Asia – “High Voltage Live” CD / DVD (Frontiers Music)
Asia is a super group made up of 4 members from notable British progressive rock bands – John Wetton (King Crimson, Uriah Heep and Wishbone Ash), Steve Howe (Yes), Geoff Downes (Yes)and drummer Carl Palmer (ELP). Playing a modern and highly melodic form of 80s prog that took them into the realms of AOR, Asia’s self titled debut scored hits with the likes of ‘Only Time Will Tell’ and my personal fave ‘Heat Of The Moment’, selling over 10 million albums worldwide, attracting both traditional proggies along with fans of Boston and Journey. As with all super groups, there were countless line up changes bringing in the likes of notable musicians like Mandy Meyer and Pat Thrall with Downes probably being the only mainstay in the band, as Asia recorded some nine albums until 2008’s “Phoenix” that heralded the return of the original line-up. In 2010 the inaugural High Voltage Festival took place in London’s Victoria Park, with Asia playing their entire debut along with songs from their 2 recent reunion albums. Although recorded in 2010 – and live was the word given a commemorative CD was apparently made available to festival goers on the day – what has been lacking has been the video footage now captured on the 11 track bonus DVD that features the aforementioned hits, along with ‘I Believe’ from “Omega”, Asia’s twelfth album that was released in the same year. Whilst the sound quality on the CD has always been debatable in coming across as somewhat flat, and doubly disappointingly so given the enthusiastic crowd response, the DVD is something else and more than makes things up, being filmed up close and most of all with a proper sound quality mix. Although the High Voltage festival itself seems to have ceased as a going concern, this DVD at last does Asia’s performance that year true justice along with offering anyone who was there that day a special memento that will keep the memories real for both aged band and fans alike.