Yes: 7/6/1991

This was a pretty cool concert. I’ve always loved Yes and this time I got to see the classic lineup along with some other band veterans. Essentially, the Union tour was a collaboration between older and newer members. Here is the list of all the musicians who participated:

  • Jon Anderson – lead vocals, acoustic guitar, tambourine
  • Steve Howe – guitar, backing vocals
  • Trevor Rabin – guitar, lead vocals, backing vocals
  • Tony Kaye – Hammond Organ, keyboards, sound effects
  • Rick Wakeman – keyboards, synthesisers, percussion on “Your Move”
  • Chris Squire – bass, backing vocals
  • Alan White – acoustic drums, percussion
  • Bill Bruford – electronic drums, percussion

In addition to the rich lineup, this show was “Yes in the Round.” The band was set up on a circular stage in the center of the arena. The stage slowly rotated so wherever you sat, you eventually had a great view of every member of the band. I was particularly thrilled when Rick Wakeman was facing me. He is one of my favorite keyboardists, second only to Keith Emerson.

I went with my friend Dana, and we had a great time. The music and the show were amazing. One of the high points for me was when they played “Awaken” from the “Going for the One” album. A great piece of music, but not something I would have expected. Jon Anderson played harp on that song, which was just beautiful and moving.

Here is the complete setlist.

Setlist

  • Yours Is No Disgrace
  • Rhythm of Love
  • Shock to the System
  • Heart of the Sunrise
  • Clap
  • Mood for a Day
  • Make It Easy
  • Owner of a Lonely Heart
  • And You and I
  • Drum Duet
  • Changes
  • I’ve Seen All Good People
  • Solly’s Beard
  • Long Distance Runaround
  • Whitefish / Amazing Grace
  • Keyboard Solo (Rick Wakeman)
  • Lift Me Up
  • Awaken

Encore:

  • Roundabout

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

Jon Anderson: 8/21/1982

JonAnderson_8-21-82

This was an amazing concert! I love Yes and seeing Jon Anderson solo in a small venue like the Sunrise Musical Theater was a real treat. I went to this show with my friend Bob and we had great seats: first row center in the balcony. This gave us a clear view of the stage and the sound was crisp.

It was a while back, so a lot of the finer details have faded, but there are some things that stand out for me. His solo material was great, but he also performed a plethora of Yes songs, including “Close to the Edge,” “Wonderous Stories,” “And You And I,” “Perpetual Change,” and “Heart of the Sunrise,” which seemed all the more magical being performed in the Sunrise Musical Theater.

I experienced something really strange at this concert, one of those transcendent musical experiences. As Jon was singing, he would extend his hands out in front of him, and his hands seemed like they were reaching across time and space, right up to where I was sitting in the balcony. It was like the music shifted my consciousness and opened my mind.

The show concluded with an encore that included “Roundabout.” I left feeling changed. Prior to this show, I had not seen Yes live (I would see them for the first time the following year on the 90125 tour), so this was a really moving concert experience for me.

I listened hard but could not see
Life tempo change out and inside me
The preacher trained in all to lose his name
The teacher travels, asking to be shown the same
In the end we’ll agree, we’ll accept, we’ll immortalize
That the truth of man maturing in his eyes
All complete in the sight of seeds of life with you

Coming quickly to terms of all expression laid
As a moment regained and regarded both the same
Emotion revealed as the ocean maid
A clearer future, morning, evening, nights with you

And you and I climb, crossing the shapes of the morning
And you and I reach over the sun for the river
And you and I climb, clearer towards the movement
And you and I called over valleys of endless seas

(Excerpt from “And You And I” by Yes)