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Yes in concert at The Royal Albert Hall


I put this on Facebook before I went:
In the year of my 40th birthday I went to see Genesis, my favourite band. Since then I've been to see Kate Bush, one of my favourite artists. Tonight (in the year of my 50th birthday) I'm going to see Yes with Ben, another of my favourite (old) artists. ELO is another favourite, but I'm not so fussed to see Jeff Lynne. In the year of my 60th birthday I think we can expect to see Pink Floyd reunite and then that will be a full set of (old) favourites.
We were a bit late so the support act had started before we sat down. I didn't know who they were, and my initial thoughts were that they might be Marillion. I'm not familiar with anything but their first album, but I did know they'd gone on to release several more. After they'd back announced one of their songs I search engined it, and found out they were Moon Safari. They seemed like a young prog band, so a good fit for being support.

As a fan I'm pretty rubbish. Their last song was a tribute to Chris Squire, who died last year. During the concert they also paid tribute to Peter Banks who died in 2013. I didn't know that either of them had died.

The lineup was Jon Davison on vocals (who I thought was Jon Anderson until I did the research for this blog post), Steve Howe on guitar, Alan White on drums, Geoff Downes (half of Buggles) on keyboards and Billy Sherwood on bass. Although they weren't all the people who performed the original albums, I couldn't tell at all.

The concert was advertised as two albums in full - Drama and Fragile, but they also played other songs, most of which I didn't recognise, apart from Owner of a Lonely Heart. Steve Howe did most of the talking and he introduced that track by saying that they were happy to play music from all of Yes's career.. Those are two of the three albums I own (the third being Close to the Edge).

Hearing an album in concert is great, you know exactly what's coming up and there's so much to look forward to. Being of the generation brought up on tapes and LPs I never use shuffle, so there's always a natural order to tracks. I slightly prefer Close to the Edge to Fragile, but Fragile does have Roundabout, which is a fantastic track. For the last track on Drama, Tempus Fugit, the legendary Trevor Horn joined them to sing the lead vocal. My theory is that because they were in London he popped up the road. I was quite excited about this, as he did a great job on Drama and then has gone on to produce many notable albums.

My teenage son was one of the youngest there - most of the audience was as old or older than me, and mostly male. It's not really a surprise though, although in one form or another they've been releasing albums in recent years but haven't really gained many new fans.

For a review with song titles and good pictures there's this this one with words by Gary Parsons and pictures by Dave Pettit.

They announced that they'd be back next year touring with Tales From Topographic Oceans. I like that album, but I don't think it has as wide appeal as the two they did this time.


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