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progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members.

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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

dvd & video review

John Wetton - Live in the Underworld - 2003
Dear Mr. Wetton,

Firstly I´d like to thank you for informing me of your first solo DVD. As you know, I´ve been your fan for years and I consider myself as a happy collector of your whole work, from bands such King Crimson, Asia or UK, your collaborations with Roxy Music, Rare Bird, Family, Uriah Heep or Wishbone Ash, or your most nominal appearances (Martin Darwill and Friends). I suppose your hand still aches after signing all my albums as I interviewed you during your last trip to Madrid.

After a videographic saturation of Asia´s material, a DVD like this is always welcome. Not only for the tracklist but also for the intimate and personal touch that the small english club provides. Don´t worry, I prefer this ambient rather than the cold and synthetic feeling of a stadium´s show. In the same way, your bandmates for this show (Martin Orford (IQ) on keyboards, John Mitchell (Arena) on guitars, and Steve Christey (Jadis) on drumset) give your songs a progressive feeling, that dissimulates the AOR aroma of your lastest recordings.

I´m happy you´ve shut up the mouths of those who accused you of being at the mercy of mainstream and living on your private incomes thanks to boring acoustic shows. You still know how to rock and you know that you´ve a repertoire good enough to turn pale a 90% of musicians born in the 50´s. Since the progressive Ayatollahs won´t have another excuse, they´ll say that “Starless” here is not like King Crimson, that some mellotrons are missing, that Mitchell is not Fripp, etc. Never mind. You know you´re part of the history of “Red”, “In the dead of night”, “Rendez-vous 6:02”, or “Starless”. And you play “Red” as the opener because you want to, and you play the whole version of “Starless” because you want to. Please don´t care about progressive talibans; Martin, John, and Steve are great in this show because they don´t pretend to emulate Robert, Eddie, or Bill.

In this concert you mainly play songs taken from your solo albums. Namely: “Battle Lines”, “Walking on air”, and “Crime of Passion” from your amazing comeback as a solo artist (I notice that you don´t trust on “Caught in the crossfire”); and “After All” from “Sinister”. Furthermore, and while other artists base their tours, supposedly supporting a new album but playing 99% classic songs, you bet on your new material and play four songs taken from the new album “Rock of faith” (“A new day”, “Nothing´s gonna stand in our way”, “Who will light a candle”, and “Take me to the waterline”), intermingled with your classic songs. You only play two songs from each classic band and, even you could play more songs of the multiplatinum Asia, you only choose “Sole Survivor” and “Heat of the moment”. As bonus features there is “Battle Lines” video-clip, with images from the film “Chasing the deer”, as well as a live cover of The Beatles “Ticket to ride”. An amazing DVD with only a few gramatical mistakes (“Soul Survivor”)

You´re still the Sinatra of progressive rock, and here you prove it although your voice is not the same as in 1980; you´re still keeping your overwhelming personality... but now it´s time to examine your conscience: you´re now in a point of no return... you can become a progressive crooner or give up the stages leaving to us the memory of your legend. Please keep on releasing new albums and, please, delight us with all kind of unreleased material; I´m sure you´ll have in your wardrobe quality and quantity to fill dozens of Cds and DVDs. Don´t let the people wonder themselves, ¿will Wetton´s show just like the acoustic show in Madrid, or will it be like “Live in the Underworld” DVD?. It wouldn´t be fair.

Finally I say goodbye, but I´d like to thank you again for all the good moments you´ve given me with your music. Of course I´d like to congratulate you on this amazing DVD, highly recommended.

Yours sincerely,

Alfonso Algora - November 2003
rating - Classic Rock Productions

 

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