Tales from topographic gardens – specifically, Hudson Gardens…
BY TIM HINELY
Ok, so I blew off La Luz at the Bluebird for this because for one, I’ve seen La Luz several times and two, I had never seen Yes before, or at least something this close to Yes.
Also I had never been to Hudson Gardens before but had heard good things. It’s a big field where they have weddings, parties, classes and off to the side is a stage where bands play. It’s mostly of ther over-50 yuppie variety. This past summer saw the likes of Chris Issak, Firefall, Loverboy, Donny and Marie, the B-52’s and lots more, you get the picture. This Yes show was the last one of the season and we caught it on a perfect night, in fact, after being a real hot day it really cooled off in the evening. Perfect for concert going!
This version of Yes is billing itself as “Yes featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman.” Apparently Steve Howe has a different version of yes touring the country as well (R.I.P. Chris Squire); for a dissection of the legal and personal breakdown between the Anderson and Howe camps in April of this year and what led up to it, read this story at Ultimate Classic Rock.
I had begun following the band on the heels of their third album The Yes Album from `71 and continued on through the following records of Fragile, Close to the Edge and Yessongs.
In addition to the foundation of Anderson on vocals (he sounded great) Wakeman on keyboards and Rabin on guitar they had a rhythm section in tow as well (who from our vantage point we couldn’t even see…..I couldn’t see Wakeman either from where we were sitting off of stage left).
They opened with “Cinema” and led into “Perpetual Change” and then right into “Hold On.” From there the set lagged, if just a little, with “South Side of the Sky” and “And You and I” but picked up again when they soared into “Lift Me Up” and “Rhythm of Love” with a chatty, amiable Anderson talkintg to the crowd in between songs.
They ended with it “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and came back out for one encore, which was “Roundabout” (which is an old fave, sounded great and really got the crowd moving).
I was a little bummed about not hearing cuts like ‘Starship Trooper,” “Yours is No Disgrace” and “I’ve Seen All Good People” (yup, I do lean heavily toward The Yes Album) but at least we heard “Perpetual Change” from that album.
Aside from hearing the hum of the food trucks that were nearby (serves us right for not getting there early enough to be closer to the stage) and a meathead security guy not letting me take pics even though I had a photo pass, it’s a nice place to see a concert. Our beach chairs got some good use for the night and Yes can still pack a punch. Now I’m curious to hear Steve Howe’s version.
Photo credit: Pollstar/Hard Rock International