Asia did their part to help bring Western culture to the Soviet Union and stimulate its downfall. In the winter of 1990, lead vocalist/bass guitarist John Wetton, keyboardist/vocalist Geoff Downes, and drummer Carl Palmer -- three-fourths of the original supergroup -- and journeyman guitarist Pat Thrall played two sold-out shows to 20,000 fans at the sterile-looking Olympijski Stadium in Moscow, Russia, near the Kremlin. The 72-minute video Live in Moscow documents the historic event and includes performances of Asia classics like "Only Time Will Tell," "The Heat Goes On" (complete with an exciting drum solo from Palmer), and "Heat of the Moment," which is saved for the grand finale and expands into a long jam. Brief interviews with Wetton, Downes, and Palmer don't offer much insight, but the documentary footage shot on the streets does. "Prayin' 4 a Miracle" -- a new song from the flawed 1990 collection Then & Now -- is actually a music video of the band performing outside in the snow on a Moscow street. A more typical music video of "Kari-Anne," a brand-new average song, is included. Other surprises include nuggets from Wetton's past: U.K.'s "Rendezvous 6.02" and King Crimson's "Book of Saturday." Musically speaking, Thrall's guitar work is the biggest drawback; at times, his playing is too flashy and veers too much toward heavy metal, and that doesn't match the tasty style of original guitarist Steve Howe, or even the work of Howe's first replacement, Krokus' Mandy Meyer. Live in Moscow, which was also released on CD, will only really appeal to longtime fans of progressive rock.
AllMusic Review by Bret Adams