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Monday, March 1, 2010

Rock News for Monday 1st March, 2010

Neal Schon Band announces US tour dates

In a slight correction and update if you will from my posting here on Saturday, it seems Neal Schon will be playing more than one tour date after all!

Announced through the Journey website, Neal Schon and his bandmates, no not Journey, but the line up I posted here on Saturday, including his former Soul SirkUS band mate, Marco Mendoza will hit the road in March kicking off on March 17th, at the Bluebird Theatre in Denver, CO.
Sadly for most of us though, the run of 9 dates announced includes 6 dates in his native California.
Here's hoping he adds a few more across the country. 

Current confirmed dates as follows:
March 17, 2010 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater
March 18, 2010 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot
March 19, 2010 - Henderson, NV - Green Valley Ranch Resort
March 20, 2010 - Modesto, CA - State Theatre
March 22, 2010 - Chico, CA - El Rey Theatre
March 25, 2010 - San Juan Capistrano, CA - Coach House
March 27, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
March 30, 2010 - San Diego, CA - Belly Up
March 31, 2010 - Los Angeles, CA - House of Blues - Sunset

Further Details from Frontiers on the new Asia album 'Omega.'

ASIA, rock’s first important super-group of the 80s - featuring members from Yes, Emerson Lake & Palmer, King Crimson and The Buggles – will release 'Omega,' its highly anticipated new album of original material. The record is due in the spring of 2010 on Frontiers Records.

Geoffrey Downes, Steve Howe, Carl Palmer and John Wetton, the four original Asia members, reunited in 2006, twenty-three years after all four had last played together. The much publicised reunion resulted in highly successful world tours, a double live LP and DVD (entitled 'Fantasia: Live In Tokyo') and an acclaimed studio album 'Phoenix' in 2008 which debuted at number 73 in the Billboard charts in the USA and entered the top 100 in several European countries.

Formed at the dawn of the MTV era, Asia’s first release was the best selling album in the world in 1982 and sat at the number 1 spot in the USA for 9 weeks, powered by the classic rock anthem, “Heat Of The Moment,” and four other radio hits. Asia’s 1983 sophomore album, 'Alpha,' also went multi-platinum and enjoyed several hit singles, including the #1 smash, “Don’t Cry”. During the recording of its third disc, the band splintered, and by the 1990s, only Geoff Downes remained from the original line-up.

The reunion came to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the band, but morphed itself into an ongoing endeavour. In 2008, they returned with the first new studio album, 'Phoenix,' which had been strongly influenced by the fusion of talents and heritages that the band excited the music world with back in 1982. 'Omega' shows a new renaissance for this amazing group of musicians, which seem to live up to a joie-de-vivre that stands the test of time.

Begun during the summer 2009, the writing and recording sessions of Omega, immediately showed inspiration and good feelings. “We were looking to create something different with Omega,” says keyboardist Geoff Downes. “Of course, the sound of the 4 band members of Asia will always have a certain hallmark when we play together. That's a given. But we approached the song writing with a mind to getting a degree of variety into these compositions. Hence, you will hear areas of textures where arguably we have never gone before.”

Adds lead vocalist/bassist/guitarist John Wetton: “Asia is an English prog-rock band with a pop edge, always has been, and hopefully always will be. Accessible, melodic, anthemic songs with great playing, luxuriating in a bed of lush orchestration, with lyrics that strike a sympathetic chord in even the most cynical heart. There you have it, Omega is a themed album in Asia's fine tradition, without the millstone of a concept.”

Steve Howe adds that “the whole recording process has been inspiring and rewarding, and I’m very excited about the result”.
“I would say these are all strong individual songs” says drummer Carl Palmer. “It was a very smooth experience, and arguably one of our best records.”

For the first time since the debut album, ASIA worked with an outside producer, Mike Paxman (Uriah Heep, Status Quo, Judie Tzuke) who managed to create a truly special sounding album with the highs, lows and lots of dynamics. He helped the band to put together a tapestry of sound, which demonstrates the rich strata of Asia's music. Paxman was able to achieve this through the songs which spun real stories of actual events and experiences in locations around the globe. “The songs always have a message, hopefully positive,” says Wetton. “My songs are almost always autobiographical, so there is hope and experience in there, too. The lyric will never leave you on a negative thought."

As with the most popular of ASIA releases, the cover art specifically designed for the project by acclaimed artist Roger Dean. The concept of the title (Omega), and the 'Year of the Tiger' referencing of the cover art underline the fact that this is real Asia. John Wetton explains: “The title 'Omega', as any fan of the band will tell you, is 'very Asia' (as is the album, by the way). It no more means 'final' than 'Alpha' means 'the first' (which it wasn't). It's a great sounding/looking word, and a bookend to 'Alpha'. In many ways, musically and conceptually, the two albums share commonality.”

“We are embarking on our European tour around the middle of April, then straight in to Japan for the middle of May” says Downes. “It's going to be fun working out the new setlist because obviously we have another album under our belt now with Omega.”

After touring Europe and Japan, ASIA will embark on a US tour late in the summer of 2010.

