Making a very welcome visit to Birmingham as part of nine UK dates and following the sad news of the passing of drummer Alan White last month, YES, one of the most innovative of all prog-rock bands and true legends of the genre, will bring their forthcoming tour to Symphony Hall on Friday 24 June. The show will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their iconic album Close to the Edge and will be dedicated to Alan White.
White joined YES in June 1972, just days before their original Close to the Edge tour began. Over the following 50 years, he would appear on every YES album including 2021’s The Quest. Following the global pandemic, Alan had been looking forward to this tour and rejoining his bandmates on stage in the run up to his 50th anniversary of him joining YES.
Sadly, that was not to be, but Alan’s towering presence will be omnipresent on the tour. Alan’s good friend, Jay Schellen, will join YES on drums for the forthcoming tour, alongside Steve Howe (guitars), Geoff Downes (keyboards), Jon Davison (vocals) and Billy Sherwood (bass guitar and backing vocals). The show will comprise two sets by the band with full production and a high-definition video wall directed by Roger Dean, who will also be joining the tour with an exhibition of YES related art.
Following the release of The Yes Album and Fragile in 1971, YES released what is widely considered one of the most defining albums, not only for YES but for the whole progressive movement. Close to the Edge became an inspiration for their contemporaries and for successive generations of musicians.
YES guitarist Steve Howe said, “We reached a real high doing Close To The Edge. We valued the musicianship, the artistic ideas, and the vocalising that people brought and that’s why we’re still doing it, because it’s exciting to do. Close to the Edge was voted the most-progressive album ever made. It was very experimental. We had already done 10-minute epics but with Close to the Edge we just took it a stage further and I’m very pleased we were brave enough to do that.”
For half a century, YES have been the definitive band of the progressive music genre, the band by which all others are judged. Their ground-breaking albums of the 70s set the standard for the genre and influenced countless others who followed in their wake.
Since 2015, YES have concentrated on touring with their Album Series tours, each featuring a classic YES album in its entirety. During this period YES have released three live albums Topographic Drama – Live Across America (2017), Yes Live 50 (2019) and The Royal Affair Tour: Live in Las Vegas (2020).
The music of YES has endured over the years and has been handed down through generations of music lovers. YES: Close to the Edge will take place at Symphony Hall, a B:Music venue on Friday 24 June 2022 at 8pm.