John Payne Does His Part To Keep Asia Flame Alive

Concert Review
Asia Featuring John Payne
Rockin’ The Downs Concert Series
Batavia Downs
Batavia, NY
Friday July 20, 2018
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto

The Rockin at the Downs concert series drew a decent crowd for what turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous evening this past Friday. Asia featuring John Payne delivered a fantastic show during their 90-minute set. Also, on the bill were the national Fleetwood Mac tribute band Rumours who played a solid set of their own.

For those who are unware I will explain in as simple as I can. This was not the Original Asia. Asia featuring John Payne is exactly what it claims to be a version of Asia led by Payne. From when Payne first joined the band in 1992 as its bassist and vocalist on its acclaimed Aqua release, throughout the six studio albums up to and including 2004’s Silent Nation, he along with keyboardist Geoffrey Downes were the main members who kept the band’s music alive by releasing albums and playing shows. The original band decided to get back together in 2006 and worked out an agreement with Payne that he can continue on as “Asia featuring John Payne”. Payne’s band performs songs from all facets of the Asia catalog from the debut up to the Silent Nation release. Now that that’s settled back to our regular scheduled review.

Kicking things off with “Long Way From Home” from Silent Nation, Payne sprinkled in Asia favorites along the way as well as a few lesser known gems like “Go” and “Days Like These”. There were some fans who came to hear the Payne material such as vintage performances of “Desire” and Aqua’s “Who Will Stop The Rain”.

Joining Payne were guitarist Moni Scaria, keyboardist Jamie Hosmer and drummer Johnny Fedevich. All these cats were outstanding musicians but it wasn’t until “Time Again” where it really seemed to climax.

Throughout the course of the night Payne teased “Sole Survivor” until finally the band tore into the requested classic as the final song.

I thought the band did a good job mixing in the Payne era although a few more songs could have been played. I was surprised they did not play “Lay Down Your Arms” a minor hit from Aqua.

With the Original Asia on a hiatus due to other projects, it was good to see Payne’s version not only keeping the Asia fans happy but also playing at such a high level while doing the songs justice. That’s all anyone can ask for when seeing any band.

Set List
Long Way From Home
Only Time Will Tell
Who Will Stop The Rain
Silent Nation
Days Like These
Time Again
Don’t Cry
Military Man
Heat Of The Moment
Sole Survivor

The Rockin at the Downs Concert Series continues next week with Puddle Of Mudd

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About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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