Summer 1994 North American Tour
June 18, 1994 - September 10, 1994
Until I actually held the 'Talk' CD in my hands, I had no idea who was going to be on this album. Without the help of the internet in those days, I'd read in USA Today or something that the album was coming out, but, they hadn't mentioned who was still in the band! Frankly, I was really hoping that it was still the eight man band from 'Union,' making a proper album - though, even in my ignorant bliss, I realized that this was wishful thinking at best.
I've since heard an interview with Jon done during his South American (I think?) tour in '92 or '93 (?) where he mentions that Tony Kaye AND Rick Wakeman are still in the band and that the music they're working on for the new album requires two keyboardists!
They had their production/stage manger under the drum riser on the Talk tour. His name was Robbie Eagle. He lives in Denver and has worked with King Crimson and the B-52s (I know weird combo). Also the Boxing Gandhi's. He played some keys, but mostly played sampled background tracks to fill in sound. Met him in Little Rock, AR through his brother John.
Yes will be introducing 'Concertsonics'. This will enable those sitting in certain areas to receive what they say is 'an exceptionally distinctive, high-quality mix of enhanced audio through a personal "Walkman Style" portable radio with headphones.' Unfortunately if you're sitting outside the main area then the sound may be slightly out of phase; since this is an experiment and Yes only recently received FCC approval to do this they were not able to sell tickets accordingly, so those who already have purchased tickets will not really know if they are sitting in the correct area. This is assembled in conjunction with longtime Yes sound associates Clair Bros Audio.
In addition there will be radio promotions where listeners can win tickets in these sections along with headphones and FM receivers.
Here's more info from the press release:
1. What exactly is Concertsonics?
An experimental broadcast of the show's live audio program. Ticket buyers in the pre-arranged section who have headphones and an FM receiver will be able to tune in and hear the special stereo broadcast of the show. They will experience a new dimension in sound unheard before in a live concert environment.
2. Which seats will receive this transmission?
Optimally, a designated section of seats approximately 25 feet deep by approximately 60 - 80 feet wide. Other areas may receive the broadcast but the audio time delay will only be correct for the designated area.
3. How much extra will it cost me to participate?
Nothing extra if you own the headsets and FM receiver or win them as part of a radio station promotion. The ticket price is not increased in any way for the qualifying sections.
4. Has anyone done this before?
No. Not in a concert hall environment.
5. Can I keep the headphones?
If you win the headphones and FM receiver they are yours to keep.
6. Why is Yes doing this?
Innovation has always been something that Yes has strived for. Yes are always interested in giving their audience production values never before experienced.
7. What can I expect?
Very clean audio with good stereo effects and almost no blurring of the sonics by the room and audience.
8. What if my tickets aren't in the headphone area?
You may still be able to hear the broadcast, but it may sound a little "echoey" or out of sync outside the designated area.
9. Am I obligated to listen to the whole show with the headphones?
No. The system is designated to enhance the show and may be used at your preference.
10. Do the headsets need to be exactly like the ones they are giving away on the radio?
The system will work best if the headsets match those issued by YES/The Radio Station, but others may work also. Generally, as a rule of thumb, superior quality earphones and receivers should be used such as a Sony SRF-M43 AM/FM Walkman Radio. If you use anything else, you are on your own. This is why we call this an experiment. As a minimum requirement, however, your receiver should have two AA batteries, not one.
11. Can I bring a boom box?
I heard on the radio this morning (as I was waking up, so forgive me for any misinformation in this post) that there will be a "special" mix broadcast over low power FM. Concert goers will either be given radio receivers and headphones or will be allowed to bring FM radios to listen to the special ix. This seems like a problem, having people bringing in their Walkmen into the concert hall and taping the "Special" mix right at the show! Also, it is unlikely, but they might have problems with the wireless guitar and bass systems that Rabin and Squire use. Finally, I think that the PA system will drown out anything you could hear in your headphones. I hazily remember the idea being that you could get a better sound out of the headphones than the PA. I can't imagine how they will get this to work successfully.
