Yes are a progressive rock band from London,England who were originally formed in 1968 by frontman and lead singer Jon Anderson along with Chris Squire, Peter Banks Tony Kaye & Bill Bruford. Like most bands of their time they have gone through some changes in personnel some due to differences and some due to members passing and none more so that the late great Alan White who we sadly lost only a couple of weeks ago. The band has taken on the challenge of coming on tour to promote their 50th Anniversary of Close To The Edge record and bring their energetic power packed lyric laden show to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall as they take us through their 22 album collection that is sure to bring us some real gems and some personal favourites that are sure to whip this audience into a frenzy, we firstly feel the sense of emotion as we are given a slide show of Alan White which is a real touching tribute to this journeyman musician as we ready ourselves for this trip down memory lane, as the band enters the stage to huge applause and shouts of Yes, Yes the boys wave and ready themselves for this night of pure magical musicianship as the boys go straight into there first song.
On The Silent Wings Of Freedom - we are greeted to a real symphonic intro that has a real synth laden beat that is almost symphonic as the snare drum punches come at us and let this classic track break free and bring sizzling slick guitar chords that just take us on this journey of discovery as the track rises like a phoenix and brings in deep plundering bass lines that hand us cool grooves that just wrap themselves around this mesmerising arrangement. The synth tones are littered throughout this classy piece as we feel the energy rise with every chord as Jon comes in with melodic colossal vocals that are guiding this arrangement forward as the groove twists and turns and really opens with a solid snare drum kick that allows the rhythm section the room it needs to really shake this fantastic opening track as the whole band really shine with cool grooves and slick guitar chords that are held together with awesome synth tones that slow down the pace of this incredible piece of music. We applaude loudly and really feel the emotion oozing from the boys as they tell us it has been 3 years since they were back in Glasgow which draws a large cheer, we move onto the colossal
Yours Is No Disgrace - The track opens with a snare drum beat that has bass kicks with cymbal crashes that let this track open and bring the crisp guitar licks. Synth keys are pouring into this composition as the whole band just breath in and let the music do the talking, bass chords are handing us mellow grooves that just take this track forward as the impressive vocals fill this arena and let the whole arrangement break free and bring cool grooves and slick guitar picks that wander freely through this deep melodic rock extravaganza that is building and building as the boys just bounce off each other and and let the track change direction and tell it's own story as the cool dark bass chords drop killer fills that just take this track to the next level as the musicality breaks free and brings gritty riffs that work well with the rhythm section that is hitting us with cool beats and deep bass kicks that are rounding on this synth laden rock classic that is putting smiles on everyone's faces tonight, we cheer big time as the boys again thank us for coming out to support live music and especially them on their 50th anniversary,
we move onto -
No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed - Deep solid keys linger through the intro as we are off lioke a rocket with synth tones that just light up this arena tonight. The rhythm section comes hurtling towards us with cool snare drum beats that have bass kicks and cymbal crashes to really open the groove section, bass chords are hitting us with deep plundering grooves that are just wrapping themselves around this psychedelic type groove beast. Vocals are coming at us and they have a soulful melodic tone that really brings this punchy arrangement to us with style as the cool mid section melodies wash over us as the cool keys deliver a funk laden groove that mixes well with this audience that is really getting into this night of progressive rock that has been a long time coming for most, the audience cheers loudly as we take in
Did It Really Happen - Deep plundering bass lines are erupting before us as this synth laden monster comes at us with crisp clean tones that are matched by the rhythm section as it sends out snare drum punches with cymbal snaps that are just awesome. The vocals are hitting us with a mixture od soulful vibes and deep melodies that are sending this track skyweards with it's deep rasping guitar licks that are solid in direction and crisp with ease as they help this incredible track to our attention. The bass is the star of the track as it weaves one way then the next as this cymbal crashing beast comes hurtling towards us with snare drum beats that are mixing with the keys that are littered throughout this musical extravaganza which is reaching every corner of this auditorium tonight, we are just applauding loudly as the boys take the plaudits and again thank us for being here to share this fantastic night ,
we are sliding into -
Clap - Steve sits on his stool and just unleashes his inner demon as the guitar gently weeps with joy as Steve works his magic with his fingers like lightening working the fretboard at lightening speed as the chords are echoing all around us as the groove just deepens with the tone and direction of this classy piece of music that is building in stature as we watch in anticipation of Steve as he drives this colossal guitar driven solo onwards and really tells us a story with every chord he is striking tonight, we watch in awe as we are treated to a masterclass of the highest order tonight, we walk straight into
