Fragile Article (Virtuoso 046)
Tucson Community Center, Tucson, AZ – March 16th, 1972
(73:47): Roundabout, I’ve Seen All Good People, Mood For A Day, Clap, Heart Of The Sunrise, keyboard solo, Long Distance Runaround, The Fish, Perpetual Change
Yes played over one hundred shows in support of their seminal LP Fragilein late 1971 and early 1972, before recording their masterpiece Close To The Edge. They played in out of the way places like Shippenburg University and Gettysburg, PA, but made their debuts in bigger cities as well. Many of the co-bills were strange as well, including playing with Billy Joel and The Eagles.
Tucson occurs by the end of this period. Like many of the shows on the west coast they opened for Black Sabbath. The tape is very good, clear and is an enjoyable document. It cuts in right after they begin playing “Roundabout,” has a tape flip at 9:17 in “Heart Of The Sunrise” and cuts out right before Bruford’s drum solo in “Perpetual Change” cutting out the end of the song and the encore “Yours Is No Disgrace.”
The show lasted about ninety minutes as the setlist is comprised of songs from the newest two albums. “Roundabout,” the major hit off of Fragile, begins the show. During the organ solo Wakeman throws in a very short “Yankee Doodle” tease.
Jon Anderson praises the city afterwards, saying, “It‘s really nice to be able to play here in Tucson. Beautiful, beautiful city. I think it’s a beautiful city. We’ve been walking around this afternoon. It’s such a beautiful climate. Here’s a song from an album called The Yes Album.
Steve Howe is given his spot where he plays his two solo acoustic compositions, the intense “Mood For A Day” and the country licking “Clap.” The next new song is introduced as, “a song from Fragile which is the fourth album. Song is a relation to living in the big cities like the one we just came from which was L.A. A strange place, you can’t see it very well. Coming, coming here really wanted to stay here for a while but we’re going to go back tomorrow.” It is notable that he emphasizes the city motif of the song instead of the love angle as he would in later tours.
But the centerpiece of the show is the next three tunes. Anderson describes it as “a thing we do in three parts. The second part is a song which is on Fragile called ‘Long Distance Runaround’ which is about search religion things like that I think. I only wrote it. And this the third part is a bass thing featuring Mr. Fish. He’s our bass player. The first part features Mr. Rick Wakeman.”
Wakeman’s solo spot includes themes from his earlier work. It is interesting how he plays the “Sixs Wives” theme on grand piano instead of on keyboards as he will on later tours. The solo spot segues into “Long Distance Runaround” which in turn is followed by a very long version of “The Fish.”
“Perpetual Change” is the final song of the set, a carry-over from the previous tours.
Overall this is an effective set which lacks some of the excitement of the Los Angeles and San Bernardino shows. However, having any Fragile era show on silver is a plus and although it would have made more sense for this tape to be included on Handle With Care (Siréne-187) with the San San Bernardino show (which used the November 1971 Academy Of Music show instead), or perhaps coupled with the LA show released as a free CDR by Virtuoso), it is good to finally see this concert pressed on silver disc.
Fragile Article is packaged in a standard jewel case with appropriate era photos and design.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)