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Asia – Intermission (Soily 003/004)

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Intermission (Soily 003/004)

Massey Hall, Toronto, Ontario, Canada – May 8th 1982

Disc 1 (56:52):  Opening, Time Again, One Step Closer, Without You, Steve Howe Guitar Solo (The Clap/Surface Tension/Ram), Midnight Sun, Only Time Will Tell, The Smile Has Left Your Eyes, Cutting It Fine (Geoffrey Downes Keyboard Solo), Wildest Dreams

Disc 2 (53:32): Here Comes The Feeling (Carl Palmer Drum Solo), Sole Survivor, Heat Of The Moment.  Bonus tracks:  I Would Die For You, Days Like These.  “In The Studio”:  Segment One, Segment Two, Segment Three, Segment Four

About two weeks into their first tour Asia played the Massey Hall.  Toronto had always been very supportive of progressive rock bands and many important shows were played there like the opening date for Yes’ Drama tour in 1980.  

The May 8th, 1982 Asia gig exists on an excellent stereo audience recording taped very close to the stage and was previously released on  From The Horizon To Infinity (Peace Frog PF-313D).  It has very nice detail and dynamics with the occasional whoop and holler from audience members close by the recorder.

Two cuts in the tape, between 4:28 to 5:07  in “Cutting It Fine” and from 10:00 to 10:24 in the drum solo in “Here Comes The Feeling” are filled in by a soundboard recording.  It’s not clear if it from a separate show, however.  The editing isn’t too intrusive and does help the continuity.

The taper starts recording with the opening “Cutting It Fine” tape leading into the first song “Time Again.”  Afterwards there is a tiny change in the setlist.  “Wildest Dream,” the second number, is pushed back to the middle of the concert.  Asia continue with “One Step Closer” instead.  

After “Without You” Steve Howe has a ten minute long acoustic segment which includes “Mood For A Day,” “Clap,” “Surface Tension” and “Ram.” Several months ago an attendee posted his film of this segment online.  Calling it “quite spectacular,” footage from this tour is incredibly rare and it’s great to see a bit of the show in such amazing quality.  The filmer promises the entire show was filmed and will eventually post it online.

They follow with “a new song for Asia,” “Midnight Sun.”  Freshly written and arranged, it wouldn’t be released to the public until the following year.  “Only Time Will Tell” follows, another popular song from the album which received much play on MTV at the time.  They are a bit out-of-tune during the choruses, but Howe augments the song with “Tempis Fugit” sounding ornamental trills at the end.

Geoffrey Downes’ keyboard solo makes up much of “Cutting It Fine.”  It strangely sounds very similar to Rick Wakeman’s solos for Yes in the seventies including the thunderclaps at the end. 

The concert continues with Carl Palmer’s drum solo in “Here Comes The Feeling.”  His spot sounds less like his ELP solos and sounds more like Ginger Baker in “Toad.”  The short set ends with their two biggest hits, “Soul Survivor” and an elongated “Heat Of The Moment.”  Toronto is, by all accounts, a spectacular show and one of the best from their first tour.  

The bonus tracks include “I Would Die For You,” which was unreleased at the time but would come out in 2002, and the AC mix of “Days Like These” from the 1990 album Then & Now.

The final tracks on the second disc are a nice bonus, the “In The Studio” broadcast from September 17th, 1990.  The interviews focus upon the formation of the band, the history of the first album, and the first tour.

Intermission is one of the very few titles released by the Soily label in 1998.  It is packaged in a double slimline jewel case with glossy paper inserts.  It’s a very professional looking title of a great show and interesting bonus material worth having. 

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Asia - Intermission (Soily 003/004), 2.5 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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