Story and photos by Kait Tarrant
Oshawa music fans took a trip to a parallel rock ‘n’ roll universe for the recent Yes concert at The General Motors Centre.
Lucky for fans of the band – now spanning six decades since its inception in 1968 – this is exactly what they came for.
Not many bands nowadays could start off a show with an 18-minute, intricately arranged song, “Close to the Edge” originally recorded in 1972, and still get a standing ovation out of it. In the vapid, mass produced and contrived world of rock music in 2014, surely this would be a recipe for artistic suicide. But for Yes, it’s a reason the band is still around over 45 years later.
Yes performed three albums – 1972′s “Close to the edge,” 1977′s “Going for the one,” and 1971′s “The Yes Album” – over two sets spanning two and half hours. The first three songs alone spanned a little over 40 minutes.
The band took small breaks in-between to interact with their audience, but the night was solely reserved for music and listeners didn’t have a problem with that. As many times as they have played these songs they still sound fresh. This genre-defining band has some of the finest music in progressive rock. It isn’t dance music. Concertgoers didn’t dance the night away to the psychedelic songs. If anything, fans were silently and intently listening to the various melodies weaving in and out of the songs.
Not only did Yes show that their admittedly old art rock is still relevant, but they are damn good at pumping it out. For the sake of all that is good in rock music, let’s all hope they can keep doing it for a little while longer.