Opinion > Star Staff
Classic rockers Yes bring legendary albums to life
Photos courtesy of Jerry and Lois Photography -- Yes will perform three classic albums in their entirely March 21 at Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie. Above; Yes performs March 3 at the Moore Theater in Seattle, Wash.
Eighteen-minute songs. Triple-length live albums. Dazzling displays of instrumental virtuosity balanced by delicate vocal melodies and angelic harmonies.
Welcome to the world of Yes.
Known for their cosmic brand of boundary-breaking progressive rock, six of the group's most ambitious LPs broke the Top 10 in both the U.S. and England, and songs such as "I've Seen All Good People" and "Roundabout" have been staples of FM rock radio for decades.
In 1984, a revamped lineup snagged a Top 40 single with "Owner of a Lonely Heart." While the band has seen countless personnel changes and gone on multiple hiatuses, it has stayed active in one form or another for the better part of 45 years.
Now, in the grand tradition Yes' fans have come to expect, its latest incarnation will perform three of the band's most well-received LPs -- "The Yes Album" (1971), "Close to the Edge" (1972), and "Going for the One" (1977) -- in their entirety March 21 at Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie.
While original vocalist, Jon Anderson, will not be performing (a near-fatal respiratory illness prompted the band to find a new singer in 2008), legendary members Chris Squire (bass), Steve Howe (guitar), Geoff Downes (keyboards) and Alan White (drums) will be present to perform some of Yes' most challenging compositions -- yes, even the 18-minute title track from "Close to the Edge" and 1977's notoriously tricky quasi-classical piece "Turn of the Century."
Vocalist Jon Davison, who joined the group earlier this year, boasts an impressive pedigree, having sung for Yes tribute act Fragile and traditional prog-rockers Glass Hammer. I have seen Yes four times, although with a different tribute band-bred singer (Benoit David, who was in the group from 2008 to 2011). While the performances may not have been as rapid-fire on those documented on the 1973 live record, "Yessongs", the core magic that makes Yes, well, Yes, has been present and correct every time I've seen them, and online fan reports suggest this new lineup is even better than the last.
The group is not expected to perform any pieces from its latest record, "Fly From Here," its highest-charting since 1994's "Talk."
With this latest tour, one could accuse the band of dwelling too much on the past. But for fans like myself, who are about 30 years too young to have seen the group in its '70s heyday, the experience is brand new. And for everyone else, a little bit of nostalgia never hurt anybody.
It may not be "progressive," but who cares when the old stuff is so good?