Since their debut in 1982, ASIA has always been one of my all time favorite bands. Their combination of well crafted songs and virtuoso playing really spoke to me and still does. Currently supporting their latest disc GRAVITAS, the new look ASIA hit the stage at the Bull Run in Shirley, MA for a set that was heavy on memories, fun and just plain heavy!
Joining original members John Wetton (bass/vocals), Geoff Downes (keyboards) and Carl Palmer (drums) is brilliant new guitarist Sam Coulson whose presence was felt from the show opening 'Soul Survivor' all the way to the final riffs of 'Heat of the Moment'!
ASIA 2014 is a much heavier band live and it gives a new life to classics like 'Go', 'Time Again', 'Don't Cry' and 'Days Like These'. Not just living in the past, ASIA covered 'Gravitas', 'Valkyrie' (both from their latest album) and 'An Extraordinary Life' and proved they are not a nostalgia act. These are four gifted musicians who can still pack a serious punch onstage!
But it wasn't all about the heavy... during the set the band took out stools and went a little acoustic featuring an amazing version of 'Voice of America' and a moving take on 'The Smile Has Left Your Eyes'; so moving my wife began to cry!
As pitch perfect as John Wetton's vocals were or the textures that the keyboards of Geoff Downes created, it was Carl Palmer on drums that really brought the house down. His ever entertaining solo proved why he is one of rock's greatest drummers.
If you have never seen ASIA live, check them out on this tour! Music always needs to be heard live and no one does it better than ASIA.