Monday, March 01, 2010


Wakeman's Wisdom

Two years ago I posted some thoughts on Yes' upcoming tour and on aging musicians in general. Rick Wakeman decided not to tour with the band because he felt that the schedule should be made with their age and health in mind rather than other factors. I think he was right. The band decided to carry on and after singer Jon Anderson was diagnosed with a resperatory ailment that required at least six months of rest, he was replaced with a singer from a Yes tribute band who sounded much like him.

That sounds like a Spinal Tap sequel but wound up producing a memorable tour for some fans. Anderson's replacement, Benoit David, sounded fantastic and also opened up the catalog for the setlist which was a real treat. I saw them play in December 2008 and enjoyed the experience. I hope to see Anderson return but I was glad to hear some songs he would probably not approve of performing.

The tour continued with some success and Yes returned to Chicago as they played the east coast and midwest. However this time they did not sound so good and the fans expressed their displeasure. Many posted negative reviews on the Yes web site which maintains a forum for input on their tour page. The recent snow storms caused some rearranging so not all was their fault but they wound up playing 14 shows in 17 days and in 12 different cities. They were clearly fatigued and it showed.

There is still a chance to listen to Rick Wakeman and play some memorable shows. The fans will be happy to hear it and I think the musicians will be happy to play again too.


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