Watch YES Legend JON ANDERSON Perform Entire 'Close To The Edge' Album With THE PAUL GREEN ROCK ACADEMYAugust 25, 2022
Legendary YES vocalist/songwriter Jon Anderson played with The Paul Green Rock Academy at the Ardmore Music Hall in Ardmore, Pennsylvania on August 7. Jon and the ensemble celebrated the 50th anniversary of the release of YES's classic album "Close To The Edge" by performing the LP in its entirety, along with other classics and surprises. Video of the concert can be seen below.
Jon Anderson's latest tour with The Paul Green Rock Academy was a resumption of the tradition started in 2005 when Jon toured with Paul Green's original School Of Rock all-stars. These early shows, over 30 in total between 2006 and 2008, were nothing short of magical, and Anderson has since returned to continue that magic with a set of YES classics, deep cuts, mash-ups and solo works, all with lush arrangements featuring choral singing, horns, and all the other benefits of having a backing band with 25 young musicians.
Said Paul Green: "Having done a few of these songs in the past with Jon and my students, I couldn't wait to add them to the current show. Once we did 'Close To The Edge' and 'And You And I' on our Florida run in April, I was reminded of the magic of hearing these songs recreated by young musicians… They really capture the frenetic energy of the original recordings. Then when I heard it was the 50th anniversary of the album, I just knew we had to do the whole thing. Jon agreed."
Anderson said: "There are so many wonderful moments in my musical life, and being on stage with these young teenagers performing classic YES songs makes me so happy and proud... It's a marvel and a tremendous pleasure for me. They are a joy to be with and so much fun. I am grateful, thankful and feel very blessed to be able to sing along with them. Janee and I love them all. Love and light."
Anderson co-founded YES in 1968 with bassist Chris Squire, and remained with the band until 2008, when YES replaced him with Benoit David, an Anderson sound-alike who previously fronted the YES tribute band CLOSE TO THE EDGE. David left YES in 2012 and was replaced by Jon Davison.
In July 2020, Howe told Rolling Stone that there is virtually no chance of the surviving members of YES reuniting for a tour.
"I don't think [the fans] should stay up late nights worrying about that," he said. "There's just too much space out there between people. To be in a band together or even to do another tour like 'Union' is completely unthinkable," referencing the group's 1990 "Union" LP and tour, which brought together the previous YES album's lineup (Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Trevor Rabin, Alan White, Tony Kaye) and the then-ex-YES members' group ANDERSON BRUFORD WAKEMAN HOWE (Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford, Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe). "It was difficult when we went through that, particularly because of the personalities," Howe said. "I'm not saying any one person is to blame, but when you get a big hodgepodge like that together, it's pretty much a nightmare. We made a nightmare of possibly a good thing back in 1990. I don't think there is the stamina or the appetite for that kind of thing again."
Anderson, Wakeman and Rabin had started touring as ARW: ANDERSON, RABIN AND WAKEMAN in 2016 and then adopted the YES FEATURING JON ANDERSON, TREVOR RABIN, RICK WAKEMAN moniker shortly after the group's 2017 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction.
Howe last toured with Anderson and Wakeman in 2004.
YES has released over 20 albums across its career, including its self-titled debut in 1969, "Tales from Topographic Oceans", in 1973, and its last album, "The Quest", which came out in October.
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