April 9, 1979
** Low-circulation recording **
FIRST SHOW OF THE 1979 TOUR
Lineage: first-gen or master tape -> CD audio -> EAC -> FLAC
This recording has not been altered or remastered. It is a straight rip from the CD's provided by Alec B. and Paulie. Sounds good overall.
The band sounds a little rusty, like they didn't rehearse much between the last show of the 1978 tour and the first show of 1979. And there are some mix problems, like synths and guitars that aren't amplified. Just makes it more interesting, as it's not one of Yes's typically perfect shows.
Forgotten Yesterdays shows "Tour Song" in the set, between "Awaken" and "All Good People." It's not on this recording and I suspect Yes didn't play it on this occasion. After all, what rhymes with "Kalamazoo?"
Jon Anderson (Vocals)
Steve Howe (Guitars)
Chris Squire (Bass)
Rick Wakeman (Keyboards)
Alan White (Drums)
Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
Heart Of The Sunrise
Circus Of Heaven
Time And A Word
Long Distance Runaround
Survival/The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)
The Gates of Delirium (Soon)
Don't Kill The Whale
On The Silent Wings Of Freedom
Awaken (part 1) (tape flip)
Awaken (part 2)
All Good People
This article was posted by Janine L. Gould on Forgotten Yesterdays along with the setlist and other information about this concert:
Strong, powerful performance:
Yes at Wings 4/9, 1979 Wings Stadium, Kalamazoo, Michigan
by Janine L. Gould, arts editor, Western Herald
(reprinted with permission of the author)
Kicking off their 1979 U.S. tour Monday night, Yes brought a simplified but impressive show to Wings Stadium. A revolving stage with lighting and sound systems suspended above it provided a good setting for the band's musical excursions.
Yes has long been rejected by rock press elitist publications like Rolling Stone for their progressive and sometimes mystical approach to music. It seems as though Yes has been slagged because their roots lie in the areas of folk, pop and classical music instead of blues and R & B. What it boils down to is that Yes music is ahead of its time. But there were enough fans at Monday night's concert to prove that their music wasn't so far ahead of itself as to be unlistenable.
Last year Yes celebrated their tenth anniversary as a band, which says a lot for their musical vitality and growth as well as their popularity.There has long been a legion of very vocal but unrecognized (by the press) Yes fans, enough to give the band seven gold albums (every release from The Yes Album to Going for the One). The show at Wings was a continuation of Yes's devotion to the importance of live performance, and for the opening date of a tour, they came off looking healthy and happy to be on the road again.
Yes opened with "Siberian Khatru," a tried-and-true number that got off to a somewhat slow start. There were some balance problems in the vocals and guitar which were corrected during the course of the song. Drummer Alan White picked up the pace towards the end, giving impetus to Steve Howe's extended guitar solo. It seemed as though Yes wasn't too sure about this song as an opener, although they've opened with it in previous performances. Chalk it up to pre-concert jitters and first-gig-of-the-tour hesitation.
The majority of the material came from Yes's latest LP, Tormato ("Future Times/Rejoice," "Circus of Heaven," "Don't Kill the Whale," "Madrigal," "On the Silent Wings of Freedom") with selections from The Yes Album ("Perpetual Change," "Clap," "Starship Trooper," "I've Seen All Good People") and Fragile ("Heart of the Sunrise," "Long Distance Runaround," "The Fish," "Roundabout") making up the foundation. Yes also went back to their second album for "Time and a Word" and incorporated the final segment of "Gates of Delirium" ["Soon"] into "Perpetual Change."
The material from Tormato didn't seem comfortable to the band in a live context. These songs had a confining feeling, as if their newness hadn't yet been fully tested in live performance. The difference between these songs and older tunes like "Starship Trooper" and "Perpetual Change" lies in their structure. Yes's music became much more compact on Tormato, and this may have created an obstacle in live interpretations. The older songs were much looser, and allowed the band to explore new areas within the songs' original construction.
The highlight of the concert was "Awaken" (from Going for the One). Anderson's voice had been hoarse a few songs earlier, but Rick Wakeman's solo gave him a chance to revitalize his vocal cords before embarking upon "Awaken." Anderson's tambourine/maraca instrument, combined with his sidestepping circles around his mike in countermovement to the stage's motion, gave him the look of a tribal chanter invoking a deity.
"Awaken" in a live context has an overwhelming power which overshadows the Going for the One version. The keyboard passages weren't as lush as the original, but then Wakeman doesn't have four hands -- although at times it wasn't certain that he *didn't* have more than two hands.
"On the Silent Wings of Freedom" ran a close second to "Awaken" in terms of energy and impressiveness. Already a powerful song on Tormato, Yes's performance of it became supercharged. After almost two hours of continual *oomph*, it didn't seem possible for Yes to crank the energy up any higher, but they did it. Bassist Chris Squire seems to be the central powerhouse, using his dynamic bass lines to urge White on to new rhythmic heights.
"Your Move" gave the audience a chance to do a concerted clapalong, led by Squire and Wakeman. "All Good People" received a sort of blues treatment in White's accenting -- as for Squire, his patterns got even more intricate. Besides, Squire could barely sit still long enough to play a walking bass line: his hands are too well-trained to those convoluted yet funky constructions which have often been imitated by other bassists.
The absence of props on this tour marks a change to a more basic presentation for Yes. In the past they have utilized highly stylized stage constructions, usually patterned after Roger Dean's cover art. The set-up of the stage this time around centered attention on the stage, which revolved throughout each song (except for "Clap").
Yes retired to their dressing rooms after two hours amidst a thunderous standing ovation, and I *mean* thunderous -- the applause and cheering reached a painfully high point as the band left the stage. The crowd kept up that level of sound, and made even more noise when the band returned.
The audience was up and dancing when Yes kicked into their encore, "Roundabout." Wakeman again led the clapalong when he wasn't busy playing, and seemed to be quite happy to be with Yes again as a band member. Signals flew between White, Howe and Anderson to stretch the ending of the song: get loose and be crazy was the sign, and that's exactly what happened. Yes's first Top 40 single and their best-known song crashed to a close and brought the audience to its feet for another standing ovation.
Going through individual performances would be tedious. Suffice it to say that Yes sounded as professional and efficient as they ever have in concert, and that the solos were generally inventive and intriguing. Steve Howe still has his quirks, as Anderson once commented. But the ovation he received after "Clap" indicated that the crowd enjoyed those quirks. "I think Steve likes playing Kalamazoo more than any of us," Anderson added when the applause died down. Certainly, Kalamazoo will welcome Yes again.