Lonely Runaround (Highland HL369/370)
IC Light Amphitheatre, Pittsburgh, PA – June 24th, 1998
Disc 1 (66:19): Opening, Siberian Khatru, Rhythm Of Love, Yours Is No Disgrace, And You And I, Open Your Eyes, Heart Of The Sunrise, Wondrous Stories
Disc 2 (67:27): Close To The Edge, Long Distance Runaround, America, I’ve Seen All Good People, Owner Of A Lonely Heart, Roundabout. Bonus tracks, Riverbend Music Center Amphitheatre, Cincinnati, OH – July 6th, 1998: Ram, The Clap
Yes played Pittsburgh two times during their year long Open Your Eyes tour. Their first visit was at the A.J. Palumbo Center on November 2nd, 1997. The second was seven months later in the IC Light Amphitheater, an outdoor venue with a capacity of four thousand. Lonely Runaround utilizes an excellent sounding DAT recording of the show. There are several cuts between some songs and one that cuts off about a minute in the beginning of “Close To The Edge.” Audience comments are sometimes audible around the recorder but aren’t intrusive. They actually add to the atmosphere. It is a really good, atmospheric stereo recording capturing the event very well.
The tape begins with “Firebird Suite,” cutting out the Open Your Eyes ambient track that opened all shows on the tour leading into “Siberian Khatru.” “Rhythm Of Love” opened some shows earlier in the tour including the first one in Pittsburgh, but it works much better as the second song. Steve Howe plays interesting Relayer-style slide. Afterwards Jon Anderson greets the audience, saying, “‘Rhythm Of Love’ Pittsburgh. Thank you so much. We have been around the world since we last saw you last. Which is kinda cool and, many crazy stories, but I want start any of them now. Here’s a song that we have not done on stage for many years and its all of the sudden lots of fun to do on stage. The song is called ‘Yours Is No Disgrace.'”
“Yours Is No Disgrace” is a recent addition to the setlist. It was last played once on the Talk tour in Hiroshima on October 11th, 1994 but wasn’t a regular part of the show since the Union tour ended in 1992. For a song that hasn’t been played regularly in six years it fares very well and even Anderson reacts at the end. “Steve Howe on guitar! Woo! Thank you. Thank you so much…. We wrote that song in Devon. Beautiful, beautiful place in England and it was a lot of fun in that time of the band’s career. I can’t believe were 30 years on now.” Anderson continues to tell the story of recording “And You And I” before they follow.
The setlist is jumbled at this point. Steve Howe’s solo set, where he would play three of his songs is dropped and they go into “Open Your Eyes” next, after Anderson introduces Billy Sherwood. The title track of the new album is the only one to survive this far into the long tour. “From The Balcony” and “No Way We Can Lose,” the only other two to be played live were a distant memory by this point.
“The Revealing Science Of God” was played on the other legs, but they wanted a change of pace for their second time around the US. “Close To The Edge” was introduced back into the set the same time “Yours Is No Disgrace” was, making it’s tour debut the previous week on June 18th in Toronto. It was played in the San Luis Obispo shows in 1996, and once on the Uniontour, but hasn’t been a regular feature of the set since the ABWH tour in 1990. The band sounds tentative throughout, Koroshev especially. And Anderson misses his cue at the beginning of “I Get Up I Get Down.” They follow with “Long Distance Runaround” with Koroshev’s piano solo as an introduction and without “White Fish.” Instead they follow with “America,” which is about “America’s growing into the 21st century. We’re all looking for the true America and..uh it’s coming very soon. We believe that.” The audience cheer loudly at the mention of Pittsburgh in the lyrics.
Anderson tells the audience to “please stand up and dance the Pittsburgh boogie or whatever you do here. But plenty of it. You know?” before they start the final song of the set “Owner Of A Lonely Heart.” For the only encore they play “Roundabout.” Highland include two bonus tracks taken from the Cincinnati show the following week. Since Pittsburgh lacked Howe’s set, they include “Ram” and “Clap” taken from a fair to good audience recording. It isn’t the best sounding tape but is audible enough. Lonely Runaround is an interesting release that comes from a time when Highland were a prolific label and who were trying to keep up with the tour as it unfolded. It is a good sounding tape of a fascinating show and is worth having.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)