What an unbelievable show!
Last night I saw Anderson Rabin Wakeman perform at the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo. According to the program, this is a long term project which makes Lee Pomeroy (bass) and Louis Molino III as much part of ARW as the three former-Yes members.
From beginning to end, Jon Anderson's voice was immaculate. As my brother said after the first song, "That's the voice of Yes." As much as I wanted to take on Anderton as the new Yes singer (I like to root for the New Guy), nobody can replace Mr Anderson (with an s... ). Even Rick Wakeman himself said so.
Rabin's guitar work was fluid and flawless, with many extended solos. Being on the 11th row I got a good view of his amazing technique. I got a sneaky look at his rig beforehand and could see three Fractal expression pedals, a MIDI board and two speaker cabs. A very clean setup! For guitars, he played his trusty old Strat he's had since his teens, a couple of Alvarez signature electrics and a thin acoustic of some description.
Wakeman was entertaining and beguiling throughout, making good use of all eleven keyboards (including two mini Moogs!).
Molino's drumming was solid, and powerful, not exactly White but like an improved version of what the songs should sound like.
And Pomeroy played a beautifully melodic and rhythmic solo that showed he could take on the parts written by the late-great Chris Squire (who got a fitting tribute in one song) with ease.
The best part of the show was the interactivity between the musicians, showing that they were having a blast! I love seeing a band enjoying themselves and not taking themselves too seriously or acting like 'rock Gods'.
I saw Yes on their 2014 tour and frankly found it a tad disappointing - lacking energy, enthusiasm and life.
ARW are the new Yes. And they plan on being around for as many years as they have the energy to do so (again, according to the program).
If you're a fan of any stage of Yes, ARW are an act to watch out for. A new album is due this year.
Again, as my brother said, "AWAKEN is the best thing I've ever heard at a concert".
You could say I was impressed!