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Asia - Asia In Asia (VHS) CD (album) cover




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4.16 | 24 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars Where they belong!

Watching this concert for the first time, I'm surprised to see how good the band was in the live arena. The energy and passion for music was definitely there and Steve Howe, Geoff Downes, and Carl Palmer were on fire! There is a great dynamic going on between them that doesn't come through as well on the studio albums. On vocals we have here Greg Lake and not John Wetton, which I'm sure will surprise many as this is the only thing Lake did with the band leaving as quickly as he entered. Lake brings his own style to these songs and sings them very well even if he doesn't always remember the correct words. They have an enthusiastic audience as well which is an important factor, letting the band feed off the energy of the crowd.

In addition to the full songs from the first two studio albums, the rarest of which is Eye To Eye, we get Howe's wonderful acoustic solo piece Sketches In The Sun (which would later end up on the GTR album some years later), and the most interesting Downes solo spot I've heard in which he performs on a plethora of keyboards including his keytar (which resurfaces on Heat Of The Moment). He has quite an interesting keyboard rig spread out over the stage so that he needs to run back and forth between his various instruments that include organs, pianos, and Moog synthesisers. Palmer gets to play his traditional drum solo as well, and even if it would be rather dull on an audio-only recording, it is rather fun to watch the man in action - he is quite a show man, juggling his drum sticks and taking his shirt off without ever interrupting his drumming (to the voices of many screaming Japanese ladies!)

I would say that this live concert video is generally better and more interesting than the studio albums on which the tunes originally appeared. Asia is an 80's band, but in the live arena they still maintained traces of their roots in 70's Prog. A positive surprise for me. Don't miss this one (whole concert can be seen on YouTube and has also been released on audio CD).

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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