YES turn Hard Rock Live into ProgNation!

YES

YES

All Photos: © 2016 Jim Carver / The Rust Belt Chronicles.

Last week, we were graced with the appearance of the progressive rock band, YES at the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park. The band featuring the wondrous stories and musical escapades that transcend you into a musical journey.  Despite member changes, health and age, YES has maintained their articulate delivery of their songs as if it was the 1970’s. Few bands have stood the test of time and it was an honor to hear YES again!

Featuring ‘The Album Series Tour’, these elder statesman of Prog Rock delivered two sets of stunning material; captivating the fans for several hours. The fans of YES are so loyal to the band, even if YES performed their most obscure tunes; I believe the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park would still been a near sell-out. That’s a testimony to the music and talent of a band that refuses to retire!

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The #1 Yes fan, Ruth Zurawka.

Prior to the show, I met our friend (and #1 YES fan), Ruth Zurawka in the lobby. We spoke and she updated me on the new drummer, Jay Schellen, who is filling in for Alan White; while he is recovering from back surgery. Ruth creates colorful YES bracelets to promote the band and occasionally travels across the USA with YES. Last summer, we met her in Dayton, Ohio and she was offering Thank You, Chris Squire bracelets (after his unexpected passing), which we promoted and the requests for the thoughtful, free bracelet sky-rocketed!

YES, opened the show with the complete ‘Drama‘ album and light-up the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park with their beautiful screen of visuals above the stage; often featuring the album cover artwork of Roger Dean. The majestic wonder and tales were a moving experience. With epic sequences and startling musical brevity, YES was in full swing. “Tempus Fugit” was simply incredible from beginning to end!

After completing the ‘Drama’ album performance, Yes followed up with mind-blowing versions of “I’ve Seen All Good People”, “Siberian Khatru” along with; “And You and I’. Each of these songs were stunning and as fresh as the day the songs were recorded. The musical and time signature changes were incredible to hear and the audience definitely approved. This band is so fluid in the detail of their music it’s stunning! After the exhaustive opening set, YES took a well-deserved, twenty-minute break.

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YES guitarist, the amazing; Steve Howe.

Steve Howe amazes whether it’s with an electric, pedal steel or acoustic guitar. The elder statesman of YES is a profound genius. I noticed that during many time-changing musical segment, Steve doesn’t tap his foot or move his head to the beat. It’s a if he could perform those progressions in his sleep! Simply amazing!

Next-up was the two sides (1 & 4) of ‘Tales From Topographic Oceans’. Although I wasn’t has familiar with that record, I must say the progressive tunes were splendid in their different musical variations and delivered as if it was one long conceptual story. Like an Opera with different precise movements, YES performed brilliantly through the entire set. The delivery were flawless and the fans soaked in the music. From the soft mellow moments to the epic themes, YES was impeccable!

Bassist, Billy Sherwood does an incredible job of  picking and plucking away at his instrument, while performing the famous lines of Chris Squire. Honestly, this man is a beast of a player! Temporary drummer, Jay Schellen filled-in admirably for Alan White. Jay has worked with bassist, Billy Sherwood in other band projects and it seemed the drummer may have given YES a sharper edge towards some of the material.

Geoff Downes quibbled like a mad scientist on his array of keyboards. Providing layered lush sounds usually reserved for a few keyboardist I the world. His articulate voicing’s embellished the songs and lifted the senses of all in attendance! Geoff’s dual keyboard layout reminded me of the late, Keith Emerson (RIP), as he performed with his arms extended to the right and left of his body, giving us meticulous sounds of grandeur!

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YES vocalist,, Jon Davison.

Vocalist, Jon Davison’s incredible resemblance of Jon Anderson’s voice is eerie. Close your eyes and it’s hard to tell the difference! His gestures, clothing and hair appear straight out of the early 1970’s. Jon gave a savvy performance with electronic drums, timbales and various percussive instruments throughout the night. But it was his smooth voice that rose over-top the music, giving us that epic YES sound.

The band bowed and left the stage.

YES returned with an encore of “Starship Trooper”. These guys had the fans on their feet, cheering as the band escalated the people to new heights. Once again, the progressive music bound by many time-signature changes was simply astonishing.

YES slider photos: © 2016 Jim Carver / The Rust Belt Chronicles.

The band closed with “Roundabout”, as the fans went ecstatic!  The clarity was amazing as the band pumped the tune with passionate musicianship, excellent vocals in a roustabout manner. The precision, effortless timing and progressiveness of all that embodies YES; evolved the crowd into a standing ovation!

Don’t miss the legendary Prog-Rock band, YES; when they visit a City near you!

PROGNATION

ProgNation slider photos: © 2016 Jim Carver / The Rust Belt Chronicles.

