Just got back from the Asia/Kansas show in Mason, Ohio. It was an excellent show and a good time was had by all. Asia was the opening act and put on quite a fine show. They opened with 'Sole Survivor' and played at least 90% of the first album. They all seemed to be in really fine form. I'm a huge Carl Palmer fan and I must say, he was absolutely spot on all night. Steve Howe was right on the money as well. I had never seen John Wetton or Geoff Downes live before so I had nothing but video and cd"s to gage their performance by, but they were outstanding also. John Wetton has put on some weight and looks alot like Greg Lake now. His voice was in quite good form and his bass playing was extremely tight. Geoff Downes had an excellent sound and played very tight as well. The show was very good and tight and concentrated on Asia's first two albums. They also played outstanding versions of Roundabout, Fanfare For The Common Man, In The Court Of The Crimson King, and Video Killed The Radio Star. The only problem during the show came on 'Here Comes The Feeling', which is my favorite Asia tune. Steve Howe's amp rig shut down on him right at the start of the song. The band kept playing and sounded great but no Steve. Finally they brought out a new amp, set it up on top of his cabinet, and finally got it cranking just before the end of the song. Carl's drum solo came during 'The Heat Goes On'. He was awesome just as you would expect. The crowd responded great. I noticed alot of ELP t-shirts in the crowd! Overall, Asia put on an excellent show. I was certainly glad to be there. Kansas was up next. I've seen Kansas at least 8-10 times. This was the second time I have seen this line-up with David Ragsdale on violin and Billy Greer on bass. I've seen Billy Greer several times before, so many that it"s almost like he's been there forever. But I must say, This was the best this line-up has ever sounded. Steve Walsh played all the keys and STUCK to his vocal parts while Billy Greer and David Ragsdale handled Robbie Steinhardt's vocals. I still really miss Kerry Livgren and Robbie Steinhardt, Especially Kerry!!!
But it is what it is!!. Kansas put on a great show. Both bands fed off of the crowd. I must tip my hat to the City of Mason, Ohio. They put on a really excellent 4th of July party!!! There was at least 20-25,000 people there and the bands were very impressed with the crowd. Both bands said that it was the biggest crowd that they had played for in many years. The show was followed by a spectacular fireworks display with music from the stage and P.A.
I was blown back!!!! This show was free to the public and my hat is off to the city of Mason, OH. The best 4th of July I've had in a long time!
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