Jon gets completely lost during the middle of AYAI. Wakeman is roaring with laughter and almost falling down. Jon glances over at Rick and they both start laughing even harder.
A truly amazing night, but not for the reasons you'd expect! This was the third of 3 shows that I was able to catch on the tour. The first two were interesting in that they were among the first shows that Jeff Berlin replaced Tony Levin, and this was the first show where he wasn't reading charts (at least that I could see). His efforts were a true testament to his superb musicianship. I can't think of too many guys who could play bass with their left hand, a keyboard with their right and bass pedals with one foot, all while reading a chart of "Close To The Edge"! My only complaint about Jeff is that his tone was totally inappropriate for the music. Tony Levin's work on both ABWH and Union is truly noteworthy in that he captures the spirit and sound of Chris's work. As for this concert, it was amazing in that the band made numerous big mistakes! Jon actually forgot the words to "And You And I"...he ended up blaming it on the trees surrounding the concert site! During "Long Distance Runaround" Rick changed keys before he was supposed to, ending up in a polychromatic cacophony that took everyone by surprise. Most noticeable, albeit somewhat forgivable, was Jeff Berlin's gaffe in "Heart Of The Sunrise". In the middle of the piece, the bass plays 4 notes by itself, and Jeff missed all 4 of them! I think he put away his charts a bit too soon. Seeing as the next night's show was the pay-per-view from Shoreline Amphitheatre, I can only surmise that the guys were getting all the goofs out of their system.
Another highlight of the ABWH show was my opportunity to get reacquainted with Rick Wakeman. I had met him many years previously when Jon Anderson invited a few of us into the soundcheck for the Tormato tour at the Tarrant County Convention Center in Ft. Worth, Texas. He proved to be an extremely warm and genuine chap then, and he was the same when I presented my business card to him in Santa Barbara and reminded him that I was the kid who was constantly bugging them during their trips through Texas.