Yes the band will put on the first ever Yes festival, and they got it together to think up the name Yestival for the event.
‘Where will this gathering of the prog-rock faithful take place?’ you ask. None other than the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, N.J. on August 3. The band describes the event as “a day-into-night musical adventure in full quadraphonic sound.”
The day also will feature fellow prog-rockers The Musical Box, Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy and Renaissance, as well as up-and-coming group Scale the Summit. The School of Rock also will appear, and album cover artists Roger Dean will present an art showing of his work.
But it’s the main band that will cause the most excitement. The group is in the midst of a world tour this year that marks the first time the band has performed onstage in its entirety since 1973. That entirety includes singer Jon Davison, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe and drummer Alan White.
“This is a concept we’ve been trying to put into motion for some time, and only now we’ve been able to turn it into reality,” said Squire in a statement. “We’re looking forward to starting Yestival out in the Philadelphia area, which has been a Yes stronghold since the ’70s.”
The group will perform two full albums in their entirety: 1971’s The Yes Album and 1972’s Close to the Edge. During the group’s current tour, which will resume July 6, the group is performing a full album at each show, alternating between those two aforementioned classic albums and 1977’s Going For the One.
The Musical Box is something a bit strange. The band is licensed by Peter Gabriel to perform a historically accurate portrayal of Genesis’ early work. The band will perform the album Foxtrot in its entirety to celebrate its 40th anniversary.
It’s become a trend lately for bands to perform full albums at each concert on a tour. A couple years ago Bruce Springsteen alternated between Born to Run and Born in the U.S.A. on different nights during a tour around the country. Weezer did the same thing with The Blue Album and Pinkerton. But all of that is nothing compared to an upcoming Yes tour – forget one album per night, the classic band will perform three full albums every night.
Fans going to shows on the tour that kicks off next March can look forward to hearing 1971′s The Yes Album, 1972′s Close to the Edge and 1977′s Going for the One. The first show of the tour will be March 1 at Peppermill Concert Hall in West Wendover, Nevada, and the tour is scheduled to run through an April 12 concert at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. In between those dates, the group will also visit cities including Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Omaha, New York and Toronto.
“These albums we all easily agreed on – they are complete works in themselves,” said Yes guitarist Steve Howe. The albums have never been performed all the way through, and many songs have rarely been performed live.
“I believe the only song not performed in concert is ‘A Venture’ from The Yes Album,” said bassist Chris Squire. “And probably the most tricky of all the songs planned for this set is ‘Turn of the Century’ from the Going for the One album.”
Finally, drummer Alan White also spoke in the statement of how the albums represent the band.
“This is a great opportunity to show the growth of Yes in these different eras – and to relive the memories of these times.”
The band has sold more than 50 million albums since The Yes Album was released in 1971.
Yes have announced a North American summer tour this year that will take the group around the United States and include one gig in Mexico. For the first time, the legendary London group will be fronted by new singer Jon Davison.
The 23-date tour will kick off July 13 at the Tropicana Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., and will run through August 21 when the band performs their only non-U.S. date at the Pepsi Center in Mexico City. In between, the band will hit cities including Lewiston, N.Y.; Bethlehem, Penn.; St. Augustine, Fla.; Washington, D.C.; Denver; San Jose, Calif.; San Diego and Las Vegas.
Davison joins the group after being discovered fronting a Yes cover band. He will be playing with the classic lineup of guitarist Steve Howe, bassist Chris Squire and drummer Alan White. Davison also fronts the Tennessee prog-rock band Glass Hammer and replaces Benoit David, who had been with the group since 2008. David also had been discovered as the singer in a Yes cover band.
Original singer Jon Anderson was replaced by David in 2008 after Anderson began experiencing breathing problems and was then diagnosed with acute respiratory failure. The group was set to begin a 40th Anniversary tour before Anderson’s illness put plans on hold.
Yes first formed in 1968 in London, and released their self-titled debut the following year. They became one of the defining members of the prog-rock movement in the early 1970s, penning now classic albums like Fragile and Close to the Edge. Since that time, the group has toured and released albums on a relatively consistent basis.
The group’s most recent album, Fly From Here, was released in 2011 and featured David on vocals. The album marked the group’s 20th studio album, and their first since 2001. The album peaked at number 36 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.