Live from Green Apple NYC: Jon Anderson and the School of Rock

From time to time, we like to feature other people’s writing on Live Music Blog — because let’s face it, sometimes you’re just sick of reading about how much we’re into Bisco or how much we drool over Umphrey’s McGee. It’s good to get some unique perspectives in here and we strongly encourage that you, the readers, give us your perspective by leaving comments, contacting us, sending us email, checking out our Flickr photos, etc. It helps to keep us honest.

Following up the Green Apple Music Festival (held in three cities this year)…this review was submitted by Paul Kanterman, a live music fan in New York City. Check out his full Flickr photoset here and enjoy his review from one of the shows he caught in New York this past weekend.

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With all of the talk about the great music at this year’s Green Apple Music Festival, the first show of the NYC edition has gotten short shrift. Situated on Vanderbilt Avenue, just west of Grand Central, Jon Anderson and the School of Rock kicked things off in an impressive fashion.

The School of Rock opened things up with a take on Led Zeppelin’s “Traveling Riverside Blues.” Led by thirteen-year old Sarah on lead vocals and slide guitar, these kids put the lunchtime crowd on notice that they were true rock band, not just some school project.

Jon Anderson joined the band next and for the next forty-five minutes they played a set of Yes classics. They did the 80’s hit, “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” but after that went on to play some of the more challenging songs in the Yes catalog. The band was able to recreate songs such as “Starship Trooper” and “Long Distance Runaround/The Fish” with all the complexities of the original. The School of Rock seemed to have a challenge keeping time with the stuttering beat of “Long Distance Runaround,” but the drummer was able to hold them together. The set closed with a rousing “Roundabout.”

Seeing thirteen, fourteen and fifteen-year olds with so much talent was a treat, and a bit depressing at the same time. Jon Anderson, for all his years in the business, was having an obvious good time. In all, a fantastic way to spend a lunch-hour.