YesFest '94 was held at Manhattan Center in New York City, New York on Friday and Saturday, September 9 and 10, 1994.
Monday, July 27, 2015 3:02 PM
This was the second of the three concerts I attended on the US leg of the ‘Talk’ tour. Along with Gary Maucher, Jeff Hunnicutt, Suzanne Cerquone and others (including a really interesting musician I sat next to, talking about everything from Motown and the classics through to Coltrane and Miles Davis!) I was on what Gary accurately describes in his review as the “bumpy, rickety school bus ride from the Hotel Penn to the New Haven Civic Center and back again.”
In fact the YesFest ’94 crew on that fragile yellow vehicle almost didn’t make it to the gig. Apart from arriving late for departure, the driver got slightly ‘detoured’ en route, having no map in his possession! The poor guy ended up getting plenty of hearty advice on his speed and direction, accompanied by sighs and cheers as he fitfully found his way to the venue.
Eventually, to our enormous relief, we piled into our seats just as Yes were hitting the stage, and I was delighted to find myself only five rows back in the front centre stalls, slightly on Chris Squire’s side. Other people have complained that the sound was poor and the hall half empty. From where I was situated it was buzzing, and the acoustic was great. Those bass pedals shook my soul. I was so swept away that I even found myself enjoying ‘Walls’ (the track on ‘Talk’ which seems most out of place, somehow – but if there is a West Coast Yes country-rock style, I suppose this is it...). I think it was Jon Anderson’s soaring vocal on the final stretch that elevates the song to a moment of real Yesdom.
I also recall thinking that ‘Endless Dream’ (which I really enjoy) doesn’t come across quite as cohesively as on the album. But all-in-all this was another very positive Yes experience. That bus was a bone shaker. But this concert was worth every uncomfortably jarred limb.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 8:35 PM
Well, lets' see what I can remember almost 20 years after seeing this show. I was given free tickets. thank goodness for that. I went with a close friend. brought my cassette recorder, just to capture the show for myself. The floor was filled, and the first level seats were half empty. I actually sat in fold out chairs with a wooden table in front of me, right above of the entrance ways. Anyway. The concert was being broadcast in close circuit radio. which means if you had a portable radio with you that could record onto cassette, you would be able to tape the show. a few years later I did find a cassette copy of the radio broadcast. I no longer have those tapes and traded them away. though I do have my audience tapes. Alright, I'm not a fan of YES at all. and the maybe because the venue was half empty made that quadrophonic system even sound worse. It was the worse sounding concert I've ever attended and it actually hurt my ears to listen to it and I had wished I had brought ear plugs with me., I ended up putting my fingers in my ears just to tolerate the sound, It was painfully awful. we left before the encore and I wished I had never gone, worst concert ever... though I wish I would have kept my FM tapes from the show, the tapes sounded perfect.
i was at this show. it was my 3rd or 4th concert, ever. i was 16 years old. i love YES and at the time, didnt know any better. the TALK album sonically is amazing. it sounds like it was recorded on a computer, no doubt. so who has a recording of this show? or any show from the tour? let me know email@example.com ps. i remember this show being in quadrophonic sound. i mean trevor rabins guitar was litterarlly swirling around the room.
Of the 7 Yes concerts I've been to between 1978-2000, the show I saw on the Talk tour (New Haven CT) was my least favorite. The sound system was not mixed properly for the venue, which tended to sound tinny. Jon's vocals were mixed so far foward that there were times I wished he would stop singing.I'm sure a properly mixed recording of the New Haven show would reveal that Jon, Chris, Trevor, Billy, Tony and Alan were indeed performing well. I wish I could have heard it that way. The show even began with a let down. They opened the show with "Perpetual Change", but only played it as a brief instrumental intro to "The Calling". The best parts of the show for me were "Hearts", "And You And I", "Real Love" and "Starship Trooper". The surprise of the night was "Roundabout" leading right into "Purple Haze".
The local classic rock station had been playing "The Calling" quite a lot and I had bought "Talk" (which I liked - and still do!), but I only found out about this concert about two weeks before the date - I was surprised that I could get tickets.
When my wife and I arrived at the Coliseum we thought we must have got the wrong night - no trouble getting in the car park and very few people around. As the time arrived for the gig to start and we made our way to our seats, I realised how badly this tour had been promoted - the place was half-empty!
At one point we were dancing (to "I've Seen All Good People") and we waved to Jon and he waved back - we know it was to us, as we were the only ones sitting in that section!
Despite the lack of people Yes put on a great concert, but I was particularly struck by a couple of things.
Firstly, who was this guy Billy Sherwood? (Well, now we know).
Secondly, I was never a great fan of Tony Kaye (too much time spent with one hand in the air), but I was amazed when a keyboard was wheeled on for Trevor to play - at the time it made me wonder, didn't the band think much of Tony's playing either?
As was Jeff Hunnicutt, I was on the bumpy, rickety school bus ride from the Hotel Penn to the New Haven Civic Center and back again. The bus arrived at the hotel over an hour late...even though all of us had to pay $10 or so to ride it to New Haven. We got there just in time, and I had incredible 3rd row seats right in front of Chris Squire. Chris saw how much I was enjoying the show, and he looked at me and pointed and smiled.
I was satisfied to get a ticket at some distance for the New Haven show a week from tonight. Having seen the opening show in Binghamton from up close, I want to watch and listen *as well as* freak out this time. I am excited for the show -- it has been a while, and listening to you all talk about extensions of solos is intriguing me. It looks like there is some improv going on there ...will they be resting in those days of 9/6,7,8 or rehearsing (as the tour date list suggests) maybe cobbling together a new tune or two?
The ad for the show mentions "intimate theater seating" which I assume is what we got in Binghamton: the stage moved up so the building doesn't seem quite so empty.
Anyway, I am trying to deal with the attendance/record sales problem ... it doesn't seem right that Yes should become a theater-tour sized band, and I was sure "Walls" was going to do the Top 40 thang but I suppose not. Still, I have to say and would say to the band if given the chance, that I think they took the right road in betting all on the strength of the new album. TALK is my first occasion to go see a Yes tour for the sake of the new music, and mighty music it is.
Selling 3-5,000 tickets is not the worst thing in the world, and although I realize that successes like Owner of a Lonely Heart have kept the band interested in being Yes, fortunes change. They are still a commercially viable unit, and it's more or less on their own terms. Playing new material even in a theater speaks more for long term survival than playing all old stuff in an arena. I'd still like to see more diversity among the selections from the classic period (after all, there were five albums from '73 to '80 that aren't mentioned this year), but the basic philosophy should be: press on.
I'm really quite overwhelmed by the events of the past week. I went to Yesfest in New York, explored New York, and saw Yes in New Haven and MSG. Both shows knocked me out. Another fine memory has to be the bumpy bus ride to New Haven without a minute to spare!