PHOTOS: Yes Paramount Theatre show in Denver - Reverb

PHOTOS: Yes Paramount Theatre show in Denver

Seemingly tireless, veteran prog rockers Yes returned to the Paramount Theatre for their fourth Denver appearance in in almost as many years Saturday night. For this performance they would present a lengthy, yet audibly marred set highlighted by the performance of their classic early 1970s albums “Fragile” and “Close To the Edge” in their entirety.

The band’s current line-up consists of long-time, core members guitarist Steve Howe, bassist Chris Squire and drummer Alan White along with frequent keyboardist Geoff Downes and newcomer Jon Davidson who, as sonic and spiritual doppelganger to original frontman Jon Anderson, contributed to the band’s latest LP “Heaven & Earth.”

Canterbury-based Syd Arthur opened the show with a very brief set of their updated, jammy take on the progressive rock genre and unfortunately suffered from incredibly muddy sound coming off the stage. However, neither the crowd nor the band were fully deterred as their craftsmanship was rewarded with strong cheers.

Yes began their set by performing the “Close To The Edge” album in reverse, starting with a lively take on “Siberian Khatru,” in which guitarist Howe tore through several tasteful and stunning solos. This was followed by “And You And I” and eventually the 20-plus minute title track. It was quite impressive to witness the band still ably navigate their way through the labyrinthine passages of this lengthy tune. Davidson displayed his vocal chops during the middle “I Get Up I Get Down” section which saw the much of the near capacity crowd singing along before Downes added the magisterial church organ originally written and performed by Rick Wakeman to close out the part.

Though their sound mix didn’t suffer as much as Syd Arthur’s, Yes were still forced to deal with some audio issues, which in turn led to some minor missteps and confused looks from White, Howe and Downes throughout the evening.

The band wedged two fairly dreadful new songs, “The Game” and “Believe” that only served to tread middling water in between the performance of the classics.

The “Fragile” section was kicked off by a stirring take on crowd favorite “Roundabout” and showcased a solid version of “South Side of the Sky,” which dipped into a shaky take on “Long Distance Runaround.” The group perked back up for Squire’s bass-led “The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)” and the swirling, interstellar rock of closer “Heart of the Sunrise.”

A brief encore of “I’ve Seen All Good People” and the band’s out-of-place 80s hit “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” ended the evening. The bulk of the crowd clearly enjoyed the show, but the band has both sounded and performed better at this venue before. Fortunately, the way they’re still going these days, we’ll see them again soon.

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Michael Behrenhausen is a Denver-based writer, musician and regular Reverb contributor. The worst crime he ever did was play some rock ‘n’ roll.

Alan Cox is the president/creative director of Cox Creative, a Highlands Ranch-based creative shop. He works too much, sleeps too little and spends every free moment coaching baseball, shooting images and hanging out with his rowdy sons and rowdier wife. Check out his photos here.

  • Olias

    Was pretty sure that “audibly marred” was a reference to the keyboard trigger that spontaneously appeared during Howe’s “Mood For A Day” spotlight. Agreed that there were some shaky moments and a few near-trainwrecks, but I’m ok with that result when 60-something musicians take chances.

    Oh, and I rather like the new songs.