Well played, fresh sounding, and highly energetic, Asia's Live in Moscow proved to be their best on-stage album, captured during their 1990 European tour. Featuring John Wetton, Carl Palmer, Geoff Downes, and newcomer Pat Thrall (most notably from the Pat Travers Band) replacing Steve Howe on guitar, the band sounds enthusiastically sharp where it matters most. Howe's absence is indeed apparent, but the band comes through on the biggies like "Heat of the Moment" and "Only Time Will Tell," while giving secondary hits like "Don't Cry," "Go," and "Time Again" new life. Geoff Downes teases the audience throughout his keyboard solo, playing an acoustical version of "Video Killed the Radio Star" from his days with the Buggles. Renditions of King Crimson's "Starless" and "Book of Saturdays" pass the test, and "Kari-Anne," a new track, is par for the course. Live in Moscow became the last solid effort from Asia, since it was followed by disasters like Aqua in 1992 and Aria in 1994, as the band's lineup was repeatedly inconsistent.
Live in Moscow 1990 Review
by Mike DeGagne