Celebrating 50 years of incredible musicianship, YES dazzled the starstruck Scots at the SEC Armadillo.
A rapturous opening of Yours is No Disgrace, seamlessly transitioning into I’ve Seen All Good People, set the bar early for legendary prog-rockers YES as they brought their 50-year anniversary tour to a packed and excited SEC Armadillo. Guitarist, Steve Howe, welcomed the audience to the show, and paid the first tribute of the night to former lyricist, David Foster, before the band roared into life once more, performing Sweet Dreams and Southside of the Sky in quick succession to standing ovations by the crowd.
Emotions ran high as the band – consisting of Geoff Downes, Billy Sherwood, Jon Davison, Steve Howe, and Jay Schellen - filling in for Alan White on drums for most of the night – paid another tribute, this time to the late Chris Squire, who sadly passed away in 2015 due to acute erythroid leukaemia. Vocalist, Jon Davison, said:
A flawless, heartfelt rendition of Onward was then played by the band, the audience captivated from start to finish, and there was hardly a dry eye in the house - certainly a fitting tribute to one of the greatest bassists to grace the stage.
Following Onward, Steve Howe grabbed his acoustic guitar and sat centre-stage, treating everyone to the beautiful Mood For A Day. Wanting to pick up the tempo to finish the set on a high, the band stormed into Wondrous Stories, before finishing on Parallels and the fantastic And You And I, leaving the stage to yet another standing ovation from the ever-appreciative Scottish crowd.
After a short break, the band put on an amazing spectacle, going straight into the first part of their 6th studio album, Tales From Topographic Ocean. Entitled “The Revealing Science of God: Dance of the Dawn”, this 20-minute epic had everybody mesmerised as the band flowed perfectly from section to section, truly demonstrating their pedigree as one of the best progressive rock bands to ever exist.
Once the dust had settled from that behemoth of a track, Mr Howe once again donned his acoustic guitar, everyone waiting with baited breath to hear his famous “The Clap”. However, to everyone’s surprise, he was joined on stage by Jon Davison and Billy Sherwood, and they played a lovely acoustic section from part three of Tales From Topographic Oceans: “The Ancient”.
The band continued wayfaring through Tales From Topographic Oceans, diving headfirst into part four: “Ritual: Nous Sommes du Soleil”. The legendary Alan White joined the band on stage, as Jay stepped away from the kit to help with percussion, and he performed a blistering drum solo which the crowd (and his bandmates) lapped right up.
The enthusiasm of all of the members shone through in the delicious encore, consisting of the timeless classic, Roundabout, and the epic Starship Trooper, which had many people up on their feet and gathering around the stage, jumping around, singing their hearts out, and immersing themselves in the true YES experience, which the band can proudly say is still going strong after five decades of awe-inspiring music.