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MD5 Record Set:    Disc 1    -    Disc 2 -    Disc 3 -    Disc 4 -    Disc 5 -    Disc 6
  • Band / Artist
  • Concert Date
  • RoIO Title
  • Venue
  • Asia
  • 1982-04-29
  • Sole Survivors
  • Orpheum Theatre
  • Town / City
  • State / Prov.
  • Country
  • File Format
  • Boston
  • MA
  • USA
  • FLAC
  • Recorder Number
  • Sound Quality
  • Entered By
  • Date Entered
  • Rec 1
  • Good
  • davebowman
  • 2019-10-28 12:27:30
  • Asia 1982-04-29 Orpheum Theatre, Boston, MA, USA Balrog Source, Lestat Remaster, Gromek Art, FLAC 16-44.1 Lineage: 1982: Nakamichi CM-100/CP-1 > Nakamichi 550 (Dolby B in) > Maxell UD XL II 2011: Maxell UD XL II > Nakamichi Dragon (Dolby B out) > RDL FP-UBC6 > MOTU 896 > Sound Forge Audio Studio 9.0 > Wave [96kHz/24 bit] > Izotope RX, Audition Pro with Izotope Ozone [mastering and downsample/conversion to 44.1KHz/16 bit] > Wave > FLAC Disk One: 01 Time Again 02 One Step Closer 03 Without You 04 The Ancient 05 Clap 06 Midnight Sun 07 Only Time Will Tell 08 The Smile Has Left Your Eyes 09 Cutting It Fine 10 Wildest Dreams Disk Two: 11 Here Comes the Feeling-> Carl Palmer solo-> Here Comes the Feeling 12 Soul Survivor 13 Heat of the Moment Contrast Clause: The raw version of this recording has been in circulation for many years. One version previously on Dime was ripped and converted to SHN by Zerosun666. Recording Notes: The recording was made from front-row balcony, somewhat off-center. Three microphones were used as an experiment and the mix changes somewhat during the show. The band had PA trouble that night but it's difficult to identify when it occurred from the recording. Performance Notes: In Barry's opinion, they sounded the best they ever have on that first tour. The enthusiasm for the material was still there. Lestat Notes: I think we all agree this is Asia at their best. Later Asia performances had their charms including the important 1983 "Asia in Asia" visual record featuring Greg Lake, and even the 2007-2010 reunion tours offered some fascinating covers of the members' other bands including Yes, but when I heard this 1982 delivery I became depressed at never having gotten a chance to see them on that tour. Anyhow, we have a Balrog AR of it and can be eternally grateful for that. As he notes below however there are some issues stemming from Asia's PA output and mix, which became more and more evident as more detail uncovered in the remastering process. Not the least among them is some very noticeable and quite frustrating distortion in all guitars and vocals. Vocals also have an unpleasant 'early PA' aspect evoking the tinny, 'boxy' sound of amplified ballpark announcers and speeches from the 1930s. The PA mix is also rather less balanced than we'd expect from a band like Asia, with Wetton's bass especially high and Palmer surprisingly low. Bass guitar is so strong in fact it makes natural realism in things like toms and kick drums impossible to reveal fully without the former becoming too much. Being the very beginning of the first tour I guess we shouldn't be surprised. Bugs do happen even to the best at such times. Another bug in the PA output was uneven amplitude, which will be noticeable between left and right channels in some tracks and in both channels of other tracks otherwise even. Some balancing has been done, but only in the narrow parameters the recording will permit without itself becoming "mixed," to wit, artificial sounding and not what the audience heard. Efforts to mitigate SQ issues overall were successful to varying degrees, and the resulting audio while not the best of "BLG" by any means does qualify for the label. The detail, depth and definition we set as our goal are in place, along with the "you are there" sound we strive for. Between the new transfer and remaster we're confident it now sounds better and more realistic than any version previously circulated, Asia sound system flaws and all. Remaster Summary: EQ and other work to reveal - not mix - extant AR detail, to every extent possible as the audience heard and felt it. No need for or attempts to alter band-crowd-venue sound balance as audience volume was well below that of band, locally and at a distance. No compression or noise reduction applied. Tape hiss is noticeable, especially during the quieter musical sections, but even there the signal to noise ratio remains favorable enough to avoid risky NR. Balrog (Barry) Notes: What I remember most about this concert is that I went to a record signing at Strawberries on Memorial Drive in Cambridge that afternoon. I had my album cover signed by all four band members and chatted with each briefly. As I was leaving I begged Steve Howe to do a solo tour someday. He wasn't interested then but he finally did many years later. I also remember it being the only time I ever had someone else sneak my equipment into the Orpheum. The security was particularly tight for that show. Because the seats were front-row balcony and completely unobstructed, I decided to experiment with three microphones. The 550 had a "center- channel" mike input but came with no instructions whatsoever as to how to use a three-mike mix to make a stereo recording. If you listen very carefully, you can hear the stereo mix change slightly as the show goes on. The conclusion was that the third mike adds nothing to the quality of the recording so I never used it again. My goal in taping concerts has always been to achieve time travel. I want go back in time and relive musical experiences that were much too important to me to allow them be heard once and lost forever. And I want the experience to be available to everyone who loves the music, including future generations. Anyone who has ever taped a concert knows that there's a price to pay, not only in terms of money spent and risk taken, but in the way it diminishes your own enjoyment of the show. You have to monitor the mikes and the deck. If you allow yourself to get too much into the music and forget about the equipment, you screw up. So it's sort of like being the designated driver. You can enjoy yourself, but not too much. The reason I bring this up is to point out how much Lestat's remastering work makes up for the enjoyment lost at the time the recording was