Yes kicked off a new North American tour leg on Saturday with a show in Paso Robles, California. As they did on their previous few treks, the band is performing three of their classic 1970s albums — 1971′s The Yes Album, 1972′s Close to the Edge and 1977′s Going for the One — in their entirety at most shows on their current outing.
Guitarist Steve Howe says he and his band mates have really embraced playing these full albums live. Basically, we’re loving it,” he tells ABC News Radio. “To me, it will pale again if we ever go back and just do a set or sets that are just songs from albums. That will seem, somehow, a little bit hard to get used to again.”
Howe compares performing each album to being on “a long motorway drive,” noting that when “you get to the end…you have a sense of celebration that you’re at the end of this journey, and those records are a journey.”
He adds that The Yes Album, Close to the Edge and Going for the One “were done at a time when Yes were, without any doubt, an album band, so what better things to play now than an album.”
Looking ahead to Yes’ future tour plans, Steve reveals that the band is considering working up other full albums to play live, although nothing is set in stone. He says when he’s chatted with fans about the records they’d like to see the group perform, among the most requested are Fragile, Drama and Relayer.
“We have a lot of fun teasing the audience in their minds [about which albums we might play] but maybe this is the way we’re going,” Howe suggests. “But it’s not necessarily so. We have other ideas for next year [too].”
Yes’ tour continues Monday night in Phoenix, and the trek is mapped out through an August 12 concert in Indianapolis. Among the upcoming highlights of the summer outing will be the inaugural Yestival, scheduled for August 3 in Camden, New Jersey. In addition to a headlining set by Yes, the daylong progressive rock fest will include performances by Renaissance, Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy and the acclaimed Genesistribute act The Musical Box, as well as an appearance by famous Yes album-cover artist Roger Dean.