The crowd that turned out for this newest version of YES (Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman) this past Friday night at the Kravis Center’s Dreyfoos Hall, was a supreme mix of all the original fans and a newer younger fan base.
Right from the start, the band was playing to a standing ovation during the intro to Perpetual Change, which kicked off with Rick Wakeman commanding attention in his majestically recognizable cape on keyboards/synthesizers, followed by the entrance of Jon Anderson performing one of the oldest songs on the set list for the night. Anderson’s pure vocals pulled you back 43 years to the original, yet at the same time made it such a timeless song reworked and refreshed all at once.
After the crowd settled into their seats, the band easily transitioned into fan-favorites from the their cover collection including Hold On, Heart of Sunrise and Rhythm of Love. “Aah, it’s time for me to lean back. Maybe have a cup of tea and a biscuit. But not quite yet.” Anderson proclaimed afterward as he then launched into an exquisitely extended version of And You and I backed up by guitarist/vocalist Trevor Rabin, bassist/vocalist Lee Pomeroy, drummer/vocalist Lou Molino III, and of course, the hugely talented Rick Wakeman.
With a beautifully choreographed, near psychedelic surrealistic light show accompanying 72-year-old Anderson’s ageless voice as he made angelic sounds with his finger cymbals, tambourines and harp, crooning out cover titles: South Side of the Sky, Cinema, I Am Waiting, he took up his acoustic guitar to accompany as Rabin sang lead for an amazing rendition of Changes.
The 1983 hit that truly defined YES for many of us raised in the 80’s, Owner of a Lonely Heart, closed out the show with Wakeman playing most of the quintessential song in his classic spread-eagle pose, arms outstretched playing different keyboards, as Rabin belted out another solo that the fabulous five band members recreated the fan-favorite into an all out extended jam session that had the audience on their feet calling out “Bravo” over and over. The eagerly awaited and anticipated Roundabout was saved for the encore performance and they didn’t disappoint belting out a timeless tune to a completely satisfied crowd of devoted fans.
Will this be the last we hear from the band at the end of this incredible 2017 tour? No, plans are already made for this undeniably latest and greatest version of YES to embark on a 13 date UK/European tour next March – #YES50 to celebrate their 50th anniversary. YES will also headline their Cruise to the Edge in February 2018.