Editor’s Note: Due to the tragic, unexpected death of guitarist Steve Howe’s son, Virgil, Yes has regrettably announced that the remaining dates of their Yestival Tour have been canceled, including tour dates at The Paramount in Huntington on September 18 and 19. Ticket refunds for the affected dates are available at the point of purchase. For more information, call The Paramount at 631-673-7300.
The following story appeared in the Sept. 7 issue of The Long-Islander.
By Connor Beach
Grammy-award winning rock band Yes is celebrating nearly 50 years of symphonic progressive rock with its “YESTIVAL” tour, which is coming to The Paramount in Huntington for two nights, Sept. 18-19.
The British rock band, famous for songs like “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and “Roundabout,” played its first concert in 1968, according to drummer Alan White.
White, 68, who has been playing with the band for nearly 45 years, said that back in 1968 he couldn’t have envisioned the band still touring in 2017.
“I don’t think anyone could have,” he said.
White, who was born in Durham, England, but currently lives in Seattle, is joined on stage by lead vocalist Jon Davison, guitarist Steve Howe, keyboardist Geoff Downes, and Billy Sherwood on bass. Howe and White were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 for their performances with Yes.
Fans who come out to the YESTIVAL concert can expect to hear one song from every album the band released from 1970-1980, with a few surprises thrown in, according to White.
“It’s kind of like it sounds, it’s a little bit of a festival,” White said.
The band started the YESTIVAL tour on Aug. 4 in North Carolina, and was just barely able to fly out of Houston one day before Hurricane Harvey made landfall. Despite the difficulties of traveling, White said the band has great chemistry.
“Everyone is getting on,” White said. “It takes a lot of energy; after all, we aren’t spring chickens anymore.”
White said the band has been touring extensively over the past few years and is planning to set out on the road once again in 2018 for a 50th anniversary tour.
The unfortunate death of Yes co-founder Chris Squire in June 2015 has been a difficult loss for the band, but White said Yes will continue to tour and try to make Squire proud.
The two shows at The Paramount will wrap up the tour and give a “full circle” feel for the band, which started the tour on the East Coast.
“It will be good to see our friends in New York and help us wrap up the YESTIVAL tour,” White said.
Tickets are $39.50-$125 and can be purchased online at Paramountny.com or at the box office. Both shows are set to begin at 8 p.m., with doors opening an hour before.