The Yes-men made a stop at Akron’s Goodyear Theater on Saturday night and the nearly sold-out crowd was in prog-rock heaven.
Opening with “Cinema” from the 1983 album 90125 and seamlessly going into “Perpetual Change” from 1971’s The Yes Album, fans of both era’s of Yes were satisfied early in the set.
Standing center stage on a small platform, Jon Anderson and his distinct high-tenor voice was in impeccable shape as he was able to hit and sustain notes all evening long.
On the right of the stage wearing a black and white bedazzled cape, the wizard, Rick Wakeman engulfed himself with ten different keyboards which were used effectively. Stationed on the left, Trevor Rabin and his guitar soared on all of the classic Yes songs.
Completing the ARW rhythm section is Lee Pomeroy on bass and Louis Molino III on drums. Each musician got to take a turn in the spotlight for a solo.
Anderson told the crowd that “there’s something about playing this music; it brings back so many memories from the ‘70s and ‘80s. But there’s always been ‘You and I’.” The band then launched into that song from Close to the Edge.
Several other classic songs were played in the two hour set including “Hold On,” “Heart of the Sunrise,” and “Changes.”
Mentioning his former band mate, Anderson said “Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Chris Squire” who unfortunately passed away from leukemia in 2015. He dedicated “Long Distance Runaround” to him.
Pomeroy also paid his respects to Squire by playing a great rendition “The Fish” in his honor.
The set closed with an extended version of “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and saw Wakeman strap on a keytar which allowed he and Rabin to walk out into the audience and jam with the fans.
The band came back to encore with the iconic “Roundabout.”
ARW put on one of the best shows of the year. Hopefully these concerts will be a warm-up for this spring when Yes should finally be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
An honor that is long overdue.