Asia – Shepherds Bush Empire, London – 2nd November 2014

DSCF6918Tonight’s show was advertised as having an early start – with the doors opening at 7pm, Asia were due on at 7.30.  Things went as planned and Asia came on at 7.30 and kicked the night off with two songs from their very first album before playing a track from XXX which was released 30 years after that first album.  That really set the scene for the night – tracks from right across their entire career including two tracks (“Valkyrie” and “Gravitas”) from their new album, Gravitas.
The band sounded great, and it really was a great set.  One bit that seemed odd was that rather than giving the Carl Palmer a microphone he could use while seated at his kit, when he wanted to talk to the crowd between songs, he had to stand up and come out from behind the drum kit to talk into a microphone.  It was also unusual in that when we got the keyboard solo the rest of the band stayed on stage and waited to continue – in most bands they’d have left the stage during the solo.
The keyboard solo was very good – and so it should be with the amount of equipment they have – I counted seven keyboards and three laptops. – a crazy amount of stuff for a single keyboard player.

The drum solo though wasn’t good – it was superb. Normally I find drum solos very tedious, but this one was very impressive, despite him twice dropping a drumstick while doing a particularly tricky piece on the cymbals. Really this was a highlight of the set.  Carl Palmer really is one hell of a talented drummer.

After a very strong set filled with great songs, the band ended their set with a superb version of “Heat of the moment” and soon had the crowd singing along – a great way to end a great two hour gig.

The band were scheduled to play 50 minutes before an interval and then play the second part of the set, but in the end they didn’t bother stopping and just played straight through with a set around two hours long.  It felt strange walking out of a venue at 9.30, but after a great gig it was nice to be able to get an early train home for a change.


Sole Survivor
Wildest Dreams
Face on the Bridge
Time Again
Finger on the Trigger
I Know How You Feel
Keyboard Solo (Geoff Downes)
Voice of America
Drum Solo (Carl Palmer)
My Own Time
An Extraordinary Life
Days Like These
Don’t Cry
Only Time Will Tell
Open Your Eyes
Heat Of The Moment


Photos: Robert Sutton



About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.