Some of those bands look like ringers to us…. Pictured above: the current iteration of Yes.
By Uncle Blurt
Okay, let’s see if we have this straight: on August 3 at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ, prog legends Yes will be hosting the first-ever “Yestival” and it will include several other familiar names from the group’s core era. Fair enough. But look closely, fans, as a few things seem to be missing.
*First of all, this is the Yes that does NOT include iconic vocalist Jon Anderson; in fact, only one founding member is in the lineup, bassist Chris Squire. Joining him will be Steve Howe, Geoff Downes, Jon Davison, and Alan White. Which is probably okay… we’ve seen various versions of Yes over the years and they’ve always been good. Although Anderson’s absence is a huge minus.
*But then there’s Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy will be performing innovative versions of classic Emerson, Lake & Palmer hits. Er, “innovative versions”? Like, say, a Mariachi take on the Tarkus suite? “Lucky Man” transposed for death metal?
*And Renaissance, described as “a band which for 44 years has been acclaimed for their unique blending of progressive rock with classic and symphonic influences” but which does not include guitarist Michael Dunford, who passed away last year, and while not a founder was a core member for 99% of the band’s existence and author of much of the material.
*Lastly, there’s The Musical Box is a band that is internationally acclaimed for its historically accurate re-enactment of Genesis early work. As part of the 40th commemorative anniversary, the band will perform the FOXTROT SHOW as presented by Genesis in 1973. Okay, okay, so the band is “exclusively licensed” by Peter Gabriel and Genesis. (Gabriel saw a performance and said “The Musical Box recreated, very accurately, what Genesis was doing.” Genesis co-founder Michael Rutherford added, “It was better than the real thing.”) So what do we know?
Still – buyer beware, eh? This has been a public service announcement – with guitars!