Yes Returns To The Road

Britain’s legendary prog band plans a summer adventure, this time with a Yank in the lineup and special guest Procol Harum onboard.

Photo: Scott Legato /
DTE Energy Center, Clarkston, Mich.

Longtime Yes fans are probably used to lineup changes in their favorite band. Founded in 1968 by singer Jon Anderson and bassist Chris Squire, by the time the group recorded its third disc, 1971’s The Yes Album, guitarist Steve Howe had replaced original axeman Peter Banks. Keyboard wiz Rick Wakeman replaced original member Tony Kaye just in time for Yes’ fourth album, Fragile, also released in 1971. Alan White replaced original drummer Bill Bruford in 1972.

More changes followed, so many over the years that at times it seemed as if fans needed scorecards to keep track of who was in and who was out of the band. The current Yes lineup features original member Squire along with Howe, White and keyboardist Geoff Downes plus a new lead singer.

That’s right, Yes has another new frontman. This time it’s Glass Hammer singer / former Sky Cries Mary bassist Jon Davison. The band announced Davison’s inclusion earlier this year after Squire confirmed in a magazine interview that illness had forced Canadian singer Benoit David’s departure.

Illness also played a factor in David’s membership in Yes. In 2008 the band was forced to postpone its 40th anniversary tour when an asthma attack sidelined Anderson, leading to David joining the group.

“There aren’t many bands that can say that they’ve had the kind of relationship like the one that we’ve had with our fans,” the band said in a statement. “They’ve continued to see us play and have always been an integral part of our journey. We’re excited to be starting a new chapter with an extraordinary talent – Jon Davison – a brilliant vocalist who takes over as our lead singer. We’re really happy to have him and we can’t wait for everyone to hear Yes this summer.”

This summer’s Yes tour means more roadwork for Howe and Downes. As original members of Asia, the guitarist and keyboardist will be on that band’s tour during June, September, October and December, while Yes keeps them busy during July and August.

Photo: Rod Tanaka /
Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, Colo.

Although the band’s U.S. itinerary has been steadily growing as individual venues booked their own Yes shows, this week’s announcement did add a few new listings to the routing, including Lewiston, N.Y, at Artpark July 17; Raleigh, N.C., at Raleigh Amphitheater July 25; Alpharetta, Ga., at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park July 31 and in California at the San Jose Civic Aug. 14.

Many shows are already on sale and VIP packages including meet-and-greets are available. For more information, visit