Review - YES @ the Warfield (9/1/17)

Kevin Keating
Steve Howe of YES (Photo: Kevin Keating)
This has been a busy week for Bay Area YES fans. Last night, the 'official' YES consisting of "original" members Steve Howe, Geoff Downes, and Alan White performed at the Warfield in San Francisco; just days after the 'other' YES featuring "original" members Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, and Rick Wakeman performed at the South Bay's Mountain Winery in Saratoga this past Monday. I'm using quotes here to highlight the fact that since 1968, YES has morphed from one incarnation to another and has featured no less than 19 musicians across the various formations. Prior to their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year, the 'other' YES had been touring under the ARW moniker, but since their induction, each group has chosen to use YES to tour under; with Steve Howe's version getting the 'official' designation.
Geoff Downes, Jon Davison, Alan White of YES (Photo: Kevin Keating)
Yes - no pun intended - it's confusing and hard to follow as a casual observer, but no matter which YES camp you're in, each band features a legendary set of members and has been augmented by other incredibly talented musicians that encapsulate the original sounds of YES. Performing last night with Steve, Geoff & Alan were Jon Davison on vocals, Billy Sherwood on bass (who we interviewed here just a few weeks ago), and Steve's own son, Dylan Howe as a secondary drummer to assist with Alan White.
Dylan Howe of YES (Photo: Kevin Keating)
Without getting into the politics or details of the hows and whys related to the rift among the two bands, I'm going to focus on the performance last night at the Warfield... Which luckily for those in attendance was a fairly intimate affair -- and even more special if you're a long-time fan of the bands' earlier albums. You see, this tour has featured one song from each of the bands' first 10 albums, played chronologically throughout the night.
Alan White's back there somewhere... (Photo: Kevin Keating)
From my perspective, this worked better than their tour last year when they chose to play two of their earlier albums in full. But in reality, if you're a fan of Steve Howe's YES, then either setlist is going to work for you. As a casual fan, the chronological walk through history showcased their less well known hits throughout the earlier part of their career, and as a result, will have me diving into their back catalog to hear more.
Geoff Downes of YES -- and the Buggles! (Photo: Kevin Keating)
Next year will be the bands' 50th anniversary, so I'm curious if the two YES camps will come together in some form for the ultimate reunion tour. In the meantime, be sure to check out their remaining tour dates over the next few weeks and stay tuned for more news on their 50th next year!

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Yes Setlist The Warfield, San Francisco, CA, USA 2017, 2017 North American Tour

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