That’s because Asia has been touring with its original lineup – vocalist / bassist John Wetton, guitarist Steve Howe, keyboardist Geoff Downes and drummer Carl Palmer – since 2006.
Considered one of the first “supergroups” of the 1980s, Asia came together when a record company A&R man arranged a meet-up between Howe and Wetton. Palmer soon joined as did Downes who Howe knew from the days when the keyboardist played in Yes in 1980.
These days Asia is prepping for a U.S. tour in support of its latest album, Omega, the band’s second studio album since regrouping four years ago.
“It’s a collection of songs, from the rocky, strident opening of ‘Finger On The Trigger’ to the wistful ‘Thank You,’” Wetton said. “As for our audience … in ‘Don’t Wanna Lose You Now,’ it’s talking to you, the listener. (Omega) gives you a sequence of real stories; stories that actually happened. The stories are set in a fairly lush, sophisticated production of what Asia is known for, concise, mature rock songs without the gratuitous meanderings of our Alma Mater.”
The tour begins in New Bedford, Ma., at the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center Aug. 2, plays Alexandria, Va., at the Birchmere Aug. 3 and stops in Jim Thorpe, Pa., for a gig at Penn’s Peak Aug. 5. Other cities on the routing include Cleveland, Atlantic City, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Portland and Seattle.
For Howe, the upcoming tour represents a quick turnaround for more road action. The guitarist wraps up a tour with Yes July 15 in Snoqualmie, Wash., and goes back out as a member of Asia less than three weeks later. However, he doesn’t seem to mind the additional mileage.
“This is very something very sweet,” Howe said. “I am liking it very much. It came at the right time for me.”
For more information on Asia and the Omega tour, click here for the band’s website.