and i went down to the front section and started singing the cha-cha-cha part from "Sound Chaser." Our goal was to get them to play it. I see now that it was a futile gesture, as it seems everything was pretty well structured for that tour. I would love to have heard anything off my favorite YES album, 'Relayer.' But i guess Wakeman doesn't play 'Relayer' and Jon doesn't sing 'Drama.' It's too bad, really. I mean, what's their point? If anyone has a right to veto a song, it's Squire.
Having turned 18 just days before, this show was a musical coming-of-age for me.
I'm looking for the guy who was in front of me in '91 at Lakewood Amphitheatre in Atlanta, GA during the Union tour. He kept standing up after every fucking song and yelling, "OUTSTANDING!" During the intermission, he told us to go to K-mart and pick up some Jon Anderson solo shit because "it fuckin-A rocks." If you are that guy, you are really really odd. You're the only person I know who would BEG for Starship Trooper.