Yes: 4/21/1984

Since Yes is about to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I was inspired to dig through my mess of ticket stubs and locate the stub from the first time I saw Yes, which was on the 9012Live tour. They played at the infamous Hollywood Sportatorium, notorious for its crappy acoustics; but in spite of being in a proverbial barn, the band sounded amazing.

I remember the stage being sparsely populated. The amps seemed to be hidden somewhere. There was just a futuristic series or ramps that allowed the musicians to move about in an unfettered manner. Trevor Rabin was the guitarist on this tour, and though I love Steve Howe’s guitar work, Trevor did an outstanding job. They featured the 90125 album prominently, but included some choice classic pieces, such as “And You and I” (one of my favorite Yes songs) and “Soon” from the Relayer album.

The band closed the main set with “Starship Trooper,” and as they played the outro, the lights above the stage began folding down like the landing gear of a spacecraft. Smoke billowed as multicolored lights flashed and exploded. It was really mind-blowing! After that, they came back and played “Roundabout” for the encore. In my humble opinion, a spectacular show!

I would see Yes several more times in my life, and each show was unique and special in its own way, but this one holds a special place in my heart. Here is the full setlist.

  • Cinema
  • Leave It
  • Yours Is No Disgrace
  • Hold On
  • Hearts
  • I’ve Seen All Good People
  • Keyboard Solo
  • Solly’s Beard
  • Changes
  • And You and I
  • Soon
  • Make It Easy
  • Owner of a Lonely Heart
  • It Can Happen
  • Long Distance Runaround
  • Whitefish / Amazing Grace
  • City of Love
  • Starship Trooper

Encore:

  • Roundabout
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9 thoughts on “Yes: 4/21/1984

  1. I was with you for this one, An amazing show. I remember when I was waiting in line for tix, I was about 10th in line, there was some silly little girl who was first in line who made the comment, “oh, they had an album before 90125?”. I just wanted to slap her and send her to the end of the line!!!!

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    • Ahhh. Was trying to remember who I went with to this one. You and I did catch a lot of amazing shows in the 80’s. Re the girl in line, glad she got introduced to their music. We all find our way by different paths.

      Peace ✌️

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  2. 90125 was such a departure… Almost like a more packaged, sharper format to match the emerging digital age. The 70s stuff was so brilliantly analog. I think Ian Anderson followed suit with his lp, Into Light or Walk into Light. Can’t remember exactly but recall listening to both of these “digital” lps and appreciating how the artists could adapt.

    Not sure if millennials realize just how radically different the 80s were from the 70s.😀

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    • Great comment! There were several bands that made the transition from the 70s to the 80s well. In addition to Yes and Jethro Tull, a couple more that come to mind are Moody Blues (Long Distance Voyager was a great 80s album) and Neil Young with Trans. Trans was not a success with critics, but I thought it was a very cool and creative album.

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      • I have to revisit Trans. I sort of remember the album cover. Neil did funny things… sometimes he was ticked off at the record label. One lp was all about having meat but no potatoes… or the other way around. Can’t remember but he was obviously sticking it to the record company! Other adapters coming to mind… Steve Winwood and the excellent Arc of a Diver.

        Btw, Moody Blues are one of my all time favs. They’re one of those bands that I felt like I was almost related to them. For a while I thought maybe a past life but I think it’s probably just their personalities. I mean, I would be just another fan to them.

        Last but not least… David Bowie and Loving the Alien. Some good use of sampling there…

        Sorry for the treatise! I just love music and once I get going it’s hard to stop. 🙂

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      • No problem!! Love talking music. Have seen the Moody Blues several times, and their music definitely resonates with me. As far as Steve Winwood goes… I have tickets to see him in May!!!!! Have never seen him before and I am really psyched. I’ll be posting about that show in the not-too-distant future.

        Thanks for all your thoughtful comments. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

        Jeff

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  3. Enjoy the concert. I think I’ve heard just about everything SW has put out. Some of the later albums admittedly I just breezed through quickly. It’ll be interesting to hear what he chooses for the set… and how he presents himself. Blown up big like on PBS or stripped down like on Nine Lives.

    I saw the Moodies twice. That’s a lot for me cos I’m more of a private listener than a concert goer (in the school of Glenn Gould).

    Forgive me if I’ve already linked to this video at your site. But I think the discussion is great:

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