Jon Anderson May 21, 2011 At The Woodstock, Vt Town Hall Theater

Words by Tim Lewis.

The Jon Anderson solo show in Woodstock was brilliant! He told stories. He told jokes. He played Yes songs. He even played a few solo songs. He played most everything on guitar. He played keys for one bit. He played something that looked like a stick with strings that plugged in for the Olias songs.

He opened strumming on guitar playing something I did not recognize, then dropped it into Yours is no disgrace. Sweet Dreams followed. Next up he did a reggae version of Time and a Word, where he went into a bit of And I Love Her then All You Need is Love. He got lost for a moment switching lyrics, but then got back on track. You’ve gotta love Jon!

A new song called Under Heaven’s Door was very nice. The lyric about surviving his recent near death experiences was very moving.

He told a story of people doing a new version of Olias of Sunhillow and asking if he would sing on it. He said Yes, but then realized he had to relearn it, since it’s 37 years old. He played a nice version of the title song. I just love that melody.

Next up he told stories of meeting a large greek man with a heavy accent who fires arrows from his bow in his Paris apartment. He played one of the songs he and Vangelis wrote, I’ll find my way home. What a great song!

Next up was Starship Trooper, which included a pretty rocking Wurm!!!!! Unbroken Spirit of Mine was another new song that was really good! Owner of a Lonely Heart followed, complete with story of having armed guards for a show in Argentina back when it was big, as the band had death threats. Squire told Jon they would shoot at the singer first. Jon said he never stopped moving at that show.

Next he sat at the piano and cranked out a very tight lyric for the beginning section of Close to the Edge. After the first get up get down section he segued into Marry Me Again, a lovely song about his wife, then wrapped it back into the opening chant from Revealing Science of God and ended with the We must have waited all our lives for this moment section. He followed on ukelele with a fun song and audience participation on the Light of Love. And You And I and Wonderous Stories followed. A song about growing up singing with his brother called Tony and Me was lots of fun. Turn of the Century and Show Me were as elegant as always. Your Move became a singalong and All Good People brought the audience to it’s feet. They stayed there for Roundabout to close the set.

He came back and played a spirited State of Independence. He spoke of how the love inside all of us shines out through our eyes and we recognize it when we see it in others and played Soon. He wrapped the night saying one night he heard a song in his dream. He awoke, sang it into a cassette recorder, then lost the tape for 7 years. He found it and put it on his Animation album. O’er the Green Mountains was a fitting song to end the show in Woodstock, VT

All through the show he commented about how lovely the town was. It was a beautiful day. Lots of sun, luscious green everywhere, and there is a nice river running through the town.

And now for the jokes. A penguin walks into a bar and asks the barman, have you seen my brother. The barman asks, what does he look like?

A Polar Bear walks into a bar and says to the barman I’ll have a beer…………………………………………………………………………………………………..and some crisps. The barman says, why the big pause?

What’s the difference between a man who falls off a 7th floor balcony and one that falls off a first floor balcony. The one off the 7th goes aaaaaaaaaaaaah, splat. The one from the first goes splat, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

And the Runner, somewhere in the set he played the Runner!

This post was originally published by Tim Lewis at his personal blog,