Live Review: ARW (Anderson Rabin Wakeman) at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, CT on October 21, 2016

14600846_1373277059350780_6201302981095069469_nThe line has been drawn. There are two Yes bands. One owns the name, the other has the heart and spirit of the band. For me, after seeing ARW (Anderson Rabin Wakeman) play live, they are Yes to me. The chemistry between the three Yesmen and their rhythm section of Lee Pomeroy on bass and Lou Molino III on drums was undeniable. They had FUN! And so did the crowd.

Jon Anderson sounded amazing. He can hit every note as he did at any point of his career. Yes music just isn’t Yes music without him singing it. Whether it was classics like “And You and I” or “Heart of the Sunrise” or 90125 deeper track “Hold On,” Jon was in TOP form. In addition, Rick Wakeman is Rick Wakeman…still. The man is incredible and his solos were mindblowing. His piano work on the ABWH track “The Meeting” was simply beautiful.

Trevor Rabin is shaking off 20 some years of rust, at least in that he hadn’t played live in years. His playing was awesome and powerful. He seemed to forget his own lyrics during “Lift Me Up” and the band seemed a little lost at one point but other than that, Rabin was so refreshing. I’ve missed him. With all due respect to Steve Howe, Rabin is just my preference. He is a nice guy and can play any of Howe’s parts.

It was interesting that he avoided playing the acoustic intros to “And You and I” and “Roundabout” was perhaps a way to thumb his nose at Howe who has never been kind to him in the past. Bassist Pomeroy did his best Chris Squire (including solid backing vocals) and did a monster job on “The Fish.” Molino got a drum solo prior to “Lift Me Up” and my jaw literally dropped. The guy can really play!

14708109_1373277076017445_3916841469883027727_n

One of the coolest parts of the show was Rabin and Wakeman coming out into the audience to trade solos next to the soundboard! Wakeman had a keytar and they clearly had a blast, as did the audience. VERY cool moment. Would I have liked to have heard “Changes” or anything from “Talk”? Definitely. But I am not sure what I would have dropped to make room. It was over two hours of incredible music from an incredible band. That was Yes.

Setlist:
Cinema
Perpetual Change
Hold On (with ‘Solid Time of Change’ lyrics spoken intro)
I’ve Seen All Good People
Drum Solo
Lift Me Up
And You and I
Rhythm of Love
Heart of the Sunrise
Long Distance Runaround
The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)
The Meeting
Awaken
Owner of a Lonely Heart (with ‘Make It Easy’ intro and inter-weaved during solo/outro)

Encore:
Roundabout

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About progmanrob

I have been a fan of progressive metal and progressive rock for most of my life. My music collection is insanely large. My passion for life is music...progressive music!
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6 Responses to Live Review: ARW (Anderson Rabin Wakeman) at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, CT on October 21, 2016

  1. Anonymous says:

    Listening to the YouTube posts of the concerts absolutely validates your point. This had energy and authenticity but most importantly — SOUL. ARW is a gift to Yes fans of all ages and tastes. You have to be a hardcore Howe fan (to be/ clear, I think he is a virtuoso) to prefer the other lineup.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. DaveY says:

    I was at the show Friday night in Wallingford. Just tremendous. A few years ago I was privileged to see the late Chris Squire play with Steve Howe and Alan White at a small club in NH. Great show. They are all amazing musicians. However I agree 100 percent with the author – ARW’s performance just blew them away. Not only was the musicianship first class, and Jon’s voice amazing after all these years, but the love was there – the love of the music, the love of their fellow musicians, the love of both the audience and the performers for one another. At one point Jon thanks the crowd, between songs, saying “this is what keeps us going.” I would say to him, “Jon, your passion, ability and wholesome humanity is what will keep us coming to see you.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was at the Oakdale on the 21st. The concert far exceeded my expectations. The 5 members of ARW are an incredibly great band. I don’t know what the future holds for the two bands but I was just happy to see Anderson, Rabin, Wakeman, Pomeroy and Molina. Awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. JVV says:

    Was thrilled to catch them at the WellMont in Montclair, NJ. So well written Rob, best concert of the year for me, you really captured the magic they brought to the stage in this article. -JVV

    Liked by 1 person

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