Yes – Alternate Yesshows (Highland HL492/493)

Alternate Yesshows (Highland HL492/493)

Cobo Hall, Detroit, MI – August 17th, 1976

Disc 1:  Opening (And You And I), Siberian Khatru, Sound Chaser, I’ve Seen All Good People, Gates Of Delirium

Disc 2:  Long Distance Runaround, “Patrick” solo (incl. “The Story Of I”), Clap, Jon harp solo (incl. “Olias”), Heart Of The Sunrise, Ritual, Roundabout

Yes played three shows at the Cobo Hall in Detroit in August, 1976.  These occur in the final week which also turns out to be one of the final shows with Patrick Moraz.  Professionally recorded by the band, the two epics “Gates Of Delirium” and “Ritual” appear on the 1980 live compilation Yesshows.  In 2005 the opening of the show, “Apocalypse,” “Siberian Khatru,” and “Sound Chaser” appear in the three disc set The Word Is Live

The audience recording is very good and close to excellent sounding with a small amount of fuzz surrounding the music.  There are also numerous small cuts scattered throughout the show including one 1:44 into “I’ve Seen All Good People,” at 13:24 in “Gates Of Delirium” (right at the beginning of the “victory” section and is the second most painful cut in the history of Yes bootlegs), and cuts after “Clap,” Jon’s harp solo, “Heart Of The Sunrise” and between the introductions and “Ritual.”  This tape was used for a silver release called Just Another Night In Detroit (Suck My Disc! 001/002) in similar sound quality. 

This is one of the all time classic Yes concerts.  One of the reviews on Forgotten Yesterdays remembers:  “When we got to Cobo Hall there were probably as many cops there as there were Yes fans… it was a sea of blue uniforms… we saw all the microphones and realized they would be recording the show, and so, throughout the quiet periods, I let out a powerful whistle (again, my apologies to fellow fans)… the lasers were phenomenal, a total surprise… the stage was cool, freaky, far out… the snake heads moved up and down, depending on who was soloing and who was idle — stage lights blared from underneath them, I can see it now, almost 25 years later… but most of all, the music was so beautiful and bountiful and pure and artistic and like nothing i’d ever heard… Jon’s voice was angelic and Steve’s guitar was like an intricate and always beautiful maze… Chris was bouncing and flowing, as I’d later discover was his usual style… Alan and Patrick filled it out perfectly… I’d found my new favorite band.”

Yes dropped the Firebird Suite taped introduction and instead play the “Apocalypse” section to “And You And I” as a prelude to “Siberian Khatru.”  The Moraz contribution to this song is very strange since he doesn’t bother duplicating Wakeman’s harpsichord solo but rather plays a cocktail piano theme followed by a riff from “Sound Chaser.” 

The opening song from Relayer is played second and Moraz misses a cue after the first “cha-cha-cha” part and waits for a few measures to pick it up again.  Afterwards Anderson says to the very noisy crowd:  “Thank you very much. Is this Detroit? This is for you. Detroit city, oh so pretty.”  After a great version of “I’ve Seen All Good People” Anderson gives an interesting introduction to “Gates Of Delirium” saying, “The next thing we’d like to do, a song we put together about two years ago. It’s like a book:  you open up the pages and the words hopefully paint pictures. You wandered down a long gray pathway. To enter through the gates of delirium.”

What follows is one of the best versions augmented by the loud whistles from the audience.  The loud one heard when Anderson sings “Listen!  Should we fight forever?” has attained mythological status, ranking along with the whistle heard during “Stairway To Heaven” on The Song Remains The Same soundtrack (and which people duplicated at every New York performance of the song after the release of the film). 

The laid back and solo section of the show follows with the new acoustic arrangement of “Long Distance Runaround” which segues into Moraz’s solo.  Steve Howe plays a bit of “On Wings Of Gold” before playing “Clap,” and Anderson’s harp solo sounds very dreamy on this tape.  

Before the final song of the set Anderson gives a long thank you, which is also preserved on the official live album:  “Thank you. Thank you. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank some people who helped us put on the show, the Clair Brothers Sound System. We have some marvelous people over here. Sean and Neil, who’ve helped us with the sound. And then the red, blue, green, orange, and purple corner. We have the people who put on what you see, the colors, the lights, lasers. Michael Tate and Adam Wildi. That’s some very very fine people. Oh! Some very people fine people who actually put the whole thing together, they’re collectively known as the best road crew in the business back here. Yeah! Don’t put that funk in my face. C’mon. Here’s a song which we did for ‘Topographic Oceans’. It’s getting like a soul show now. This thing called ‘Ritual’. Last, last but not least, we gotta thank you all very much for coming this evening and for making it all happen.”

“Ritual” is almost thirty minutes long and is notable for Chris Squire’s massive bass solo and the Moraz-lead mechanized chaos in the “ritual of life” section.  The only known encore is “Roundabout,” and it isn’t known if they played “I’m Down” afterwards. 

It is a shame the other two nights in Detroit were not recorded by either the band or the audience because the Detroit shows for Yes in the seventies were always events.  Even though much of this show has been officially released, this is a good title to have to hear the entire concert. 

Alternate Yesshows is packaged in a double slimline jewel case with a photograph of the crab nebula stage (before the show) on the back. 

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