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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Yes perform album classics, new songs at Hard Rock Rocksino

Yes perform Close to the Edge, Fragile, hits new and old in Northfield Park, Ohio.There’s a moment in Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi when Luke Skywalker looks with pity upon his infirm teacher.  Yoda won’t have it. “When 900 years old you reach, look as good you will not!” snaps the wispy-haired wizard—who then passes away. The gentlemen in Yes resembled Templar Knights and tenured professors more than rock and roll heartthrobs when taking the Hard Rock stage in Northfield Park Wednesday night.
Pity them not.
Old? Perhaps, but the Yes men are still sprightly and virtuosic. And their music has aged like wine.
The progressive rock band was founded in England in the late ‘60s, after all, and sure, some members of the “original” and “classic” lineups look every one of their years. But given the loose, life-affirming set delivered by the group’s current incarnation before a near sellout crowd, it’s still a bit early to start dialing any assisted living facilities.
The ensemble—initially assembled by singer Jon Anderson and bassist Chris Squire—has seen countless roster changes over the decades, starting with the addition of guitarist Steve Howe(ex-Bodast, Tomorrow), who replaced Peter Banks (now deceased). And when drummer Bill Bruford left to join King Crimson, Alan White settled in behind the throne.
He’s been there ever since.
Yes enjoyed massive success in the Seventies, crafting one mind-bending album after another and packing in stadiums for concerts of quasi-mystical proportions in an era dominated by arena rock, glam, and disco.
The momentum appeared to shift (for the worse) when keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman jumped overboard in 1979. Swedish synth player had subbed for Wakeman on 1974’s excellent Relayer album, but the caped crusader returned for 1977’s magnum opus Going For the One. Following a strained Tormato tour and botched sessions for a follow-up album, both Wakeman and Anderson tendered their resignations.
Squire, White, and Howe carried on as Yes, recruiting singer Trevor Horn and keyboardist Geoff Downes, who—as The Buggles—topped the charts with “Video Killed The Radio Star.” This lineup recorded only one album together, 1980’s overlooked, cyber-punk Drama, before disintegrating.
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