Secret Asia Men

I went to see Asia last night at the Birchmere. Sadly my arrival luck did not hold, as I got there three songs in, but I didn’t miss any songs I wanted to hear and still got a decent seat. Asia is known for its two big hits, “Only Time Will Tell” and “Heat Of The Moment”, but what most people don’t realize it was the first 80s supergroup (Jill thought they sounded very similar to Cutting Crew). They celebrated that by playing a song from each member’s original band: “Roundabout” (Steve Howe was from Yes), “Fanfare For The Common Man” (Carl Palmer was from Emerson, Lake & Palmer), “In The Court Of The Crimson King” (John Wetton was from King Crimson) and Video Killed The Radio Star (Geoff Downes was in the Buggles, and also Yes). All great performances, and the other songs were good as well (almost all drawn from the first Asia album) – the members are all from progressive rock bands known for their epics, but with the Asia albums boiled the songs down to pop song lengths. The biggest crowd response came for the hits, and the sound was amazingly close to the original versions. The band put on a great show for getting up there in years (Steve Howe looked frail, but he always has), and I’ll be interested in hearing what they produce in the future.

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