Fifteen years ago today...Beautiful, hot summer day, and my plans for an out-of-town trip changed last minute. I went to Sewickley to buy a pair of shoes and then remembered Yes was in town. I drove down to the amphitheatre (? - a parking lot with a stage and folding chairs alongside railroad tracks) to try to catch the sound check, but they weren't doing one that day. I walked right into the venue and spent the rest of the afternoon talking to one of the Clair Bros. - just sort of overlooked the buying-a-ticket part. High points: a bird flew onto Igor Khoroshev's live mic shortly after I arrived and serenaded us through the PA for a few minutes; the sound guy repeatedly tried to drown out the freight trains that passed right by the venue during the afternoon with blasts of white noise; meeting Igor & Billy Sherwood during the Alan Parsons Project set. They both had amazingly bloodshot eyes and seemed incapable of uttering much more than a few guttural syllables: I expected them both to be too stoned to play, but Igor proved me wrong. Billy, on the other hand, really came off as a fifth wheel on this tour. Low point (aside from Billy;) the APP was the epitome of underwhelming opening acts. They were about as exciting as watching soil erode.
Odd that the outdoor concert they played on this tour is not mentioned in the tour list. Maybe that is what Jon meant when he said,"Catch you next time".... Here is my recollection of the evening on the river side in Pittsburgh, PA.... @1997 IC LITE outdoor pavillion, Pittsburgh, PA..OYE'S tour(Opener..Alan Parsons Project) After Alan Parsons's gtr player blew up the right side of the PA with an out of control compessor, Yes came out after the repair. This concert was stange as it had Billy Sherwood and Igor for the first time. They only did one song off the OYE's album, and Chris's bass was huge, as we were right in front of the stage right speaker stack. stack. However , many classic YES songs were done that I had never heard them play until then. Main attraction were the two great looking babes I saw that turned out to be men in women's clothes..(ahem...)oh well, YES fans...gotta love em!
I wish I'd taken notes on the setlist, because it was in a different order, as well as it least one change I noticed...they played America tonight. The boys were in good form tonight, quite tight, pretty enthusiastic, and the audience was really going nuts. Close to the Edge was ok, but they really need to work on it. Yours is no Disgrace was done quite well tho. One thing that amused me was that the audience seemed pretty cold on Rhythm of Love, but really got into Owner. The mix was very different this time around. Igor came through loud and clear this time, which worked great except for his major screw-up on YIND. He got behind and didn't really catch up until the next verse. Billy also was much easier to hear this time around, and it may be just my perception, but it seemed that he was handling a lot more this time around. One thing that suprised me was the age of the audience. When I saw them last fall, it was mostly older people like me. But this time around there were LOTS of younger people. I think that's really great. This time around they actually did promote the concert, and it showed. The place had to be close to capacity, I saw very few empty seats. Anyway, that's my take, an excellent show....one I'd see five nights a week if I could....but what do I know??