YES – The 3 album 45th Anniversary Tour – Tilburg 22 May 2014

My first album I ever bought was Close To The Edge. I was 14 years of age and when I first listened to that album I was flabbergasted. I played the album over and over again, until even my mother liked some parts of And You And I and the title track.

Since then I have been Yes-addicted and I bought all the albums of my prog rock gods. Of course with the exception of two albums; being Drama (1980) and Fly From here (2011) because Jon Anderson did not song on those albums. And for real Yes aficionados like me the golden rule is: Yes=Jon Anderson and Jon Anderson=Yes. The band without Jon on vocals is like Led Zeppelin without Robert Plant or Pearl Jam without Eddie Vedder.

So, I was really disappointed as I heard that Jon would not be able to join Howe, Squire, White and Downes on this anniversary tour. I have even considered not going to this gig but three “original” Yes members were present, so I decided to give it a shot…

When the first notes of the Firebird Suite sounded through the 013 venue, it was as if I was back in the seventies and the set list of this tour also contained only songs from the seventies. Three notorious Yes albums were played in their entirety this evening; being: The Yes album (1971), Close To The Edge (1972) and Going For The One (1977). Of course I knew all the 14 classic symphonic rock songs by heart and I really enjoyed the show. The vocals were taken care off by Glass Hammer front man Jon Davison and he did a decent job, although he is no Jon Anderson, of course. Highlights for me were the longer epic tracks like: Awaken, Close To The Edge (which sounded a bit chaotic at times), Yours Is No Disgrace and Perpetual Change. These songs all stand the test of time although they are all at least 35 years old!

Howe, Squire and White played top notch; at least, most of the time, and they played these old songs as if they did that for the very first time. So, a great set list although I could have done without the rather boring acoustic Clap and the encore Roundabout; a song that Yes have played too many times in their long time career. Why not choose a more original encore instead of that redundant overkill track. But who am I to nag about this evening, as even without Jon is was a great gig. These old geezers still know how to rock and I hope to see you all again during their fiftieth anniversary tour. Hopefully then with Rick Wakeman and Jon Anderson on stage as well. I know that this is wishful thinking, but what the hell.

Review by Martien Koolen
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