From the outset, Yes attracted talented, innovative artists to the fold. From the Clair Brothers, to Mickey Tait, to the hardest working, most dedicated road crews in rock history, Yes have had the support of the very best. The Royal Affair Tour continues that tradition starting with a video tour de force by Andy Clark. Andy’s video wizardry envelopes and amplifies Yes’ visual motifs with dynamic original images, textures, color and video. Andy has outdone himself, creating a multimedia cornucopia for Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy with Arthur Brown, John Lodge, and Asia. He “plays” the high resolution video imagery in real time to the music, deftly dancing in step with equally virtuosic stage lighting production by Bryan Schrumpf. Bryan carries on the highest standards of excellence set by previous Production Manager/Lighting Designer Don Weeks. The visual team have truly set a new standard for concert video and lighting production, ably assisted by audio/video tech Colin Johnson.
Of course, this being a night that’s all about the music, nothing short of impeccable sound would fly. Having now experienced six of these shows at venues of varying sizes, shapes and configurations: indoors, outdoors, covered, not covered, it is astounding how crisp and clear and consistent the sound has been, regardless of locale. Every note sparkles. That’s down to the hard work, experience and talent of Front of House Engineer/Production Manager Dean Mattson and Monitor Engineer Simone Angelini, who deliver seemingly impossibly high fidelity night after night after night. The pristine sound is aligned perfectly with caliber of this legendary music.
Ensuring that the musicians on stage are tuned to perfection, wired for sound, and equipped to make magic, and all under the pressure of a live performance, are the bands’ inestimable techs. Andre Cholmondeley (guitars), John Walsh (drums), Steve Rispin (keyboards), and Patrick Higgins (bass) look after the guys with ferocious devotion and attention to detail, keeping everyone sounding their very best.
Wendy Daly brings tireless enthusiasm, compassion and professionalism to the band’s pre and post show fan activities in addition to providing phenomenal support all along the road.
Michael Macdonald and Nick Smith helps sate fans’ endless cravings for beautiful Yes branded merch courtesy of Manhead, and on sale at shows and through Yes’ online store.
With consummate professionalism, good humor, patience, and strength, tour manager Joe Comeau and his team of Wade Ellis and Van Williams, not only keep it all together, but make the entire tour sing like a well oiled machine.
And coordinating it all are manager extraordinaire Martin Darvill and the good folks at QEDG Management, who look after the band, crew, and supporting teams and are really unsung heroes, behind the scenes in the Yesstory, making it all happen, to the ongoing delight of fans the world over.
–Doug & Glenn