Yes in Philly in the Seventies - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Art by Roger Dean

Today is the 12 hour Prog Rock Marathon on WXPN hosted by Dan Reed and his returning guest, local prog rock expert Biff Kennedy. From Noon to 5 they will be upstairs at World Cafe Live, welcoming special guests and spinning classic prog-rock; King Crimson, Can, Genesis, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and of course, some Yes.

Philly has always loved its Yes, prog-rockers who are still at it – during this summer’s Yestival tour, John DiLIberto called them “dinosaurs that have been reborn.” Introduced to many radio listeners in Philly by Ed Sciaky on WMMR back in the early Seventies, Yes performed in Philly regularly, playing the Spectrum 12 times from 1971 to 1979. While they often played two nights in a row here, they once played twice on the same day, including a matinee show, on February 16th, 1974 during the Tales From Topographic Oceans tour.

In June, 1979 the band performed three nights in a row, “in the round,” on a rotating stage, and the show on June 21st was recorded and released on DVD. The band at the time included Jon Anderson, Steve Howe (guitar), Rick Wakeman (keyboards), Chris Squire (bass), and Alan White (drums). Below, watch a couple of songs from that performance – “Starship Trooper,” and “Siberian Khatru” – followed by a recording of a complete show during the Relayer tour from the Spectrum on July 22nd, 1977.

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