After the YES show, I took the short stroll to the Hard Rock Café to see some of the Cleveland progressive rock band, ProgNation. Luckily, I caught most of their set! Ironically, ProgNation was formed after the latest snuff of YES to be inducted into the Rock & Rock Hall of Fame. Fittingly enough, the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park booked the band, resulting in a Prog lover’s night of total music paradise!

ProgNation performed an array of Classic Rock tunes from YES, Genesis, ELP, King Crimzon and other progressive-rock bands. The musicianship is excellent as they deliver fantastic renditions of epic material. I love how they inject a few bars of tunes such as Iron Butterfly’s, “In-A-Godda-Davida” and Cream’s, “Sunshine of Your Love” into a medley. Seriousely, when was the last time you heard those tunes played live?

Tony Cuda marveled on the bass guitar and his brother, Chris Cuda were totally amazing! The jazz cats are well-known for their musical ability in the North Coast for good reason. Drummer, Marty Zlocki (a member of Time Traveler  too) handles the percussion with flair as he relegates the difficult time signatures like a run through the park! Vocalist, Steve Kolesar (ex-Champion) was astute with his vocal delivery. Steve’s upper register does justice to all the bands various material . The newest member of the band, Bruce Kowalski (ex-Sweatleaf, Victory Highway) performed his keyboard wizardry like a man on a mission!  The layered tones, synths and moog sounds resonated throughout the Café!

Don’t miss ProgNation when they perform near you.

On my way out the door, I picked-up an order of Steak Fajitas from the Hard Rock Café. They were delicious! I recommend the menu at the Hard Rock Café on your next visit or anyone of their other fine dining experiences!

 

Disclaimer/Disclosure

Products, advertizements and links on this website contain affiliate marketing agreements based on commision or sales between The Rust Belt Chronicles and third party companies or businesses. We only recommend products, brands and businesses that we strongly support. Photos used on this site are used courtesy of the original authors and in no way endorse The Rust Belt Chronicles or our opinions. Thank you.
Jim Carver About Jim Carver

Jim Carver is the President of The Rust Belt Chronicles.

In 2004, Jim graduated from North Central State College with a degree in Business Information Technology. Jim developed "Rock Lines" news report online in 2010.After a trial-run of The Rust Belt Chronicles in April of 2013, Jim decided to make his dream a reality in 2014 by re-launching The Rust Belt Chronicles.

Comments

  1. Jim, you obviously don’t know “Yes”, the classic lineup members! You admitted not knowing Tales From Topographic Oceans too…really? Comparing this lead singer to Jon Anderson is a disgrace. Being impressed by the amount of keyboards opposed to how they are played is another joke. You got overly caught up in another Yes cover band performance. Please go to the upcoming Anderson, Rabin, Wakeman concerts and watch & listen to legendary musicians!!

    • Why so anchored in individuals Chris is no longer here, Bill has retired. Yes is music it is a way of doing things. Why can’t their regressive anchored fans caught in the cult of personality not see the reality. Billy is playing better than Chris, who we all love, and Jon with his two octave reach, sustain and clever reading of the narrative is a far more powerful and profound experience in concert. Jon Anderson was sign posting with his lyrics Jon Davison has found the path and makes them real and unlike his forbear he does it without the conflict of ego and entitlement.

      Anderson Rabin and Wakeman may well produce wonderful new innovative powerful new music but the American Tour is pointed at the baby boomers nostalgia fans. An hour of Trevors most exciting music from the 80’s, the kind of music that Rick has never got close to, and an hour of Seventies most exciting music which Trevor was uninvolved in, by your values ironically a tribute band. By my standards three people who have never recorded a note together could be wonderful by your anchored close minded values you should ignore them, such hypocrisy, what you are real y talking about is you are a Jon Anderson fan who accepts anything so long as it involves Jon Anderson, at least be honest with your rooted, regressive views. Wake up there is a big world beyond Jon Anderson.

      • Sorry, I’ve followed Yes since 1968. The most powerful lineup is the legendary lineup of Anderson, Squire, Wakeman, Burford and Howe. I particularly take exception to suggesting that Billy is better than Chris and the ridiculous suggestion that Davidson has a greater range and more power than Anderson! I’ve seen the originals and several permutations over the last 4+ decades. Some were better than others. I am ardent and loyal to Yes. I have tickets for AWR later this year. When Steve and Alan go there way, the memories will have to suffice.

  2. Wow….the vituperation which accompanies any review / comments about the current Yes line-up always amazes me. Still, I suppose it demonstrates the passion which Yes music generates; it shows people care!

  3. Each and everyone of these guys contribute as faithfully as they can to the Yes legacy and should be equally admired and venerated by us all. That they continue to perform and compose for us ( in whatever guise ), is a gift for which we should be eternally grateful 😊✌🏼️

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