I never saw so many fans smiling and happy to see each other. The North American tour titled #YES50: Celebrating 50 Years of YES stopped in Philly for two sold out shows at The Fillmore, and some major fanfare. During this 5oth anniversary tour, the band has filled some nights with special guests, and are performing some deep tracks. YES decided to bring back key previous band members to play on select songs during the sets.
The mixed line up for this evening included Steve Howe, Alan White, Geoff Downes (keyboards; first joined in 1980), Jon Davison (vocals since 2011) and Billy Sherwood (guitar/keyboards in the 1990s and the late Chris Squire’s choice to take over bass/vocals in 2015). Also included were various YES alumni; Patrick Moraz, Trevor Horn, and founding member/Grammy winner/Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Tony Kaye (keyboards; 1968-1971 and 1983-1995).
The lobby of the venue became an art gallery of sorts as the two dates in Philly also included the ability to meet and purchase works by the famed artist Roger Dean, who is the leading designer for most of the YES album cover works as well as the band’s famous logo. The band promised an extensive set list, and they delivered. The performance throughout the evening was incredible, as many, many fans were singing along at the top of their lungs.
The band respectively paid tribute to Chris Squire’s passing in the first set. The vibe in the building was 100% YES!! During their Saturday performance, they played a tour first, Second Initial (Steve Howe song) and Madrigal. At the end of the encore, they entire extended band mates gather up and took a bow. This was absolutely one for the fans, and you could tell the YES-craved fans were fully satisfied.
Set 1: Close to the Edge, Nine Voices (Longwalker), Parallels (dedicated to Chris Squire), Mood for a Day, Leaves of Green, Fly From Here, Part I: We Can Fly (with Trevor Horn), Sweet Dreams, Heart of the Sunrise
Set2: Perpetual Change, Does It Really Happen? , Soon(with Patrick Moraz), Awaken(with Alan White)
Encore: Yours Is No Disgrace (with Tony Kaye) (and Alan White), Roundabout (with Tony Kaye) (and Alan White), Starship Trooper (with Tony Kaye) (and Alan White)
Article and Photos by Bob Linneman