As Yes' first-ever tour without the late Chris Squire gets underway, Steve Howe says he hopes the shows will provide some solace to a saddened fan base. Up until the band's current tour with Toto, Squire had never missed a Yes concert.

"It is pretty exceptional that Chris has been at all those Yes shows [over] all those years," the guitarist tells ABC News Radio. "So we're gonna have to respect that and pay some tribute to that, which we're very happy to be able to do – and let people kind of find a way, an inner voice to express and get over and hopefully heal some of the sadness that's gone down."

Yes went through a similar emotional process as they tried to decide whether to even move forward without the late bassist. "We thought if we don't stay on course, we're gonna lose the plot," Howe said. "And the plot might be that there would be a different future -- or no future for Yes, I suppose, is another way of sort of cruelly putting it."

The transition was smoothed, to some degree, because Yes had already announced that former '90s-era member Billy Sherwood would be filling in for Squire as the bassist underwent treatment for a rare form of leukemia. Squire, who co-founded Yes more than 45 years ago, died at age 67 on June 27.

"We started projecting that we would have to do this just like we're doing it now, actually, with Billy," Howe said. "But obviously what we were hoping was that Chris was gonna be returning -- and, obviously, with his passing, that changed everything."

Yes open their summer tour tomorrow in Mashantucket, Conn. Dates continue through Sept. 12.

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