D.A - I/M THE WURM FROM THE 10/28/78 SHOW. I READ WHAT YOU SAID THERE ABOUT MY COMMENTS. THANKS FOR THAT. AMAZING, I WAS AT THIS SHOW. I WENT WITH 2 FRIENDS FROM MIAMI, FL. WE PASSED UP ON THE WHO IN MIAMI TO DRIVE UP TO THIS. ANYWAY, YOUR COMMENTS THE ABOUT POST AND PRE 1979 YES ARE RIGHT ON THE MONEY. I COULDN'T HAVE SAID IT BETTER MYSELF. I WAS AT THE LAST REAL YESSHOW 6/30/79. SINCE THEN I HAVE SSEN THEM 47 TIMES IN 27 PLACES. 1984, 1988, 1989 (ABWH) 1991, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004. ALL THOSE ADDED UP TOGETHER DON'T EQUAL 6/30/79. CHECK MINE AND SOME OTHER REVIEWS OF THAT SHOW ON THIS SITE. CASE CLOSED. THE MEOLDIES ARE THERE, BUT AS YOU SAY MANY ELEMENTS MISSING. SOME GUY GAVE ME A HARD TIME ON ANOTHER REVIEW WHEN I WROTE THAT THE MELODIES ARE THERE, BUT THE MIND BOGGLING MUSICIANSHIP SND SOUND SYSTEM ARE GONE. IT MAKES ME LAUGH WHEN I READ SOME PEOPLE SAYING THAT THE SHOW THEY SAW IN 2002 WAS AS GOOD AS 1974. HA HA HA. THOSE PEOPLE ARE FOOLING THEMSELVES.
D. A. Payne
An interesting contrast of perspectives below. Mine falls somewhere between them.
I "discovered" Yes in '77 and was fortunate enough to see them in '78, just prior to the end of their Golden Age [see Tormato Tour/Greensboro, NC 9/14/78]. Anyone who experienced Yes live between '72 and '79 knows post-'79 Yes encounters HAVE to be measured by that standard. Adverbs like "arguably" and "undoubtedly" simply do not apply.
I have seen Yes in its variously diluted forms since - in fact every tour from 9012dive through Masterworks. None had the power, energy, ambience or consciousness of that long-ago night in '78. They all had aspects or components of it, but never the full package. Some did capture more of it than others, however: Masterworks, Union, Big Generator and Talk [both surprisingly], and ABWH.
ABWH this night had plenty of Yes' '70s energy and excitement, though some of it potential rather than actual. They were compromised by an outdoor venue heavily fettered with suburban noise ordinances and some unfortunate design compromises. Complaints of a poor sound mix result largely from imposed volume restrictions, which prevented the ensemble from effectively overcoming Chastain Park's weird [though probably not disastrous] acoustics. Glitches inevitable with any tour's opening gigs didn't help.
ABWH as a lineup couldn't help but deliver the kind of brilliance, virtuosity, energy, and very presence we remember Yes for in the 70s. Deliver they did despite problems mentioned above. Opening with solos was absolute genius and a great way to hook casual attendees not very familiar with Yes [Bruford as I recall played his solo unattached and prior to LDR, not subsequent and grafted onto it as he did in all later shows]. Tony Levin was a perfect addition - I would be just as happy to see him in Yes now as Chris Squire. Overall it was a fabulous performance, inspiring much of the Yes Awe we once knew so well [sorry].
Sadly, most of the new material didn't work as well live as ABWH's reworkings of older pieces. CTTE, AYAI and AGP were all stunning in their new interpretations, arrangements and performance. That ABWH's version of AGP was dropped from "Evening of Yes Music Plus" and never repeated on subsequent tours is unfathomable - it was at least in one section completely rewritten and INCREDIBLE [and I am otherwise tired of AGP after the kajillionth hearing].
To me the concert's lowpoint was "Order of the Universe". In studio it was a lofty and thunderous piece, worthy of comparison to the 1812 Overture, but it simply fell flat when attempted live. The vocals were particularly horrible. Later I heard several recordings from the tour and in them it sounded even worse - I'm never far from the skip button when Order approaches on Evening of YMP. "Themes" never seemed to work very well live either, though like Order its studio version was full and magnificent [fuck the disc's critics - most critics are nothing but failed politicians].
Overall a great concert. Could have been improved in some ways but definitely one of my better Yes memories.
All the best to AWHWS in 2002!
This was my first "YES" experience. I had only gotten interested in the band because of Rick Wakeman whose music I'd been listening to since'76. My girlfriend got me tickets to this show on the sly,and it was the best gift I've ever recieved.
The whole show was surreal.I had never experienced such musicianship in a live performance.I was there primarily to see Rick,but was blown away by everyone,especially Tony Levin.It was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. I snuck in a camera,and got some superb shots of the show.
I highly recommend the vhs of this show(the dvd is IMPOSSIBLE to find,God knows I've tried).
After seeing Yes in concert for the first time during the Big Generator tour, I was eager to see Yes in concert again. Needless to say, I was terribly disappointed to hear that Jon had left the band to form ABWH. However being a fan of both the old and new music, I decided to give this lineup a chance even though I was not impressed with the ABWH album. After all, I wanted to see and hear for myself what all the "Classic" Yes fans were getting so excited about.
Unfortunately, this concert was one of the worst concert experiences of my life, but I can't entirely blame the band for this. First of all, Chastain Park was the worst choice of venue for the serious Yes fan. Tickets are sold on a season ticket basis, meaning that the best seats were grabbed up the rich, casual concert go-ers of Atlanta that can afford the exclusive table seats for eight up front. The real fans were stuck way in the back on the uncomfortable stone seats.
I can only judge part of the concert because I missed almost half the show thanks to an incredibly dumb date that didn't realize he was supposed to pick me up. After ditching him, I called a friend of mine to accompany me. Neither of us knew how to get to Chastain, so we wasted even more time stopping to ask directions. When we finally found the amphitheater, we couldn't find a decent place to park. We made it to the show one song before intermission.
After all that I went through to get to the show, I was somewhat disappointed with the music. Wakeman's keyboards were so loud and overbearing that you could barely hear Howe's guitar playing. Hearing Howe perform live was the main reason that I wanted to see this show. I remember many of us in the distant cheap seats yelling for Howe to turn up the volume on his guitar.
Overall, the music was enjoyable but it ranks at the bottom of the list of all the Yes concerts I have been to since then. I became a Yes fan during the '80's, so a concert without some of the music from that period seems incomplete for me. Maybe that's what made the Union tour a success. It was the best of both worlds!