by Josh Campbell, 26 March, 2013, Unsung Melody
On the 17th of March, nothing could have prepared me for what was in store that evening. As I stepped into the front doors of the Louisville Palace, I was in awe. The exquisite Spanish Baroque facade that met me was gorgeous. The entire theater was decorated in this manner, and it only gave me a taste of what was to come.
This tour is a special one for Yes, and fans alike. It’s the first time they’ve played three full-length albums on stage. Tonight, they played The Yes Album, Close to the Edge and Going For the One in chronological order.
The band introduction lit up the large screen that had been mounted to the back of the stage. Murals of the band, spanning their inception on to their greatest achievements, lined the screen as Igor Stravinsky’s“Firebird Suite” played. As Steve Howe and Chris Squire took to the stage, the crowd lit up with an energy all its own. They were here to not just see Yes, but to experience them!
From the first note on, Yes proved their worth! Steve Howe (guitars) is still a beast at 65 years old! His playing was masterful and almost inhuman. Later throughout the show, he pulled out a lap steel guitar and a Spanish Laúd, and switched between them throughout the album Going For the One. He was truly showcasing his technical mastery of stringed instruments.
Chris Squire (bass) still could show that he’s a master of his instrument. The fat, crystal-clear tone shone throughout the entire set. His grooves bounced between simple structures, to funky, energetic pieces.
Geoff Downes showed off his virtuosity on keyboards. The soundscapes would meld with Steve Howe’sguitar work, and create an entire atmosphere. His gorgeous melodies complemented the rhythmic bass work of Chris Squire, as well.
While on stage, Alan White still has a thing or two to show the young ones. Powering through their three albums is a feat, and to keep it interesting is even more difficult. Keeping the pace, the foundation was solid in his drumming and footwork.
Finally, Jon Davison handled vocal duties. Replacing Benoît David after he left Yes in 2012, he still had even bigger shoes to fill. The high ranges that original vocalist Jon Anderson could sing made the songs incredibly difficult for any vocalist to match. Davison nailed it with stunning ability.
Yes has been around for over 40 years, and they sound refreshing live. The energy they showcase on stage is amazing. If you get the chance to catch Yes live, do it!
Check out my Yes gallery here.