Credit: Glenn GottliebYes launches a new long-distance U.S. runaround tonight in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. On this tour, the famed prog-rockers will be playing their 1980 album Drama in its entirety, sides one and four of the band’s 1973 double-disc Tales from Topographic Oceans, and a few classic tunes.

Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes is very familiar with Drama, of course, having played on the original album and tour, but he tells ABC Radio that it was a challenge to learn the long pieces from Tales from Topographic Oceans, which he’ll be performing live for the first time.

“I’m actually looking forward to it,” he explains, “because…once you start really focusing in on the music you start to realize what it took for these guys to put it together.”

Unfortunately, Yes will be without longtime drummer Alan White for at least part of the new tour. As Downes explains, White soldiered through severe back pain during the group’s recent European trek, then had to undergo surgery after the jaunt wrapped up.

“He’s had the operation and everything went well,” Geoff reports. “So, hopefully, we’ll be seeing him sooner rather than later.”

Filling in for White will be Jay Schellen, who previously worked with the Yes-related bands Conspiracy and Circa. Geoff notes that Jay “played a lot of the material that we’re playing now” with those groups, so he should fit in well.

Of course, Yes experienced a major loss last year when founding bassist Chris Squire died. Downes tells ABC Radio that moving forward without Squire was tough for the band, but says his “appointed replacement,” Billy Sherwood, ably “stepped up to the plate and we decided to carry on.”

In spite of all the lineup changes, Downes says, “Yes seems to sort of transcend all generations and just keep going.”

Here are all of the upcoming dates on Yes’ 2016 U.S. tour:

7/25 — Lancaster, PA, American Music Theatre
7/27 — Columbus, OH, Ohio State Fair – Celeste Center
7/28 — Northfield, OH, Hard Rock Live
7/30 — Atlantic City, NJ, Tropicana
7/31 — Bethlehem, PA, Sands Event Center
8/2 — Lewiston, NY, Artpark
8/4 — Lynn, MA, Lynn Auditorium
8/5 — Wallingford, CT, Toyota Oakdale Theatre
8/6 — Westbury, NY, Theatre at Westbury
8/9 — Staten Island, NY, St. George Theatre
8/10 — Englewood, NJ, Bergen Performing Arts Center
8/12 — Port Chester, NY, The Capitol Theater
8/13 — Morristown, NJ, Mayo Performing Arts Center
8/14 — Albany, NY, The Egg
8/16 — Washington, D.C., Warner Theatre
8/17 — Munhall, PA, Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall
8/19 — Sterling Heights, MI, Freedom Hill Amphitheatre
8/20 — Chicago, IL, Copernicus Center
8/21 — Milwaukee, WI, Riverside Theater
8/24 — Denver, CO, Paramount Theatre
8/26 — Anaheim, CA, The Grove
8/27 — Las Vegas, CO, Downtown Events Center
8/28 — Santa Barbara, CA, Arlington Theatre
8/30 — Los Angeles, CA, Orpheum Theater
8/31 — Saratoga, CA, The Mountain Winery
9/2 — Reno, NV, Silver Legacy Casino
9/3 — Paso Robles, CA, Vina Robles Winery
9/4 — San Diego, CA, Humphrey’s

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