Concert Review: Yes featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman, September 16, Massey Hall


Prog rock legends Yes were inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, which was notable for a few reasons. Firstly, it was another sign that the HOF’s longstanding bias against progressive rock was loosening. Secondly, it was notable for former Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman using the occasion as an excuse to try out his borscht belt routine, throwing out a few dirty jokes like some kind of British, long haired Rodney Dangerfield. Perhaps the most interesting thing to come out of it however, was the announcement shortly after the induction that the trio of Wakeman, singer Jon Anderson, and guitarist Trevor Rabin would be using the Yes name once again, meaning that there would now be two separate versions of the band making the rounds. On Saturday night, their version of the band played Massey Hall, officially billed under the somewhat unwieldy name Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Yes Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman, though I’m pretty sure most people just said they were going to see Yes for the sake of brevity.

Having seen the other Yes live a few years back, the main draw for me was seeing original singer Anderson and keyboardist Wakeman do their thing (No slight intended to Rabin, of course, who impressed with his performance as he took the lead mid-set on “Changes.”) Hearing Anderson’s voice live on classics like “And You And I,” “Owner Of A Lonely Heart,” and “Roundabout” was surely a treat for any Yes fan and Wakeman was of course a sight to behold behind his array of synthesizers, clad in one of his trademark capes. That’s mostly what I was hoping to get out of this show: to see a grown man in a glittery, multicoloured cape rocking a bank of synths (and also, later, a keytar). If only he’d been given the chance to fire off a couple of dirty jokes, it would have been that much better.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts