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YES Update - State Theatre, Sydney 15 & 16 November 2014 Review  

Yes lineup: Chris Squire/Steve Howe/Alan White/Geoff Downes/Jon Davison

The fourth Yes tour of Australia saw the band present a show comprising all of the iconic "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge" albums together with two tracks from their new "Heaven and Earth" album. It was a surprisingly retrospective set given that only Chris Squire and Steve Howe remain from the legendary Yes lineup that created the music some 42 years ago. Nevertheless, the tracks from those extraordinary albums justifiably remain crowd pleasers and Yes did the music justice over two shows on a Spring weekend in Sydney.

Yes producer/engineer Eddie Offord once said that most Yes shows were certainly good but the magic happened about every fourth night. Where the Saturday show in Sydney might have been conservative by Yes standards, it was the Sunday show that soared into the stratosphere from the outset and kept going to points beyond. The linchpin was guitarist extraordinaire Steve Howe who was totally inspired and gave one of his very best performances. He was brilliant from 'Close to the Edge' right through to 'Heart of the Sunrise' and the conclusion with 'Owner of a Lonely Heart'. His smoking solo at the end of a raging 'Siberian Khatru' was outstanding for its dexterity and ingenuity. Chris Squire as always was the complete master of his growling and contorting bass guitar with those trademark backing vocals as strong as ever.

In truth, this would not be my ideal Yes lineup to play a set so heavily laden with classic Yes songs but this must not detract from a fine performance by the entire band. It was a privilege to watch three stalwarts of Yes in Chris Squire, Steve Howe and Alan White still playing so well together, very capably supported by Geoff Downes and Jon Davison.