It's always fun to come up with a clever name for an event. But ultimately, that event has to have merit on its own. The upcoming Yestival is an experiment that will use the fertile Philly base of Yes fans as a launching pad for potential future fests. Yes, it's Yes, but so much more. Yestival will be a day-into-nighttime affair with performances from all sorts of bands with prog-rock cred. And in quadrophonic sound!
On the banks of the Delaware River, Jersey side, devotees of complicated musical structures and extended length compositions will be in their glory with "The Musical Box" and their note-perfect performance of the classic Genesis album Foxtrot. Annie Haslam still has her incredible five-octave vocal range and will thrill with Renaissance, performing classics such as "Mother Russia" and "Carpet of the Sun," as well as newer songs from the recent release Grandine il Vento. Carl Palmer's ELP legacy is sure to make a grand statement drawing from the over the top pomp and circumstance that once was Emerson, Lake and Palmer. The exuberantly exclaimed Volto! is a self proclaimed jam fusion band featuring Danny Carey from Tool. Sound of Contact features Simon (son of Phil) Collins on vocals and drums, sounding much like dear old dad. Also on the bill on side stages will be Scale the Summit, The School of Rock and more. Additionally, Yes fans will be delighted to meet Roger Dean, whose iconic album cover artwork immediately evokes all things Yes.
Sure to be among the highlights of the day/evening will be the performances of Yes' classic records The Yes Album and Close To The Edge. And lest you are concerned with no Jon Anderson, guitarist Steve Howe has nothing but unrestrained and exuberant praise for new(er) singer Jon Davison. Annie Haslam feels the same way saying that his vocals soar. (Listen to my recent interviews with both Steve and Annie.) The merchandise booths also promise to be a huge hit with all kinds of musical memorabilia and recordings. Annie Haslam will even offer up a selection of her ethereal artwork for sale, as will Roger Dean.
Surely a day to awaken that "gentle giant" sleeping within, Yestival promises to be all things prog and more.
Saturday, August 3: 3 p.m. Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, N.J. $35-$275. Visit livenation.com or ticketmaster.com for details.
» More StageSide Concert Previews