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Progressive Rock Concert Reviews

Jon Anderson

Live in St. Charles, Illinois, August 2011

Review by Gary Hill

Don’t go to a Jon Anderson concert expecting a Yes concert. Sure, Anderson’s voice is the one associated with Yes, and he does a lot of songs he wrote or co-wrote in Yes. Standing on stage alone and playing various instruments ranging from guitar to keyboards, Anderson turns it into more of a musical gathering than a concert.

Some Yes songs are delivered in similar, but stripped down fashion, but others get completely reworked. Anderson touches on various parts of his solo career, too, along with Jon and Vangelis music. The songs all work extremely well in the more intimate arrangements.


Gary Hill
 
Gary Hill
   

This concert was the first time I had heard Anderson live since his respiratory failure that led to his departure from Yes. I was concerned that his voice might not be as strong as it used to be. The truth is, I’m guessing that his lung capacity was challenged in the years leading up to his illness. Now with his health greatly improved, Anderson’s voice is the strongest I’ve heard it be in years. He still sounds the same as he did in the 1970s, and that’s impressive.


Gary Hill
 
Gary Hill
   

Anderson joked around with the audience, particularly during an equipment mishap. He told stories about creation of songs and other things. The man showed that he is a true entertainer. It’s a safe bet that no one left disappointed.


Jon Anderson
 
Jon Anderson
   

So, a Jon Anderson solo concert is not a Yes concert. It does share a lot of the same music and the same voice, but it’s a completely different beast. What a Jon Anderson concert lacks in instrumental interplay and staging, it more than makes up for in fun and a sense of sharing an experience. I’d highly recommend anyone who has ever been a Yes fan or Jon Anderson fan to get out and see Anderson live whenever they can. It’s a great time.

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Gary Hill
     
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
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