28-IX-90 (Highland HL375)
Nakano Sun Plaza, Tokyo, Japan – September 28th, 1990
(67:04): Sole Survivor, Don’t Cry, Voice Of America, Prayin’ 4 A Miracle, Only Time Will Tell, Rendezvous 6:02, Book Of Saturday, The Smile Has Left Your Eyes (Part 1 & 2), Days Like These, The Heat Goes On (incl. Carl Palmer Solo), Go, Heat Of The Moment, Open Your Eyes
The 1990 release of Then & Now was consistent with the weirdness which always seems to hover around the band. Their first album since the disappointing 1985 Astra, it was a strange mix of six old songs from the first three albums and four new songs.
The album saw significant chart activity and the single, “Days Like These,” written by Steve Jones and featuring Steve Lukather on guitar, actually was a hit single when it reached number two on the American Mainstream Rock Chart.
Asia, with Pat Thrall playing guitar, toured the US and Japan in late 1990 including at least two shows at the Nakano Sun Plaza in Tokyo on September 28th and September 29th. The second show has been released before on Dragon Attack 1990 (Ayanami-001) and Now & Then 1990 (Mouses Night Records MNRCD-001).
28-IX-90 on Highland is the only title with the first Tokyo show. It’s a very good and loud audience recording that has about half of the show. Missing is the beginning tape, “Wildest Dreams” and all but a minute of “Sole Survivor.” Geoffrey Downes’ keyboard solo, which follows “Voice Of America” in the set, is cut as well as “Time Again.”
What is left is very good. The emphasis is upon the older material and the solo sections. But what is interesting is the performance of the old King Crimson song “Book Of Saturday.” They made a conscious decision in the past to avoid such songs, but it is a good opportunity to pull out songs like that which hadn’t been played for many years.
The more exciting numbers are the newer ones, including “Days Like These.” The slick hook in the chorus forces the audience to clap along.
Palmer’s drum solo is intact, but is played in “The Heat Goes On” instead of “Here Comes The Feeling” as on earlier tours. He plays a very melodic drum solo, even getting the audience to clap along to the fun.
“Heat Of The Moment” is the closing number. Wetton strangely sings “1982” instead of changing the year to ’90. Thrall also makes his presence felt, playing a hard edged heavy metal guitar solo in the middle. “Open Your Eyes” is the encore.
28-IX-90 is certainly an interesting title by Highland. It is good to have, but because it is so fragmented it certainly is NOT essential to have. There are better, more complete documents from the 1990 tour in circulation.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)