It’s been five years since Yes last went on the road for a tour, but fans of the iconic progressive rock band won’t have to wait much longer. After cancelling their 40th anniversary tour over the summer, the band members have announced plans for a new tour — with a new lead singer.
According to a statement posted yesterday on the band’s Web site, vocalist Benoit David, who performs with several Yes tribute bands in his native Montreal, will stand in for original Yes lead singer Jon Anderson.
“This isn’t an attempt to replace Jon Anderson, because as we all know, that would be impossible,” bassist Chris Squire said in the statement. “With Benoit, we are bringing in a talented singer so that we can go out and honor the music of Yes for the fans who have waited for the past four years to see us perform.”
Yes had initially scheduled a 26-date tour of North America to begin on July 12 in Quebec City, QC. “We’re all very excited to play to all of our fans, a lot of which have been with us for almost 40 years. A lot of marriages don’t even last that long,” Anderson quipped in a statement at the time.
But just a month before the concert, Anderson suffered a severe asthma attack and was subsequently diagnosed with acute respiratory failure. Faced with Anderson’s required six-month recovery, the band had to shelve its tour plans. Until, that is, the band saw a video of David’s tribute band on the Internet and offered an audition.
In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Squire said the relaunched In The Present Tour will kick off on November 4 in Ontario, Canada. The full tour itinerary has not been announced yet.
In the interview, Squire went on to say that he hopes David’s presence will allow the band to explore the rarer songs from Yes’ catalogue that Anderson wouldn’t perform. However, he also expressed wishes that Anderson would be fully recuperated in time for some shows in 2009.