Wetton/Downes’ Icon – Acoustic TV Broadcast (DVD)

John Wetton/Geoffrey Downes Icon
Acoustic TV Broadcast DVD

Frontiers Music/Zink Music
Released 2006
Rating: 1.5/5

By stripping a selection of their songs bare, John and Geoff demonstrate how they originally sounded around the piano accompanied by acoustic guitar and bass. ELO’s Hugh McDowell joins them on cello and the three guys clearly enjoy themselves, but where is the spirit, the fun, and most of all the commitment to the music? It was a long time since I witnessed such a boring live DVD. It looked like the three guys didn’t enjoy themselves a bit, and the whole experience is a demonstration in how a boring DVD should be made.

Mr. Wetton looks extremely uncomfortable and Mr. Downes only looks down on his piano. It doesn’t say when and where this concert was broadcast. The studio where it’s recorded looks like a poor porno set, the filming is a standard job, and the guys sit with full lighting throughout the whole show. There isn’t any audience present and John Wetton does a bad job lip-syncing the lyrics. Sometimes he starts and ends the sentences too slow and too fast and it really shows that he sings “singback”. There’s also a keyboard used and a big choir but neither of them are shown, so where the hell are they?  The setlist isn’t the same as on the CD, even though it says it’s recorded at the same time. The bonus material consists of shorter interviews with Wetton/Downes made by someone called Big George. There’s also a behind-the-scenes film and a photo gallery.

This is really an extremely poor DVD and the only ones that benefit from this DVD are the hardcore Asia fans. I can think of better things to do than sit and watch three middle-aged gentlemen lip sync a live broadcast. This could have been done in so many better ways, but as it looks now the DVD only deserves a 1.5 rating, and even then I’m being generous. The Wetton/Downes Icon DVD is Boring with a capital B!!

But even though the DVD sucks, they still have a few nice songs, like “Heat of the Moment”, “Voice Of America”, “Sole Survivor”, and “Only Time Will Tell”.

John Wetton – lead vocals, bass, guitar
Geoffrey Downes –  piano
Hugh McDowell – cello

More info about the band
Voice Of America
Let Me Go
Only Time Will Tell
God Walk With Us
The Smile hAs left Your Eyes
Heat OF the moment
Don’t cry
Sole survivor
Meet me at midnight
Open your eyes
I lay down
In the end