Anderson, Wakeman and Rabin: An Evening of YES Music, Symphony Hall, Birmingham - review

Birmingham | Entertainment | Published:

Prog fans were treated to an extra special show as Yes alumni Rick Wakeman, Jon Anderson and Trevor Rabin united.

Packed to the rafters with fans, the sold-out Symphony Hall erupted as Rick and Trevor stepped on to the stage. Though it was dark, keyboard wizard Rick was instantly recognisable: a looming long-haired figure at 6ft 4ins, dressed in a floor-length glistening cloak.

As he and Trevor met on stage, they greeted one another with a warm embrace - and set the tone for the evening. This was to be an affectionate reunion for Yes fans - and the crowd seemed to enjoy every moment.

Despite now being 72, founding frontman Jon Anderson still came across as a youthful, sprightly character - and his voice, though a little weak in parts, was largely great. It may be almost 50 years since he first launched Yes, but Jon certainly hasn't lost his trademark sound. He even took to a small harp for parts of the show, and clearly loved every second.

As a unit, the band sounded wonderful; achieving a clean, powerful sound throughout - with particular highlights coming from the incredibly talented Trevor, whose hefty riffs and lightning-like fingerwork simply stunned.

Rick was tremendous on keys too - though, after having seen him so many times on his own, I did feel his outstanding talent went a little to waste.

But they had come to treat fans to the hits of Yes - and that they did. They played a variety of material, from 1971 numbers Perpetual Change and I've Seen All Good People, through to 80s songs including Hold On and Lift Me Up.

Fan favourites Owner of A Lonely Heart and Roundabout ended the show - and went down an absolute storm.

"It's great to be with you again in this lovely theatre," beamed Jon.

And lovely it was to have them. Though next time, I think I may stick to seeing Grumpy Old Rick on his own.

By Kirsten Rawlins

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