Yes began their first concert since the death of Chris Squire by paying an emotional tribute to the late bassist.
The only man to have played in each of the prog veterans’ lineups passed away in June after a battle with cancer. He’d been replaced by Billy Sherwood since beginning treatment earlier this year.
Last night in the Grand Theater, Mashantucket, Connecticut, the lights went down save for a single white spot, illuminating a Rickenbacker bass on a stand in the position traditionally occupied Squire.
A wave of applause erupted as images of the musician were displayed on stage screens and the sound system played Onward, one of his compositions from 1978’s Tormato album.
Jon Davison, Steve Howe, Geoff Downes, Alan White and Sherwood performed a 90-minute set. Three songs in singer Davison thanked the audience for their support, saying: “We’re all celebrating the magic of music – but also the remembrance of a great friend. We love you, Chris.”
Later he pointed to Sherwood and said: “I think it’s about time we acknowledged this bad-ass cat,” to an appreciative response.
Howe told the crowd: “This is a very special night for us, and a very special tour. Thanks for letting us share it with you.” The show ended with an encore performance of Starship Trooper.
Yes tour North America alongside Toto, with Sherwood on bass, until September 12. They return to the UK next year. Drummer White told last month how Squire had asked him to keep the band moving – and that he intended to honour his late friend’s request.
Onward (playback) Intro / Firebird Suite Don’t Kill The Whale Tempus Fugit America Going For The One Time And A Word Clap I’ve Seen All Good People Siberian Khatru Owner Of A Lonely Heart Roundabout Encore: Starship Trooper