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Topic ClosedAsia Omega Tour in Paris review

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fairyliar View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Asia Omega Tour in Paris review
    Posted: May 01 2010 at 07:22

Last night I went to the Casino de Paris with my sister to see Asia, I should precise the original Asia...

I'm 29 and my sister 26, so we never had a chance to see the original band before. I will cut the suspense now and say the band did an excellent job.
 
The venue is quite small (1500 seats I think), but sadly it was far from fulfilled. Actually, the balcony was closed and those like us who had taken a ticket on the balcony were placed in the orchestra! good deal cause the view was perfect. The orchestra was completely packed nevertheless.
 
I will begin with the only bad point of this show which has nothing to do with the music but with the audience. In my opinion, bands like Asia which are playing a very dynamic rock should never play in front of a seating audience. Lots of people were older than 50 years and lots of them have lost the "feeling", almost noone sang the refrain or clap during the songs, some didn't even clap at the end! Most of them don't stand up....Just like it was for Yes some months ago, the audience was globally a pity. Some people can't understand why lots of calssic rock bands don't come to France, but the answer is quite simple: "no feeling!". The only good reactions were just before the break at the half of the show, after the drum solo (I will speak about it later) and the final Heat of The moment.
 
Now let's talk about the show! The setlist was almost perfect with three new songs from Omega and 2 from Phoenix. The rest was dedicated to the three first albums of the 80s. Yes , Astra was also in the set with Go being played by Steve Howe! One of the good suprise of the show.
The new songs are great live and will be a perfect fit for the next tours. The classics included randomly Only Time Will Tell, Sole Survivor, Time Again (incredible live!!!!), Here Comes The Feeling, Heat of The Moment, Don't Cry and The Smile Has Left Your Eyes (as a delightful vocal/piano performance), Eye To Eye (excellent song too) and The heat Goes On.
 
Beside the piano/vocal performance from john and Geoff, there were Steve guitar solo in which we were gratified of Masquerade from the Union album of Yes!!!! I think it's the first tour he played it. The two other songs were the classic The Clap and Mood For A Day, greatly played as usual with Steve. I would only complained on the fact that Steve didn't break between the songs and so the audience can't applause but at the end of the three songs, bad strategy I think!
 
And now the highlight: the drum solo! Carl did its classic ELP solo (remember the Montreal show in 77), my sister and I were absolutely blown away just like everyone in the audience. His mastery is unbelievable! I read people on the net telling he was not so good but guys how wrong can you be! I ve seen Simon Philips, Alan White, Mike Portnoy, Phil Ehart, Phil Collins, Roger Taylor, Nicko McBrain...these guys are gods but carl is the ultimate drummer no doubt about it! Such precision, power, creativity....I ve never seen someone using his kit so damnly well. Im no drummer but no need to be one to compare!
The audience was very receptive during the solo and when he finished he got a 5 minutes stand up and the crowd was just crazy!
 
In conclusion, a great preformance, I hope they will come again in Paris but not as a seating show.
It gives a lot of hope in the ELP reunion this summer!
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 01 2010 at 10:29
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I'm glad you enjoyed the show, fairyliar. I would love to see them myself. I'm thrilled to hear that Steve played Masquerade, I love that piece! But I'm disappointed to hear that they did not play any Yes, ELP and King Crimson songs on this tour as they did on recent tours. On the live DVD I have (Fantasia - Live In Tokyo) they played Yes' Roundabout, ELP's Fanfare For The Common Man and King Crimson's In The Court Of The Crimson King as well as The Buggles' Video Killed The Radio Star. I was hoping that they would replace these songs with others by these classic bands, but as I understand it they play only Asia songs now (with the exception of Steve's solo spot)?

These guys have such a rich musical past that they could pay homage to! Why couldn't they play something from Yes' Drama album (the only Yes album Geoff Downs played on). As 50% of Asia were part of the Drama album, it seems to me like a natural album to pick a song from for an Asia set list. Another very natural choice would have been to perform The Hunter from the GTR album. This song was written by Geoff Downs who also produced the album on which Steve played, of course; again 50% of the original Asia involved.

