Original Asia Has Plenty Of Daylight Ahead

Retro Concert Review
Reunion Tour
Seneca Niagara Events Center
Niagara Falls, NY
Saturday September 2, 2006
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto

Every now and then we will go through the archives of Joseph Suto and post reviews written from days past.Here is one that was significant with the return of the Original Asia. This show was just the band’s 4th since they had last played together in 1983.

The Seneca Niagara Events Center witnessed an event many never thought they’d see again Saturday evening. The return of Asia featuring guitarist Steve Howe, singer/bassist John Wetton, drummer Carl Palmer and keyboardist Geoffrey Downes all playing together on the same stage again. It had been twenty-three years since the “Original” Asia last performed together. The current reunion trek kicked off with a concert Wednesday in Rochester. This show marked the band’s fourth since reforming. Early indications show the band hasn’t missed a beat playing to capacity crowds already.

Asia took the stage with their signature opener “Time Again” and proceeded to play a set of songs which when all was said and done included every track from the first Asia as well as a few select songs off Alpha. To accommodate time the band also played a song from each member’s respective past bands. Yes’ “Roundabout” sounded as fresh as it did back in 1971. Downes got in the act sporting a pair of shades and a flashy jacket for “Video Killed The Radio Star”, a song he recorded as a member of The Buggles. Another highlight featured drummer Palmer on an amazing drum solo during “The Heat Goes On”, a song added into the set after the tour opener.

Other highlights from the evening came in the form in perhaps the finest song the band has written to date “Sole Survivor” and “Ride Easy”, a lost B-side that showed up during the encore. Above all however was “Without You”, an ostentatious, pretentious ballad that this reviewer called the prominent song of the show.

Many of the fans waited so long for the original line-up to perform again. The wait was well worth it as the band showed they can still dish out a top-notch performance. There is talk if the tour goes well, they may put out an album. Let’s hope this is the situation as the band has plenty of gas still left in the tank.

Set List

Time Again
Wildest Dreams
One Step Closer
Roundabout (Yes Cover)
Without You
Cutting It Fine
The Clap (Howe Solo)
Fanfare for the Common Man (ELP Cover)
The Smile Has Left Your Eyes (Acoustic)
Don’t Cry (Acoustic)
The Court of the Crimson King (King Crimson Cover)
Here Comes the Feeling
Video Killed the Radio Star (The Buggles Cover)
The Heat Goes On (Drum Solo)
Only Time Will Tell
Sole Survivor

Ride Easy (Acoustic)
Heat of the Moment

(Editors Note: This review originally appeared in Night-Life Magazine September 18, 2006)

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About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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