Yestival is the Steve Howe Show – 294

Two Sides of Peter Banks

Produced by Preston Frazier, Bill Govier, Wayne Hall and Michel Arsenault.

On social media this week there was a suggestion that Steve Howe has taken over Yes – in organisation and playing. So we investigate this claim by watching some live videos of 2017 and much earlier. Also, we have Preston Frazier with us to talk about his recent experience of Yestival and some two pences. Mark also continues his obsession with a review of Two Sides of Peter Banks.

  • Has Steve Howe taken over?
  • Is he dominating Yes?
  • What was it like at a Yestival concert?

Listen to the episode then let us know what you think!

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Mark’s Peter Banks photos:

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Theme music

The music I use is the last movement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. This has been used as introduction music at many Yes concerts. My theme music is not take from a live concert – I put it together from the following two creative commons sources: thanvannispen and archive.org

10 thoughts on “Yestival is the Steve Howe Show – 294”

  1. Wow interesting take on two different songs I believe that their are people that just have a case of the ass for Steve Howe and anybody who has seen over these past 40+ years know that its just Steve being Steve and I have always been a huge fan of Steve’s.

    Kevin nice point about social media its so very true how very south the comments go.
    Yes I believe have this touring thing down very well and I believe ARW has to step it up I feel that they have to expand their library and bring some of that catalog out and perform it live.
    Steve can be the leader why not he has never ever taken away from anybody that he has toured with he is a master of what he does.
    These show’s keep getting better every Podcast! great work guys and thanks to Preston for his input very insightful for sure!

    1. Kevin and Mark are getting better like the touring bands do, eh?
      It is amazing how much creativity Kevin has. A great weekly treat.

  2. Having just seen the band this week, I agree with Preston – Steve is just being Steve and Yestival is no more the SH show that Yes ever was.

  3. An interesting podcast as usual.

    My beef is that you didn’t address the Howe problem in full. I’d not compare his playing on the same songs as recorded over the decades. For me the problem is how he’s become to dominate the sound of the new music that Yes has produced.

    Up until Relayer he was an integrated band member. After that he’s been a disaster apart from, on the whole, Drama. I’d put it down to the relationship he has with the keyboards. GFTO and Tormato shows that he’s lost it in that he and Rick are fighting for the same sonic space. Drama was more like earlier Yes in that there was a blend between him and the keys. Subsequent to that he is no longer a band musician but more that Yes became his backing band.

    1. That’s very interesting, Jeremy. I certainly agree that Tormato has Rick and Steve fighting over the same sonic space but I’m not sure I hear that in GftO. I’ll have to think about this more and listen to more of the post-Keys stuff and see if that’s the case. It is certainly true that Geoff is no Rick – he’s not as busy so he takes up less melodic space. But Asia’s albums were certainly a shared space with Geoff. Interesting stuff – thanks for your comment.

      1. Re GFTO just try the title song and Parallels. A sonic mess because of the fight between Steve and Rick. Like nails scraping down the blackboard.

  4. Hi Kevin and Mark,

    Just wanted to drop a few comments on last week’s show relevant to my experience on Sunday.

    Sort of at the last minute, I had an opportunity to see the Yestival in Cleveland. The show was terrific. They were just as good as when I saw them last in 2015. As Mark mentioned, I agree that Geoff is actually doing better at not only reproducing other keyboardist sounds, but adding his own style to it. Preston’s description of the role Dylan Howe played with Alan White matches my experience as well. I hope he will be willing and able to continue to help out the band. I would not be disappointed if he eventually took over drumming duties.

    Regarding “The Steve Howe Show”… I don’t know the original context for this idea that sparked your discussion… but I kind of have to agree…

    First of all, I most recently saw Yes in 2012 and 2015. At both of those shows, I felt that Steve had stepped up his role as a leader on stage; even more so in 2015 after Chris passed. In the show last Sunday, it did feel like Steve was the “featured” player. As always, the band played together, no one was mixed inappropriately higher than anyone else. However, the lights always seemed brighter on Steve. In addition, the song selection appeared to focus on songs that gave special highlight to Steve’s parts. It wasn’t just “Leaves of Green” and “Madrigal”. So, was it “Yes Featuring Steve Howe”? Maybe a bit. But I was OK with that. He is, at this time, the most important link to classic Yes lineup.

    Next month, I have a VIP seat to see Yes Featuring ARW! I look forward to comparing the shows.

  5. Mark – I picked up Two Sides of Peter Banks and one thing that jumps out at me on first listen (and I think you did not mention) is that there are a couple of pretty obvious “Roundabout”references on the first side of the album. He seems to be going out of his way to make those allusions.

    1. Hello Bob,
      Thank you for your comments. Yes there are certainly ROUNDABOUT references on Side 1. As i said during the review (i think..) and on other episodes..i feel Peter at this stage was trying to prove that he was skilled enough to play the more complex style of progressive music YES had in mind. As I said before..the more i listen to his solo material…as well as FLASH…i’m positive that his “departure” from the group had nothing to do with his playing skill.

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