Thirty years ago today I saw Yes for the first time. It was the second of two nights at the Spectrum and my friend Scott and I decided to go at the last minute. We got our tickets from a scalper outside the place, went inside, picked up a program and t-shirt, then got in our second level seats and enjoyed the show.
I was still relatively new to the band, so I didn't have a lot invested in the presence or absence of Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman. I loved the Drama album for what it was, without prejudice, and was able to do the same with the concert. Between the great performance and the contact high, I had a great time.
Ten days ago when I went to the Phillies game I was reminded of that concert experience, because that was the first time I had taken PATCO and SEPTA to the stadium complex since 1980! Thirty years ago it was a very different experience. I vividly remember walking through the concourse on the way home. We were getting near the PATCO hallway when I noticed red dots on the floor. As we turned the corner and got closer to the PATCO turnstiles there were more and larger red dots. Then we saw why: two guys--each with a leather belt around their fists--were in the final stages of a fight. They were just about spent and the transit cop was just waiting for them to stop completely before stepping in. We didn't wait to see how it ended.
I saw Yes a few times since then: 1987, 1990 (as ABWH), 1991, 1994 and finally in 1997 (twice at the Tower Theater), but that first show remains my sentimental favorite. And I still have both the program and t-shirt!