The return of Yes to Louisville’s Palace Theater on March 17 was largely concentrated on the band’s legendary past as three of their albums, The Yes Album, Close to the Edge and Going for the One were performed in their entirety. Lead singer Jon Davison kept the packed theater’s attention as Yes focused in on “Yours is No Disgrace,” from 1971′s The Yes Album. Guitarist Steve Howe took center stage with an acoustic, and his fleet fingering on “The Clap” drew a standing ovation. “Starship Trooper” was colored by the heavy thumping bass rhythms of Chris Squire, and “I’ve Seen All Good People” had Davison encouraging a hand clap and sing-a-long. The percussive wallop of Alan White’s drum kit introduced the eastern swing of the half hour masterpiece, “Close to the Edge.” Howe again stepped to the fore front on a loose and breezy drive through the classic, “And You and I.” Keyboardist Geoff Downes added bold accents and frisky frills to the gut punching, hard rocker, “Siberian Khatru.” After a brief set break, Yes took the stage with a change in tempo on the start-stop title track to 1977′s ”Going For the One.” Squire’s and Howe’s string bending prowess and fiery soloing pushed “Turn of the Century” to an escalating tension and release heightened level. Davison beautifully conveyed the abundant glow of discovery inherent inside of the glorious marvel, “Wonderous Stories.” And, as Yes reconvened to encore with the chart topping master work, “Roundabout,” it was obvious that the progressive rock ensemble had a winning formula and 2013 tour at the Louisville Palace on March 17. A truly memorable and noteworthy experience.
Friday, August 2, 2013 1:44 PM
"Yes At the Louisville Palace"
Review by: Josh Campbell
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’s guitar 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!
Sunday, May 5, 2013 12:31 PM
Review by Anna Blanton
Yes, an English progressive rock band, performed a crowd pleasing performance of three of their albums at the Louisville Palace on St. Patrick's Day. Having been formed in 1968 by bassist Chris Squire, Yes has had no less than 18 people rotate thru the band's roster. The current line-up which performed last night includes singer Jon Davison, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, and keyboardist Geoff Downes.
They opened the concert with The Yes Album, which according to Squire, it's the first time ever performed in Louisville. This is personally my favorite album by Yes. After four decades, these fine musicians still sound great. My favorite moment was when they performed "Your Move/I've Seen All Good People." "Your Move" is epic and the lyrics dynamic. I love the chess metaphor for society being self centered, oblivious to the corruption of the world, and not worrying about what doesn't affect them. The lyrics are creative and the musical composition of the song is commanding as well. I particularly enjoyed the use of Howe's 12 string laud and Downes' organ. The build up of the organ at the end really tugs on your emotions. I really wish the organ was a bit louder in the performance last night for a more powerful effect. I envision this song taking place in a castle with a huge pipe organ, and I want to hear that grandioso in the music. I didn't quite get that in their performance of "Your Move" last night.
Also on The Yes Album is "The Clap" which is a solo guitar tune performed by Howe. This is a quirky, happy song that I always enjoy hearing. Howe sounded as good as he did on the recording. I heard numerous people in the audience commenting that they enjoyed this moment.
The concert continued on with complete performances of their album Close to the Edge followed by a 20 minute intermission which led to their other album Going for the One in its entirety. Yes was fabulous in every musical aspect. They may not be as energetic as they used to be in their younger days, but they don't let that affect the quality of their music. The vocals didn't sound like they have aged at all (Davison has only been in the band two years). His tone soars over the music effortlessly. The harmony vocals are still tight as well. Overall a very high quality music performance.
Yes has an amazing fan base. The Louisville Palace was packed. If you attended the concert make sure to tag your instagrams and tweets with #yesshows. Despite being a particularly long concert, which is to be expected when three entire albums are to be performed, the time flew by thanks to the amazing music being performed.
Monday, March 18, 2013 11:40 AM
I was very happy YES picked Louisville Palace. There could not be a more appropriate indoor venue for YES music. The minute you walk in the door you are transported into another visual world, and the sound in most of the building is perfect. The staff is awesome as you will see below. Just thinking back on walking down to the seats for the first time last night (Orchestra 2 Row J 1 & 2) is enough to give me goose bumps again today. Many of the good people of this forum were around us (talking to you A YESFAN) but in my typical lurker fashion we kept things as low key as possible on our side.
I have been to countless YES shows over the years going back to the Tormato tour, having only skipped on Big Generator (most of that album still makes me want to barf) and Flying From Here and after (had more than my fill of BD by then and missed JD’s initial tour). I was there with my beautiful girlfriend Betsy, who has seen YES a few times (Drama, 90125, and one of the early on first tour BD shows that I had the pleasure to take her to), so obviously she is not as obsessed as me. We've also seen JA several times together, including Jon’s School of Rock show in Pittsburgh, PA and most recently solo in Hamilton, OH. Maybe Betsy is almost as obsessed as me because she wants to see SH solo now...
We went into the concert with zero Jon Davison exposure. It’s very difficult for me to listen or watch YES without our usual master of ceremonies, so I thought it best to keep the mind clear and keep down expectations in spite of the awesome set list being broadcast for this tour.
The lights went down and YES proceeded to perform The Yes Album followed immediately by Close to the Edge, and then they took a twenty minute break and came out playing Going for the One followed by Roundabout as the encore. No surprises there and I was very happy with the order they selected as it seemed to flow perfectly, at least in my mind. It brought back the feeling of sitting around in high school and listening to YES albums, which if that was the band’s intention it worked very nicely. These are three great albums, and playing them in the order they were released to us is too nice for words. And Roundabout is the perfect encore after those albums.
The band’s performance overall was excellent. This was by far the best YES show I have seen in many years. Magnification at Radio City just before the horror of 9/11 is probably the most recent keeper, but YES had an inordinate amount of help on that tour so they are hard to compare. You probably have to go back to IK’s stint with the band back in the 90s to find a show that sounded this good and had this much energy. Yes, there were some misses here and they are looking old (just like the rest of us yesfans), but I left the show with the perfect YES afterglow which I haven’t felt for a good long time, and that’s exactly what I came for. Bottom line is I would go see this show again and again in a heartbeat given the opportunity, and it almost makes me wish I could stand a cruise ship to see those shows.
Betsy also loved the show and thought it was awesome on all levels and especially loved watching Jon, Chris and Steve interact, so the show passed the girlfriend test with flying colors.
Every song was a highlight, and even the plodding A Venture came out very nicely and much better than I expected. Betsy was thoroughly impressed with Awaken and Chris’s triple neck bass, and Chris’s vocals overall were very good as well. Steve is on fire, Alan sounded solid as always, and Geoff sounded great and far better than I have ever heard him sound playing with YES. As a band they are sounding wonderful. I want to hear more. How about a Tales Relayer tour, anyone?
But the man with the toughest job by far was Jon Davison, and I was thoroughly impressed with his performance on all levels. JD has a similar range but slightly different timbre than JA which gives his vocals a brigh