Wonderous Stories - Mandolin chords are flowing effortlessly as this enchanting piece of music really pours into this arena. Vocals are just incredible as they drive forward and let the track unfold with mesmerising synth tones that are just telling their own tale of slick tones that are helped along with a deep full on bass assault that wraps itself around this melodic masterpiece that changes direction mid track and lets us drift off to another place and feel the emotion oozing from every musician tonight as this classic track is given a new groove that just sounds spectacular in every way tonight, we are just listening intently as the boys drive this juggernaut through the middle of Glasgow tonight and let us know what we have been missing. The band tell us that we are going on a journey through the years tonight as a touching tribute to Alan they could not decide on a particular setlist as they wanted to deliver the best set that Alan would approve of as we flow into
The Ice Bridge - Impressive synth keys bellow out as this pounding progressive beast comes to life and brings plundering bass lines that drop meaty funk grooves all through this fantastic composition. Vocals are just bringing a haunting feel to the proceedings as they wander effortlessly through this impressive full on arrangement that has snare drum beats as bass kicks combine with cymbal snaps to let this incredible track open and break free. Guitar riffs are just incredible as they are sound perfect with each chord telling it's own story that is just building and building with each wave of incredible musicianship that is bringing this audience a real treat tonight as this incredible piece just cuts loose and really delivers with quality precision for sure, the keys just surge forward with classy tones that are a real bonus with crisp sizzling guitar chops that are on the money. We are being treated to a real special night of real progressive tones that are bringing back so many memories for lots of folk tonight, we leave the bridge and go onto
Dare To Know - The guitar oozes into the track with slick clean chords that are followed by deep groove laden bass lines that are just incredible. The rhythm section hits us with solid snare drum punches and bass kicks that are rounded with cymbal crashes that are just doing their thing tonight. Vocals come through and they instantly take this track to the next level with sweet synth tones that are telling us that we are feeling the awesome tones that are hitting us and allowing this incredible track the room it needs to grow for sure. the arrangement is a slow burner that is stoking the fire of these musicians tonight for sure, we are sitting back and just feeling the sense of fulfillment from these incredible musicians right here, we go forward into -
The Heat Of The Sunrise - Synth tones are wandering in as the rhythm section erupts with a real funky full on groove that allows this epic track to come to life. Bass chords are hitting us with full on dark vibes that fit this arrangement perfectly as it builds and builds with every note that graces us tonight. This is a real slow burner for sure as the groove is building and really works itself higher with crisp guitar riffs that are just bringing us the whole story of this melodic rocking beast. The track is constantly changing direction and takes us one way then the other as this punchy thundering guitar riffed arrangement flows effortlessly over us as sweet soulful vocals fill this venue with every note that comes at us. Th snare drum rolls are just letting the tone come through as the whole composition just awakens and brings swift clean tones that are allowing this track the room it needs to grow. we come next to the main attraction of the show as we are led onto
Close To The Edge - This epic piece of music is coming to life with hypnotic keys that just let the track open and let the story begin. There is guitar strings that are working hard with the bass chords as this mesmerising piece just erupts with classy licks that are keeping perfect time with the rhythm section as snare drum punches are coming at us as the cymbal crashes rain down on us as we ready ourselves for this musical masterpiece to begin it's journey and take us higher for sure. As the track begins to take shape with a group of harmonies that just let this arramgement explore all avenues, the synth vibes are keeping up with the awesome guitar picks that are letting this track really express how it really feels, vocals come in and are like a fine wine that has just been opened as it just rises to the surface and lets the track really express itself with soulful tones that are working freely with the other musicians as they drive this epic composition onwards and takes us closer to the casm as we have ever been. This musical extravaganza is gathering pace and just surprising us with every track, the audience are loving every minute of this musical experience and let the boys know it, we move onto favourite
And You & I - We start with guitar picks to bring this track to life as soulful keys linger in the background and let this piece express itself as the musicality really starts to break through. Bass chords bring us a real deep funk groove that kicks into action as the acoustic strumming chords work in harmony as fantastic vocals break through and take us on this melodic journey that is just building and building as we feel the energy rise and work through the track. Snare drum punches are coming at us and just balance out this hypnotic arrangement as we are twisted one way then the next, there are incredible noises coming from the keys section as they drive forward and bring a real musical feast of sound that is just mesmerising as it transports us to another place and time with real depth and some attitude as the whole arrangement just pulls us in all directions with the cool rhythm section that is throwing everything at us with killer cymbal crashes that come up against the colossal acoustic tones that just wash over us and let this mesmerising composition do it's thing as the vocals flow effortlessly through the mid section and let this track take us to the end and break the silence with all it's might and let the musicians take us to the hallowed land, we are clapping heavily as we just feel the whole experience take us to some other place as the boys bring us