Is it me, or are the Yes ticket prices a bit high this tour?
Now, granted, it was 3 years ago, but when I saw Yes on the Yesshows '91 tour, tickets were $22.50. Not only was it a great price, but you had 8 members of Yes playing IN THE ROUND, a perfect show...
THIS time around, you have Yes-West, 90125-band, The Trevor Revue, Cinema, or *whatever* the hell you wanna call them, for $29.50!!! That seems *very* high, in my opinion. Are they not expecting to sell many tickets, and are therefore raising prices?
Maybe they are taking Pink Floyd's lead. When I saw Pink Floyd on April 22, tickets were $32.50 apiece, and that was for sub-par seats. Yes West can, by no means, be compared with Pink Floyd or, for that matter, the 8-member Union band.
*sigh* maybe they know that we'll pay for tickets no matter what, who knows.
Notes From The Edge
ALAN WHITE INTERVIEW by Mike Tiano
Copyright © 1994 Notes From The Edge #122/Jeff Hunnicutt and Mike Tiano.
All rights reserved.
(Used with permission)
MOT: The band on this last tour is the tightest I've seen in years, but despite this a lot of the venues didn't seem to sell that well from what we've heard from people on the Internet. Some online fans said they didn't know about the show until practically the last minute. Did the problem lie in promotion?
AW: I think we fell into a trap this year. The band has always been a steady selling kind of act, and obviously with tours like UNION where they want to see the spectacle of everybody playing together we sold a lot more tickets. We decided this time to do it with this format, so what I believe is we fell into the trap; there's been like five bands, you know, the Eagles, Pink Floyd, those kind of concerts that have been charging enormous figures for tickets, like eighty-five, a hundred dollars, and stuff like that. So we fell into the trap of the people, the extra people, other than the cult fans that come to our concerts, to see what the band is all about that couldn't afford it, basically. I think we ran into that pretty much right through the tour. Funnily enough in South America the band did great, and in Japan the band did great too. Plus in Japan we played a couple of new areas we'd never played before which were kind of a little bit slack, but most of the gigs there were very good because the album did very well in Japan. But I think we fell into the trap of just too many people out in the market and they could only decide to go to a certain amount of concerts that year, and I think a lot of Yes fans came and enjoyed what we were doing. But it was slack, we must admit that, but apparently we were doing same or if not better business than a lot of bands that were out at the same time. But obviously we like to see the places full.
MOT: What about those fans who say they didn't know about the show until close to show date?
AW: That confuses me because it's not our job and we hear these things all the time, that on the business end of things people are not doing their job, and it's usually the local promoters that that is allocated to, and if they see that a concert is going to do this much business because they see what the reaction is to the tickets going on sale sometimes instead of putting more money into it they just don't put any money into it because they knew the nature and the climate of what the business was like that summer, and they all talk to each other, all of these promoters. So once you see these guys talking to each other and stuff like that, and they say, 'Well, it's a little slack on Yes, and do I spend more money here, or do I not spend any money,' kind of thing, and I think we fell into that trap too, this summer.
MOT: Do you think it affected the band, seeing these venues weren't all that full?
AW: No. I don't think it affected the band at all because every night the band played as tight and had a good time on stage because this band doesn't get affected by things like a lack of audience. Most nights you know you see if it's a half house or something like that, that's fine for us; it's when it's like 800 people we start getting worried, or something like that, but it's never really been like that, we always play to the full because I think everybody in the band has a reputation individually and a standard to live up to between each other and collectively together towards the public that has to be respected so I think every night we come up with a good...so, no, I don't think it affected us. I think Jon got a little, kind of dismayed about some of the lack of attendances at one time, but at the same time he was totally, every night he was there singing and he's totally into the band from this tour; I mean he's totally into everybody's playing and everything the band was doing collectively together.