IF YOU GO
What: Yes featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman
Artist’s Website: www.yesfeaturingarw.com
When: Saturday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m.
Where: Patriots Theater at the War Memorial, 1 Memorial Drive, Trenton, NJ
Venue Website: www.nj.gov/state/memorial/
Tickets: $59 – $125 at www.ticketmaster.com
Ages: All ages
When: Sunday, Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA
Venue Website: www.kimmelcenter.org
Tickets: $69 – $159 at www.kimmelcenter.org
Ages: All ages
Yes featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman will perform at the Patriots Theater in Trenton, NJ on Sept. 30 and at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia on Oct. 1. The show will feature Yes favorites spanning the band’s many incarnations.
One could write an entire book about Yes, with all the different lineups and musical styles in the different eras of the band. This version of the band features the inimitable voice of Yes co-founder Jon Anderson. Although not a founding member, keyboardist Rick Wakeman provided a distinctive keyboard sound that began on the “Fragile” album (Atlantic, 1972). Guitarist Trevor Rabin joined what became a new version of Yes in 1983 and the album “90125” (Elektra, 1983) spawned the band’s only #1 hit with Rabin’s “Owner of a Lonely Heart.”
2017 was a very special year for Yes and their fans everywhere. Yes was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was a long time coming. Shortly thereafter, Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman announced that they would officially be touring under the name “Yes featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman.”
In a telephone interview while on tour in Canada, Rabin explained how he first became a member of Yes, being inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this tour and what he sees as the future of the band.
Initially, joining the then-defunct Yes wasn’t Rabin’s goal. He was working on a solo album and after getting dropped from his record label he discovered that bassist Chris Squire and drummer Alan White were looking to do a project. They brought in keyboardist Tony Kaye and called the band Cinema. Late in the game Jon Anderson was added to the lineup. It was the record label who wanted to call the band Yes.
As for getting inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Rabin said “the thing that I will always remember is how damn long the show was. I think it was five hours long… But obviously, a big honor to be inducted.”
The awards ceremony united many of the members of Yes from over the years. Collectively they performed “Roundabout” and “Owner of a Lonely Heart.”
“I had met (Rush bassist) Geddy Lee before, and he was gonna play bass on ‘Roundabout’ and we always got on well, so I was looking forward to that, but I had never played with him, and he was fantastic. It was so interesting coming from our dearly departed Chris Squire playing bass to having Geddy play. It was a very refreshing and exciting thing.”
As for performing his song “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” Rabin said: “That was really great. The Hall of Fame has input as to what songs we do, so I think that it was quite a compliment that that’s the song they wanted to do.”
As for this tour, Rabin said that he and Wakeman have an interesting philosophy about performing the material that they didn’t record.
“We did a tour with merging two successful eras (of Yes), which we like to call the ‘Fragile’ era and the ‘90125’ era. And during that period, Rick and I got on so well that we have kind of made a pact that we’ve got to play together again, so this is really the result of that desire.
“One of the things we’ve concluded and decided would be a great idea, was for me to approach the stuff that I haven’t been involved with as if it was a new album and the albums that are out there were demos, and that I must approach it as I’m doing those records for the first time. And so, in my guitar parts, I’m not restricted by any specific recording, although obviously, I acknowledge there’s parts that obviously need to be done. And the same way with Rick when it comes to the material that I have created and have been involved with. Just play it as if you’re about to do that album for the first time, so it’s kind of resulted in quite a fresh sort of outlook on stuff. It’s been really enjoyable and continues to be.”
He added: “The funny thing is, when we started this, touring wasn’t something we were particularly concerned about. After 14 years of doing film scores, I wasn’t really anticipating getting back on the road. The main thing that came up once we finally decided (to) set some time aside to do this was to do new music. That’s always been the desire. And we’ve been working on that for a while.
“The touring was obviously the managers and promoters pushing and saying ‘come on, you’ve gotta tour’… So we took that opportunity and used it, and frankly it kind of got in the way of some of the recording we’ve been doing, but we’re enjoying it. So once this tour’s finished we intend to… complete it, and then we’re gonna have an album.”
Concertgoers can expect to hear music from the different eras of Yes.
“We keep away from songs that Jon hasn’t been involved with. And pretty much everything else is open to interpretation. We’ve got some new songs we’ve been doing… in fact, one of the new songs we’re doing is the song ‘I’m Waiting,’ which is from the very last album we’ve toured and we’ve been having a lot of fun with that.”