Symphony Hall, Birmingham
The date of this amazing gig coincided with my 50th birthday and YES formed in 1968 and the guys could have played for weeks and not exhaust their back catalogue.
Quite a fractured proposition at times with many changing members YES still never lost their essence on their numerous albums and seeing Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman and Trevor Rabin together with two outstanding musicians on drums and bass was simply amazing.
Anderson had formed YES with is buddy Chris Squire who sadly passed away in June 2015. Jon Anderson said that ‘he was Obi Wan Kenobi and Squire was Darth Vader and that they were the ying and yang of the band but true musical brothers’ and it was nice to hear that.
The evening was amazing: Rick Wakeman in T-Shirt, Jogging pants and his infamous cape surrounded by two Korg™ Kronos’s, a Korg Triton, a Minimoog and other synths I couldn’t quite make out from where I was sat is a towering figure and larger than life, quite a contrast to the tiny frame that is Jon Anderson and it has always been these two that made YES work.
Not to take anything away from Trevor Rabin who is a super gifted musician and film composer. He played on 4 YES albums including their biggest selling album ever 90125 from 1983.
Indeed, all three will be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in April of 2017.
The whole night was mesmerizing and my personal highlights were ‘Roundabout’ from 1971s ‘Fragile’ album, ‘You and I’ from 1972s ‘Close to the edge’ album and my favourite memory has got to be the epic ‘Awaken’ from 1977’s ‘Going for the one’ album.
The band interacted lovingly and naturally with one another and the chemistry was felt by the audience and the musical soundscapes were simply from out of this world.
Rabin & Wakeman went on a walkabout through the hall during ‘Owner of a lonely heart’ which was yet another highlight of the show.
I feel very blessed to have seen these legends live on stage