Yes: Close to the Edge Review
Fri 24 Jun 2022
This was labelled as the tour celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic progressive rock album Close to the Edge. But prog rock pioneers Yes
also treated their loyal fans to more than half a century of their stand-out music as they delivered a tremendous performance at Birmingham's Symphony Hall
. Yes, featuring timeless lead guitarist Steve Howe - who joined the band in 1970 - performed Close To The Edge in its entirety, and in chronological order, in the second half of this concert. But, before then, the band delivered a selection of songs from several albums spanning ten years from 1970 to 1980, before visiting their latest release from just last year. The evening got underway at a packed Symphony Hall with a poignant tribute to long-term drummer, Alan White, who sadly died in May. The tour, which had twice been postponed due to Covid, has been dedicated to Alan, who joined Yes in 1972, The tribute took the form of a series of images of Alan across the years, displayed on a high-definition video wall directed by Roger Dean, who created the artwork for the band's albums. The giant screen later showed a variety of stunning artwork and graphics, as well as fabulous videos including winter scenes.
Yes, with lead singer Jon Davison in excellent voice in the unmistakeable mould of founder member Jon Anderson, opened the concert with On The Silent Wings Of Freedom from their 1978 album Tormato. As Howe said, it was the first time they had performed the song live for 35 to 40 years. The same could not be said of Yours Is No Disgrace which followed, a brilliant extended rendition of the song from The Yes Album (1971). This was followed by No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed from the 1970 Time And A Word album, and Does It Really Happen from Drama, released a full decade later. The band, which also comprises Jay Schellen on drums, Geoff Downes (keyboards), and Billy Sherwood (bass guitar), then left the stage for Howe to perform solo on The Clap, before returning for Wonderous Stories from Going For The One (1977) and a couple of splendid tracks from last year's The Quest album.
The first half was completed in wonderful style with Heart Of The Sunrise from 1971 album Fragile, before the band launched into Close To The Edge at the start of their second set. Each 'track' was greeted with a standing ovation - the first side featuring Total Mass Retain and I Get Up I Get Down, followed immediately afterwards with And You And I and Siberian Khatru which make up side two. And if that wasn't enough to fully satisfy the audience, Yes returned to the stage for a fully deserved encore that started with Roundabout and ended with Starship Trooper from Fragile and The Yes Album respectively.
Rating: 5 out of 5
1. On The Silent Wings Of Freedom
2. Yours Is No Disgrace
3. No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed
4. Does It Really Happen
5. The Clap
6. Wonderous Stories
7. The Ice Bridge
8. Dare To Know
9. Heart Of The Sunrise
10. Close To The Edge album in full
12. Starship Trooper
!date 24/06/2022 -- 24/06/2022
70697 - 2023-01-26 01:48:44