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Asia - Axis XXX Live in San Francisco CD (album) cover




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2.71 | 13 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars Time and time again

Since the original line-up of Asia reunited in 2006 they have flooded the market with live albums. It started in 2007 with Fantasia - Live In Tokyo, an excellent DVD (and double CD), and the only one that you will need. Fantasia was recorded before the release of the studio album Phoenix and featured a very strong set list containing not only every track from the band's self-titled 1982 debut album, but also songs originally recorded by King Crimson, Yes, Emerson Lake & Palmer, and The Buggles.

Following 2008's Phoenix, the band then released another live album/video called Spirit Of The Night - The Phoenix Tour Live In Cambridge 2009. This one was still good but it featured a considerably less interesting set list, especially with Fantasia already out there. Gone were most of the songs from the members individual pasts. After the next studio release - 2010's Omega - yet another live album appeared, called Resonance. The track list once again featured almost the same songs from the band's first two albums plus several songs from Phoenix and Omega.

This brings us to the present album which is yet another double disc set with the same line-up recorded on tour in support of the XXX ("triple X") album. Once again we get to hear a very predictable set of songs including standards like Only Time Will Tell, Time Again, Don't Cry, The Smile Has Left Your Eyes, Sole Survivor, and the ultra-tedious Heat Of The Moment. These songs have been played so many times and been included on countless live albums. The newer songs are not awful, but also not too exciting. I wish they had done something less predictable and included more rare songs and songs from the members individual pasts.

The inclusion of the early, non-album B-side Ride Easy would have been more interesting had it not already been included on the aforementioned Fantasia. However, the version featured here is somewhat different making it worthy of mention. Something else worthy of mention is Steve Howe's acoustic set, which is always nice.

Like I have said before, Fantasia - Live In Tokyo is the only live release you need from the reunited Asia. The subsequent several live releases are just too similar and offer too few surprises to be of much additional interest even for fans of the band.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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