As the show opened with a touching tribute to the much-missed Chris Squire, it seemed bizarre that he was still with us when we bought the tickets for this concert. Seeing his bass in the spotlight on the stage while Onwards played over the sound system was moving, as was being aware of the lack of his presence throughout the evening. That said, Billy Sherwood filled his shoes extremely well on bass guitar.
The first half of the show saw a performance of the entire Drama album. I’m rather fond of this album, particularly the epic Machine Messiah and Does It Really Happen, so it’s safe to say I was looking forward to it. I was far from disappointed and quite probably sat there with a stupid grin on my face for the duration.
Tagged on to the Drama portion of the show was Time and A Word (dedicated to the late Peter Banks) which was followed by Siberian Khatru taking us to the interval. I’d like to take the opportunity to appreciate the fact that Yes have a countdown on screen for the interval giving everyone plenty of chance to get back to their seats before the lights go down again.
Part two brought us the Fragile album. It seemed a bit more relaxed performance-wise than Drama, maybe because it was more familiar territory. Reaching its crescendo with an ever building rendition of Heart Of The Sunrise (the ultimate in epic tunes to listen to as dawn breaks) Fragile made way for Don’t Kill The Whale and Owner Of A Lonely Heart before an encore of the ever popular Starship Trooper ended the evening on a familiar high.
As I said, Squire’s stage presence was missed but the musical performances were as good as ever. I really like Jon Davison’s voice and with the harmonies from Billy Sherwood sounding a bit different to Chris it actually made you listen to the more familiar songs with fresh ears.
Our evening wasn’t quite over with the end of the concert though. Thanks to a visit at work from Alan White and his lovely wife Gigi, I had passes for an after show meet and greet. After the paying meet and greeters were done we were allowed in to get autographs etc. I was introduced to Billy who was lovely and happily posed for a photo after his autograph duties. I also managed to grab a selfie with Geoff Downes before it was time to go home.
It was a fabulous night and I’m hoping for a full show of Tales From Topographic Oceans next time!