Review and photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents
Venue: The Van Buren, Phoenix, Arizona
Date: Tuesday April 30th, 2019
Tour: 1000 Hands Tour 2019
Thirty years ago, Jon Anderson started a project that included a large number of his friends including Billy Cobham, Jean Luc Ponty, Chick Corea and follow YES alumni Chris Squire, Alan White and Steve Howe. After making the initial recordings, he stuck the tapes in his garage and forgot about them. A few years ago, his friend, Michael Franklin asked Jon for the tapes and together they digitized them and produced a new album called 1000 Hands. To promote and celebrity this new album, Jon has pulled together a band that consists of producer Michael Franklin as the keyboardist and musical director, his brother Tim Franklin on bass, drummer Matt Brown, guitarist Tommy Carlton, violinist Jocelyn Hsu, percussionist Steady Joseph, keyboardist Antonio Esposito and saxophonist Chris Charles.
The 1000 Hands Tour consists of music from the new album, Jon’s solo career and his career with YES. The show was broken up into 2 set, so as Jon jokes, “He could lay down and rest between sets”. They started the show with YES’s first #1 hit, “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and then went into the classic “Yours Is No Disgrace”. In the middle of the set Jon introduced us to two of the songs from the new album, “Ramalama” and “Makes Me Happy”. They ended the first set with “WDMCF” which is another song from the 1000 Hands album.
The second set started with Matt Brown on Jon’s right playing beat box and Steady Joseph on his left playing a Djembe as Jon sang, ”Flight of the Moorglade”. During this set they also played 2 new songs from the 1000 Hands album, “First Born Leaders” and “Come Up“. They ended the second set with the YES classic, “Starship Troopers”. I have not seen Jon do this song since I saw YES in 1978. It was a real treat to hear Jon’s vocal resonation and projection around the venue. It was reminiscent of his early years with YES. They also had a mind-blowing background movie that with visual effects that was an orgasm of light and color. After a short break, they ended the show with the fan favorite Yes song, “Roundabout”.
For followers of YES or ARW (Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman), you would have heard the music in a different way tonight. Instead of the classic 5-piece rock band, Jon has assembled a mini orchestra for this tour. So, the music took on a different flavor. Instead of the heart pounding sound of a true rock band, the music took on a more full and rich tone. Personally, I liked it and so did the crowd from the cheers, applause and standing ovations. In the past (and tonight) I have seen Jon interact with the audience by telling us stories about the music or band. But tonight, Jon was even more interactive with the crowd, talking with them and at times even telling us jokes. The crowd tonight was small in comparison to YES concerts in the past. But it gave the audience an intimate feeling and made us all feel as if you were part of the show. There were times that the audience would sing along with (and sometimes sing very badly) and dance to the music. Overall it was a very enjoyable evening and well worth your time to see this amazing and highly talented artist and band.
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2019, All Rights Reserved
1000 Hands Setlist: (Album / Cover)
Ocean Song (Intro)
Owner of a Lonely Heart (90125 / Yes)
Yours Is No Disgrace (The Yes Album / Yes)
Ramalama (1000 Hands)
Makes Me Happy (1000 Hands)
Your Move (The Yes Album / Yes)
I’ve Seen All Good People (The Yes Album / Yes)
America (Simon & Garfunkel cover)
WDMCF (1000 Hands)
Flight of the Moorglade (Olias of Sunhillow)
Sweet Dreams (Time and a Word / Yes)
To the Runner (Olias of Sunhillow)
Long Distance Runaround (Fragile / Yes)
First Born Leaders (1000 Hands)
1000 Hands (Come Up) (1000 Hands)
Starship Trooper (The Yes Album / Yes)
Roundabout (Fragile / Yes)