I was at this show and its really a shame that thanks to Sears they tore down the only decent outdoor venue in chicago - that being Poplar Creek. It was a warm late summer night and about six of us were piled into a friend's van. It was my first time seeing Rick and Steve back where they belonged. By the way Tony Levin was unreal. He had the crimson three of a perfect pair yellow bass with the album logo on the back of it. Levin is amazing and I'm really sorry we didn't get a second ABWH album and instead got the horrid onion album as Rick likes to call it. Jon started walking down the isles from the back of the house shaking hands and singing Time and a Word...when steve came out the crowd went absolutely nuts...and then rick with those wild red converse shoes as I'm sure everyone has seen on the video. Rick was in top form. But the real surprise was Bill - the Krimsoid drumming style and new techniques he was now using were fantastic and helped to stretch the new 'yes' sound. I know Chris and Alan love to slag the ABWH record but its really the only yes album from the eighties - the music is fresh and has soaring melodies and goes places...instead of the BG crap. I think that really made the show because the guys were determined to play the newer pieces right along side the classics. Bill's solo during LDR was great and he really stretched out. It's too bad Jeff Berlin had to sub for Tony Levin on the DVD because Levin was not only phenom he was also extremely animated. He and Bill did sort of a duet jam piece at some point during the show which is not on the DVD from Mountain View because of Tony's absense from the gig. But overall a fantastic gig along with a new Dean stage set. CTTE was great with dry ice flowing all over the stage. I'd rate this in my top 5 of yes gigs...
This was my first ever Yes show and it still is one of the most memorable to me for two reasons: the spectacular musical performance and almost dying of dehydration out on the lawn. I forgot my wallet in the car and couldn't get a drink of anything for the entire show because my buddy had spent all his money covering the parking fee on the way in. To make matters unbearable on that hot summer day, we both smoked like crazy and the few pathetic water fountains in Poplar Creek were out of order. What a couple of stupid 18 year old kids we were!
We got there late after I spaced out at the wheel, missed a highway exit, and didn't realize it for about 20 minutes or so. Even though we'd left in plenty of time, we got to Poplar Creek in time to miss all of Jon's solo to start the show - bummer! By the time we got out onto the lawn Steve was onstage doing "Clap." Since I wasn't yet a huge Yes fan, I hadn't bought any tickets until the day before the show when all that was left were lawn seats.
We were so far away that the guys on stage looked like ants, but the sight of the stage as a whole and the sound was perfect from our vantage point. I believe that might have been the last time Roger Dean did the stage for a Yes show up until the 2004 Tour.
There's no way to know for sure now, but I think they were really on that night. Everything was crisp and my lasting impression is that this show was way better than the one that appeared on the "Evening of Yes Music Plus" video and CD. The highlights for me were all the solos to start the show (Bruford's electronic drums were fascinating), And You And I, HOTS and Close to the Edge (no smoke in I Get Up, I Get Down ever since - how come?). At the time I was thinking that Tony Levin was so good that Chris Squire didn't matter. Years later I realized that that idea was naive after closely studying the ABWH concert video with the glaring weaknesses in the background vocals due to his absence and the sterile, studio-musician style bass playing with a complete lack of stage presence. But Jeff Berlin did save the tour and deserves eternal credit for it from all Yes fans.
The crowd was more energized than on any tours since then. After a decade of the Buggles and Yeswest, Yes fans were thirsting for the classics to be played by the Troopers. I think a lot of people thought it was like hearing the material for the first time again.
This tour and the beautiful Blue Desert album cover had a unique freshness to them. The brief ABWH stint is still such an uplifting period in Yes history for me.
I saw the ABWH show at Poplar creek. The opening was great with Jon coming out of the sound pit singing Time and a Word, the acoustic version of Owner was a bit of a surprize as well as Close to The Edge with Levin on bass.
This is the Chicago show; Poplar Creek is an outdoor theater in the suburbs that has since been torn down.
before 'Meeting, The'
transcribed by: Pete Whipple
Jon Anderson: It's like..uh..like a sounding board when the energy from the audience is matching the music that is coming up, you see? Woo! Takes us sorta..uh..an amount of preparation and traveling to get to this moment in time you see? Here we are. One of the great things about making music together again is that we are traveling around America and meeting a lot people again who enjoy what we're doing. You see, see we..we believe in it as well you see? It's one of the things that..uh happened when we were making the album..uh we were very fortunate to be on a very beautiful island making..uh the course of the album and..um it's just wha..YEAH CHICAGO C'MON! So this very lazy afternoon we wrote this song. It relates to us guys getting together again and us guys getting together again. The song is called 'The Meeting'.