John Wetton, formally of Asia and King Crimson, performed at the Iridium Theatre in New York City about two years ago, October 14, 2013. Backed by the Les Paul Trio consisting of bassist Nikki Parrott, pianist Rodney Holmes, and guitarist Lou Pollo, he presented a short 37 minute set consisting of seven originals and two covers.
In some ways it was an odd choice of songs and an odd selection for a backing band. Many of the songs are stripped to basics with just Wetten’s acoustic guitar/voice and Holmes’ piano.
The covers are basically songs that Wetton’ enjoys. Steely Dan’s Do It Again,” the Beach Boys “God Only Knows, and Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin’ On” are straightforward presentations without a lot of energy. Nothing bad but not the quality one would expect from a musician of Wetten’s stature.
“All Along The Watchtower has a little more pep. His own “Heat Of The Moment” is a slow acoustic version far removed from the original. It is an experiment that works. His “Battle Lines” is superior to the studio version as it is a filled in song.
It all comes down to a concert that was performed from the heart. Unfortunately it is a recording that is not always kind to the ear.