Friday, March 22, 2013 Hard Rock Casino, Biloxi, MS
The group “YES” has been around for over 45 years. They were formed by Chris Squire and Jon Anderson in 1968. The other original members were, Bill Bruford, Peter Banks(who recently passed away, in 2013) and Tony Kaye. No less than 18 different players have been members of the band, over those 4 and a half decades. The band has released 21 albums to date.
The show Friday night showed off the exceptional playing ability of the current members:
Steve Howe on guitars
Chris Squire on Bass (the one and only bass player Yes has ever had)
Alan White on Drums (joined in 1972, been behind the drum kit ever since)
Geoff Downes on Keyboards (joined Yes in 1980, went on to form Asia w/ Steve Howe)
Jon Davison on Vocals (joined Yes in 2012, also a member of Glass Hammer & Sky Cries Mary)
The show started simply enough with a large screen displaying images of the band and the players over the years, followed by several shots of their album covers, most particularly: The Yes Album, Close to the Edge, and Going for the One. Without much to do, the band simply walked out on the stage, waved to the crowd, took up their instruments and began playing the album, “Close to the Edge”; they played the entire album note for note from beginning to end. At the conclusion of “Siberian Khatru”, the final track on “Close to the Edge”, Steve and Chris chatted with the crowd a bit, then launched into “Yours is No Disgrace” and continued to play the rest of “The Yes Album” in its entirety, note for note. The most memorable segment from this portion of the show is when Steve Howe came out with an acoustic guitar, and played “The Clap”. Although Steve is getting up there in years, his playing ability has not even slightly diminished. The crowd went wild, as they then played the opening notes of “Starship Trooper” and again with “I’ve Seen All Good People”.
Jon Davison on vocals is a perfect fit for that Yes sound; his vocal style is so similar to Jon Anderson, one could barely tell them apart. In no way was Mr. Davison trying to mimic Mr. Anderson’s sound, his voice is so close to Jon’s, that all he had to do was sing in his natural voice to deliver the tunes we were used to hearing, in the style we were used to hearing them. Other than Jon Anderson, no one could have done a better job with the vocals than Jon Davison.
The overall sound of the show was beyond compare: every note from every instrument, and every vocal was clean and crisp. The sound man (a woman actually), really had their act together, and mixed the show beautifully. Something else I noticed, which is true of every Yes show, Chris Squire’s bass is prominently featured, almost like a lead player. At times I felt the bass rattle the entire building, without any distortion. Alan White’s drumming was spot on, as one would expect from a drummer of his caliber. Geoff Downes, rejoined the group in 2011. He absolutely nailed all the keyboard parts perfectly, as one might expect from a former member during the 80’s.
They did extend the final track, “Perpetual Change”, just a little. They fired up the confetti cannons at the end of this song. There was so much confetti it literally blocked out the view of the stage for a minute or so.
For an encore, they performed “Roundabout”, from the album “Fragile”. Once again the crowd went wild; the entire venue was on its feet for the finale. As they said good night, the band seemed very humble, and not full of themselves at all. They appeared gracious, and genuinely seemed to appreciate the audience. I know, as a member of the audience, we felt the same way…..I highly recommend catching them if they are in your area…ticket prices were reasonable also, $75 is not bad, for a legendary band of their status.
Article courtesy of: Audio Nation Radio