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Asia - Fantasia - Live In Tokyo (DVD) CD (album) cover




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3.70 | 38 ratings

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2 stars Decent melodic rock by the original line-up, with a few surprises

Yikes, I'm reviewing Asia. I know, I know. The prog purist, the cynic (bless his heart) in me tried to keep me from watching this.but he failed. Call it pop music, AOR, bubble-gum prog, whatever you wish. Call it one of those drunken one-night stands you regret the next morning when you wake up covered in.never mind. Personally I'd call it something I'd never buy but something that was enjoyable as a rental. If you're a fan you'll like this, but if you're not it won't suddenly make you one. I've never been a fan. Asia reminds me of that time when great artists were selling out for a buck, when apparently unable to come up with more from a progressive standpoint decided the next best thing was to cash in. But at least they formed a new group and made it on their own accord without the luxury of the Yes name. I'll take their brand of pop music over anything Trevor Rabin ever touched. This show was pretty fun to watch, filmed in front of a reverent and appreciative Tokyo audience. The set list was spiked with some nuggets that worked well (In the Court of the Crimson King, Fanfare for the Common Man) and some that didn't (Roundabout, Video Killed the Radio Star). No Machine Messiah unfortunately. The Asia material itself is very well crafted, melodic pop that sprung to life in Wetton's hands, his voice in fine shape for most of the show. Palmer was great behind the kit, powerful and driving. Howe was OK although I have to say honestly I don't think he's at the same level in his stage performance anymore. The stage show was minimal with some small video screens that seemed like an afterthought. The band was content to rely on their music and didn't bother with some mindbending light show which is fine with me. The camera work was generally good with steady, lingering shots and sans the insane-speed edits that can ruin a good show. The sound of the DVD left something to be desired: there was good clarity on the vocals, drums, and keyboards, but the bass often fell through the cracks and the guitar also seemed muffled at times. Overall the sound was good sometimes and other times a bit thin. Recommended for Asia fans and 80s pop/rock fans but I can't really recommend it to wider prog site. You'll likely enjoy bits and pieces but I'd be surprised if most prog fans could view this over and's not exactly Yes at QPR! 2 stars.

Finnforest | 2/5 |


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