Perfect. Every song was played with immaculate precision. Jon Davidson was spot on excellent. The whole band was enjoying themselves and some good crowd interaction.
But to me, "Awaken" was simply the greatest song I have ever witnessed live. I have never experienced the level of "high vibration" I felt.
Even though I was front row, the stage sound was very good. The organ sound was powerful. The lighting and video backdrop complimented the music wonderfully.
After "Starship Trooper" was played exactly, I told Chris "best song ever" and he looked and gave me the thumbs up.
It was such an awesome performance I might just rank it as the best concert I have ever seen (and I've seen LOTS of shows over the years).
The Meet and Greet after was fun and they signed my "Close To The Edge" album. Good interaction with Chris and Jon. Jon has such a good fun energy on stage and in person. He nailed every single note.
Geoff Downes was very entertaining to watch too.
I rate this show 10/10 hands down.
Steve even mentioned that Edmonton was the FIRST North American city they ever played back in '71. My uncle shouted "I was there!" Steve pointed at him and told the crowd "HE was there!"
This was one of the best concert experiences of my life.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 7:40 AM
"Prog-rockers Yes wow Edmonton boomers"
article by: Mike Ross, March 26, 2014
uploaded to forgotten yesterdays by: AD
You wouldn’t have been able to fling a guitar pick at Monday night’s Yes concert without hitting a Baby Boomer who still has a copy of Close to the Edge lurking on his record shelf.
LURKING, I say! On a record shelf, what holds “records,” nestled betwixt Genesis, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Pink Floyd and all those other British progressive art-rockers who were so stoned that they decided mere rock ‘n’ roll was insufficient to express their magical hallucinations. No, this new music of the mind had to be bigger, grander, more symphonic, more intricate, with more extended arrangements than mere “songs,” these concept pieces arranged in movements like Beethoven symphonies and more complex than Beethoven besides. It had to be “progressive.” Now there’s a good name for it.
To prove the point, the Yes show of 2014 opened with the title track of Close to the Edge – all 19 convoluted minutes of it in four sections that spanned the gamut from atonal jazz to bluesy drones to neo-classical riffing at its most bombastic. It was a musical fever dream, a psychedelic journey, a musical adventure through space and time. Not just a pretty tune with four beats to a bar and three chords. Ha! How quaint that would be. No, to call Yes self-indulgent is to sell this band short. It would be like calling the Milky Way galaxy “big.”
Out of the entire English prog-rock pantheon to which North American counterparts barely hold a candle (Kansas excepted), Yes was – and is - probably the weirdest one of all. But they’re not dark in any way. The melodies are sweet. The sentiments expressed are gentle. Make love not war. We stand to lose all time a thousand answers. Make the white queen run so fast she hasn’t got time to make you a wife. You know, the usual. For while those outworldly album covers by Frank Frazetta made the band’s music seem better than it actually was, when you were at that point in the evening where you were pulling out the Yes records from your record shelf, you and your friends were probably aware that the LSD had finally taken effect.
You didn’t have to be tripping to get the most out of Yes’s very strange concert in the Jubilee Auditorium – playing their very strange albums Close to the Edge, The Yes Album and Going for the One in their entirety – but it must’ve helped. To see more than 2,000 fans paying such rapt attention to the band’s labyrinthian litany of polyrhythms, modulations, more modulations, chords not found in nature and lyrics that make no sense at all was amazing. With vocalist Jon Davison doing a passable impression of Jon Anderson, along with guitarist Steve Howe and bassist Chris Squire holding the fort as the only original members, Yes was giving a standing ovation just for showing up. Partial standing ovations broke out after almost every song cycle, then of course being Baby Boomers they had to sit down again, but still. You don’t often see this sort of devotion at a rock concert where maybe only one of the songs was an actual recognizable “hit” – Roundabout, coming in the encore.
