And once again, we have landed at an artist, who is not just one of many bands, but, as we say so, already an institution. But unfortunately it's one of those, slowly gliding onto the oldie shelf. So recently a young photographer collegue of mine told me, that he's never heard of Yes before. Well that makes us thinking. But it's not only this letting the legend put on a shade. Fakt is also, that the single individuels in Yes own such a strong ego, that when one or the other drops off, it leaves quite an injury. In the case of our band here, those changes have left scars. Scars  which healed a little over the years, only to burst off again. I presume, I don't have to explain to all Yes fans, what I mean with these scars. 

Yes in den glorreichen Siebzigern

Well, I just want to mention the name Rick Wakeman, who left the band out of whatever for reasons a few years ago. Shortly after singer Jon Anderson followed him. Okay, getting around a Rick Wakeman might be bearable, but nothing hurts a band more, then the loss of their singer. Official reason given was some sort of illness Mr. Anderson apparently had suffered and hat to take a break from everything. However this is to believe or not. But the band didn't want to take a break, or better didn't want to dismiss the money. So the recruited young canadian singer Benoit David, who until then had sung in a Yes Tribute Band. Replacing the Keyboardist stayed at least inside the family first of all. So Rick Wakeman's son Oliver took over. But meanwhile he is history as well. Presently we have Geoff Downes back again in the Yes boat. He's been in the band already from 1980 to 1981. And also here you find family relations. Because he and Yes guitarist Steve Hows are also playing  together in the band Asia. 

However, the band itselves exists now for more than 43 years and no end in sight. Although, and there we are at part 2 of the reasons wandering towards the shelf, - the group nowadays have to bake smaller cookies, as we say so. I remember very well, when Yes filled the Olympiahall Munich with 12.000 seats. And that's not too long ago. Last time they were here, they played still the Philharmonie with 2.000 guests. Tonight at the Tonhalle, we aprox. 1.000 spectators. And those are mainly elderly friends of the progrock band from the past with grey hair. Next generation young people who have been infected by their parents with the music of Yes, can't really be found in here. 
And suiting to the average age of band and audicance the event is started without support shortly after 8 p.m.
The magic starts rather calm to be honest and stretches into length. But throughout the set it's getting better and better most of all because of Steve Howe's excellent guitar playing. You can say about him what you want. He might be an egoscentric and strange character, but he's playing his 6 strings as not many other's. What a hell of a guitarist, but on the other hand I can't avoid the feeling, that he doesn't play with all his heart, but more or less for money . He ain't no showman either, and doesn't take a sunbath in the limelight here on stage. And he doesn't show any emotions and not a single smile. He rather seems like he's attending a funeral, when playing his acrobatic chords and putting a critical eye on his bandmates. 

The other tower in the band is Chris Squire, who defines the rhythm on bass as same as Alan White does on drums. They seem very selfconfident, in what they are doing and not like Geoff Downes on his 3 side Keyboard, who seems rather insecure, though I'm sure he's not. Benoit David who has stepped into the footprints of Jon Anderson could easily be the son of the other Yes members. He takes things rather easy in a youthful, natural way. And he can do it. He can sing those difficult high passages. But at all respect and to repeat myself: this is not Jon Anderson. And it feels like Deep Purple without Ian Gillan, or the Stones without Mick Jagger. But well, these facts can't be changed anymore. 
And before this concert, we knew, what this is going to be and what the constellation of the band is like. 
The band works themselves through clever sound improvisations, but they avoid too long and stretched out solos. Only Steve How gets an extensive solo, which is well received at the audiance. Apart from that, Yes are going for their roots as well as their greatest Hits and some newer tunes. So everybody should be satisfied, what's up to the setlist. 

"Steve Howe" - the grey eminence

And last but not least, as we say so: no Yes concert without 'Owner Of A Lonely Heart' the biggest hitsingle the ever did have in 43 years. And the same to the encore which has got to be 'Roundabout'. And it's those two songs giving us the feeling of a complete Yes show. 

Musically that might be the case, but to repeat myself again: up there is definately Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman missing. And so last but not least I can only say: it's been a solid concert, but this here hasn't got much to do with the classic Yes at their best times. On the other hand, these guys up there want catch up with everything they still can get from the cake. Because you never know, for how long they still will be able to do it aged 60+. And they are not the only one's in Showbusiness. 

Backstage Snapshots -  at the Diary