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Fantasia: Live in Tokyo [Blu-ray]
Fantasia Live in Tokyo
Actors: Asia, Steve Howe, John Wetton, Carl Palmer, Geoff Downes
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2009     2hr 35min


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Movie Details

Actors: Asia, Steve Howe, John Wetton, Carl Palmer, Geoff Downes
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: DTS
Studio: Eagle Rock Ent
Format: Blu-ray - Color
DVD Release Date: 03/31/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 2hr 35min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Essential for any fan of the original Asia line-up
moviemusicbuff | Walnut, CA United States | 10/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This DVD is the Asia fan's dream come true. An outstanding music DVD (filmed in Tokyo) which features the 4 original members (John Wetton, Steve Howe, Geoffrey Downes, and Carl Palmer), accompanied by excellent sound quality and camera work. The camera focusses on the band members playing and does not dart back and forth from the audience to the band members. What a relief! This DVD marks the 25th anniversary of the 1st Asia album, which came out in 1982.

The songset consists of 18 pieces:

1. Time Again
2. Wildest Dreams
3. One Step Closer
4. Roundabout
5. Without You
6. Cutting It Fine
7. Intersection Blues - Steve's Solo
8. Fanfare for the Common Man
9. The Smile has Left Your Eyes
10. Don't Cry
11. In the Court of the Crimson King
12. Here comes the Feeling
13. Video Killed the Radio Star
14. The Heat Goes On -- Drum Solo
15. Only Time Will Tell
16. Ride Easy
17. Heat of the Moment
Bonus Feature: Interviews with Asia

This DVD features most of their most well-known songs (Heat of the Moment, Only Time will Tell, Sole Survivor, Don't Cry, The Smile has Left Your Eyes), as well as some samplings from King Crimson (In the Court of the Crimson King) and Yes (Roundabout). I was especially surprised how well John Wetton sang "Roundabout" -- his full-bodied singing was outstanding and was a great re-endition of the Yes classic.

In celebration of the 25th anniversary, Asia sang the rare song "Ride Easy", which did not appear on any album but was the flip-side for the cassette of "Heat of the Moment" single (in 1982). This song was the favorite song of John Wetton in all of the Asia repertoire.

Steve Howe seemed to be really enjoying his playing, especially the solo piece "Intersection Blues". In other concerts, he was usually dour, but on this one he seemed like he was having fun. The only drawback in this DVD is that the sound does not quite pick up Howe's electric guitar, especially on songs like "Only Time Will Tell".

Most of the songs stick very closely to the studio versions, except for "Don't Cry" which is done acoustically. One of the best features in this DVD is the extensive interview of all the 4 original band members. Each member talked about his musical background, the bands they played in, how they got together to form Asia, and what Asia meant to them after 25 years. It was such a close and personal interview. It's so great to have these 4 outstanding musicians team up again after so many years.

If you're an Asia fan, run and buy this DVD! You'll be impressed! It is absolutely essential for your music DVD collection. The music and sound quality far surpasses all the other Asia DVDs - especially the Asia collection (which had very poor sound quality for the Moscow concert -- see my review for that DVD)."
Essential viewing for all serious music fans
Paul Bellocq | Slidell, LA USA | 10/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This one arrived upon my doorstep today and I just finished watching all of it, including the lengthy interviews. These are four gracious British gentlemen with some of the best musical pedigree in the business. Not one minute is wasted in the entire set list. I also highly recommend this DVD over the CD version, so that one can appreciate what is being played. For instance, that is not a true acoustic guitar that Steve plays in the opening of Roundabout.

Having been a fan of Asia throughout their entire history, I thought that Geoff Downes was the founding member, since he is the only one of these four who appears on all Asia releases. Well, the interviews dispell this myth along with a few others. He was actually the last to join this lineup.

When I first saw this 25th anniversary lineup announced, my cynical and jaded self figured that it was nothing but a dirty rotten money making scheme from record company execs. Wrong!!!! Having seen the interviews and the interaction on stage, there is a lot of mutual respect for each other and they all realize that the chemistry was just right in 1982 when their debut album was released. They can now look back on what went right and plan for their next new release. Yes, this does not appear to be a one-shot reunion for nostalgia and monetary purposes. Hopefully, they won't try to repeat what they did 25 years ago, because this can never be done again.

Looking forward to the new songs!!!"
Awful sound mix
Kpax | New England | 05/25/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Totally agree with a previous review about the sound mix on the Blu-ray disc - it's awful. You get 3 options, DTS-HD, Dolby 5.1, and LPCM. Both the DTS-HD and Dolby 5.1 are terrible - you can barely hear the guitar and anytime the keyboard plays it is way louder than all the other instruments. The only way this disc is watchable is by using the LPCM audio option, which doesn't suffer from the bad audio mixing, but still isn't worth paying extra for Blu-ray. Don't know if this is a problem with my player - it's a Panasonic DMP-BD35, but if you're looking for sweet DTS-HD sound, keep looking."
Excellent show!
Daniel E. Simes | Memphis, TN | 10/11/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is a very well done show. I was impressed by the fullness of the sound and the strength of Wetton's vocals after so much time. They didn't have to play down for any of his parts that I can tell...he sounded brilliant. I was VERY impressed with his singing on some of the non-Asia stuff, in particular "Roundabout". John Anderson is a tough act to follow, but Wetton performed the song so well I have to give him a lot of credit. He's a great vocalist and an excellent bassist.

All four players are in very good form, and deliver all the music with inspiration. The jam part of 'Fanfare for the Common Man' was excellent in particular, with some nice back-and-forth with Downes and Howe.

Howe can be kind of a dour guy, but he was obviously really enjoying this reunion tour and playing this material. He was animated and even mirthful at times! A consummate pro, his playing was wonderful and spirited, but I wish his guitars were up a bit more in the mix. Downes drowns him out at times (hence the -1 star from what would otherwise be a five star rating).

Carl plays great as always, with just a bit more restraint than he used to (which is a good thing in this context). His kit sounds good, and he is still a very good showman. I really liked his work here on "Sole Survivor", particularly towards the end of that track. Tasty!

Geoff is always fun to watch, and enjoys live playing very much. He is very deft and skilled on his assortment of keys and his sonic choices for the most part are spot on. He's a little high in the mix at times, but at least he always sounds good and plays very well. His featured bit at the end of "Cutting It Fine" is rendered very well here.

Overall a must buy for a fan of these musicians! These songs sound so fresh and alive the way they are played here. Bravo, gents! How about a new CD?