John Wetton has been in so many good bands; I would have loved Asia to perform something from UK. In The Dead Of Night, for example, would be an excellent choice. Or why not Starless by King Crimson, which is a much more natural choice than In The Court Of The Crimson King on which Wetton did not even perform on the original version.

The ELP discography would also offer countless possibilities and Wetton has a similar voice to Greg Lake so he wouldn't have any trouble handling an ELP song. Or if Wetton for some reason claimed he couldn’t, there are other instrumental tracks they could play.

Representing Geoff, they could have played something from the John Payne-era of Asia. It would be interesting to hear the other guys taking a shot at some Payne-era song. The possibilities are seemingly endless!

From the early Asia albums, only Go and Eye To Eye are "new" to the set list with the exception of the Omega and Phoenix songs. I reviewed Omega yesterday, and I think it is a rather weak effort compared to Phoenix and also compared to Asia and Alpha.

Again, I’m happy to hear that Steve played Masquerade, but Clap and Mood For A Day have been played a million times before. Why couldn’t he play the lovely Aqua Pt. 1 from the Aqua album? Or something a bit more obscure from one of his many solo albums?

I get the feeling they are playing it very safe, and I think it is a bit sad considering what might have been.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 01 2010 at 11:52
I saw AIR at the Casino de Paris and there were no seats at the "orchestra" (ground floor). I guess they installed the chairs because they sold too few tickets and by having the chairs the room looked less empty.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 01 2010 at 12:10

@SouthSideOfTheSky: yes they decided to abandon the ELP, King Crimson and Yes stuff for this tour cause now they have enough new stuff from the original band to make a complete 2 hours show.

For the Payne era, i think it's not possible because of legal terms and Payne and Downes have separated in bad terms...some stuff from Aura would have been great for sure!

I agree for Steve selection, Masquerade was a good surprise as I'm a fan of Union, which is hated by most Yes integrist fans...This album was really good, better than Big Generator or the later Talk! I would have loved something from Natural timbre solo album insted of The Clap.
 
@Harmonium.ro: Asia with its original lineup has always to seating audiene I think even in 82 but I may be wrong. It s a bad strategy for me because their music is too "rock" for this and the shows don't last 3 hours...buit it's also a god excuse to make people pay at least 56€ a ticket, a bit expensive I think to get a new audience! the giftshop after the show was a shame, 25€ a cd whereas you can find it on amazon for 15€...or less in the uk.
 
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 01 2010 at 12:14

I made a mistake, it was Open your Eyes and not Eye to eye...but it rocked a lot as I commented ;)

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 01 2010 at 12:22
Originally posted by fairyliar

@SouthSideOfTheSky: yes they decided to abandon the ELP, King Crimson and Yes stuff for this tour cause now they have enough new stuff from the original band to make a complete 2 hours show.

For the Payne era, i think it's not possible because of legal terms and Payne and Downes have separated in bad terms...some stuff from Aura would have been great for sure!

I agree for Steve selection, Masquerade was a good surprise as I'm a fan of Union, which is hated by most Yes integrist fans...This album was really good, better than Big Generator or the later Talk! I would have loved something from Natural timbre solo album insted of The Clap.
 


I like Union too, I have rated it with four stars and I wholly agree with you about Union being much better than the other Yes albums on which Trevor Rabin played.

I think it is too bad they decided to drop the Prog classics; I would still like to see them live, but hearing only Asia songs for two hours seems much less interesting compared to having a few Yes, GTR, ELP, King Crimson or UK songs.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 01 2010 at 12:24
Originally posted by fairyliar

I made a mistake, it was Open your Eyes and not Eye to eye...but it rocked a lot as I commented ;)



Ok, Open Your Eyes (not to be confused with the Yes song of the same name) is very good! I'm one of those who think that Alpha is overall better than the self-titled debut.
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