The rest was not just in left field, but out of this world. More elongated rock symphonies captivated the audience, the eight minute Turn of the Century being an early highlight. Musicianship was impressive. No tracks were evident. Bonus points just for that. In the second set, Howe did a bang-up job on the solo acoustic guitar piece Clap, a twisted ragtime sort of thing, and an example of the band’s rampant, seemingly indiscriminate habit of pulling from so many disparate styles of music – sometimes all at the same time. And during Awaken, clocking in at almost 16 minutes and featuring lines like “wish the sun to stand still, reaching out to touch our all being,” Squire wielded the dreaded triple-neck bass guitar. The crowd went wild. Keyboardist Geoff Downe
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 7:35 AM
"Why YES endures after 46 years; Prog rock band back in Edmonton next week"
article by: Roger Levesque, March 19, 2014
Is the affirmation in the band’s name a key to the uplifting essence of their music?
Something has kept the British group going since 1968, 46 years now, making them the most enduring act in that notorious sub-genre known as progressive rock, art rock, or just prog.
It’s an odd corner of the music world that came into its own during the 1970s, chartered by bands like YES, King Crimson, Genesis, Emerson Lake & Palmer and — depending on where you draw the lines — Procol Harum, The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd and a dozen other bands.
Prog rock was the thinking person’s rock sound, marked by songs with complex structures that often drew on classical and jazz influences, using suite forms, multiple tempo changes, unusual time signatures, and lyrics with a poetic flair. Tracks could last 10 or 20 minutes to show off a band’s technical virtuosity and were often tied to a concept album motif.
At their best, classic YES recordings like Close To The Edge (1972) conjured up a kind of otherworldly mood that inspired cultlike devotion. Tracks like And You And I or that song’s opening lyrics “a man conceived a moment’s answers to the dream” had an almost mythological feel, with great appeal for young teenage nerds like myself. Completing the package, dreamlike LP graphics by artist Roger Dean looked like visions of another planet.
Jon Anderson’s lyrics didn’t make much sense — the singer has admitted he penned words for their sounds — but there was an atmospheric, intellectual depth to their music that was lacking in other rock and pop. This encouraged the sense that you were into something special and rare.
YES had their first FM radio success with the song Roundabout in the early ’70s. I came to realize the size of their fan base when I witnessed a few thousand others show up to see the band at the Edmonton Coliseum in May 1979.
It was cool to hear them live, despite my mixed feelings about how they were spread out on a central circular stage. A Journal review of the show questioned how the band “crammed technical virtuosity into the timespace with scant regard for the meshing of the parts into the whole.”
YES already had a special thing for Edmonton. They played their first North American date here, opening for Jethro Tull at Edmonton Gardens in 1971. Then in 1984, the band filmed their 9012Live concert video here, directed by an up-and-coming director named Steven Soderbergh.
Prog rock continuesBy 1980, YES could fill stadiums, even as some critics dismissed them as rock dinosaurs, and prog rock as pretentious or anachronistic. It has even been suggested that prog rock inspired the raw invention of punk. My loyalty to YES was on the wain after Going For The One and Tormato, two late-’70s albums that signalled the band’s switch to a pop direction and once I discovered the even more cultist genre of jazz, I wound up trading away all my YES LPs.
About five years ago, I found myself repurchasing a handful of classic YES albums remastered on CD. Prog itself has had remarkable staying power, picking up fans far beyond its original boomer following (ESO conductor Bill Eddins wrote his college thesis on a work by YES).
Ask Alan Burant, an accountant by day and expert host of CJSR-FM’s prog rock show Erotic Dancer’s Guide To Fine Music since 2000 (listen 8 p.m. Mondays). He sees prog as “a more expansive, challenging alternative” to rock ‘n’ roll and will tell you that YES and King Crimson are the founding pillars of the sub-genre that refuses to die.
“People hold these bands in higher regard, like jazz and classical, because there are a lot of hidden nuances in the music to inspire repeated listening. The fans tend to be audiophiles, the catalogues are still selling and younger audiences are raiding their father’s record c