Examiner.com Review – Jon Anderson in Chicago

Jon Anderson shares stories and favorite songs at Chicago show

Ashley Perez
Chicago Music Examiner

Jon Anderson, former singer of the band Yes, stopped by Chicago June 6 as part of his North American tour. He performed a two hour set at the Mayne Stage that brought the audience back to the hazy days of the 60’s and 70’s. He played a slew of instruments, including the Chinese string instrument called gorge, a ukelele, the keyboard and of course his trusty acoustic guitar. It was Anderson’s wife’s birthday, who was sitting in the front row. He asked the audience to join him in a rendition of “Happy Birthday,” to which they happily obliged.
Some of the songs in the set list included Yes’ “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” “Heaven’s Door,” the sweet and humorous song dedicated to his brother “Tony and Me,” “Turn of the Century,” “Sweet Dreams,” and a snippet of the beautiful and epic “Open.” He even threw in a cover of the Bob Marley classic “One Love” that got the crowd singing along. Anderson’s voice was on point and never cracked once during the entire performance. Though he has faced health problems in his later years, it’s quite clear that it hasn’t affected his wonderfully unique voice in the slightest.
In between songs, Anderson shared stories of his days in Yes or on his early performing days. One interesting and funny story that was told was about how he met a young Robert Plant who offered him a “special cigarette.” Another story was about going to collaborator Vangelis’ house where he shot an arrow out of an open window. The stories were interesting, fun and humorous and gave the audience a chance to interact with Jon, making it a night to remember. It was clear the audience was having a good time as they sang along with Anderson, cheered him on, danced at their tables, and gave him a standing ovation during the end of the show and the encore. You could hear their excitement and applause as the opening chords of their favorite song were played. The place was filled with excitement, happiness, and lots of love.
Jon Anderson is currently working on a follow up to the 21 minute masterpiece “Open” called “Ever.” If you missed the show or just want to see Jon again, you’re in luck. There are still several dates left on his North American tour. To see where Jon will be playing next and to buy your tickets visit hisofficial site.
Jon Anderson North American Tour dates
June 3 – Milwaukee, WI – The Pabst Theatre
June 6 – Chicago, IL – Mayne Stage
June 8 – Lincolnshire, IL – Viper Alley
June 11 – Seattle, WA – The Triple Door
June 12 – Seattle, WA – The Triple Door
June 16 – Napa, CA – Napa Valley Opera House
June 19 – Livermore, CA – Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center

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