Fantasia: Live in Tokyo (2007)

Disc One 1. Time Again 2. Wildest Dreams 3. One Step Closer 4. Roundabout 5. Without You 6. Cutting It Fine 7. Intersection Blues 8. Fanfare for the Common Man 9. The Smile Has Left Your Eyes Disc Two 1. Don't Cry 2. In the Court of the Crimson King 3. Here Comes the Feeling 4. Video Killed the Radio Star 5. The Heat Goes On 6. Only Time Will Tell 7. Sole Survivor 8. Ride Easy 10.Heat of the Moment


Billed as the Reunion of the "Classic" lineup. First, it needs to be pointed out that the classic lineup only lasted for the band's first two albums. By the time we got around to the 1990s, the band Asia, sadly, became a joke.

Oh sure, they've released tons of albums in the last two decades, but the lineup was always constantly splintered, and apart from keyboardist Geoff Downes, it would never remain consistent. Drummer Carl Palmer and guitarist Steve Howe would make an occasional cameo, but their presence was never enough to make a significant difference. Singer/Bassist John Wetton was also absent, and his replacement (John Payne) simply sounded too different to be an adequate replacement. I've listened to all of the albums featuring the bastardized Asia, and none of them are seriously worth reviewing (many were never released commercially in the U.S.), so I don't include them in my reviews.

Which brings us to this record. The classic lineup reunites in, of all places, Asia. Specifically, Tokyo, Japan. The record here represents nothing surprising since these guys only had two albums together (and many would argue only one was any good). So they feature the entire first album (plus a b-side), scattered with a few of the strong tracks from album number 2 (Alpha). To stretch things out, each guy takes their strongest track from their "pre Asia" career and features it here. Surprisingly, Geoff Downes Video Killed the Radio Star is quite good here.

Sadly, the band sounds a bit weary, and the audience, while enthused, sounds awfully small. One would hope they would play before a bigger crowd in Tokyo, but apparently not. If anything, the record would spark a resurgence of everyone's favorite hated art rock band, with several studio albums to follow. Results would be mixed.

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