Sunday, April 06, 2008

Asia - Kirby Center, Wilkes-Barre PA, April 4, 2008

Asia rocked the Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre last Friday evening and it was fantastic. This is the original lineup, including the legendary Steve Howe (of Yes) on guitar, Carl Palmer (of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer) on drums, Geoff Downes (of Yes and the Buggles) on keyboards, and John Wetton (of King Crimson) on bass and vocals.

First impressions: Steve Howe looked like my college poetry professor, which is to say, old (sorry, Harry). I mean really old. But boy can that man play guitar - throughout Roundabout (yes, the classic Yes song!), he was simply a joy to watch. The man has fingers like a spider, and he made playing some complicated sequences look effortless. If only he didn't dress like an elderly man, including those grey dress pants and shiny striped shirt...

Back to the age thing, they all looked fairly old, which I think my mind had a hard time wrapping itself around. The cognitive dissonance was disconcerting for a while (and still is, to some degree).

Carl Palmer was simply incredible, probably the second-greatest drum solo I've ever seen (the first being Neil Peart, of course).

Other highlights included In the Court of the Crimson King followed by the Buggles' Video Killed the Radio Star which, while an unusual combination, was a great moment in rock and roll. I'm a big fan of King Crimson, so to see their signature song live was a thrill (though I would have preferred 21st Century Schizoid Man). The Buggles tune is a classic that I've listened to a lot recently.

Oh, they played some Asia songs too, including some great sounding tracks (Never Again, Extraordinary Life) from the new CD, Phoenix (I picked up a copy on the way out, which shows how much I liked the new stuff). Heat of the Moment was, of course, great to hear live, aided by the band encouraging the audience to sing along. And Don't Cry was the first encore; it's one of those songs that just makes you feel young. Setlist, as found here (seems right according to my recollection):

  • Daylight
  • Only Time Will Tell
  • Wildest Dreams
  • Never Again
  • Roundabout
  • Time Again
  • Bolero from Cutting it Fine (Geoff Downes keyboard solo)
  • Clap (Steve Howe acoustic solo)
  • The Smile Has Left Your Eyes (acoustic)
  • Ride Easy (acoustic)
  • Voice of America (John Wetton acoustic solo)
  • Open Your Eyes
  • Fanfare For The Common Man
  • Without You
  • An Extraordinary Life
  • In the Court of the Crimson King
  • Video Killed The Radio Star
  • The Heat Goes On, w/Carl Palmer drum solo
  • Heat of the Moment
  • Don't Cry
  • Sole Survivor

1 comment:

gerry said...

Lovin' Life -