Alternate View (Virtuoso 034/035)
Boston Garden, Boston, MA – February 26th, 1974
Disc 1: Firebird Suite, Siberian Khatru, And You And I, Close To The Edge, The Revealing Science Of God
Disc 2: The Remembering, The Ancient, Ritual, Roundabout
Alternate View is a tremendous document from one of Yes’ most ambitious projects. The Boston show occurs about three weeks into the US tour and is right before they dropped the second side of the new album. For years there has been a good sounding complete tape of the show but in 2003 a better sounding second source surfaced with nice dynamics and detail representing one of the best recordings of the tour. The lower frequencies are very fat giving unusual weight to the music. There is a cut from 18:55 to 19:30 in “The Revealing Science Of God” and from 17:22 to 17:46 in “Ritual.” Both are patched with the first tape source with a professional sounding editing job which makes it very unobtrusive.
Boston has one of the more rowdy audiences in general. Yes starting the concert late must have tried their patience and after a scorching “Siberian Khatru” Anderson says, “Thank you very very very much and thank you for being so patient. Thank you to all the Frisbee players too! It’s real nice to be back in Boston playing for you again.” Again “And You And I,” the second song of the set is likewise very aggressive and a lot of cheering and yelling greets the mirrored ball for “Close To The Edge.” The opening sections are played at a quick pace but slow down for “I Get Up I Get Down.” Wakeman’s organ sound pathologically spooky by the end.
Yes would normally take an intermission before the second half, but because they began later than planned they skip it. “Thank you. I’d just like to say something. Because of the aggravation at the beginning we’d like to carry on playing for quite a while. We hope you stay with us because we’d like to present our new album to you. The album’s called Tales From Topographic Oceans. It’s in four parts. It based upon the four Sanskrit scriptures. Sanskrit is the ancient Chinese language in which every language came. The first side is called ‘The Revealing Science Of God.’ I hope you like it.” The opening chant leads into a powerful opening of the epic. But the audience seem restless by the end and start shouting out for “Roundabout.”
Anderson give a pretentious introduction for side two of the album. “What seems clear is we base our actions, our thoughts on the last three thousands years, the development of the last three thousand years…’The Remembering’ the last three thousand years.” This is one of the final performances of the piece and among the best. Wakeman’s solo in particular is very fluid and holds the audience in rapt attention as they follow every little note coming from the stage. Simply a masterpiece. The audience are more quiet during “The Ancient” as the band explore the arcane themes of the sun while Howe reiterates themes from the other movements on the pedal steel guitar and it is clear by the end that Boston loves “Leaves Of Green.”
Anderson introduces the final movement as “The Ritual Of Life” and both Squire and White almost blow the roof off the Garden during the struggle segment. The only encore is “Roundabout,” the song many in the audience were requesting all night, and it sounds like the band are finally enjoying themselves. Alternate View is a fantastic release by Virtuoso. Having live tapes of the complete Tales concerts have been very scarce over the past couple of years. Siréne ignored this tour on silver and Highland, in their last days, offered Dortmund and Tarantura included several California shows in their big boxset The Word Is Love, all of which were after the dropping of “The Remembering.”If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)