An Evening with Yes
Thursday, Aug. 8 @ 7:30 p.m.
Whether you called it progressive or art rock, whether you listened intently or with an “altered consciousness,” Yes helped define the music of the 1970s. The seminal British band is back, bringing its multi-textured musical time machine to a Wisconsin State Fair audience that might remember the band from a more “colorful,” smoke-filled musical era.
Formed in 1968, the current iteration includes guitarist Steve Howe, bassist Chris Squire and drummer Alan White, all veteran members. Keyboardist Geoff Downes and singer Jon Davison complete the lineup. The burgeoning prog-rock movement of the ’70s, which also spawned Brit bands like King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, was eventually eclipsed by the rise of punk, which exploded onto the scene at the end of the decade.
But Yes had already begun carving a legacy that produced 21 albums, including 1973’s triple live album Yessongs and countless video and solo projects by the band’s various members. Their top single, “Owner of a Lonely Heart” reached number one on the U.S. song charts in 1982, after Yes had disbanded and regrouped, something it would do multiple times and with a variety of masterful musicians over the ensuing decades.The band’s Wisconsin State Fair date, part of its current international tour, finds the musicians playing three early albums in their entirety: The Yes Album, Close to the Edge and Going for the One. None of the three contain the song “Roundabout,” one of their best-known hits that still garners airplay, but then the band has to save something for an encore. (Michael Muckian)