The set mixes Yes classics like “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “Roundabout” and “Starship Trooper” with covers like Simon and Garfunkel’s “America,” Richie Havens’ “No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed” and John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
“Having the opportunity to bring together the band members in the development of a well-refined set of songs that captures the band’s true potential is simply an honour for me,” Yes guitarist Steve Howe said in a statement.
The 2019 Royal Affair tour united Yes with fellow prog acts Asia, Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy and John Lodge of the Moody Blues. Howe, Palmer and Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes pulled double duty every night by performing in their own bands along with Asia, the prog-rock supergroup they founded in 1982. Original Asia frontman John Wetton died in 2017 and former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal handled lead vocals on the tour.
Yes also has a replacement lead singer, Jon Davidson, even though original frontman Jon Anderson remains active and has expressed a desire to return to the band numerous times in recent years. “I’m very open to it,” Anderson told Rolling Stone in 2019. “It’s been 50 years now. You think something has got to happen. To me, a great album has to be made. That’s what I think. I don’t know how it’s going to be made, but the final Yes event should happen.”
Howe shot down the idea in a July interview with Rolling Stone. “Yes is about people who love working together and can,” he said. “That word ‘can’ carries the whole story. That means compatibility and the same awarenesses about what we want to do. And I think we passed that point a long time ago.”
In 2016, Anderson united with former Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman and former Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin and began touring as ARW. The following year, they changed their name to Yes Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman. It leads to a brief situation where there were two versions of Yes on the road at the same time, although the ARW incarnation have been on an indefinite hiatus since 2018.
The Steve Howe incarnation of Yes was supposed to tour this year, but they pushed the dates to 2021 due to the pandemic. The show will feature a complete performance of their 1974 LP Relayer.
The Royal Affair Tour: Live From Las Vegas Tracklist
1. No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed
2. Tempus Fugit
3. Going for the One
4. I’ve Seen All Good People
5. Siberian Khatru
10. Starship Trooper