Vegas can’t say no to Yes.
Fresh off their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday in Brooklyn, N.Y., members of the vaunted progressive-rock band are performing in two shows in Las Vegas in August.
These are not concerts by the singular version of the band that played the Rock Hall induction show at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, which was represented by vocalist Jon Anderson, drummers Bill Bruford and Alan White, guitarist Steve Howe, keyboardists Tony Kaye and Rick Wakeman, and guitarist Trevor Rabin. The late Chris Squire, Yes’s original bassist, was honored posthumously, with Geddy Lee of Rush (who along with Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson gave the speech inducting the band) taking the stage in his place.
Instead, Yes is splitting its ticket in VegasVille, with different versions of the band playing The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel on Aug. 26 and Reynolds Hall at the Smith Center on Aug. 31.
The Yes lineup playing the Hard Rock, in a show billed as “Yestival,” has been in place since Squire’s death in June 2015. The members are Howe, White,, keyboardist Geoff Downes, vocalist Jon Davison, and bassist Billy Sherwood — a Vegas native and Squire’s handpicked successor. The night also features special guest Todd Rundgren (also a member of Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band) and Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy honoring his former bandmates, the late Keith Emerson and Greg Lake of Emerson Lake & Palmer.
“We are looking forward to presenting songs from each of the first nine studio albums, including some surprises,” Howe said in a statement. Songs from 1969’s “Yes” to 1980’s “Drama” will be sampled, including “Roundabout” and “Starship Trooper.”
Less than a week later, yet more Yes action is set for Reynolds Hall. Effective immediately, Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman have announced they will be known — fittingly — as Yes Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin & Rick Wakeman.
The show is promoted by Danny Zelisko Presents, which also has booked shows at Pearl Concert Theater. The lineup at Smith Center had previously been known as ARW. But the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honor has given Yes newfound recognition, and the band is ready to head off any confusion or skepticism about using the band’s name.
“It’s very simple,” explains Anderson, a founding member of Yes. “The fans want it, we want it and it’s our right to use the name. Yes music is in our DNA!”
And in these competing shows, DNA is spelled YES.