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Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Yes at The Egg, 7/6/14

ALBANY – 1971 was the year that the progressive rock band Yes released their big breakthrough album, “Fragile,” the fourth album of their catalog. 1971 was also the year that Jon Davison, Yes’ current lead vocalist, was born…
Rock history is littered with bands who have tried to carry on following the departure of their lead vocalist. Some, like Genesis, went on to even bigger commercial success. Some, like Journey, struggled mightily for years before finding the right replacement voice. Some, like Judas Priest, wallowed before re-enlisting their original singer. And some, like Van Halen, have totally lost their way.
It’s still too early to tell exactly where Yes is going to land on the success-to-failure spectrum with Davison – his debut album with the band, “Heaven & Earth,” is slated for release on Tuesday – but during their tour-launch at The Egg’s Hart Theatre on Sunday evening he proved himself to be a considerably better successor to original vocalist Jon Anderson than his predecessor, Benoît David.
Of course, Anderson – who coincidentally played The Egg just a couple of months ago – was not only the distinctive alto tenor voice of Yes, but also the architect of Yes’ harmony-laden vocal imprint and the lyricist for most of the band’s mystical/mystifying musical journeys.
Davison certainly has big shoes to fill, but he did an excellent job in covering Anderson’s soaring vocal parts from the band’s classic albums, “Fragile” and “Close to the Edge,” both played in their entirety (although for some reason the three songs of “Close to the Edge” were performed in reverse order). Davison gracefully nailed all of the exceptionally high notes, but didn’t attempt to impersonate Anderson’s phrasing or vocal style. And he seemed genuinely invested in Yes’ mythological world of Earth Mother-meets-sci-fi imagery.

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