Absolutely YES – by Darcy Nybo

Absolutely YES

Prospera place played host to a discerning group of YES fans on March 21. The crowd in attendance was as diverse as the music they came to hear.

The original YES band has morphed many times over the years. The incarnation witnessed on Saturday night proved that the songs and their sounds were very much intact.  Sure Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman weren’t there, but Jon Davison did an eerily fine job on covering the main vocals, while Geoff Downes created magic on the keys. The rest of the band was as original as their sound with Chris Squire on bass, Steve Howe on guitar and Alan White on drums.

YESOriginal

YES is touted as a progressive rock band, but after revisiting their tunes, I think they should be described as a jazzy, blues, funk, psychedelic rock fusion. Although progressive is faster to say. In my heart YES will always be the Salvador Dali’s of 20th century music.

The band started with the 20 minute “Close to the Edge” followed by “And You & I,” “Siberian Khatru,” “Going For The One,” “Turn of the Century,” “Parallels,” “Wonderous Stories,” and closed off their first set with “Awaken.”

As one concertgoer put it “This is definitely music to get stoned by,” although there was a shockingly small amount of that recognizable scent floating in the air. Perhaps the die-hard fans were content to just get high on the music.

After a 20-minute break the band returned with “Yours Is No Disgrace.”  Guitarist Steve Howe performed YES’s acoustic marvel, “Clap,” while the crowd clapped along. After “Starship Trooper,” the crowd was treated to one of their favourites, “All Good People,” followed by “A Venture,” and “Perpetual Change.”  They left the stage but only for a short time as the crowd begged for one last song – the one most had come to hear.  “Roundabout” was performed with the same energy and clarity as all the songs, transporting many a concert goer back to the ‘70s when we were all much younger and less wiser.

I wasn’t sure what to expect of this concert. After all, the original members were born in the late ‘40s, making them all at an age where you’d expect voices to falter.  Not so in this case – not one bit. Of course having a young pup (43) like Jon Davison on lead vocals helped.  The harmonies created by this version of YES were disconcerting, haunting and beautiful as those created in the ‘70s when everyone was recovering from the social changes of the ‘60s.

When Chris Squire brought out his three-necked bass and Steve Howe brought out his two necked guitar I couldn’t help but smile, thinking that when you get to be that good, I guess an extra neck or two helps keep it interesting.

All in all, this was music at it’s finest.  No fancy light shows, no staged choreography, just some guys on stage doing what they love, followed by a cannon blast of shredded paper. Old-school rules!

PHOTOS BY SANTA TOM KLINER – SLEIGHRIDERMEDIA.COM

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Publisher and CEO of something or other! First & foremost, father, son, brother and uncle. I am also a huge music fan, promoter and marketing & promotions maniac. As a fulltime musician for the past 35 years myself (yikes, that’s a long time!), I’ve come to appreciate the fact that I am able to perform and sing for people and in return, enjoy it as much as I do. There is something to be said for that exchange of energy and good vibes that live music brings to all, from the stage to the seats, there is nothing like it and I so look forward to feeling that again when we are out of this crazy mess we are in. Music is needed desperately in everyone’s lives. The goal is to reach out and bring some awareness and light into the music scene by featuring their new music, events and in general, some light into the changes we’ve all had to adjust to in 2020. We all feel the strain in every aspect of these changes and are going to try to do our best to fill our cups up with some fantastic local music while many so of us hang on through this bumpy ride we are on. ? Making an effort to change our own thoughts and habits, can strike a chord mentally and change us along with our communities lives. Be safe and…let’s ROCK N ROLL!

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