On This Day (March 12)…Jon Anderson Visits EPCOT

Jon Anderson performed three sets on this day in 2019 at the American Gardens Theater at EPCOT, one of the theme parks at Disney World in Florida.

Jon Anderson performing onstage during the third set. Thumbnail for this video.

This was the second of two dates at EPCOT for Jon Anderson and his band. The group were at the time preparing for a huge tour to support Anderson’s recent solo album, 1000 Hands: Chapter One. At the time of this concert, the album had not yet been released. All three of the sets Anderson performed featured at least one song from his forthcoming album, either “Where Does Music Come From”, “Ramalama”, or “Makes Me Happy”.

Each set was also bookended by the two most famous songs from Anderson’s most famous band, Yes. “Owner of a Lonely Heart” began each performance, while “Roundabout” ended them. Mixed and matched and changed for each set were some other early Yes songs: “America”, “Perpetual Change”, “Starship Trooper”, and “I’ve Seen All Good People”. The “Starship Trooper” featured a portion of “Solid Space” from Anderson’s previous solo venture Olias of Sunhillow.

Anderson was joined by a set of brilliant musicians, Another article covering the tour listed them as such, and I have no reason to believe this was not the same lineup that appeared at this concert:

For the spring solo tour, Anderson will be joined by [Michael] Franklin, who will serve as both musical director and keyboardist for the eight-piece band, which will also include his brother, Tim Franklin, on bass, along with drummer Matt Brown, guitarist Tommy Calton, violinist Jocelyn Hsu, percussionist Steady Joseph, keyboardist / trombonist Joe Cosas and saxophonist / flutist Billy Meethers.

Retrieved from here

This concert had no tickets, and was seated on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Jon Anderson arriving at the venue. This is my own photo and may not be used without permission.

I had an opportunity to see all three of these concerts and the soundcheck Anderson undertook prior. Every minute of the concerts were brilliant, and the smaller venue allowed for an incredible connection between the performers and the audience. I even got a chance to shake his hand and thank him for his wonderful music before the first concert. “Thank you, you wonderful person” was the response he gave.

All of the concerts were recorded and are floating around on the internet.

I would share my own recordings, but my cheering probably ruined it!

Anderson performed at the American Gardens Theater, a portion of the American pavilion at EPCOT. This is an outdoor amphitheater which apparently has a capacity of around a thousand, though it’s also easy to listen to the music emanating from the show if you happen to be walking nearby.

Retrieved from here.

While the venue cannot be entered without a ticket to EPCOT, it doesn’t require special tickets or fast passes, as many other Disney Attractions now do.

Here are some of the other concerts which have occurred here. The theater’s official website can be found here.

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