I remember very well Asia's first tour and their show October 9th 1982 in Düsseldorf (Germany). Now the original line-up is back on tour and the last stop on this leg was Bonn. Their new album Omega is very strong, for me a masterpiece. On a Sunday night a few hundred fans gathered at Brückenforum to see the super group of the 80's. The awesome foursome touring without a support - in 1982 they had a juggler working with black light, but that's not the typical support for a tour. At 8PM they kicked off with I Believe, a song from Omega, but with Only Time Will Tell they had one of their hits early in the set. To talk about the skills would be like carrying coals to Newcastle! They were called a super group back in the days - and they still know how to rock a stage! "Wie geht's?" John Wetton asked the audience and continued in German that they have a new album... a new song Holy War. The new songs and the old ones melted together perfectly. Even if the majority of the fans seemed to know them from the start, there were some younger rock fans in the audience and quite a few sang along the new tunes. Keyboardist Geoff Downes was in a splendid mood and let them into Holy War. With age some singers have to face that their voice isn't that strong any more, but bassist and singer John Wetton was in best shape. Soon it was obvious that they still have the magic - and with an album like Omega they should be able to win over some rock fans. Steve Howe's playing was flawless as always and after a few songs he reached operating temperature and started roaming around on stage. "Never Again from Phoenix. We have a new one which is called Through My Veins!" The song has a melancholy edge, but the song will hook you up immediately. After the song guitarist Steve Howe announced "Carl and I will now leave the stage for a special version!" John Wetton took over "Do you want to sing?" And they presented Don't Cry in a special version, stripped down to keyboard and vocals. Very cool!
A roadie placed a chair on the stage while John Wetton talked to the audience. &quoe;And now something completely different... Steve Howe!" The skinny guitarist sat down and played a solo on his acoustic guitar.
The audience appreciated the solo of the guitarist who was named 5-times the 'best overall guitarist' by Guitar Player Magazine. The Smile Has Left Your Eyes was started by keyboarder Geoff Downes and John Wetton, a bit later drummer Carl Palmer joined in and finally Steve Howe was back. "One more from the Alpha album... Open Your Eyes!" With Finger On The Trigger they offered the opening song of Omega, a powerful rocker which moves you. After Time Again John Wetton thanked the audience in German for being so kind. And continued "We go now to Phoenix! An Extraordinary Life!" The mix of old and new tunes worked very well. Slowly they started into this emotional tune. And you believed them when they sang "This is an extraordinary life!", these guys appreciate the chance they got. "You want more? You are sure? Coz this is The End Of The World!" Mr. Wetton told the Asia fans. Even if this one has a melancholy edge, it's enchanting. The Heat Goes On was split into two parts, coz Carl Palmer's drum solo was embedded in this one. Most of the times drum solos are welcome only by drummers, but this guy knows how to enthrall the audience! Mr. Palmer isn't just an extraordinary drummer, he's also a great entertainer. So it's no surprise that he was one of the first drummers inducted to Modern Drummer Magazine's 'Hall Of Fame'. After showing his technical skills the fans applauded enthusiastically. And for the final part of The Heat Goes On the others returned. And Sole Survivor marked the end of the set. After such an amazing set the fans wanted more and as the band hasn't played their biggest hit, everybody was confident, that they would return. And they did! First Astra's Go and then Steve Howe let them over into Heat Of The Moment - and the place was on fire! "You are a fabulous audience! We see you again soon, God bless you!" were the final words of John Wetton before Asia left the stage. Asia still have this magic and it was great to see them on stage again. And they know how important it is to have a professional crew, so the sound was superb and the light technician performed a magic light show with a fraction of what others think is necessary.
Thanks for a trip down memory lane!