The new ASIA set to embark on 2019 “Royal Affair” Tour with Yes, John Lodge Band, and Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy.
Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal joins line-up as new singer/ guitarist.
Original guitarist and former member STEVE HOWE to make guest appearance each night.
The dragon has risen again.
Two years after the band’s critically acclaimed and successful US trek opening for Journey, an all-new ASIA line-up will return to concert stages across North America as special guests of the YES “ROYAL AFFAIR” tour. The influential British Rock band that rose to the top of the charts with its initial albums and a number of hits including “Only Time Will Tell,” “Heat Of The Moment,” “Don’t Cry,” and “Sole Survivor,” returns with a new line-up that includes founding members Carl Palmer on drums, Geoff Downes on keyboards and backing vocals, and current Yes bassist Billy Sherwood.
Joining the band for the first time is lead guitarist and vocalist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, an acclaimed solo artist and former member of Guns N Roses for eight years. Thal is also in the prog-rock band Sons Of Apollo.
The invitation to join the band came from both Palmer and Downes, after Geoff had worked with him in a project called The Platinum Rock All Stars. “Ron is a remarkably innovative guitarist,” says Downes, “with a multi-range lead vocal ability. I believe it will give our material a whole new dimension.”
Also appearing on the tour with YES and ASIA, will be Moody Blues member John Lodge and his band and Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy, with special guest vocalist, Arthur Brown. Founding member and original guitarist Steve Howe will join ASIA on stage each night on the Royal Affair tour to play on a few of the band’s biggest hits and honor the memory of his friend, John Wetton. It will mark the first time Howe has performed with the band since his departure in 2013.
Asia’s debut album exploded onto the music scene in April 1982, featuring Billboard top 10 classics amongst six radio hits. It became the best-selling album in the World in 1982. Featuring Geoff Downes on keyboards, Steve Howe on guitar, Carl Palmer on drums and John Wetton on lead vocal and bass, Asia was the logical successor to their collective bands of the 70s – Yes, ELP, King Crimson, UK and The Buggles.
Asia became one of the most played acts during the first year of MTV. Throughout most of ’82, Asia ruled the radio airwaves and MTV, selling out every date on tour as the debut album crushed all the competition in record stores around the World.
The original line-up of ASIA reformed in 2006. It was the first time the four original members had worked together in 23 years. After Howe’s departure, the band regrouped in 2013, with guitarist Sam Coulson and a new studio album, Gravitas, followed. Tragedy struck in January 2017, when John Wetton lost a valiant battle against cancer, just as the band was about to embark on a 43 date tour opening arena shows for JOURNEY. Despite this huge loss, the band recruited old friend bassist Billy Sherwood from YES and completed the tour, triumphantly. In 2018, Coulson left the line-up to concentrate on solo projects, with sincere gratitude from ASIA for his five years of contributions.
“”The original members of Asia were progressive musical heroes of mine,” says Ron Thal. “ It’s a great honor to be asked to play with these legendary musicians with a legacy of great songs, and also contribute some of my own musical ideas. Very much looking forward to our time on the road together.”
“There is a great energy when we step on stage,” says Geoff Downes. “We can feel it and I know the fans can feel it.” For ASIA’s long-devoted fans, the band’s return to the concert stage cannot come soon enough.” And Downes confirms: “It is what John would have wanted”.
As Carl Palmer has said in the past: “Performing on stage is where this band truly comes into its element. Seeing the fans reacting to our music is what makes it all worthwhile. It is the fuel that drives this train we call ASIA.”
ASIA on THE 2019 “ROYAL AFFAIR TOUR” with Yes, The John Lodge Band, and Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy with Arthur Brown.
