Uncut’s Worst Gigs – Ever!

Today: No one told Yes that prog was dead in NY in '78

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In last month’s UNCUT, our writers, friends and favourite musicians reminisced about their favourite gigs.

Well, in this month’s issue we’re looking back on the worst gigs we’ve ever seen – including The Stone Roses, Bob Dylan, Kevin Rowland and David Bowie – with rare photos from the shows too.

We’re also going to publish one of the worst gigs every day, with online exclusives, so feast your eyes on this, and be glad you weren’t there!

For the full top 30 – see the November issue of Uncut – with Led Zep’s Robert Plant on the cover.

*****

14 | YES
Madison Square Garden, New York
September 6, 1978

MICK HOUGHTON: I’d been filling in as house-writer at Warners when I was asked if I’d mind taking two journalists to cover Yes’s Madison Square concerts. I didn’t think twice, although, for 10 years, I’d successfully managed to avoid ever seeing Yes. This was 1978 and they were the sort of band punk was meant to have wiped out.

Dealt a minor body blow in Britain, the restored, ‘classic’ line up including Anderson, Squire, Wakeman and Howe, had sold out four nights at the Garden in just hours. The decibel level of the crowd was deafening, mercifully all but drowning out the group. This was Yes, renowned for complex dexterity yet all I recall was being pinned to my seat by chest-pounding bass and drums.

If prog was supposed to be dead, no one told the sky-high rows of fanatics, passing joints, chucking Frisbees and setting fire to polystyrene cups. Faraway, Yes were like tiny orcs on the huge revolving stage, amid billowing smoke, ploughing through endless songs and countless encores. That night brought it home – punk had been a mere blip for Yes and their kind.

*****
plus WERE YOU THERE?

Not even UNCUTs war-weary gig-hounds have been to every show in history – but you lot probably have.

Email Allan_Jones@ipcmedia.com to share your memories, of the ones we’ve published or any which we have missed, and we’ll publish the best in a future issue

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