SAIT JUBILEE, MARCH 23, 2014
A monstrous mountain man nearby painted the tone for the night as he and his bushy hair that seemed to sprout from an origin far out inched towards my seat. Two men intervened an awkward pre-concert chat and asked if we were together. Before I could peep a sheepish, “No,” the psychedelic vet languidly announced that we were together, in spirit.
My high expectations of the three-album show were quickly shaken, as the first song of the evening, “Close To The Edge,” was noticeably rocky. Guitarist Steve Howe took a couple of songs to stumble out of his fog, but Yes didn’t cease to prove that, after many line-up changes and decades of prognostication of the band’s path from fans and critics alike, they still have it.
Jon Davison filled Jon Anderson’s frontman shoes quite nicely. One could almost argue that Davison’s toes poked through Anderson’s loafers, if not a tad. Davison’s lead vocals matched with bassist Christ Squire’s and Howe’s backups were handsomely harmonious.
It felt as if Yes were playing for each individual, rather than the collective audience. The atmosphere created by the band could be likened to that of a cozy, hazy living room, as we blasted through screens of galaxies and fractals among other neo-hippie visuals.
I had been chasing a goose bump dragon of musical bliss for some time and was reminded of a completely forgotten pleasure: “face goosies.” This facial phenomenon was brought on by the performance of my personal favourite off The Yes Album, “Starship Trooper.”
The show sadly ended at the highest energy level of the night, but proved to be worth it as the band pulled out “Roundabout” for the encore. Bandmates were crowned with white cowboy hats for the last number, a true appreciation for location, which created a bobble-head effect on their seemingly small heads.
By Shayla Friesen
Photos by Keven Fedirko