made. Now I can relive the experience while completely relaxed. Other than the absence of venue ambience, it's not much different from being there. With no equipment to worry about I can let the music carry me to places I've never been. I sincerely hope it provides the same enjoyment for you. Gromek Notes: I'm happy to be onboard again for another BLG project! This Asia performance is a wonderful and vibrant one, full of energy. It is clear that the band were enjoying themselves. This being the fact also helped me in creating the cover art you are now reading. I hope the complete package is to the listeners likings. I did not want to recreate another Roger Dean cover art, that has been done too many times before, but the work that Dean brought us in the past has certainly influenced me. How could it not? This art collage is my own, even though i am using images that were all found on the Internet. I hope I put in that little bit of Gromek, that is liked by so many, to make it so. May this cover art package give you that extra dimension when listening to this splendid Balrog recording, remastered by Lestat, who both performed wonders in bringing it to us (both in their own way)! Joe the Destroyer Notes: The 1982 arrival of ASIA as the latest prog-related band was a mixed pleasure for fans of their earlier bands. On the one hand, we were surely glad to have such capable musicians back into productivity, and one could hardly fault pairing a guitarist of Steve Howe's caliber with a rhythm section made of Carl Palmer & John Wetton. Palmer was the prog-drummer without equal, and Wetton had already proved himself equal to filling Greg Lake's shoes in King Crimson. It was like rolling ELP & Yes (the two giants of prog-rock) into one. On the other hand, this was 1982: Ground Zero for the Death of the 70s, as dance-bands with synthesizers rapidly overtook the airwaves. Even nouveau-prog bands like Rush & Styx had dropped their prog pretensions like last year's leg-warmers, and ASIA looked like yet another casualty for those who appreciated grand musical statements: no classical structures, no multipart suites, and certainly no Mellotron. Signed to Geffen Records, ASIA produced & marketed themselves like a commercial pop band and scored their arrival with a genuine hit single. The dinosaurs of prog-rock had risen up in response to their punk challengers, staked out territory in the new sonic landscape, and held their own. But at what musical cost? The slickly-produced album tended to make the songs sound all of a piece -- a balm upon the ears of radio listeners, and all the rage in pop music production at the time. As TV began to dictate what radio would play, the visual took precedence over musical skill, and music left the realm of how musicians sounded in person for an ethereal radioworld of machinelike perfection. The "Machine Messiah" seemed to have won. Where did this leave the superskilled musicians of yore? Well, here's the evidence: from the opening notes, this is a band clearly NOT far removed from Howe's then-recently deceased band -- "Time Again" draws almost direct comparison to "Machine Messiah" before launching into its own. And (unlike the 1979 ELP album) this was not a band run out of energy, but quite the opposite: ASIA were sure of themselves, and out to conquer the airwaves in a way that U.K. never could, and Yes no longer did. The songs themselves are shorter and less grandiose than what these musicians had done before. Still: without the distraction of glossy production, we hear the continuation of Yes' DRAMA album that ASIA's first album really meant to be all along. And in concert, we hear it energetically presented by a band fresh in its reformation -- a band no longer weighed down by expectations from earlier recordings. Oh sure, the expectations were there; their audiences were predominantly fans of their earlier bands. But, barring Steve Howe's solo spot, ASIA could afford to ignore all that. And they did, without let or apology. Listening to this performance, we can hear why: there are dozens of little bits tucked in and around the songs: a bit of mini-Moog here, a rhythmic arrangement there, all cleverly wrapped around choruses you could sing along with. "Time Again" is bookended by its heavy riff, and includes a marvelous tradeoff of dissonant chords after the chorus. "Cutting it Fine" features a coda section which serves all the grandiosity we expect from a prog band. "Here Comes The Feeling" allows a Palmer showcase right out of his 70s work, though thankfully not quite as long as he did previously. It's there; it's just much more to the point. And that's ASIA really in a nutshell: more concise than before, without forgetting where they had come from. That would soon change, and ASIA's fortunes would drop accordingly. Eventually they would reform & pick up where this first album left off, but that's another time & story. This story is one part phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes, one part still-got-it, one part successful-transformation-with- integrity. It's not all glory; all those new synthesizers on the market mean that Geoff Downes' keyboards occasionally date themselves. But he also brought a cutting-edge sound to the band without losing the link to the past the fans in the audience cherished. It's not so easy to remember this now, but at this time, there was no sign of there ever being another Yes, or anything like it. Since 1976 (when Johnny Rotten called Yes out as dinosaurs), progressive rock had slowly buckled under like the emperor's new clothes. By 1982, they were virtually all gone -- replaced by Rod Stewart & Pat Benatar; Duran Duran & Thomas Dolby. If you really looked, there was a New Wave band calling itself King Crimson that sounded more akin to the Talking Heads (who had scored only minor success at that time). Genesis had already begun shifting to New Wave, when their lead singer wasn't doing outright pop. At the time, ASIA was the newest, brightest star in the prog-rock stable -- and in commercial rock at the same time. Not a bad trick for a bunch of dinosaurs. Thanks to this excellent audience capture, we who were not there can hear what we missed, and those few who were can sit back and enjoy ASIA when it was new. Hope you enjoy.