Time is slowly chugging along here at FOB Blessing. Nothing of great import has transpired since last update with the exception of my removal from ADVON which means I will be coming home in late June or early July as opposed to late May. That change has its pros and cons with the main negative being more time away from home but almost everything else is positive. The ADVON providers have to setup the medical footprint and get everyone at home ready for the return of the brigade so it’s a lot of coordination that can be somewhat of a pain. The other positive is that it will be one or two more months of the extra combat pays so that will come in handy.
Of most significant import on the musical front is that yesterday we got tickets to see Yes with Asia (Steve Howe will be pulling double duty) July 15th at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth. Of all the concerts and musicians I have been able to see over the years, there are still a couple of my all time favorites that I have never seen live and Steve Howe is at the top of the list. I was able to catch Yes on the 90125 tour with Trevor Rabin (a fantastic show and I was very happy to see that lineup) but I have always felt I missed a great opportunity to see Steve Howe with the classic lineup, playing the more classic era song list. Unfortunately (depending on your viewpoint) Jon Anderson & Rick Wakeman have both had some medical issues that have kept them from performing so Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Alan White have enlisted the duties of Oliver Wakeman (Rick’s son) on keyboards and Benoit David (a Yes tribute band member) on vocals. According to reviews from a short tour last winter, David sounds like the Jon Anderson of the 70’s and does an incredible job on the old tunes. Another benefit of this lineup is that they can perform tunes from Drama which Jon Anderson always refused to do. So it’s possible this set list will be about the most varied and interesting they have performed in a long time. I’m fairly sure they will perform Close to the Edge in entirety and that’s worth the price of admission alone. I’m really looking forward to Machine Messiah or pretty much anything from Drama.
But if that wasn’t enough, they are being joined by Asia with the original lineup and they should be able to draw tunes from the first two albums as well as the most recent studio album “Phoenix” which was released a couple of years ago. Asia comes from a unique genre in that it’s the closest thing to Progressive Pop, definitely the most successful next to the 90125 Yes of that era. The nice thing is that the “Phoenix” is actually a great album in their catalog and it seems like the album they should have released after the first two. Asia had many forgettable lineups and albums in the intervening years between “Alpha” and “Phoenix” but this tour is shaping up to very promising.