Marking the last night of their U.S. Summer tour, Yes treated their fans by opening with the Close to the Edge album in its entirety, albeit out of sequence. This was followed by a couple of songs from the just-released Heaven & Earth album, which received a warm welcome, an unusual occurrence for new material among old favorites. The opening notes of “Roundabout” signaled the beginning of the Fragile album in its entirety as well, and the evening at the Greek Theater was topped off with two of their greatest hits, “Your Move/I’ve Seen All Good People” and “Owner of a Lonely Heart”.
“Welcome to the MTV Awards,” Yes bassist Chris Squire exclaimed after he, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, keyboardist Geoff Downes, and singer Jon Davison finished performing Close to the Edge, their 1972 platinum release. Squire, with humorous flair, reminded the exuberant crowd that this was the first time Yes played Close to the Edge in backwards order for a Los Angeles audience.
For the many of the concertgoers, this night at the Greek would be their first time to see and hear vocalist Jon Davison live. Davison joined the band in 2012, replacing longtime vocalist Jon Anderson, and he is a close match to his predecessor in vocal abilities and mannerisms onstage without being a knockoff. “Believe Again,” from the new album, showcased Davison’s singing and dispelled any notion that he wasn’t worthy of his spot in the band. Somewhat to his detriment, however, Davison seemed to slide into lyrics that Anderson would attack, such as the “sharp distance” line(s) in “Heart of the Sunrise”. That aside, he certainly exhibited front man characteristics: shaking a tambourine, dancing, exuding a lot of energy.
Chris Squire’s inimitable bass sound with Alan White’s drumming was crushing throughout the evening, especially during “South Side of the Sky,” where Howe’s guitar playing, Downes’ keyboard playing and Davison’s singing entranced the L.A. crowd.
There were at least four standing ovations during the concert. Most memorable was the ovation after the 1.3 III “I Get Up, I Get Down” segment of “Close to the Edge” with the cathedral pipe organ soaring majestically over the outdoor venue.
And You and I
Close to the Edge
Cans and Brahms
We Have Heaven
Southside of the Sky
Five Per Cent for Nothing
Long Distance Runaround
Mood for a Day
Heart of the Sunrise
Your Move/All Good People
Owner of a Lonely Heart
Check out Yes live at the Greek Theater