To Mr. Crowe and Mr. Heck, I was at that concert and sat front row. I have some incredible pictures, I was standing right next to the Times photographer as these brilliant musicians circled in the round, posing, as it seemed, for us. I have been an avid follower of Yes since the Forum concert in 72 when Black Sabbath was the headline. Of course Yes blew them off the stage. I think every time I have heard Awaken, they seem to bring "Spirit" front and center and time stands still. They are definitely a "High Vibration."
If you or anyone else for that matter is interested in pix from several concerts over the years let me know: email@example.com
If anyone has any recordings from this night I would be very interested, since this was the first concert I took my wife to and we're still together - 30 years, not quite as long as I have been a Yes fan.
Bang on. I have exactly the same perspective, your review is by the far the most accurate I have read. Keywords, Tormato tour sound,modern recording magazine, for astonishing tech details on the p.a. setup. Tormato Tour Sir vivor. Vancouver B.C.
A brief bio of myself before talking about Yes.
My first concert was Foghat and Rod Stewart at the Swing Auditorium, San Bernardino, CA--March 7, 1975. I was 16 and a half years old. At the time I saw this show, I was a rabid rock and roll fan, with Black Sabbath being my #1 fave.
However, my tastes began to expand more and more, with other heavy British bands being my keener musical interests (I was very much into Queen's first album at this time).
Three days after the Foghat/Stewart show, I caught Led Zeppelin at the San Diego Sports Arena on their Physical Graffitti show. We had great seats (loge seats--on John Paul Jone's side of the stage). This concert had the effect of a nuclear explosion on my adolescent mind and forever changed the way I looked at music. (Zep became my favorite band, instantly and forever).
A year and half later, I got very much into the Moody Blues. By now I knew that the greatest bands were British, and that you usually had to "see" them live to know what they were into and to understand their "concept," which most great bands had. It was during the early Spring of 1978 that I made it a plan to see all of the great British bands I had heretofore missed.
Then..."Yes." Though I had never been into their music, a fellow rock 'n roll freak friend of mine insisted that they were among the best musicians in the business, if not the best. So, when I heard that Yes tickets were on sale for their October 1978 dates at the Los Angeles Forum, I bought a loge seat (with two friends) for the first night.
Half-way thru their set, during "Soon," I leaned over to one of these friends and said, "I think this is the best band I've ever seen." He replied, "I was just about to say the same thing to you."
I was stunned. Zep was still the greatest hard-rocking group in my mind, but Yes showed me that there were "dynamics" in rock music and transcended heavy blues and hard rock riffing. Yes was a complete emotional work-over.
Though I was not at all familiar with the songs in their set (with the obvious exceptions of "Seen All Good People" and "Roundabout"), I was hooked.
I thought Yes were the greatest I had ever seen or heard up to this time.
Being the tireless "evangelist" for my fave rock bands, I went back the next night with two other friends--I had to turn them on, too! We were all stunned (me for the second time in 2 days) and I (along with a [now deceased] friend named Gary) began to collect Yes' whole catalog. I remember how jazzed we were when we found the record with "Soon" on it. That one played an indelible part in our memory of the show.
The following Spring I caught the second Long Beach gig and, then, the only San Diego show. "Awaken" at San Diego in May, 1979 was one of the most awesome moments in all of my concert-going experience. Truly amazing. Mystical. Moving. Heart-grabbing. Howe's solo at the song's climax was chilling and mind-bending. Hendrix had nothing on him that night!
Well,let me get specific about the shows:
At the first Forum gig (in 1978), I remember Anderson asking, before "Starship Trooper," if there were any "starship troopers" in the audience! This got a real reaction. I was relatively straight that night (a little hashish was all I did).
A double bootleg recording (made, I swear, by one of the sound-men) of the L.A. shows (' 78) was made. My pal Gary had the double-album. He later discarded (!) the records, but not before he recorded the show's opener "Siberian Khatru" and "Heart of the Sunrise" for me on a high-bias Maxell. I still have it (and it remains, for me, by far the most powerful version of Siberian Khatru I've ever heard).
Yes' "Tormato" shows kicked ass. I'm sorry I missed their earlier gigs, but after seeing these shows, I couldn't even picture them not being "in the round".
I didn't see Yes live again until the "Re-Union" tour. I caught the Pacific Amphitheater gig in Costa Mesa, CA.
For me, "Yes" never really played again live after "Tormato". That was the "true" line-up and tour(s) for me. On the "Tormato" gigs, Yes played tight and serious--like they were "into" it and "hungry." I never took their subsequent line-ups and tours seriously after that.
"Tormato" as an album was weak (to quote one of your reviewers), but "Tormato" as a tour was the end of an era. For me, the 1970's are still the unmatched decade of pure creativity and expansion in rock music. And Yes was perhaps its crowning expression for those of us fortunate enough to have caught them live.