Siberian Khatru - Epic guitar licks pour from the intro as clever snare drum beats combine with bass kicks as this melodic masterpiece comes to life. Bass chords are handing us meaty funk grooves that are working hard with the synth grooves as they allow this cool beast to build and build as the whole arrangement just erupts into something spectacular as we just sit in awe as the boys take us through our paces and let the musicality bring the joy and adventure we feel as this harmonious composition really delivers with ease as snare drum taps control the rhythm as they combine with a real funk groove from the bass as it just takes control of the mid section and let the track just blossom into a real groove beast that is just coming at us in tidal waves of sound and vision as we listen to the vocal tones that wrap themselves around this timeless classic that is keeping us entertained with a wall of groove and fantastic vocals that are held together with a cool rhythm section that just grabs us and shakes us from one side to the other. We have a guitar malfunction that just occured and Steve quickly chanf=ges instrument and keeps perfect time without missing a beat. This gig has been a visual as well as a vocal revelation that has many of us just feeling the overwhelming desire that has come at us with this fantastic groove, we are clapping loudly as this boys lead us into
Roundabout - Guitar chords are oozing into this colossal piece as we sit motionless and really lap up the atmosphere that has come at us. The rhythm section brings a cool snare drum beat that has bass kicks and cymbal snaps that let the funk element shine through, bass chords are bringing a real soulful deep groove beat that just wraps itself around this keys laden mammoth beast as the tone shifts and changes with every beat that is thrown at us. Vocals are smooth and have real depth as they take us on this incredible journey that hits us with sweet tones and cool vibes that are just wrapped in the epic synth tones that are working so well in this killer piece, guitar riffs are making themselves known as they deliver sweet harmonious tones that take this track to another place as the whole experience just brings us joy and excitement from start to finish as we ready ourselves for the final track in this swashbuckling timeless gig that has delivered in truck fulls of sound and vision that has taken us from the beginning of this fantastic sound machine right to the very end with everything inbetween for sure. We have been mesmerised by the whole experience that has been bestowed upon us all through this thrilling night of musical surges and killer vocal heights that are just incredible, as we ready ourselves for the final track we are making a lot of noise for these boys as they have given everything tonight, finishing off tonight's entertainment is the ever present colossus that is
Starship Trooper - Cymbal taps combine with snare drum rolls as this groove laden track hits us with all it has as the groove really takes us by surprise. The synth tones are hitting us with sweet clean tones that are a real enigma as they are delivering a sweet beat that works in perfect time and really lets us sit and feel the melodies flow through this punchy full on arrangement that is held together with awesome vocals. Bass chords are coming at us and really let this epic arrangement feel and breath with ease as they hand us funking groove beats that are woking in tandem with the rhythm section and really let us have the full weight of this fantastic track. The vocals are letting the track break free and work perfectly with the sweet clean guitar licks that are coming at us with ease as they wrap themselves around this punchy harmonious composition that is twisting us every way as it takes us through the years and lets us know that it was worth the wait of 3 years to feel this astonishing music being played for us tonight, the boys thank us and take the applause as we stand and clap loudly and cheer for what has been an real visual and sound breaking evening of classic progressive music that was outstanding in more ways that we thought.
Three years of scarcity! Since 1984, Yes had never experienced such a long break in his stage career. Initially the 2020 tour was to focus on the album "Relayer". The postponements due to the Covid mean that, two years later, the project was put back in the boxes and Steve Howe, thinking head and boss of the firm, preferred to embark on the celebration of the 50 years of "Close to the Edge" , one of their three best albums. But the story of Yes has many twists and turns and the sudden disappearance of their drummer Alan White on May 26 is one of them. Certainly White had announced that he would not take part in these ten concerts in the United Kingdom and Ireland, to take care of his health. Like a certain Charlie Watts, who had chosen his replacement a few weeks before his death, White had suggested that his friend Jay Schellen take his place. Yesterday evening in Glasgow, a new line-up of Yes is settling on the stage of the Royal Concert Hall, not completely full. On the background screen the face of the deceased appears, followed by a minute of images retracing the career of the man who was the drummer of John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band, then who assured the sessions of the album "Imagine." White weighed heavily in the hearts of the band's fans, like the witness of the flamboyant 70s of Yes. He had joined the group in 1972 at the start of their summer tour, shortly after finishing recording of “Close to the Edge”. Since then White had participated in all the albums, even signing some music here and there and was above all the metronome of more than 3000 concerts.
