[Link][Link] 40 years of playing Chicago venues, even Yes was caught off guard by the Copernicus Center. The venue created one of a kind atmosphere to make this event special and memorable. The prog veterans were welcomed to a sold out crowd who were just hungry for the music they grew up with. As the crowd was entering the place, you could spot just about any Yes shirt from the last 30 years or so. These were hardcore fans with their kids as well who grew up listening to the band with their parents, uncles, and so on. The bottom line is that this music is alive, and as a relic it is being passed from one generation to the next.
Yes opened with "Siberian Khatru", and then proceeded to play the rest of "Close To The Edge" album, including its epic title track. The band were in superb form, just nailing all the notes, and approaching all of these time signatures at ease. Vocalist, Jon Davison, continues to get better and better. It's hard to ignore how much positive energy he brings into the band. Of course there are fans who would've preferred Jon Anderson to be reinstated, but since that's not going to happen, Davison is as good as it gets. The fact this was a sold out show also tells that fans do approve of this version of Yes.
Once the band concluded playing "Close To The Edge" album, it was time for some new music. Yes recently released a new album, "Heaven & Earth." The audience were treated to two brand new cuts, "Believe Again," and 'The Game." Both songs sounding very fresh, and showing the direction in which the band is now moving. And then it was back to the classics which everyone loves so much to enjoy.
"Fragile" was next on the agenda, and of course it was the whole record the band opted to present. This is when things got very interesting, as the band didn't just choose to stick to album versions of these songs. Many tracks became a vehicle for jamming and improvising. Yes absolutely peeked with "South Side Of The Sky." Some incredible moment from every Yes member here, and we know these guys can play.
Yes isn't just about great songs, but how the players choose to express them. And this band is known for superb musicianship. Bassist, Chris Squire, was on top of his game, making these incredible bass runs, and not afraid to throw a left turn when he should've gone right. Watching him alone was worth the price of admission. Guitarist, Steve Howe, was just flying with his leads all over the place. His ghostly appearance only adds to how out of this planet his guitar work is. Drummer, Alan White, kept a solid rhythm going throughout the show, and allowed the other two to shine. Keyboardist, Geoff Downes, continues to experiment with various sounds, often enriching the Yes structures with unusual breaks and colors. The only problem was his stage set up which made him face the audience with his back for the majority of the time. It was definitely an error made by the roadies. Geoff's finest moment however came during Chris Squire's solo when he left his rig, and opted to play some mean cowbell. And how could you say no to more cowbell! Davison sang beautifully and nailed every note with perfection. It's a real joy to watch him sing.
Yes continues to amuse it's fan base with outstanding performances nearly five decades into its career. This was a perfect venue to see a legendary band in a very intimate setting. The event had a great atmosphere, very easy going security, and the bars served great Polish beer, which only added to the overall mood. This show is to be filed under fantastic category.
-- Mark Kadzielawa
Monday, July 28, 2014 5:12 PM
From the look of these videos, it was a great show before a really enthusiastic audience. Amazing energy. Great performance.