DATE: 17 May 1991
LOCATION: Oakland, California, USA
VENUE: Oakland Coliseum
RECORDING TYPE: Audience ["AR"]
TORRENT SOURCE: Original master tapes - Neumann KM54's>custom Preamp>Casio DA-7 14th Row Floor
TAPER: Danny L. [as reported by Flying Gonz]
LINEAGE: 1994:DAT MASTER played back in Sony DTC-A7>via Sony D10PRO Coaxial Digital SP/DIF Cable>Sony TCD-D10PROII(Clone1) 2007: Clone1 played back in Sony TCD-D10PROII>Edirol R-4>WL5 (Fades & Resample to 44.1khz)>CDWAV>FLAC > To mastering computer from Dime and FLAC > EQ work to reveal - not mix - existing high frequency detail in CEP 2.0 [no noise reduction needed or attempted] > FLAC > Bit Torrent to Dime and You [as reported by Flying Gonz]
INDEPENDENT SOURCE ANALYSIS: Roughly 160 happy Dimesters, including yours truly
LINEUP: Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford, Steve Howe, Tony Kaye, Trevor Rabin, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman, Alan White
SETLIST [for standard 80-minute CDR] - There's no ideal way to get a UNION show spread evenly between the three discs usually required, and too much of the document would've had to be cut out to get this one on two. Beginning and ending tracks are faded to fit this configuration, but shouldn't interfere with any different approach as they effect only audience sound. I use 74 minute gold archival discs for shows of this quality anyway, which make for a better spread, less blank disc space on 2 and 3:
01V1 - Opening/Yours Is No Disgrace; 02V1 - Rhythm Of Love; 03V1 - Shock To The System; 04V1 - Heart Of The Sunrise; 05V1 - Howe Solo [MoodClap #10,921 give or take]; 06V1 - Make It Easy/Owner Of A Lonely Heart; 07V1 - And You And I; 08V1 - Percussion Duet; 09V1 - Hold On
01V2 - I've Seen All Good People; 02V2 - Kaye Solo/Changes; 03V2 - Rabin Solo; 04V2 - Long Distance Runaround/Squire solo; 05V2 - Lift Me Up; 06V2 - Wakeman Solo;
01V3 - Awaken; 02V3 - Roundabout
Special thanks to Flying Gonz, who presented us with this masterpiece of an AR originally and who OK'd my work with it
Endless thanks to the Taper – it wouldn’t exist for anyone to enjoy without his bravery and expertise, then and now
Performance - It's Yes, if an unweildy 8-piece one
Source and mastering effort – A stunning AR sound capture for any decade, even the 1990s and 2000s. When I first heard it I was floored, and I have yet to hear anything else at all from the UNION tour to compare. Probably equals do exist, but everything else I've heard has one or more tape generations on it. There's nothing like an original master, especially one like this.
The high frequencies in the original needed some revealing, which two small compounded EQ boosts did nicely. Nothing else in the spectrum needed anything at all. Mids and lows are as nearly in balance and perfect as they can be, without distortion, and presented here 'as is'. Hiss almost nonexistant, and even more miraculously got no more noticeable with the high frequency work. The recording's tracks have been redone to unite announcements with their pieces - in the previous torrent track splits frequently placed announcements for upcoming numbers at the end of previous ones.
Just a tiny scattering of dropouts, inevitable in any AR. Most seem likely related to the occasional needed mic concealment operation. In some segments left channel amplitude is slightly lower than right, probably due to mic position changes and not serious enough to need correction. Only one segment was lost - some tens of seconds of the beginning of the percussion duet and it's unfortunate, but it came after an intermission, even supertapers have to pee, and most of it's there.
Other than the above, I can't think of any worth mentioning.
Happy listening, please share widely but keep lossless. Please also help keep this and all your favorite torrents alive by alerting others to their existence - this one and many, many others died long before their time in their first runs because so many didn't see them within 24 hours of their coming online.
This review of the concert comes from a lucky attendee:
"A huge venue, as the above stat shows, and in the round -- or rather square, as it were; they were perched upon a large cubic stage ... think of one of those towers poking out of the Death Star & you have an idea what it looked like. Pretty tall, actually, I have to wonder if those up close could really see what was going on up there [I was farther away and up one of the banks of bleacher-type seating]. It was mostly stationary, but periodically lurched around 90 degrees before resting for another 15 minutes. Something like watching one of those 100-year-old turtles move at the zoo on a hot day ... but I digress.
Many long-time fans will tell you the best YES experience is to have seen them back in [fill in blank with pre-Buggle date of choice]. But the NEXT-best YES experience is to have STARTED with 90125 [having heard the classic era, and appreciating both], and then watching the band improve over the next decade or two. By 1991, I'd seen my fill of 90125 & marveled at the impossible-to-believe ABWH reunion. Then came this, defying all understanding but delighting those who wished to see Anderson, Squire, Wakeman & Howe on the same stage again. It didn't matter which drummer you preferred, because both were present.
The bandlist and setlist tell you all you need to know: essentially a YES revue, with performers hopping on and off stage (or rather disappearing into it -- perhaps I should have compared it to the Jawa crawler?) as each song required -- not so much a union as a hodgepodge -- or even a battle of the bands, the prize being rights to the name. In that way, it was faithful to the album, which had no track containing every 'member'. (Will the real YES please stand up?)
I did like the occasional cross-pollination; if memory serves, Wakeman sat in for 'Owner' and lit up the outro with his slash-and-burn solo style -- Wakeman and Rabin playing together is nothing to dismiss! A true delight.
All that being said, it was a lovely show ... in pieces. And some other pieces were well-done but seemed out of place: 'Lift Me Up', for example, sounded like it should have been a Starship song [and I don't mean Trooper].
And there was a great potential in this band. Where ABWH had been a good band with some great musicians, this was definitely up more than a notch. Especially when both guitarists were on together -- I mean, Steve Howe hardly needs a second guitarist to help out, but if he WAS to have another in there ... my oh my is Trevor amazing! You couldn't ask for a better guitarist: he could play anything Steve sent his way. I wish I could remember better now just exactly what he did that night, but now I only remember being mightily impressed. Too bad there wasn't a way to keep both of these stellar musicians; we got only a bare hint of what might have been, and that largely toward the end of the tour.
High points in my memory now, over a decade later, were the Wakeman solo on Owner, a lovely And You & I [well, isn't it always!] with a stunning watery lighting effect, but especially the return of 'Awaken', played by the five men who recorded it back in 1977. It sang, it soared, it brooded, it roared; for one who had answered the call issued from a battered copy of Yessongs but had to settle for 90125 in concert, this was the prize reward. Whether or not it would last [and in what form] remained to be seen, but I had experienced Rick Wakeman in Yes playing 'Awaken', and nothing would ever take that away from me. Had they never performed again, i would not have felt cheated :-)