Jon Anderson, Paul Green Rock Academy at Bearsville Theater: YES! YES! YES!

Jon Anderson

I’ve never seen the original lineup of Yes, the iconic British rock band inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.

But I have no regrets because I saw this legendary band’s fearless, relentless, fiery and enduring spirit come alive through a performance that lead singer Jon Anderson gave in 2014, at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, backed by students of the Paul Green Rock Academy.

I remember heading into that show not knowing what to expect.

Anderson has one of the most iconic voices in rock and roll. And Yes went places no other band will ever even think about going, in terms of stretching out, pushing boundaries and smashing musical stereotypes. But far beyond the simple fact that Anderson was at the helm of that evening, those students from the Paul Green Rock Academy delivered and they delivered big.

Three things stand out from that show for me: the faith that Anderson placed in these young musicians; the manner in which those kids delivered for Anderson; and the version of “I’ve Seen All Good People” that was performed that night. I remember it being so good that I wanted to burst into tears.

Seven years later I can put myself right back in the room and feel the hair on the back of my neck stand up. It was that good. The professionalism with which the Paul Green Rock Academy kids conducted themselves that night, and the way in which Anderson in so many words extended his arms and fell backwards into their embrace, is something I will never forget.

You’re likely to see much of the same on July 30 when Anderson returns to the Bearsville Theater to perform once again with the Paul Green Rock Academy. I can’t recommend this show highly enough. Take it from someone who is not the world’s biggest Yes fan—get your tickets for this show now. They cost $55-$100 and you can learn more by clicking here or visiting Bearsvilletheater.com.

The Bearsville Theater in Woodstock.

And now, a little background on Yes, from yesworld.com: The band has released 21 studio albums and “is known for its expansive songs, esoteric lyrics, elaborate album art and live stage sets.”

As for Anderson, the website tells us that he “was born in 1944 in Accrington, Lancashire, England and has been making music since 1962. He formed Yes with Chris Squire in 1968 and was the band’s lead singer through their classic years, leaving in 2008.”

And regarding the Paul Green Rock Academy, though the students performing with Anderson will obviously be different than those who played that show in Woodstock in 2014, the man behind it all remains the same. Paul Green founded the School of Rock music instruction program and was the inspiration for the Jack Black character in the 2003 movie, “School of Rock.” In fact, Anderson’s July 30 show at the Bearsville Theater marks a reunion for him with Green as the former Yes vocalist toured with the original School of Rock all stars, playing more than 30 gigs between 2006-2008.

Green is a former Woodstock resident who recently earned his law degree. You can learn more about the Paul Green Rock Academy by clicking here. The Woodstock Rock Academy, an outgrowth of Green’s efforts when he lived in Ulster County, will open the show.

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