This, of all Asia's live albums, is one I'll treasure for all eternity, because it was this show in which I first got to see the band live. This album really showcases just how good Asia are. Each band member gets his moment in the spotlight- from Geoff and John duetting on the acoustic version of The Smile Has Left Your Eyes, to Steve Howe's awesome classical guitar solo (He's given MUCH more respect here than he has been recently with Yes) and Carl Palmer's simply stunning drum solo in The Heat Goes On. Carl actually dropped a drum stick during this, but his playing was so spot on that he didn't miss a beat, and calmly grabbed a spare from beneath his seat- I defy anyone to hear exactly where that occurred during the track! They even play a track from Astra during the encore, where Steve Howe puts his own spin on Mandy Meyer's original guitar riffs for Go- making it a more melodic rocker than one with a metal flavour. The crowd were more than pleased to see them, and John's banter with them shows the mutuality of it all, as Asia were more than pleased to put on a show. The atmosphere after the show was such that the homegoing crowd were singing Heat Of The Moment all the way on the tube, and many new friends were made that night as we discussed what we'd seen.
Put simply, the atmosphere and the musicianship on this album are spot on, and it's a perfect souvenir of one of my happiest live experiences to date. If you're an Asia fan, do not hesitate to snap this up!