Bucket list item checked off. After years of eluding me, I finally got to witness Yes perform live. Labeled Yestival, the band also brought Todd Rundgren and Carl Palmer for support. Talk about an evening of music icons performing, this line-up gave me chills.
Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy was up first. Having watched him play with Asia earlier in the year, I was fortunate to see him here again, only this time playing selections from his ELP days. Thirty minutes wasn’t nearly enough. “Knife Edge” and “Fanfare for The Common Man” highlighted his short set and I do hope he plays in a club around here soon.
Todd Rundgren was up next and he has a new album out, if you didn’t know, it’s called White Knight and it’s Rundgren’s 27th studio album. The 69-year-old Rundgren looked like a 30-year-old running around on stage, and has never sounded better. “Come” off the new album started the evening and was followed by “Truth” and then “Rise.” Rundgren also dug up some Utopia classics like “The Ikon” and “One World” during his 13-song set.
Finally, Yes took the stage. Although the line-up has changed countless times over the years, guitarist Steve Howe now leads this new incarnation of Yes, along with drummer Alan White, keyboardist Geoff Downes, bassist Billy Sherwood, and lead singer Jon Davison, who sounds exactly like former vocalist Jon Anderson. The newly inducted Hall of Famers performed a song from each of their albums starting with their debut all the way through 1980’s Drama. Leading with “Survival” off their self-titled debut, which they had not played since 1979, the band also performed “Don’t Kill the Whale” off Tormato, “Machine Messiah,” from Drama, “Soon,” a section of “The Gates of Delirium” from Relayer, and many others. Howe was simply fantastic, playing non-stop and not missing a single note. Fan favorites “Roundabout” and “Starship Trooper” were the encores for their set and the packed crowd cheered mightily for the band.
Note: Due to photo restrictions, Shockwave regretfully declined to shoot photos of Todd Rundgren.