“In March of 1984 the long overdue show went on the road. Aside from seeing three continents, three tour managers, one small army of Argentinean security, encountering numerous threats, one ticket office bombing, some minor bickering and moaning, one squadron of flying saucers over Denver, lots of vodka and surviving two international escapes, the tour went smoothly and without incident. In spite of, or perhaps as a result of this, what ensued was a series of shows that delighted audiences everywhere.
Now for your listening pleasure, some of these magical music moments have been preserved on wax… Enjoy, and thank GOD for small miracles and hasty retreats.”
– From Seal Beach
Mickey Heyes, Assistant Tour Manager.
YES chose to redefine their image: dispensing, for the second time, with Roger Dean, and embracing a new design style based on computer graphics. The 1980s YES utilised a new updated YES logo and released only their second promotional video in sixteen years, a live recording of their tour. The young filmmaker Steve Gottenburg produced 9012Live for the Charlex Company, using state-of-the-art video technology – incorporating over 60 stunning visual effects. Nominated for various awards, 9012Live provides an accurate portrait of the reformed band.
The new YES began the evening’s entertainment with a Bugs Bunny cartoon show, rather than their traditional orchestral overture. In the show proper, dry ice, lasers, strobe lights and spotlights were combined to stunning effect. During ‘Hearts‘, the laser images of two hearts were projected onto the arena walls, whilst in the solos by Trevor and Tony, the cone laser light was used to great effect. After the climax of ‘Starship Trooper‘, as the band went offstage, awaiting their call for an encore, lasers projected the word ‘YES‘ onto screens above the audience – encouraging the crowd to chant the band’s name until they returned.
The world tour concluded in February 1985, in South America, final performances included the massive Rock in Rio festival which drew a crowd of 250,000. That same month, YES won a Grammy award for best rock instrumental performance for the track ‘Cinema‘ from 90125.
Excerpted from David Watkinson’s ‘Perpetual Change‘.