Monday, April 28, 2008

Asia at the House of Blues Cleveland 19 April 2008

Classic rock fans got what they paid for and then some last Saturday as the four original members of Asia played at the House of Blues Cleveland. Guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Carl Palmer, bassist/vocalist John Wetton, and keyboardist Geoff Downes put on an outstanding show that included the hits from their landmark early 80’s albums; fresh new material from their just recently released CD Phoenix; and even went back into the past of this once “super group” with a some songs from their original bands.
They opened with crowd pleasers “Daylight,” “Only Time Will Tell,” and “Wild in the Streets,” with the first of several extended Carl Palmer drum solos. Over the course of the evening other songs from their first two albums included “Look into Your Eyes” that closed the first set; “The Heat of the Moment” which closed the second set; and “Don’t Cry” and “Soul Survivor” which were the encores.
The highlights for many in the audience were the tunes that went back to each players roots: “Roundabout” with Steve Howe’s great guitar intro and Wetton more than respectiably subbing for Jon Anderson on vocals; A jazzy arrangement of ELP’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” featuring Carl Palmer’s percussion skills; and King Crimson’s “In the Court of the Crimson King” with Wetton on vocals and Downs playing all sorts of keyboards to fill out the sound. There even was a fun version of “Video Killed the Radio Star,” a song Downes was involved during his pre Asia days.
The songs from their new album sounded good and were received well by the audience, the best being “Never Again” and “Extraordinary Life.”
By the reaction of the crowd, and the freshness and quality of both old and new songs, Asia might be making another run at stardom. It was terrific show. For more info on Asia and their new CD visit Amongst the shows coming up at the House of Blues are the B52’s on April 29, the Average White Band on May 8, the Breeders on June 3, and Mahogany Rush on July 15. Check out for more info.

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