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Monday, 21 July 2014

Yes still classic - with different Jon in lead

Prog-rockers Yes (from left, Chris Squire, Alan White, Geoff Downes, Steve Howe, and Jon Davison) played two 1972 albums complete Saturday at the Tower.
At a packed Tower Theater on Saturday night, Yes' lead singer sounded and looked better than ever. His moves - hippy-dippy swayings punctuated by the occasional use of a finger cymbal - haven't changed. But he seemed younger, rejuvenated by the music - in this case the presentation of two classic Yes albums in their entirety, Fragile and Close to the Edge, both (amazingly) from 1972, when progressive rock was king.

How does he do it?

The answer is simple: It isn't 69-year-old Jon Anderson up front, but Jon Davison, 43, lead singer of Glass Hammer. Yes' fiendishly clever idea is to have a Jon Anderson replacement actually called Jon, even down to that missing "h". Genius.

Without Jon Anderson, Yes could easily be No, or at the very best Maybe. The truth is that Jon Davison, a lovable presence, is the soul of the show, his contribution for greater than an accurate impression of his master's voice. It's a win-win situation: His humble enthusiasm fires the band up, too. Anderson, though, is alive and well, and why he isn't singing with Yes when he has recently played many of the same songs at the Keswick Theatre, heaven only knows.

Around Davison, the bandmates, playing as well as ever, looked their age. Guitarist Steve Howe, 67, now resembling a cross between the Grinch and The Simpsons' Mister Burns, still has nimble fingers for parts that only he could ever play, but his clothes hang limply from his shoulders. Bassist Chris Squire, 66, has gone the more Falstaffian route, goatee disguising nothing, shirt floatier than ever, his trousers still outrageously spandex. Drummer Alan White, the youngster, looks the trimmest in his Perspex drum kingdom, as befits a 65-year-old getting a 21/2-hour workout every night.

Read on...

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