Asia: Symfonia – Live in Bulgaria 2013 (Frontiers Music)

Symfonia – Live in Bulgaria 2013
(Frontiers Music)

Asia has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. A true supergroup, their melodies and John Wetton’s vocals have always struck a chord with me. I was thrilled to hear that three quarters of the original band (John Wetton, Carl Palmer, Geoff Downes) reunited in 2013 for a special show in Bulgaria as part of the Sounds of the Ages festival and overjoyed to learn that it had been recorded for release.

The show, recorded in the glorious Roman Theater of Plovdiv, features an impassioned performance of their hits, as augmented by the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra. Sam Coulson, member since 2013, handles Steve Howe’s parts flawlessly.

With Wetton’s recent passing, the release is now more of a celebration of his life than of a tremendous band. This album is a testament of true musicianship. It is a document that solidifies Wetton’s legacy as one of rocks great vocalists.