But after the little tribute minute, here is Steve Howe who opens the ball with “On the silent wings of Freedom” rarity of “Tormato” (1978) and almost forgotten since. Despite the three-year absence, Yes has lost none of its strength and musicality. Billy Sherwood wanders around on his bass and Geoff Downes revolves around his 7 keyboards! "Yours is no disgrace" reassures the room: the evening will not focus on unknown titles and Jon Davison can make the thousand spectators sing. "We wanted to pay tribute to the memory of our friend Alan", says Howe, "but we will also return to the past of Yes, to that of Peter Banks, our first guitarist before I replaced him". "No opportunity necessary, no experience needed", composed by Richie Havens and released in 1970 on the disc "Time and a word" allows veterans Howe and Downes to show the full extent of their talents.
Downes constantly follows Howe, waiting for a sign from him. The confidence in their playing is immense and this allows the rhythm section (youngsters aged 57 and 62) to unfold without asking questions. Vocally, Jon Davison still has the same timbre as Jon Anderson, founding singer of the group, who left the ship in 1996. Reassuring for fans, as for those discovering the group for the first time. “Does it really happen?” unearthed from the unloved “Drama” is terrifically executed. Howe, unsympathetic as he is to the public, is an undisputed maestro of the six strings, moving from one style to another, playing on two guitars at the same time, not getting lost in the middle of delirious solos. After a solo passage on "Clap" always pleasant, "Wonderous stories" is disturbed by the light of a telephone in the room, triggering the lightning of the boss, who signals to the miscreant that he is going to cut off his head. Atmosphere… "That you make images, ok, but turn off your fucking lamp, it's very disturbing" Howe balances him.
Before changing his mind "but hey, it's only a minor problem..." As if regenerated by this outburst of anger, here he is, at 75, launching into a breathtaking version of "The Ice Bridge" extracted from “The Quest” Yes's last forgettable studio album released last year. We regret at this precise moment that the TVs like the radios were not interested in this piece. In 5 minutes, we find all the "prog" essence there: a musical firepower, concrete instrumentalists, unexpected ruptures, a kind of little symphony carried by the very sonorous keyboards of Downes. "Dare to know" meets less echo, especially since "Heart of the Sunrise", one of the peaks of "Fragile" (1971) makes Glasgow jump. But it's the first chords of "Close to the Edge" that plunge the room into a trance. There for nearly 45 minutes, the five musicians offer a return to the jubilant past. Played in order and note by note, “Close to the Edge” is as important in the history of progressive rock as Genesis’ “Selling England by the Pound”. Three long songs were enough at the time to take rock out of the pop format imposed by the radios. "Close to the Edge" stretches to more than 20 minutes, "And you and I" or Siberian Kathru" may have been performed thousands of times, they have lost none of their mystery and magic. Purist, Howe considering being bothered by a crackling in his amp changes guitar at the beginning of "Siberian Kathru" to better start from scratch. No one hears a difference, but Howe seems less upset.
As a reminder, the classics “Roundabout” and “Starship Trooper” are out. There too, the old chilled fans let themselves be lulled by the final solo of Steve Howe, who seems to be in better shape as the concert progresses. "See you next time" he promises, cunning, when greeting one last time. Because he knows that with Yes, it's always yes...
In concert in Paris on June 13, 2023 (salle Pleyel)
June 15 Setlist, Glasgow Royal Theater
1/ On the silent wings of Freedom 2/ Yours is no disgrace 3/ No opportunity necessary, no experience needed 4/ Does it really happen? 5/ Clap 6/ Wonderous stories 7/ The Ice Bridge 8/ Dare to know 9/ Heart of the Sunrise 10/ Close to the Edge 11/ And you and I 12/ Siberian Khatru 13/ Roundabout 14/ Starship Trooper
YES 'CLOSE TO THE EDGE' TOUR - A TRIBUTE TO ALAN WHITE, GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL
Hugh Connell PCN Magazine June 16, 2022
After many months of planning a tour to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of one of the most iconic and successful prog-rock albums of all time, YES band members and prog fans were hit by tragedy. It is now only a few weeks ago that the death of Alan White (YES drummer) was announced to the world. Alan White joined YES in 1972 and would appear on every YES Album including their most recent release "The Quest" in 2021. Following the global pandemic, Alan had been looking forward to this tour and re-joining his bandmates on stage.