Yahoo! Live: YES at the SAN JOSE CIVIC


Not the droid you’re looking for.

I watched YES stream from the San Jose Civic on Yahoo! Live featuring the somewhat ragtag combo of Jon Davison (vocals) and Geoff Downes (keyboards) joining YES regulars Alan White, Chris Squire and thy lord Steve Howe.  (Worship no guitar players before Steve Howe.  Amen.)

I believe you can see the recording of the show here.

As I noted when I saw them in New York, Davison is fine – he’s not really what I’m looking for in a YES front man, but then, no one but Jon Anderson is, and that’s not his fault.  Downes has a similar problem – he just can’t play like Rick Wakeman.  That’s not an insult – few can play like Wakeman.  As it is, Downes will do.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.


Downes is sight-reading off a tablet. I love it!

Meanwhile, Alan White, Chris Squire and thy lord Steve Howe all look like they died a few years ago but nobody told them.


White received the least camera time of all. Close ups were non-existent by the end of the opening number.


Chris Squire has turned into the living embodiment of the Santa Claus description from “T’was the Night Before Christmas”


“By now you must know that your father can never be turned from the Dark Side. So will it be with you.”

They played about the same show tonight as they did when I saw them in July.  This time, they traded “Starship Trooper” for not one, but this time two songs off the new album and an entire rendition of “I’ve Seen All Good People” instead of the abbreviated version I heard earlier this summer.   I guess it’s a fair tradeoff as “I’ve Seen All Good People” plays more to this incarnation of YES’ strengths that “Starship Trooper.”  On the other hand, here’s my opinion of the two new songs.

The camera crew covered the concert like a sporting event – despite the fact that YES played songs from albums recorded during the Nixon administration, the crew had no idea what was coming and they just did their best.  I thought their images were fine, but the mix was a little dicey at times.  It was strange how drastically levels would change, but I guess that’s the nature of live performances.  On the other hand, the streaming was excellent – I didn’t experience any lag at all.  And since it was free, it’s tough to complain much more about Yahoo!’s performance.

Good or bad thing? I  bet this website is one of the few places on the web that reviewed two YES shows from this tour.  Good or bad, I guess it’s clear how I feel about YES.  

This may not be my YES dream lineup, but they’ll do just fine – and they’re certainly a vast improvement to the alternative of no live YES at all.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on August 20, 2014, in music review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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