Venue: 02 Shepherd's Bush Empire, LondonDate: 2 November 2014
the beginning of November, ASIA, British progressive rock
band played their first headline show at O2 Shepherd’s
Bush Empire in London in four years to promote their latest
album “Gravitas” and filled the theatre-like venue with
some of their best AOR hits to date.
pretty early and without any supporting acts, the first song
of the night was “Valkyrie", probably the most
popular song of their newest record, and definitely a crowd
favourite. But that’s not the only special thing about
that song and record as the latter has been recorded with a
completely new guitarist after original member Steve Howe
retired at the beginning of 2013. Sam Coulson, who
started out by showcasing videos of himself playing guitar
on Youtube and thus got discovered, joined the original line
up soon after and stood out by being the youngest member on
stage with a way of guitar playing that might have reminded
of Slash minus the running around on stage.
What followed were a few songs from their post-reunion albums, inspiring song “”An Extraordinary Life” that has been featured on America’s Got Talent and the beautiful ballad “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” which stood out in particular because it allowed singer John Wetton to fully engage in the song without having to play bass in the beginning. This all made up for a captivating and interesting moment with John fully expressing his emotions through heartfelt, beautiful vocals and movements that build up to a full sound once he joined in on bass again.
and Carl Palmer’s drum solo with its creative use of beats
and its energy made up for a great, diversified rhythm and
an amazing performance that also was pleasant to the eye.
All while building up to a powerful ending in which he hit
the two Chinese gongs positioned right behind him.
quite early, the last song of the night was ASIA’s best
known hit “Heat of the Moment” that made up for the
perfect ending of a great show and made the crowd cheer
happily one last time before the band left the stage.
ASIA completed their UK tour with their gig in London. So if you want to experience one of their shows yourself, follow them on their website, Facebook and Twitter (@originalasia). To make the wait more bearable we’ve included links to purchase their newest record “Gravitas” on iTunes and Amazon as well as to stream it on Spotify.
Review by: Anna Zurek
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