20 years, 6 months and 27 days ago
Thursday, October 31, 2002
University Park, Pennsylvania
Bryce Jordon Center
Well last night was my first Yes show ever...it was honestly the most amazing experience of my life...
Me being a Penn State Student, I don't believe that Bryce Jordan Center was the best venue to have this show at...the acoustics there are very good, but it has more seating than really needed for a show. There were about 2,000 at the show...(16,000 max seating), the floor seating was filled up, the stands were pretty sparse though. I didn't expect this show to sell really well. The crowd was mostly between the ages of 35 and 50(only saw a few PSU students there). There is another very good venue on campus, Eisenhower Auditorium, which seats about 3,000...however, the somewhat low turnout didn't ruin a great night...
The show: It was amazing! Here was the setlist to best I recollect:
Don't Kill the Whale
Close to the Edge
In the Presence Of
We Have Heaven
South Side of the Sky
Steve Solo Spot
Rick Wakeman Solo(including And You and I)
Heart of the Sunrise
The Fish/Tempus Fugit/On The Silent Wings of Freedom(no LDR)
Overall the playing was excellent, there were two flubs...Siberian Khatru seemed to get briefly mangled, but they found their place again. Heart of the Sunrise also got a slight jumbled in the middle, but once again the band recovered nicely. The song highlights of the night: basically all of them. I especially loved the interplay between Steve and Rick at the end of South Side of the Sky, and Don't Kill the Whale rocked harder than I have ever heard it rock. The band looked like they were definitely having a lot of fun even with the sparse crowd. Squire showed such incredible energy during his solo. Jon before his solo spot asked the audience if anybody had a birthday today, then he asked if anybody had an anniversary, and kinda sang a little happy birthday/anniversary thing by himself. Since it was halloween, there were quite a few people dressed for the occasion, including me and my friend(both wearing early 70's garb). Noticeably there was a man who went as rick wakeman(long hair, silver cape and all)...
The even better part happened after the show...me and my friend decided to see if we could meet the band...we went around back, and there were oddly only two other people waiting to see the band...after about an hour, Rick came out...he came over to the fence, talked with us briefly, and signed autographs, including my tour program...he was a very nice, appreciate down to earth person. About 10 minutes later, Steve Howe's car was pulling out of the venue, but it stopped, and Howe briefly talked to us, and signed our stuff. Then not long after, the remaining members of the van were being driven out in a Penn State van, and they too were nice enough to stop the car, open the doors, and talk with us and sign autographs. Alan White and Chris Squire also signed autographs for us...I got to shake Chris Squire's and Alan White's hand and briefly talk to both. I also got to shake Jon Anderson's hand...two of the guys iwth me got autographs from him, but I just missed out. One other interesting thing, my female friend was very cold, and Squire ended up rubbing her hands for a couple minutes to warm her up. Squire seemed like a kinda humorous, but very nice guy. Here I was, out in the 25 degree night, at the time, having given my long sleeved 60's shirt to my female friend to wear to stay warm, just in a t-shirt. But hell, it was worth it for the night of my life. :-) The experience made my friend a bigger yes fan than ever...
Overall, it's amazing that the first time I ever saw a band, they played amazingly, entertained well, and also were very good to their fans. I honestly think that Yes will probably stick to the venues near major cities in the future due to the so-so turnout of last night...but I'd honestly like to thank th
Just wanted to report on the State College show last night. For anybody that was there, I was the guy with the pink hair in the 7th row on the floor! Maybe you saw me because there were only about 1300 people in a 16,000 person arena!!!
The show was really good, though I have to admit I expected to hear a bit more solo work from Rick. That was a surprise, but some of the choices for this show were outstanding! Nice to hear some less common stuff.
It was kind of depressing to see so few people there, but it was to be expected. It was tough to not feel embarassed for State College for the poor showing. It was so quiet you could yell to John and he'd respond. I hope they weren't too disappointed in the crowd, but I personally did the best I could!
Probably the best performance of Awaken that I've seen in a loooong time! The small crowd probably helped there.
I'd love to hear what others though of the show.
All those many years ago....
The last YES show I attended I think was 1981. I went every year from 77 through that time multiple shows per year. Remember "IN THE ROUND"? I still have flashbacks when I get on a merry go round with my kids. Anyway, I was on business at Penn State and got a ticket to go and at first was dissappointed - the crowd was very small reminded me of a high school dance. Not the crowds I remember at the sold out Spectrum in Phila. I was concerned that my middle age spread and graying hair would stick out among the college crowd and didn't want a 19 year old puking cheap wine next to me.
That thought vanished when I was one among many middle aged rockers. A little older, a little wiser, a little sober and money in my pocket to by a ice cream and a botle of water and sit back and enjoy 5 gifted musicians perform their craft.
The crowd may have been small in quantity but large in quality - true fans of the music and the way it was performed. The opening stumbled a bit (it was Halloween) but as the night progressed the music wisked me back to yesterdays and many fond memories. I wish I could remember the song list but the mind is the first thing to go and the 70's helped it get on the express bus!!! I can tell you the Awaken gave me chills and I had a tear in my eye CTTE and SSOS were "solid" to coin a 70's phrase!
My wife and I will be attending the Akron show - a much smaller venue which I think the band will enjoy as well. That's my story and I am sticking to it.