When the Widow of John Wetton Played With Asia at Tribute Concert

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John Wetton and wife Lisa, via her Facebook page

The members of the group Asia paid tribute in a special concert event to their late co-founder John Wetton on June 17, 2017. And in a truly memorable moment, Wetton’s widow, Lisa (Nojaim) Wetton, herself a drummer-percussionist, joined the band for the evening’s finale to perform their first single and biggest hit, “Heat of the Moment,” from their 1982 debut album.

The event, billed as “An Extraordinary Life,” at Englewood, NJ’s Bergen Performing Arts Center, was an interactive celebration where fans were able to contribute to the remembrances of the acclaimed musician.

Wetton, who was Asia’s lead vocalist, bassist and co-writer, lost his struggle against cancer on January 31, 2017, at age 67, just as the band was about to embark on a four-month tour as special guests of Journey.

“An Extraordinary Life,” a reference to one of the band’s most popular songs, paid tribute to Wetton with special guest Billy Sherwood of Yes, filling in as bassist and vocalist. Also appearing were current Asia members: Carl Palmer, Geoff Downes, and Sam Coulson. The group did a full set of Asia music, as well as some of the best-loved classic rocksongs from the members’ previous bands including Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s “Lucky Man” and “Fanfare for the Common Man” and the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star.” (See the full setlist below.)

In addition to the Asia performance, the evening included rare video clips of the band, historical footage and fan remembrances of Wetton and his music. He initially rose to fame in King Crimson. He then co-founded UK and later was the frontman and co-principal songwriter of the supergroup Asia, his biggest commercial success.

Asia was formed by musicians who were already established stars in their own right. Each member came with a proven pedigree: singer/bassist Wetton, drummer Palmer (Emerson Lake and Palmer), guitarist Steve Howe (Yes) and keyboardist Downes (Yes, the Buggles).

“An Extraordinary Life,” Bergen PAC, Englewood, NJ, June 17, 2017 Setlist

Wildest Dreams
Sole Survivor
Time Again
Don’t Cry
Ride Easy
The Smile Has Left Your Eyes
Lucky Man
Video Killed the Radio Star
Fanfare For the Common Man
Only Time Will Tell
Heat of the Moment

Watch Asia with Lisa Wetton on drums perform “Heat of the Moment” at the John Wetton tribute concert

Asia is performing the “Heat of the Moment” tour in 2024. Tickets are available here.

Related: Tributes poured in for Wetton

Best Classic Bands Staff

1 Comment so far

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  1. Kurt
    #1 Kurt 20 June, 2017, 23:36

    Billy Sherwood was not a “special guest”. He is the current bassist and lead singer for Asia. Most fans know this already. Anyway, I love the video used here!

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