When one thinks of progressive rock-n-roll a few names come to mind, and chances are UK band Yes is one of the first. Their history spanning over forty six years with twenty one studio albums and consistent touring has captured the imagination of music fans worldwide. Fusing complex cosmetic instrumentation, powerful vocals, and story like compositions, Yes are one of the most influential bands of all time. Keeping their audience satisfied, the band has partaken in a variety of concept tours including the 2013 “Three Classic Albums Tour” where they played three albums a night in full; The Yes Album (1971), Close to the Edge (1972), and Going for the One (1977). Now in 2014 Yes returns with a new album titled Heaven & Earth along with a US summer tour by the same name which they mix in newer songs with the classic albums Fragile (1971), Close to the Edge, and other great tracks. Begun July 5th in NY and concluding August 24th in Los Angeles, CA, the tour made a stop at the cozy historic Long Island NYCB Theater at Westbury, NY Saturday July 12th. Returning to the venue for the second straight summer, fans packed out the venue ready to see Yes for the first, second, and some fortieth time.
Configured with the line-up of Chris Squire (bass guitar, backing vocals), Steve Howe (guitars, backing vocals), Alan White (drums, percussion, backing vocals), Geoff Downes (keyboards), and newest member Jon Davison (lead vocals), yes took the stage early without an opening act. While many fans were sad to see vocalist Jon Anderson step down from the band in 2008, their skepticism of seasoned singer Davison was quickly put to rest as the set began. Opening with the three magical tracks from Close To The Edge in reverse order with “Siberian Khartu” first, ”And You and I” second, and the eighteen minute title track last; it was like being transported into another dimension. With tight playing by each member, little time was wasted between tracks and the band let their fingers do the communication through music notes. Going into new song “Believe Again”, the keyboard playing of Downes sent warm sensations through the air with thick vibrations from Squire’s bass playing. Well performed and fitting in nicely with Yes standards, the audience applauded loudly, guaranteeing most will be purchasing a copy of the new album.
With little time lagging, the band went into the Fragile album and the time warp was opened for many spectators. Taking fans back to the golden age of progressive rock, many appreciated the timely placement of the performance of the album which opened with “Roundabout”. Bringing each lyric to life and astounding everyone with his strong voice, Davison captured the room. Not lacking any ability and passion in his voice, fans were thoroughly pleased with the vocalist as the album rendition played on. Like sitting in the comforts of home, putting the needle to the vinyl and kicking back to relax, Yes sounded vividly like the recording from over four decades ago. Mesmerizing the room and having everyone energized, the music was clarified and strong. Howe’s guitar assortments were unbelievable to watch as he played with such ease and grace. Tracks like “Long Distance Runaround”,” Mood for a Day”, and “Heart of the Sunrise” were just some of the climatic moments in this portion of the show.Taking a moment to allow the listeners a chance to let the lengthy set sink in, the band departed for a brief moment only to return for an encore of hit track “I’ve Seen All Good People”. With everyone on their feet singing and dancing along, the harmonized vocals of Davison, Howe, and Squire sent shivers through the floor. As if this was not enough, the band performed a second encore leading off with band’s number one 1980 hit “Owner of a Lonely Heart”. Connecting with younger generations, the song lit up the theater with the catchy guitar riff of Howe and synth sounds by Downes. That is when the night concluded with personal fan favorite “Starship Trooper” receiving a roaring ovation.
Yes are a treasure to rock-n-roll music with their innovative sound and ability to still bring the music to life all these years later. Fans should have little concern with Davison on vocals as the band perform sensationally well as a unit and there is nothing lost in the songs. They were precise, enthusiastic, and sounded just like they did all those years ago. It can be argued that Yes paved the road for a variety of great bands to follow and that is exactly why they are a 2014 nominee for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Catch this tour while it is hot and witness history in the making.
FUENTE: CRYPTIC ROCK