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May 10, 2017

Prog rockers Yes set to play Noho

Formed in 1968, the London-based band Yes has passed the test of time and is now one of the most well known classic rock bands in the world. The Calvin Theater will host the 42-year-old band tonight at 8 p.m.

The faces in the band have all but remained the same, however. Over the years, Yes has seen a handful of changes to their personnel, but none bigger than the loss of their original lead singer, Jon Anderson. Anderson, whose unique and beautiful voice made the band what it is today, was forced to give up singing temporarily due to acute respiratory failure.

Just as other classic rock bands like Boston and Journey have, Yes recruited the young Benoit David to replace Anderson. David had been the lead singer from a popular Yes tribute band, the Canadian-based Close to the Edge, as well as the band Mystery.

Anderson is currently scheduled for four solo concerts in Canada later this spring.

Aside from David, the band also has a new keyboardist for their latest tour. Oliver Wakeman has been manning the plastic piano, an essential piece of the progressive rock scene. He is replacing Rick Wakeman, his father, in the band that made him famous. Rick Wakeman has been an on-and-off member of the group since its formation.

Steve Howe, who also joined and left the band quite frequently over the years, is up front on the lead guitar. The only member to stay with the band all along, Chris Squire, is on bass. Alongside Anderson, Squire was the co-founder of the band.

Alan White, who has been with the band for the majority of its existence, remains the band’s drummer.

While the band has not produced any new noteworthy work since 1988, Yes has quietly become one of the longest lasting progressive rock bands in history. In January 1984, “Owner of a Lonely Heart” topped out as the number one song on the Billboard Top 100 (just ahead of “Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club). Their other hits include “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “Roundabout” and “Long Distance Runaround.”

Yes is in the middle of their U.S. Winter 2010 Tour, and will be making stops in big cities like New York City, N.Y., Chicago, Ill., Dallas, Texas, and New Orleans, L.A. According to the Setlist Wiki, they ended the last decade on tour playing mostly hits from their heyday including the aforementioned songs as well as others such as “Starship Trooper.” For whatever reason, however, they chose to skip “Long Distance Runaround.”

Yes will be playing tonight at the Calvin Theater in Northampton, Mass. The show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets range from $75 to $35. Tickets are still available on the Iron Horse Entertainment Group’s website,

Justin Gagnon can be reached at

One Response to “Prog rockers Yes set to play Noho”
  1. Mark says:

    YES…a great band…but not nearly the same without Jon Anderson. Hurry Home Jon!

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