The Royal Affair Tour, the new North American package trek featuring headliners Yes, plus Asia, Moody Blues singer/bassist John Lodge and Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy, gets underway tonight in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
As a founding member of Asia and the leader of the Emerson, Lake & Palmer tribute act ELP Legacy, drummer Carl Palmer is one of a few musicians who will perform will multiple groups every night of the tour.
Asia will introduce a new lineup on the trek, now that former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal has joined the group as lead singer and guitarist.
“[Thal has] worked out incredibly well as a lead singer,” Palmer tells ABC Radio. “He has a very similar timbre to what [late original Asia frontman] John Wetton had.”
Rounding out Asia’s lineup are founding keyboardist Geoff Downes and bassist Billy Sherwood, who both currently play with Yes. In addition, Carl reveals that original Asia and longtime Yes guitarist Steve Howe will reunite with Asia to play “on the last three or four tunes” of the band’s set.
Meanwhile, ELP Legacy will feature guest singer Arthur Brown, the eccentric frontman of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, a group that Carl played with in 1968 and ’69. Palmer says Brown will serve as emcee of the entire concert, and will sing his old group’s 1968 hit, “Fire” with ELP Legacy, along with Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s “Karn Evil 9” and “Knife-Edge.” Filling in on bass with the band will be David Pastorius, a nephew of late jazz legend Jaco Pastorius.
Carl says each act’s sets will be enhanced with presentations on a giant digital video wall that he promises “will all look very exciting.”
Here are of all the Royal Affair Tour dates:
6/12 — Bethlehem, PA, Sands Bethlehem Event Center
6/14 — Farmingdale, NY, Long Island Community Hospital Amphitheater
6/15 — Atlantic City, NJ, Mark Etess Arena at Hard Rock Casino
6/16 — Holmdel, NJ, PNC Bank Arts Center
6/20 — White Plains, NY, Westchester County Center
6/21 — Pittsburgh, PA, Stage AE
6/22 — Baltimore, MD, MECU Pavilion
6/24 — Toronto, ON, Canada, Budweiser Stage
6/25 — Lewiston, NY, Artpark Amphitheater
6/27 — Bethel, NY, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
6/29 — Gilford, NH, Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion
6/30 — Providence, RI, Bold Point Park
7/3 — Rochester Hills, MI, Meadow Brook Amphitheatre
7/5 — Columbus, OH, Express Live
7/6 — Aurora, IL, Riveredge Park
7/8 — Nashville, TN, Grand Ole Opry House
7/10 — Cary, NC, Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park
7/12 — Clearwater, FL, Ruth Eckerd Hall
7/13 — Hollywood, FL, Hard Rock Live – Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
7/15 — New Orleans, LA, Saegner Theatre
7/16 — Sugar Land, TX, Smart Financial Centre
7/18 — St. Augustine, FL, The Saint Augustine Amphitheatre
7/20 — Irving, TX, The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
7/21 — Rogers, AR, Walmart AMP
7/24 — Phoenix, AZ, Comerica Theatre
7/26 — Las Vegas, NV, The Joint – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
7/27 — Irvine, CA, Five Point Amphitheater
7/28 — Saratoga, CA, The Mountain Winery
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