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"2013 YESTIVAL" – YES
Written By: Gary Crouthamel
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"2013 YESTIVAL" – YES
"2013 YESTIVAL" – YES
"2013 YESTIVAL" – YES
"2013 YESTIVAL" – YES
"2013 YESTIVAL" – YES
"2013 YESTIVAL" – YES
"2013 YESTIVAL" – YES
"2013 YESTIVAL" – YES
The Musical Box • Renaissance
Carl Palmer • Volto • Scale The Summit
Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden NJ • Aug. 3, 2013
 
        For their first annual "YESTIVAL", YES decided to kick it off in Camden, N.J. at the Susquehanna Bank Center. There's talk that they will take it on the road next year, and if this were any indication it will be a huge successful tour. Not sure who was in charge of the lineup, but what a variety of music. It was an early start to the show as Scale The Summit, a progressive metal band with four albums under their belt, took the stage at 3pm to a nearly empty pavilion as the few who were there at this time were still out in the parking lot tail-gating. Next up were Volto, a three piece Los Angeles rock band with most notably known Danny Carey (of Tool) on drums. Their set drew from their July released first album "Incitare", and a few covers added. Up next, as more people were starting to filter in to their seats, was Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy, with their set mainly consisting of ELP classics and Palmer adding in a very powerful drum solo that for a sixty-three year old man would have Joe Mama & Bobby Tranzfusion jumping off their drum stools.
        Next brought out Renaissance, an English progressive rock band that unfortunately  I have never heard of. The band is fronted by long-time vocalist Annie Haslam who  many of the crowd recognized, shouting out her name as the band took the stage. The next band, The Musical Box, a Prominent French-Canadian Genesis tribute band, drew a thunderous applause from the now full pavilion. Once again, sad to say, but I've never heard of this band but they did an outstanding performance for a tribute band. They played Genesis' Foxtrot album in its entirety and they even dressed the look with all band members wearing white outfits and the lead singer coming out with bat wings on his head and later with the huge sunflower around his face as Peter Gabriel wore back in the early Genesis concerts. Even the stage production was exactly Genesis - very impressive!
        After a short break, the house lights went out and the video screen behind the stage displaying YES album covers, early ticket stubs, and old pictures of the band, the band walked out on stage and took their positions. On their 2013 summer tour the band has been playing three of their earliest albums in their entirety, so to open the show they started with "Close To The Edge", and running through that album without missing a beat. Now I'm not sure who was in charge of what was to be displayed on the video screen behind the band, but it might have been someone who was associated with what was waffling through the air that night. Because it was just all colors and patterns changing all night - a psychelic kaleidoscope. After ending Close To The Edge, guitarist Steve Howe addressed the crowd by saying that they were only going to play two albums tonight but instead decided to do three; and that led to the start of "Going For The One", with once again running straight through from start to finish. This part ended with four confetti cannons in the pit spewing confetti all over the pavilion. Without taking a break or anything to say, they jumped right into "The Yes Album", which I was glad this had been saved for last because to me that is one of their best albums with mostly all their hits on it. At the finish of this one they released hundreds of black and orange balloons that were held up in the rafters in nets. Most were broken by the crowd as they fell to the floor, some survived as souvenirs. After close to a two-hour set without a break, the band took a short intermission and returned to the stage for an encore of "Roundabout" to end another fantastic night of music.

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