|WED||6/12||Bethlehem, PA||Bethlehem Event Center|
|FRI||6/14||Farmingville, NY||Long Island Community Hospital Amphitheater|
|SAT||6/15||Atlantic City, NJ||Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena|
|SUN||6/16||Holmdel, NJ||PNC Bank Arts Center|
|THU||6/20||Westchester, NY||Westchester County Center|
|FRI||6/21||Pittsburgh, PA||Stage AE|
|SAT||6/22||Baltimore, MD||MECU Pavillion|
|MON||6/24||Toronto, ON||Budweiser Stage|
|TUE||6/25||Lewiston, NY||Artpark Amphitheater|
|THU||6/27||Bethel, NY||Bethel Woods Center for the Arts|
|SAT||6/29||Gilford, NH||Bank of NH Pavilion|
|SUN||6/30||Providence, RI||Bold Point Park|
|WED||7/3||Rochester Hills, MI||Meadow Brook Amphitheatre|
|FRI||7/5||Columbus, OH||Express Live|
|SAT||7/6||Aurora, IL||RiverEdge Park|
|MON||7/8||Nashville, TN||Grand Ole Opry House|
|WED||7/10||Cary, NC||Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park|
|FRI||7/12||Clearwater, FL||Ruth Eckerd Hall|
|SAT||7/13||Hollywood, FL||Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino|
|THU||7/18||St Augustine, FL||St. Augustine Amphitheatre|
|SAT||7/20||Irving, TX||Toyota Music Factory|
|SUN||7/21||Rogers, AR||Walmart AMP|
|WED||7/24||Phoenix, AZ||Comerica Theatre|
|FRI||7/26||Las Vegas, NV||The Joint (Hard Rock Hotel & Casino)|
|SAT||7/27||Irvine, CA||FivePoints Amphitheatre|
|SUN||7/28||Saratoga, CA||The Mountain Winery|
TO PURCHASE TICKETS: www.yesworld.com/live
MORE DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED!
Watch the promotional film about the ROYAL AFFAIR TOUR:
Two years ago, John Wetton passed away after an extended battle with cancer. John remained optimistic throughout, and expessed excitement about an upcoming tour with Journey. He is missed immensely, but the musical legacy he left behind continues to be celebrated—it remains a cherished part of so many lives.
An extensive and modular box set celebrating John’s life and legacy will be released this year, including new contributions from John’s many peers around the world. Stay tuned to @officialjwetton and @qedgmanagement for news as it happens.
The John Wetton Estate and Geoffrey Downes are pleased to announce the re-release of the iCon Trilogy of albums, now remastered with bonus tracks in six panel digipacks.
The re-releases have been personally overseen by Geoff Downes and are intended to be a return to the marketplace of individual albums for fans who may wish to purchase a definitive edition.
Of his song-writing relationship and the formation of iCon, Geoff Downes says, “Throughout my entire career, there is no doubt in my mind, that some of my proudest achievements have been the songs that I wrote with the late John Wetton. Not only were we great friends, but also blood brothers in the song-writing department…We also had the luxury of working with some of the finest musicians in the world who were willing participants in the project.”
Please visit Geoff’s web site for more details and ordering information.
Shown here (Standing L to R) Bruce Pilato (Asia tour mgr); Madison Cain; Journey’s Jonathan Cain; Journey’s Steve Smith; Asia’s Geoff Downes. (Seated L to R) Asia’s Sam Coulson; Journey’s Ross Vallory; Ken Silva (Journey Tour Accountant) and Asia’s Carl Palmer.
The members of ASIA and JOURNEY (bands and crews) recently took time from their sold out US tour to have a dinner together at the trendy Pappas Bros Steakhouse in Houston, Texas. A great time was had by all.
Brian Aberback of The Record:
A fortuitous day off on Asia’s tour schedule and the band’s fondness for the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood have cleared the way for a special night of music and fan interaction honoring John Wetton. Asia’s singer-bassist died of colon cancer in January at 67.
Jay Lustig of The Record:
As part of the bergenPAC show, which is subtitled “An Extraordinary Life: An Interactive Celebration of the Life and Music of John Wetton,” clips of Wetton will be shown. And Asia fans have been encouraged – via social media and the group’s website, originalasia.com – to send in photos and videos of Wetton, some of which will be shown before and during the show. Wetton will also be the subject of a question-and-answer session featuring Asia members and others.
Over the last several months, Carl Palmer has been underway with the creation of an art piece in tribute to ASIA bandmate and musical collaborator John Wetton who passed away on January 31, 2017. The piece titled “Heat of the Moment” is now in a limited edition of just 50 pieces.
To purchase or learn more, please visit carlpalmerart.com.