Asia

Ovation at Green Valley Ranch, Nov. 10

Thirty years after the release of its chart-topping debut album, the prog-rock “supergroup” no longer can fill arenas, but instead is playing clubs and theaters this tour. With the foursome filling the small Ovation stage, they played much of that 1982 album, opening with “Only Time Will Tell” and “Wildest Dreams,” before delving into the rest of their catalog, including three songs from their latest album XXX. Guitarist Steve Howe played an acoustic set, and singer/bassist John Wetton and keyboardist Geoff Downes performed a couple of newer songs without further accompaniment. Taking drummer Carl Palmer out of the mix for such a long period dragged the show’s energy level down, but his return for the driving “Cutting It Fine” and “Holy War,” which led into a fiery Palmer solo, brought the pulse back up. Asia had been playing its 1982 single “Sole Survivor” to lead the encore at nearly every other show this tour, but chose to skip it here, instead sleepwalking though its signature hit, “Heat of the Moment,” before leaving the stage. It was a weak ending to a show that could have delivered much more. ★★☆☆☆

Suggested Next Read

Look back to the future with classic sci-fi

Book Jacket

Look back to the future with classic sci-fi

By M. Scott Krause

Is it possible that one of my favorite books of 2012 is actually a two-volume anthology of classic science fiction novels from the 1950s, compiled by sci-fi scholar Gary K. Wolfe? In the case of American Science Fiction: Four Classic Novels 1953–1956 (Library of America, $35) and American Science Fiction: Five Classic Novels 1956–1958 (Library of America, $35), the answer is yes. Both books are available separately, or in a handsome slipcase for $70.

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