My 30 something-ith YESSHOW. My second time doing the VIP package. Was going to see them in Columbus but my adventurous road trip left me sleep deprived and exhausted. If you're not familiar with this venue, the signage for getting here is not great. The cool part was the ease of parking and not having to pay for it. Got my ticket with no problem. Met with Alan (guy in charge of the meet & greet)again whom I have seen at several shows. He seems to enjoy his job and comes across very professional. Bought the 45 of Roundabout/Into the Lens. Wish I had purchased the Dean logo with DRAMA artwork iron transfer Tee. Too late now. Got a seat up close but a little too off to the side. Got to watch the new bassist (but not a new band member) Billy Sherwood since he was right in front of me. I think he plays Squire's licks better than Squire did. Opening was "A Young person's Guide...". They opened with the DRAMA album which sounded immaculate. I don't know if it was because of being in front of Billy but I heard a lot of buzz. "And You and I" sounded great but it was very "buzzy" as well. Steve Howe has always been the one member to stay in his corner and just play but with this show, he really seemed more outgoing. I think he enjoys playing more now even though he has been playing for years. Ritual was ok. I heard Billy hit a sour note but otherwise, the show was pretty tight. Jay Schellen did a pretty good job, even on "Ritual". Not perfect but pretty good. Glad they did my concert favorite at the very end which is "Starship Trooper". Even though Geoff doesn't do the keyboard solo anymore (wish he did), it still sounds great. I was a little reluctant to do the meet & greet. I got the package mainly for the front row seat and cool goodies. This m&g was a little better than the one I did before. I got to converse a little with Geoff, Billy, and Steve. Geoff actually recognized me. I also did a m&g with Asia a few years ago. I had DVD insert for Steve to sign. He informed me that it was a bootleg (to my surprise). He signed it anyway. Jay felt a little out of place and I could understand why. If anyone with Yes or the touring crew are reading this, they should make a 8x10 photo with this touring line-up for the signing. The merchandise didn't feature him on it at all so it kind of makes it awkward. Overall a great experience. Hope Alan white gets well so I can see him again. Also nice to converse with all the Yesfans at these shows. Hope to see some of you again at the ARW shows.
Jim Carver, The Rust Belt Chronicles
Monday, August 8, 2016 9:07 AM
Last week, we were graced with the appearance of the progressive rock band, YES at the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park. The band featuring the wondrous stories and musical escapades that transcend you into a musical journey. Despite member changes, health and age, YES has maintained their articulate delivery of their songs as if it was the 1970’s. Few bands have stood the test of time and it was an honor to hear YES again!
Featuring ‘The Album Series Tour’, these elder statesman of Prog Rock delivered two sets of stunning material; captivating the fans for several hours. The fans of YES are so loyal to the band, even if YES performed their most obscure tunes; I believe the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park would still been a near sell-out. That’s a testimony to the music and talent of a band that refuses to retire!
Prior to the show, I met our friend (and #1 YES fan), Ruth Zurawka in the lobby. We spoke and she updated me on the new drummer, Jay Schellen, who is filling in for Alan White; while he is recovering from back surgery. Ruth creates colorful YES bracelets to promote the band and occasionally travels across the USA with YES. Last summer, we met her in Dayton, Ohio and she was offering Thank You, Chris Squire bracelets (after his unexpected passing), which we promoted and the requests for the thoughtful, free bracelet sky-rocketed!
YES, opened the show with the complete ‘Drama‘ album and light-up the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park with their beautiful screen of visuals above the stage; often featuring the album cover artwork of Roger Dean. The majestic wonder and tales were a moving experience. With epic sequences and startling musical brevity, YES was in full swing. “Tempus Fugit” was simply incredible from beginning to end! After completing the ‘Drama’ album performance, Yes followed up with mind-blowing versions of “I’ve Seen All Good People”, “Siberian Khatru” along with; “And You and I’. Each of these songs were stunning and as fresh as the day the songs were recorded. The musical and time signature changes were incredible to hear and the audience definitely approved. This band is so fluid in the detail of their music it’s stunning! After the exhaustive opening set, YES took a well-deserved, twenty-minute break.
Steve Howe amazes whether it’s with an electric, pedal steel or acoustic guitar. The elder statesman of YES is a profound genius. I noticed that during many time-changing musical segment, Steve doesn’t tap his foot or move his head to the beat. It’s a if he could perform those progressions in his sleep! Simply amazing!
Next-up was the two sides (1 & 4) of ‘Tales From Topographic Oceans’. Although I wasn’t has familiar with that record, I must say the progressive tunes were splendid in their different musical variations and delivered as if it was one long conceptual story. Like an Opera with different precise movements, YES performed brilliantly through the entire set. The delivery were flawless and the fans soaked in the music. From the soft mellow moments to the epic themes, YES was impeccable!
Bassist, Billy Sherwood does an incredible job of picking and plucking away at his instrument, while performing the famous lines of Chris Squire. Honestly, this man is a beast of a player! Temporary drummer, Jay Schellen filled-in admirably for Alan White. Jay has worked with bassist, Billy Sherwood in other band projects and it seemed the drummer may have given YES a sharper edge towards some of the material.
Geoff Downes quibbled like a mad scientist on his array of keyboards. Providing layered lush sounds usually reserved for a few keyboardist I the world. His articulate voicing’s embellished the songs and lifted the senses of all in attendance! Geoff’s dual keyboard layout reminded me of the late, Keith Emerson (RIP), as he performed with his arms extended to the right and left of his body, giving us meticulous sounds of grandeur! Vocalist, Jon Davison’s incredible resemblance of Jon Anderson’s voice is eerie. Close your eyes and it’s hard to tell the difference! His gestures, clothing and hair appear straight out of the early 1970’s. Jon gave a savvy performance with electronic drums, timbales and various percussive instruments throughout the night. But it was his smooth voice that rose over-top the music, giving us that epic YES sound.
The band bowed and left the stage.
YES returned with an encore of “Starship Trooper”. These guys had the fans on their feet, cheering as the band escalated the people to new heights. Once again, the progressive music bound by many time-signature changes was simply astonishing.
The band closed with “Roundabout”, as the fans went ecstatic! The clarity was amazing as the band pumped the tune with passionate musicianship, excellent vocals in a roustabout manner. The precision, effortless timing and progressiveness of all that embodies YES; evolved the crowd into a standing ovation!
Don’t miss the legendary Prog-Rock band, YES; when they visit a City near you! [Link]