Featured Yes - Close to the Edge 50th Anniversary

Published on 9th March 2022

Too Bad


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Imagine: you are looking for a new electrical appliance and after some research at home you arrive at your favourite brand.

The choice falls on one of their top appliances. You have prepared yourself well, your choice did not come out of the blue, you want a number of specific features that this device offers. The brand guarantees quality, so you don’t have to worry about that. You have to pay in advance? No problem, after all, you know what to expect. Due to circumstances, however, it takes longer than normal before the delivery actually takes place. About two years longer, to be precise. You totally get that, unforeseen circumstances, you would think, could happen to anyone. In the meantime, twice it seems that delivery will be made at short notice, but alas. You patiently wait until the long-awaited moment when you’ll receive your device.

Only a few months left; tension is palpable, is it really going to happen?

Then there is a newsletter from the manufacturer: “We’re sorry, the device with your desired specifications is no longer available. We do have a replacement for you, for the same amount of money. A refund is unfortunately not possible, we’re sorry.”

There is a small chance that your choice will still be delivered, but that will most certainly take at least a year. You’re left with your good (consumer) behaviour, a bit upset due to so much bad luck.

Strange story? Not really, because this is pretty much what is happening now with the forthcoming concerts from prog legends Yes.

For some time now I have been looking forward to these shows in which the band were due to play one of my all-time favourite albums in its entirety: Relayer from 1974. When the album was released at the time, I also missed out on the ensuing gigs – the guys decided not to visit the Netherlands for the tour following the album’s release. OK, it can happen. But now it would finally happen, as part of the so-called ‘The Album Series’ that started back in 2013. I thought it was bound to happen, someday.

Unfortunately, a little virus intervened. Shit happens, there are worse things in the world than missing out on a performance of your favourite band. Twice it seemed that it would still take place, this particular gig in Utrecht. Too bad, the pandemic flared up once again and I had to be patient for a while. And with me a lot of other avid concertgoers for a multitude of shows and tours. But now, halfway through 2022, more than two years later, it was finally about to happen.

Who could describe my surprise when I just read the following news item: the scheduled Yes concerts will now be dominated by the 50th anniversary of the classic album Close to the Edge. Great album – ground-breaking, iconic, legendary. All of that.

But…

I would have loved to experience an integral version of Relayer. Hopefully that will still happen someday, but not this year. Could this really happen? Apparently yes, I have already expressed my dismay before on all those anniversaries that are apparently (commercially) worth more than a promise to loyal audiences. Am I going to hand in my ticket or try to sell it? Probably not, I have never missed the band on a Dutch stage since 1977. Is it strange? A little bit, there is some question of deception of the existing buyers. Would I have bought a ticket if Close to the Edge (actually already played in its entirety in 2013/2014) was on the poster? I would think so, but I still feel a bit cheated. Perhaps the disappointing last album still counts, somewhere in the background. Yes has to be a bit careful not to alienate their loyal fan base, they are currently balancing on the edge. There will come a time when I won’t take it anymore. But for now I’m still trying to postpone that dreaded moment. After all, they remain my all-time favourite band.

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