(Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman)
UB Center For the Arts
Wednesday November 2, 2016
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto
It was one of the most anticipated reunions of recent memory when Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman, collectively known ARW, graced the stage at UB’s Center for the Arts Wednesday evening. Until this tour kicked off the three had not played together since the Union tour. Singer, multi-instrumentalist Anderson of course being a founding member of Yes, while keyboardist Wakeman played with Yes on and off including the majority of the 70s and on most of the band’s earlier classics. Neither one has played with Yes since 2004. Guitarist Rabin played with them during their big commercial peak that began with the highly successful 90125 album which included the #1 smash “Owner Of A Lonely Heart”. Joining them were amazing musicians drummer Lou Molino and bassist Lee Pomeroy who really helped to round things out.
The band promised an evening of Yes music and more and promptly delivered. For the record it was all Yes music plus “The Meeting” which was recorded under the Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe moniker ABWH for short.
The show kicked off with the instrumental “Cinema” from 90125 before delving into “Perpetual Change”. An extended version of “Hold On” followed.
“Lift Me Up” and “Rhythm Of Love” two songs that you would never find on the current Yes’ set list sounded fabulous. Sandwiched between them was the compelling fan favorite “And You And I”. The band chose to alternate between Rabin era songs and classic Yes for the most part.
As the band was about to play “Changes” a gem from 90125, Wakeman’s keyboards experienced technical difficulties which led him to take the microphone and tell some jokes while they were being worked on. A few minutes later everything was restored and “Changes” was well worth the wait as it featured Anderson and Rabin trading off on vocals. To think this song was only recently added to the set mid-tour.
The fifteen minute opus “Awaken” from Going For The One followed by a slightly quirky version of “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” closed out the main set. The band returned with an encore of “Roundabout”, a classic song that was generally found in the encore during Yes’ heyday.
The show marked the second time Anderson played the area this year. It seems he is playing shows more frequently at this stage of his career. His voice is still amazing as his stamina at 72-years old.
There were many standing ovations on the evening, not surprising with the commendable performance put on by these five musicians. The good news is they will be working on new music together next year which should mean another tour somewhere down the line. I know that will give the attendees of this show something extraordinary to look forward to.
I’ve Seen All Good People
Lift Me Up
And You and I
Rhythm of Love
Heart of the Sunrise
Long Distance Runaround
The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)
Owner of a Lonely Heart