TODO alt text

Yes: Like It Is - At The Mesa Arts Center

Two classic albums done justice in the live arena.

You have to hand it to Yes. They took on the mammoth task of playing two of their most iconic albums during their 2014 world tour, and carried this off with supreme efficiency and delicacy.

For the most part, Yes succeed in the vast task of keeping everyone happy and interested. Although shots of the seated crowd are kept to a minimum, the fans are clearly kept enthralled by the music, with everyone onstage showing a healthy reverence for the heritage of the albums, while never letting this overwhelm them. Jon Davison, in particular, deserves praise. The new Yes frontman has the impossible challenge of not only stepping into Jon Anderson’s shoes, but here he has to try and somehow ensure he does justice to material so closely associated with his illustrious predecessor, while also not being submerged by the weight of this task. He actually pulls it off. Sure, the vocals and stage affectation make him appear almost an Anderson tribute vocalist. Yet he also adds in the occasional nuance and movement that reminds everyone he has a personality of his own. There’s enough to suggest he’s maturing into a fine Yes singer in his own right. The rest of the band are totally self-contained, each member so caught up in their own part that they hardly interact with one another. And of course in light of Chris Squire’s recent sad passing, it’s hard to watch his own performance without a touch of genuine sadness. The stage show is bare and minimal - three screens behind the band play out images - but this is hardly of significance. The event is all about these albums, and not any visual trickery. Of course, the band have used the Close To The Edge and Fragile albums as bait to reel in fans. But at least they perform them with class and the right attitude. This DVD is a credit to those involved, and a fitting acknowledgement of one of the most important eras in prog.