In December of 1979 John Wetton, Eddie Jobson and Terry Bozzio played their last show as UK just as the band started to see success. Tonight in Foxboro, MA the trio play the second show on their ‘UK Night After Night 2012’ tour which includes dates in the US, Canada, England, Netherlands, Czech Republic and will finish with 6 shows in Japan. Since this wasn’t just a ‘tour’, UK did some things a little different that made the experience that much more special.
Some fans were treated to a first hand look at a sound check. This was an interesting time to see the band and technicians set up the stage, get their instruments right and the opportunity to meet the band and see the not so glamorous side of being a rock star. All three were great with everyone there, stopping and talking and signing whatever was put in front of them. Eddie took it a step further explaining from the stage how his new keyboard set up worked and went to every table thanking those in attendance for their support.
A few hours later, the band hit the stage and any concerns of how they would sound and gel were answered right away. For the next two hours, UK performed like they never took a 30 year break. The songs (including classics like ‘Rendezvous 6:02’, ‘In The Dead of Night’, ‘Night After Night’ and an acoustic version of King Crimson’s ‘Fallen Angel’ ) sounded much heavier than they do on record and as the show went on I began to hear how UK’s sound was much closer to King Crimson than it was ASIA. Another thing I noticed is that despite the fact that all the songs seem to play through Jobson, everyone had a chance to shine. Bozzio’s drumming was loaded with personality and impressed me with how he seemed to keep everything together. Wetton’s bass playing was heavier and more technical that I have ever seen or heard before and the voice never sounded better. You will never see three musicians master their instruments better than Wetton, Jobson and Bozzio. But when you have players that worked with Roxy Music, Frank Zappa and King Crimson, you should expect nothing less!
Since this was only the second show on the tour, there were a few technical glitches that most of the audience didn’t hear, but the band did. As things were sorted out, Jobson took some time to explain not only what was going on, but told the story of UK’s formation and kept the crowd entertained as things were fixed.
After the show, I got to spend some time with John backstage (among the salads, brownies and pizza) and had a chat that you will be hearing very soon. In the interview John talks about how he keeps his life in control juggling ASIA, UK, his solo career, Wetton/Downes and sobriety.
And I also must mention the venue! Showcase Live has become my favorite venue to see a show! Great food, not a bad seat in the house and a great staff that make the live music experience so much better!
Thanks to Kim Dancha for getting me in touch with the right folks and Valentina Pianezzi of QEDG Management for helping with all the details.
Photograph above is by Secret Identity 'Photog At Large' Stephen (the Atlanta Flash) Bennett.
For more information on UK go to www.ukreunion.com
For all things John Wetton, the only place to go is www.johnwetton.com