Prog rock fans take note: Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Alan White will be joined by vocalist Benoit David and keyboardist Oliver Wakeman, son of Rick Wakeman, at an arena or casino near you this summer. The tour kicks off June 26 out in Indio (anybody headed out to Indio this weekend, by chance?) and wraps up August 2 up in Bethlehem, PA. Steve Howe will perform with both bands on this tour. Full announcement and all dates after the jump.
YES THEY CAN! LEGENDARY BAND BEGINS 24-DATE U.S. TOUR JUNE 26 IN INDIO, THROUGH AUGUST 2 IN BETHLEHEM, PA, WITH SPECIAL GUEST ASIA
North American Tour Will See YES’ Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Alan White joined by singer Benoit David and keyboardist Oliver Wakeman, with Howe doing double duty in both bands
LOS ANGELES, April 16, 2009—It’s a prog-rock fan’s dream come true, with two of the legendary British bands of all time on the same stage, playing hits like “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “Roundabout” and “Heat of the Moment.”
Acclaimed British band YES launch their 24-city U.S. tour on June 26 at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, CA, featuring the classic line-up of guitarist Steve Howe, bassist Chris Squire and drummer Alan White with new vocalist Benoit David and keyboardist Oliver Wakeman, son of the group’s Rick Wakeman. The tour runs through August 2 at Bethlehem, PA and includes stops at San Francisco’s Warfield Theatre (July 2), L.A.’s Gibson Amphitheatre at City Walk (July 7) and Philadelphia’s Tower Theater (July 28). The new dates come after this year’s West Coast tour was postponed when Chris Squire was hospitalized for leg surgery.
For this tour, YES will be joined by Special Guest Asia, with Howe, a cornerstone member of both groups, performing as part of each band’s set, alongside original Asia members, including ex-YES and Buggles keyboardist Geoff Downes, ELP’s Carl Palmer on drums and former King Crimson and UK bassist/guitarist/vocalist John Wetton.
Said Howe: “This is a monumental event and even though it will be a challenge, I am up for it.”
Rolling Stone raved that YES’ performance at New York City’s Hammersmith Ballroom last year “sounded as majestic as ever,” adding that the band’s stand-in vocalist Benoit David was able to “expertly mimic the impossibly high-pitched vocals of original singer Jon Anderson.” This may not be exactly the traditional YES line-up… “But it’s close enough,” the magazine declared.
YES concerts have always been very special events, and this spring’s U.S. jaunt will be no different. The group will perform selections from hit albums like Fragile, Close to the Edge, Tales from Topographic Oceans and 90125 along with audience favorites like “Roundabout,” “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” “I’ve Seen All Good People” and “Yours Is No Disgrace,” just some of the enduring classics that have made YES one of the most influential and groundbreaking groups in rock & roll.
This time around, Howe, Squire and White are also pulling out some rarely performed chestnuts, like 1980’s “Machine Messiah” and “Siberian Khatru,” expertly sung by David, a Montreal, Quebec, native and vocalist in several YES tribute groups, discovered by the band on the Internet. His ability to channel Anderson’s distinctive singing voice has added an extra treat for true fans.
Asia’s performance will feature many songs from their historic first album, the world’s best-selling release of 1982. The supergroup’s debut effort was #1 at Billboard for nine weeks and included such smashes as “Heat of the Moment,” “Only Time Will Tell” and “Sole Survivor.” The original line-up of ASIA reformed after 23 years apart in 2006, and has since conducted four successful world tours. In addition, the band released the critically acclaimed Phoenix album on EMI Records. Collectively and individually, the four original members of ASIA have sold over 120 million records.
“People have been waiting for this for decades,” adds Asia’s John Wetton. “Since America was so important to the success of both bands, we feel it was the right time and place to launch it.”
Over the course of a remarkable 40-year career that has continually redefined the boundaries of rock, YES has become renowned for their live performances since being formed in 1968 by Chris Squire and Jon Anderson. With drummer Bill Bruford, guitarist Peter Banks and keyboardist Tony Kaye, they metamorphosed into YES, earning a residency at the famed London venue The Marquee Club, where they played with Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd, releasing their self-titled debut album in July 1969.
Guitarist Steve Howe, who continues to release acclaimed solo albums and tour, brought an experimental cutting edge to YES for 1970’s The Yes Album, their first to top the UK charts. Drummer Alan White, who had been hand-picked to play on John Lennon’s Imagine and George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, came aboard in 1972. YES then went on to conquer America and played at some of the largest paid attendance concerts of all time, including JFK Stadium in Philadelphia in 1976 to a crowd of over 130,000 people.
As a dominant force for more than four decades, YES has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, stretching the boundaries of progressive art-rock with their dynamic instrumental contrasts and abstract lyrics. Their symphonic use of sound and innovative musical styles continues to make them one of the most successful and long-standing groups in rock history as they continue to add new, young fans to their following.
Added Squire: “This has turned out to be one of the best performing line-ups in YES’ storied history. It feels like we’re rediscovering these songs all over again.”
June 26: Indio, CA (Fantasy Springs Casino)
June 27: Las Vegas, NV (Thomas & Mack Center)
June 30: Snoqualmie, WA (Snoqualmie Casino)
July 2: San Francisco, CA (Warfield)
July 3: Saratoga, CA (The Mountain Winery)
July 7: Los Angeles (Gibson Amphitheatre at City Walk)
July 8: San Diego (Humphrey’s)
July 9: Phoenix (Dodge)
July 12: Denver (Paramount Theatre)
July 14: Kansas City, MO (Uptown Theater)
July 15: Ft. Worth, TX (Bass Music Center)
July 16: Muskegee, OK (Civic Center)
July 18: Walker, MN (Moondance Jam)
July 20: Detroit (DTE Energy Music Theatre)
July 21: Pittsburgh (Chevrolet Amphitheatre)
July 22: Glen Allen, VA (Insbrook Pavilion)
July 23: National Harbour, MD (Sunset Concerts)
July 25: Cohassett, MA (South Shore Music Circus)
July 26: Jackson, NJ (Great Adventure Amphitheatre)
July 28: Philadelphia (Tower Theatre)
July 29: Montclair, NJ (Wellmont Theatre)
July 31: Westbury, NY (Theatre at Westbury)
Aug. 1: Jamestown, NY (Savings Bank Arena)
Aug. 2: Bethlehem, PA (Muskfest)