"Yes forges ahead with classic albums and new music"
The Boston Globe, July 7, 2014
My second Boston Globe byline, and a treat I couldn't resist giving myself, having seen Yes five times since 2004 – the last tour to date with vocalist Jon Anderson and keyboardist Rick Wakeman, and a most memorable night with great companionship at Jones Beach in Wantagh, NY.
The 2008 tour with Anderson's intial replacement, Benôit David, was hugely encouraging (and seen in the same fine company in Westbury, NY); the second, a Jones Beach double bill with Styx, was problematic and deflating (but seen in great company again). The first tour with current singer Jon Davison, for which I trekked out to Englewood, NJ, all alone, was positively inspiring; you can read my New York Times report about the Beacon Theatre stop on last year's three-album tour – The Yes Album, Close to the Edge and Going for the One, all complete – right here. (And again, excellent company.)
Guitarist Steve Howe was generous with his time on the phone, and the Globe was generous with space; even "condensed and edited," this interview, plus my introduction, run to more than 1,400 words. A fair amount of material left on the cutting-room floor would have been catnip for fans but reasonably meaningless to non-devotees; in time, perhaps, I'll post some of it here.
Weather and workday willing, I'm planning to see Yes a sixth time on Tuesday night (July 8) at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion. The set list, to judge by what the band played on Sunday night in Albany, NY, will include Fragile and Close to the Edge in their entirety, plus a few selections from the forthcoming album Heaven & Earth ("To Ascend" and "The Game," though not the lead-off single, "Believe Again")and a few other odds and ends. Obligatory: "I've Seen All Good People" and "Starship Trooper"; unexpected but also included: "Owner of a Lonely Heart."