Progressive, symphonic legends YES having been touring the USA all summer in 2016 and made a stop at City National Grove in Anaheim on Friday night August 26 to perform the album Drama in its entirety as well as cuts from Tales From Topographic Oceans with a few random hits thrown in.
The show started promptly at 8:00pm and featured just YES with no opening act. Once the band took the stage and launched into “Machine Messiah” it was quite obvious this was going to be a special night that included some oid YES’ best material. Granted this isn’t quite the classic YES lineup but Steve Howe along with Jon Davison on vocals, Billy Sherwood on bass, Geoff Downes on keyboards/synthesizers and Jay Schellen on drums filling in for Alan White who is recovering from lower back surgery earlier this year absolutely nailed every note, chord, beat and vocal on this night.
All of these musicians onstage on this night are extremely talented and that was apparent on the overall delivery of each song . . . this band is as tight as ever. Jon Davison fits like a glove in this band and just nails the vocal delivery throughout. The vocals coupled with the amazing guitar mastery of Steve Howe as well as the thundering, tight, chunky bass playing of Billy Sherwood mixed with the drumming of Jay Schellen and the keys/synths of Geoff Downes (who looks like a mad scientist amongst all his equipment and laptops) had all in attendance mesmerized throughout the show.
The Drama album was played without interruption and then Davison addressed the crowd with the Orange County native stating that “it’s been a great tour but my heart belongs to OC” which received a loud applause. Steve Howe then went on to welcome the crowd and also wish his band-mate Alan White a speedy recovery. The band then went into “I’ve Seen All Good People” which got people up out of their seats dancing and moving.
The night was broken into two sets with a 20 minute intermission. Those in attendance were in for a treat as a few of the epic 20+ minute songs from Tales From Topographic Oceans were on tap. With a large LED background that displayed colorful graphics as well as the occasional YES logo, the band delivered over 2 ½ hrs of classic music that had attendees picking their jaws up off the floor.
The night ended with an encore of “Roundabout” and “Starship Trooper” and a standing ovation that wouldn’t let up from the beyond satisfied audience. Every aspect of this night was spot on and YES proved once again they are still alive and well and can deliver an above top-notch performance.
The current summer USA tour runs through September 4, ending in San Diego. Check www.yesworld.com for all things YES.
Set 1: Drama: Machine Messiah | White Car | Does It Really Happen? | Into the Lens | Run Through the Light | Tempus Fugit
I’ve Seen All Good People | Siberian Khatru
Set 2: And You and I
Selections from Tales From Topographic Oceans
The Revealing Science of God / Dance of the Dawn | Leaves of Green (excerpt from ‘The Ancient / Giants Under the Sun (Steve Howe & Jon Davison) | Ritual / Nous Sommes du Soleil
Encore: Roundabout | Starship Trooper
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