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Thursday, 7 August 2014

Yes show brings standing O's

Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 4:00 am

By Scott Tady Calkins Media | 0 comments

MUNHALL — Pittsburgh progressive-rock fans enjoyed a special treat Sunday when one of the genre’s standard-bearers performed two of its classic albums.

It was the first time locally that British band Yes played its breakthrough 1971 album “Fragile” from start-to-finish. The two-hour concert, at the Carnegie Library Music Hall of Homestead, began with Yes performing its 1972 “Close to the Edge” album in reverse order — another local first.

Fans in the sweaty 1,000-seat sold-out hall showered Yes with eight or so standing ovations, recognizing the band’s virtuosity and historical significance.

Plus it felt good regularly getting up from those hard, wooden seats built in an era when comfort wasn’t an issue.

Yes launched with the nearly nine-minute “Siberian Khatru,” a prototypical prog-rock song with plenty of space for complex solos by keyboardist Geoff Downes and fellow Asia alum Steve Howe, the 1976 to 1981 “Best Overall Guitarist” winner as chosen by Guitar Player magazine readers.

Three decades later, Howe is still a master, eliciting guitar strokes and strums that enchanted without getting self-indulgent, as evidenced on the night’s next selections, “And You and I” and the full-album side “Close to the Edge” title track, where he alternated between one guitar mounted on a stand and another still strapped around his neck. Peering out from his thick glasses, looking part Ivy League professor and part 19th century composer, Howe also shined on pedal steel for a few passages and prompted fans to risk the admonishment of security guards to shoot video of his elegant “Mood for a Day” solo during the “Fragile” segment.

Downes did a nice job replicating while adding his own touches on flashy “Fragile” pieces composed by former keyboard ace Rick Wakeman.

Union (Standard DVD)
DVD - £9.99

Union (2CD)
2CD - £7.99

Rock Of The 70's
DVD - £12.99

The Lost Broadcasts
DVD - £7.99

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