Above you see a one-song preview video of the album, Symfonia,Live In Bulgaria 2013, by ASIA. This is the band performing “Wildest Dreams” live in the Roman Theatre Plovdiv on the 21st September 2013. Released earlier this year, this not only our video for today, but also a music pick in the 2017 PopCult Gift Guide. The CD is packaged with a bonus DVD of the entire concert that sees the Prog-pop band performing with a symphony orchestra in an ancient Roman amphitheater. This was released following the death of ASIA frontman John Wetton, and is dedicated to his memory. This is the perfect gift for any fan of the band, or just great 1980s music in general.
The band is captured in fine form, with terrific sound quality. The orchestrations are tasteful and not intrusive and their then-new guitarist, Sam Coulson, establishes himself as an incredible musician. You don’t really miss Steve Howe, who left the band to concentrate on his work with YES by this point. Carl Palmer lights up the drums, as usual, and Geoff Downes handles the keys and backing vocals with a confidence that was lacking in the band’s early years.
While this is essentially a CD with a bonus DVD, the DVD is actually the main attraction. It’s great to actually see the band playing live and the setting is visually stunning. Seeing Wetton healthy and in strong voice is a little bittersweet, but it is a great way to remember him. The only knock on the DVD is the lack of good shots of Palmer, but other than that, it’s an epic show.
All the hits are are here, “Heat of the Moment,” “Only Time Will Tell,” “Soul Survivor,” and many others, plus there are great album tracks and tunes from their more recent reunion albums.
ASIA: Symfonia,Live In Bulgaria 2013 is a wonderful tribute to the late John Wetton, and a must-have for any fan of the band, ASIA. You ought to be able to find it at any retailer who sells new music, or snag it from Amazon.