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This show marked the seventh time I’ve seen the progressive rock band YES in concert, including the short-lived Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, and Howe at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles. Gone are the Avatar-like stage sets and laser light shows of the 1970s (picture Alan White’s drum kit encased in giant fiberglass mushrooms). The music, however, is timeless.

For the first time, the band played three full-length albums onstage. During the tour, they will be switching up the order, but Pechanga’s nearly three-hour show began with 1972’s Close to the Edge, followed by The Yes Album (1971), and finishing with Going for the One, which was released in 1977.

As the feud with original singer Jon Anderson is still unresolved, vocal duties were relegated to Laguna Beach resident Jon Davison, who was recruited from SoCal Yes tribute band Roundabout. Davison is a very capable replacement until they can get Anderson back. Though that seems less likely to happen as the years pass.

Despite the occasional missed cue or dropped beat, 63-year-old drummer Alan White still has a thing or two to show the younger musicians. Guitarist Steve Howe, bassist Chris Squire, and keyboardist Geoff Downes seem to still be at the top of their game, though, putting on a music clinic for the sold-out crowd.

The set list: “Close to the Edge,” “And You And I,” “Siberian Khatru,” “Yours Is No Disgrace,” “The Clap,” “Starship Trooper,” “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “A Venture,” “Perpetual Change,” “Going for the One,” “Turn of the Century,” “Parallels,” “Wondrous Stories,” “Awaken.” Encore: “Roundabout.”

Photo: ©Daniel Knighton/Pixel Perfect Images

  • Concert: Yes
  • Date: March 8
  • Venue: Pechanga Casino
  • Seats: Front Row
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tomjohnston March 16, 2013 @ 10:06 a.m.

I believe that we first saw Yes in San Francisco in 1971, so probably the Fragile tour.As I remember, it was around my birthday and my wife-then-girlfriend took me for my birthday. Quite a departure from Jerry and the boys, but nevertheless, we became fans. I do have to say though, a Yes without Wakeman and Anderson would seem more like Yes lite, no disrespect to Messrs. White, Squire and Howe intended. Also, a mention of the passing of Peter Banks would have been nice.

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