Date Originally Published: 12 Nov 2012 – Classic Rock Radio (UK)
Uncle G’s FUN Concert Memories
By Gary Brown
American Correspondent for Classic Rock Radio (UK)
A few days ago, the band Asia was broadcast in concert live, from The Regency Ballroom, in San Francisco, California. I caught it on Dish Network’s channel; AXS TV. A couple of days have since passed. My wife had recorded the event for me, so I could view it this past weekend. Got into the first half Saturday. Finished it up Sunday early in the evening. Right before I watched AMC’s The Walking Dead. It took both days, but I did successfully view the whole performance, which was about two hours or more. The television program was 2 1/2 hours. An intermission in the middle. TV viewers during this time were treated to a new record company promo film on the band, centered around their latest studio release; Asia – XXX (on sale June of 2012). Asia’s touring this release currently. Should be in the State I call home, Texas, as a matter of fact, this coming week.
Uncle G’s FUN Asia Concert Memories
I have seen the rock band Asia in concert, twice in my life. The first time was with Geoff Downes, and his then side-kick, John Payne. Guthrie Govan (The Aristocrats) was on lead guitar, and Chris Slade (AC/DC) was on drums. It was here in Houston, back in the year 2001. Outside show. Boiling fucking hot. Damn near got a heat stroke, but I did meet the band.
My second time seeing the group Asia was in Dallas, Texas a few years back. This time Mr. Downes had all his original Asia bandmates with him. My first time seeing what is now known as the; original Asia.
FYI: John Payne is still working under the Asia banner with his; Asia featuring John Payne. What started off as one band, splintered into two. Not the first rock band for it to happen to. As a fan, I wish the best of luck to them both.
Let’s carry on…
The Dallas concert I attended was on; April 27, 2008. The new studio offering then was a CD they called; Phoenix. I like the CD very much. Since that time and now, as a unit, they have managed to put out 3 studio recordings (including this newest one; XXX). Mr. Wetton and cohorts even have DVDs out now. The original four has produced more new product since the 25th-anniversary reunion to the present than they did when first together. No complaints here. FYI: I was a Day One Asia fan. All this time. My collection continues to grow. Ends up I have what would be considered some rare Asia (in all its line-ups) CDs. Much be pretty damn close to having their entire catalog. Perhaps one week I’ll do a series of columns on just what I think is my coolest Asia CDs. As Asia, the band, might say to that: Only Time Will Tell.
Set List (7 November 2012)
Only Time Will Tell
Face On The Bridge
Tomorrow The World
Steve Howe – Solo
Wetton / Downes – I Know How You Feel / Don’t Cry / beginning of The Smile Has Left Your Eyes (finished by the complete band)
Cutting It Fine
Geoff Downes – Solo
Carl Palmer – Solo
An Extraordinary Life
Here Comes The Feeling
Open Your Eyes
Heat Of The Moment (Wetton motivating the crowd; “I can’t fucking hear you”)
I really enjoyed the concert. Nice to watch in the comfort of my home, and on my own personal schedule. A quick BRAVO to AXS TV. Outstanding coverage. Gave the song titles. Very few commercials. Most importantly, it looked and sounded fantastic.
I liked the band’s selection of material. Not so much a ‘greatest hits’ show. The newer songs performed came off exceptionally well, especially the song; Holy War, which was on their last studio, Omega (2010). The older songs Open Your Eyes, and Sole Survivor both seemed to have new life breathed into them.
Asia – The Band
John Wetton’s voice sounded as well as it in decades past.
Carl Palmer’s playing reflects that of a drummer whose been steadily studying and perfecting his craft since the 1970s. His drum solo is more like a well-rehearsed and finely-tuned workout.
Geoff Downes is simply one of the best rock keyboardists today. Geoff’s persistence and perseverance in the group, make him the pillar of this musical community.
Which leaves Mr. Steve Howe. I can never have enough good things to say about this man, and his ability to play superbly, any string musical instrument. Any music he’s been involved in will be played and studied, long after all of his here, are long gone from the living. Why he’s not in the Rock n’ Roll Hall Of Fame yet — is totally beyond me. The same goes for the other three that makeup; Asia. And of course, the band as a whole. Their debut album alone should have guaranteed them admittance. Hopefully one day soon that will be corrected.
Again, Asia is on tour now. Please check out their official website for dates:
Asia News: Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the release of ASIA’s newest live package “Resonance” on November 27th in North America and November 23rd in Europe to coincide with the band’s forthcoming tour. Recorded on May 4th, 2010 in Basel, Switzerland, this new ASIA live 2CD/DVD captures the band, on their Omega World Tour. Filmed with 18 HD cameras, this live recording is truly a rewarding experience for all ASIA fans.
Note: The picture used with this column, was taken by yours truly. I was standing in front of Mr. Howe. Aimed the shot toward Carl. I was using a crappy disposable camera. Since then, I have obtained better-quality photos. I like that one. Isn’t that always the way? On a personal note, I lost a charm that my wife, Sandra, had purchased for me. It was on a chain, around my neck. Jumping up and down with all the excitement, I actually felt it slip down my chest, and being so much into the show, I just let it happen. The concert ended, and I must have forgotten. I blame the natural high felt from seeing the show, plus the buzz I got from drinking Samual Adams. Walked away, looking for my friend Kevin Landreneau and his daughter, without bending down and simply retrieving it. Bummed me out. Glad the old ball and chain understood. Kidding aside, most times, she’s a pretty cool wife.
Uncle G’s FUN Concert Reviews: Asia (2001) – www.garyunclegbrownarchives.com/2018/03/22/uncle-gs-fun-concert-reviews-asia-2001/
End of Story
Maintenance – Independent Website – Please Help Keep The Lights On
Uncle G’s Tip Jar
Can you help out an old altar boy? Boy Scout? Freelance Writer? Whatever you can donate big or small is more than welcome and very appreciated. To contribute, please use this safe and VERY secure PayPal link:
Coming Soon: Gary “Uncle G” Brown Archives Merchandise; Tee Shirt(s) – Keychain(s)
Thank you for visiting. You ROCK! Don’t forget to bookmark the Gary “Uncle G” Brown Archives, and keep coming back.
Oh…one last thing. The Gary “Uncle G” Brown Archives doesn’t advertise. Way too expensive! This costs nothing but your time. Sharing links and positive word of mouth about the website…means the world to the author. Please do, if possible. Much appreciated!