Yes featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman at Théâtre St-Denis Montreal September 19, 2017   Leave a comment

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pic by Tim Lewis

I’ve been a Yes fan for many years. I first saw them on the Big Generator tour in Montreal. As the band split, several friends and I saw them three times as Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe and we saw them in Lake Placid when they rejoined for the Union tour. As the classic five played shows after that I caught several, both in New England & Montreal and a couple in the Pacific Northwest. I was along when Wakeman left and saw several shows with Khoroshev. I saw Wakeman play two shows with his son Adam at Club Metronome one night. I had not seen them since the current splitting of the band happened, though did catch a Jon Anderson solo show in Woodstock Vermont. When I heard that Jon and Rick and Trevor were doing a project as YES featuring ARW I was very interested. This spring tickets went on sale for a Montreal show and I got a couple of nice seats then spent the summer waiting, and seeing lots of other bands.

The day finally arrived. It was warm and beautiful and the leaves were just turning a little on the lovely drive from Burlington Vermont to Montreal. Mary Wolcott drove and everything went very smooth. Traffic has been difficult with all of the construction so we parked at a metro station just outside of the city and took the train in. We took the short walk over to Théâtre St-Denis and found a nice vegetarian buffet for dinner. Everything seemed so easy and perfect.

We got into the venue and a little after 8 the lights went down and some orchestral Yes music began to play. Bassist Lee Pomeroy and drummer Louis Molino lll walked on to the stage and the audience went wild. Trevor and Rick then came out and the audience was on it’s feet in thunderous approval. You could feel the wave of love coming from the audience to the stage as they hugged each other. The four of them lit into Cinema and about half way in Jon came out and the room was filled with reverberating love. As the song ended they slid into Perpetual Change and the audience settled into their seats to listen in awe. Trevor’s style was very different from the Steve Howe versions that I’m used to, but I expected it and just went with it and enjoyed the extra rock edge that he brought. Hold On sounded natural and perfect in this setting then the ominous beginning of South Side Of The Sky flowed through the theater. They played a majestic version of it then pushed the energy through the roof with a magnificent And You And I. It was nice to hear Trevor sing Changes and even nicer when Jon joined in. Rhythm Of Love sounded a little less ’80’s rock and had more of an organic flow. I Am Waiting waiting, from the Talk album, was an interesting choice. It had a gentle beginning and then rocked and I was happy for every note. The opening notes of Heart Of The Sunrise riveted the crowd and Jon’s voice shone brilliantly. The rhythm section were spot on and Pomeroy’s bass lead the charge with full abandon. Trevor then reached for a drum and Jon reached for the harp and they began the new rocked out intro then they settled into the magic Wakeman keys that lead us to Awaken. The song built and built then settled into that glorious middle section where time just stops and gravity seems an illusion. Rick kept us floating until he began to turn the power up and up and as the keys roared the band slipped into the rocking end section of the song that lead to the crescendo. The audience was silent as it slipped into the outro and rose to their feet after the last note played out. They took a breath or two then dove into Owner Of A Lonely Heart. They played most of the song then found their way into a jam. At one point Rick had picked up the keytar and he and Trevor headed into the crowd. They hung out at the soundboard for a bit then returned to the stage, rocking all along. The groove changed a little and suddenly they were playing Cream’s Sunshine Of Your Love. Jon tossed in some of the lyrics before they brought it to a close. The theater audience had been on it’s feet for a while and stayed there as the band left the stage. They stayed standing as Yes came out and played a superb version of Roundabout and cheered wildly as the band took it’s farewell bows.

The house lights came up and we made our way out of the theater and into the metro. We found our car and we found the highway and took the easy ride home. What a perfect evening.

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Posted September 25, 2017 by tmusicfan in Rock Shows, Uncategorized

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