GEOFF DOWNES, TODD RUNDGREN And CARL PALMER Talk 2017 Yestival Tour - "Welcome Back To The Show That Never Ends..."
August 5, 2017, a year ago
This summer's Yestival will feature a set list of greatest hits from all of the YES studio albums up to 1980, showcasing the storied history of one of the world's most influential, ground-breaking, and respected progressive rock bands. YES--Steve Howe (guitar since 1970), Alan White (drums since 1972), Geoff Downes (keyboards; first joined in 1980),Jon Davison (vocals since 2011) and Billy Sherwood (guitar/keyboards in the 1990s and the late Chris Squire's choice to take over bass/vocals in 2015)--will treat fans to such hits as "Roundabout" and "Starship Trooper," performing at least one song from each of the band's first ten albums starting with 1969's Yes to 1980's Drama.
Yestival features special guest Todd Rundgren and an opening set from Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy honoring the magic of Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, as well as a few special "Evening with YES" shows. The tour kicked off August 4th in Greensboro, NC and will travel throughout the U.S. and Canada until September 19th with stops in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cleveland, Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, Calgary, Boston and many more. Tickets for all Yestival dates are currently on sale.
In addition, as part of the Cleveland Yestival date, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will celebrate the 2017 Inductees with a week-long series of events August 15th-20th. Fans are invited to the Rock Hall to celebrate the music and influence of YES with a week of live music, programs, films, and a dedication for the 2017 Inductee exhibit with members of the band.
Prior to its launch, the stars of the 31-date North American tour sat down to answer a few questions about what to expect on this summer's outing and more.
Q: YES, Todd Rundgren and Carl Palmer all on one bill is a true musical summit. Can you each talk about how you're excited to check out each other's sets?
Geoff Downes/YES: "YES and ELP have pushed boundaries together for many years, a natural fit, and especially this year as we all wish to honor Keith and Greg. Todd has been at the peak of the American answer to the British prog movement and it is a fascinating mix."
Todd Rundgren: "It's an embarrassment of riches, both for us and the fans. Any one of the acts could fill an entire evening so figuring out a balance that works is the biggest challenge. I'm pretty sure there will be something for everyone, us included."
Carl Palmer: "YES has a special place in my heart. They are all my mates, and in the early days, YES had its first exposure in America opening for Emerson Lake & Palmer. I have been working with both Geoff Downes and Billy Sherwood in Asia, so it is already a musical family that weaves itself in and out of each other. I am looking forward to touring with Todd Rundgren, as well. The work he did with his Utopia project was exceptional and reminded me of some of the best moments of Frank Zappa's music. So, I think the fans will have a wonderful evening of music."
Q: What can fans look forward to in your Yestival set?
Geoff Downes/YES: "A track from each of the first 10 albums, sequentially, and a couple of encore staples. Plus we are raising the bar again with our production. Last year we were very proud of the 'Tales From Topographic' and 'Drama' production, and this year Roger Dean has again formed the foundation of our new stage show, which this year reintroduces lasers. Lasers and Yes are very happy bedfellows."
Todd Rundgren: "I'm still promoting White Knight, so there will be some of that. We're adding a little bit of Utopia music for those who really want to relive the old days. Whatever we're playing, we like to put on a good show and get people on their feet if we can."
Carl Palmer: "I have some surprises in mind. We are the opening act, and our set is only 30 minutes, so will need to focus on the shorter, radio hits of ELP; things like 'Hoedown' and 'Lucky Man'. There will be some music that most fans will not expect to hear. So, as we say: 'Welcome back my friends...to the show that never ends...'"
"YES is an immensely talented band whose fans tirelessly pursued recognition for them into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame," said Greg Harris, President and CEO, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. "We're celebrating the sounds and legacy of the prog-rock giants and 2017 Inductees with a week of events at the Rock Hall with fans around the globe."
5 - Boone, NC - Holmes Convocation Center
7 - Baltimore, MD - Pier Six Concert Pavilion
8 - Upper Darby, PA - Tower Theatre
10 - Mashantucket, CT - The Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino
11 - Brooklyn, NY - Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk
12 - Holmdel, NJ - PNC Bank Center
14 - Hershey, PA - Hershey Theatre
16 - Greensburg, PA - The Palace Theatre
17 - Clarkston, MI - DTE Energy Music Theatre
19 - Elgin, IL - Festival Park - Grand Victoria Casino
20 - Cleveland, OH - Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica
22 - Oklahoma City, OK - The Zoo Amphitheatre
23 - Sugar Land, TX - Smart Financial Centre
25 - Phoenix, AZ - Celebrity Theatre
26 - Las Vegas, NV - The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
28 - San Diego, CA - Balboa Theatre ~
29 - Los Angeles, CA - Microsoft Theater
31 - Reno, NV - Grand Sierra Resort - Grand Theatre **
1 - San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theatre **
3 - Tulalip, WA - Tulalip Amphitheatre
5 - Vancouver, BC - Queen Elizabeth Theatre ^
7 - Edmonton, AB - Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium ^
8 - Calgary, AB - Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium ^
11 - Moorhead, MN - Bluestem Center for the Arts Amphitheatre ^
12 - Cedar Rapids, IA - McGrath Amphitheatre ^
14 - London, ON - Budweiser Gardens ^
17 - Boston, MA - The Wilbur Theatre **
18 - Huntington, NY - The Paramount **
19 - Huntington, NY - The Paramount **
** YES only
~ with Carl Palmer only
^ with Todd Rundgren only
(Photo - Glenn Gottlieb)