Omega will be released in the first pressing in digipak with one exclusive bonus track:
Finger on the Trigger; Through My Veins; Holy War; Ever Yours: Listen Children; End of the World; Light The Way; Emily (*); Still The Same; There Was a Time; I Believe; Don't Wanna Lose You Now.
(*) Bonus track first pressing in digipak.
To hear sample tracks from 'Omega,' go to the Frontiers site here:

April 2010
Apr. 21 - Helsinki, Finland - House of Culture
Apr. 22 - Moscow, Russia - B1 Club
Apr. 24 - Rome, Italy - Auditorium
Apr. 26 - Prague, Czech Republic - Lidovy dum Kbely
Apr. 27 - Winterthur, Switzerland - Salzhaus
Apr. 28 - Graz, Austria - Orpheum
Apr. 30 - Paris, France - Casino De Paris
May 2010
May 1 - Uden, Netherlands - de Pul
May 2 - Asschaffenburg, Germany
May 3 - Nuremburg, Germany - Hirsch
May 4 - Pratteln, Switzerland - Z7
May 6 - Reichenbach, Germany - Die Halle
May 7 - Bochum, Germany - Zeche Prinz-Regent-Strasse 50-60
May 8 - Osnabruck, Germany - Rosenhof Rosenplatz 23
May 9 - Bonn, Germany - Bruckenforum

For All Things ASIA, please visit:

It Bites re-record 'Calling All The Heroes' with friends, for Charity aid
80's Prog / Pop band, It Bites are making a plea to help out many of the people that suffered in the terrible floods in Northern England, specifically Cumbia, to folks to 'Please buy 'Calling All The Heroes'!'

As you may know already, It Bites has teamed up with Francis Dunnery, Steve Hogarth & Pete Trewavas of Marillion, John Wetton & Geoff Downes, Jason Perry from 'A', and Jem Godfrey (Frost*) to re-record their Top 10 hit from 1986 'Calling All The Heroes', in order to raise money for the Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund.

It is available now for download from iTunes (make sure it's the version with a release date of 21 February 2010 please!), or from Amazon:

An accompanying video has been made by Russell Cherrington and the students from the Film & Television Department at the University of Cumbria. This is available for sale via iTunes.

There will also be a 4-track CD including the video available for sale soon, via and a number of Cumbrian shops, as well as at the forthcoming gigs (tour starts next Friday 5th March in Glasgow).

The band would be very grateful if you could please spare the cash to buy it, and maybe ask all your friends to buy it too - add it to your MySpace and Facebook statuses, Tweet about it on Twitter (feel free to make use the #itbites hashtag, and it might become a trending topic!), post on your various forums du choix etc.

Incidentally, It Bites will be playing some tour dates as follows:
Mar 5 2010 8:00P - O2 ABC 2 Glasgow, Scotland
Mar 6 2010 8:00P - Academy 3 Manchester, Northwest
Mar 7 2010 8:00P - Sheffield City Hall Sheffield, Midlands
Mar 9 2010 8:00P - The Sage Gateshead, Northeast
Mar 10 2010 8:00P - Assembly Rooms Leamington Spa, Midlands
Mar 11 2010 8:00P - O2 Academy 2 Oxford, South
Mar 12 2010 8:00P - The Tunnels Bristol, Southwest
Mar 14 2010 8:00P - O2 Academy London, London and South East

Mar 19 2010 6:00P - Club Quattro Shinsaibashi
Mar 20 2010 6:00P - Shibuya East Shibuya

G ' N' R - Axl is stressing out again .... 10, 9, 8, 7 ......

Oh boy, just when you think the guy won't go and do or act in some stupid way to bring the wrong attention to himself ..., well, Axl Rose goes and posts this through the bands MySpace page:

Sunday, February 28, 2010 - IMPORTANT NOTICE!!!

There are NO new Guns N' Roses shows added to our current onsale itinerary dated as of February 25th. This means NO SHOWS in Panama, Costa Rica or Guatemala regardless of ANYONE's claims or ticket sales. These dates or ANY additional dates anywhere other than those already previously announced and on sale before February 25th will NOT BE HONORED. There will be NO EXCEPTIONS until further notice here on this my personal twitter account. If you have purchased tickets to ANY suggested new dates being offered after February 25th please contact your place of purchase for refunds. We apologize for any inconvenience.

There are indeed tour dates posted at the 'official' Guns 'n' Roses website:
and those same dates are also posted on the aforementioned MySpace page ...
We can only guess that maybe they've announced these dates and they aren't prepared to consider adding additional dates in South America and someone must've been bugging and bugging Axl to ask if there were to be more.
Anyway - if they go ahead - here are those dates that the band HAVE posted!

March 2010
Mar 7 2010 8:00P Ginásio Nilson Nelson Brasília, Distrito Federal
Mar 10 2010 8:00P - Ginásio Jornalista Felipe Drumond (Mineirinho) Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais
Mar 13 2010 8:00P - Palestra Itália Stadium São Paulo, São Paulo
Mar 14 2010 8:00P Praça da Apoteose Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro
Mar 16 2010 8:00P - Fiergs Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul
Mar 18 2010 8:00P - Estadio Centenario Montevideo, Montevideo
Mar 20 2010 8:00P - Estadio River Plate Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires (Ciudad Autónoma de)
Mar 22 2010 8:00P - Club Hipico de Santiago Santiago, Región Metropolitana Santiago
Mar 25 2010 8:00P - La Explanada Sur del Estadio Monumental Lima, Lima
Mar 27 2010 8:00P - Poliedro de Caracas Caracas, Distrito Capital
Mar 30 2010 8:00P - Parque Jaime Duque Bogotá, Bogotá (Distrito Capital)
 April 2010
Apr 1 2010 8:00P - Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa Quito, Pichincha
June 2010
Jun 5 2010 7:00P - Käpylän Urheilupuisto (Helsinki Live 2010) Helsinki, Uusimaa
Jun 12 2010 7:00P - Norje Havsbad (Sweden Rock Festival) Norje, Blekinge län

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