Filmed & recorded at a show in Krakow, Poland on April 11, 2003, Amorata is a triumphant return for famed singer/songwriter/bassist John Wetton after a year of personal problems. Looking better than he has in a while, and sounding in fine form, Wetton and his band (Arena's John Mitchell on guitar, IQ's Martin Orford on keys & flute, and drummer Steve Christey) cover 65 minutes of classic King Crimson, Asia, UK and Wetton solo material.
Highlights...well, there's many here to talk about. On the King Crimson numbers, the band rampages through a heavy version of "Red", led by Mitchell's power chords and Wetton's nimble bass runs. "Book of Saturday" gets royal treatment, as does "Easy Money", complete with the complex middle section. The real gem though is "Starless", a progressive rock classic that features Wetton's soaring vocals and emotional guitar work from Mitchell. Asia's "Sole Survivor" features some beefed up guitar thanks to Mitchell's Gilmour-meets-Rabin-meets-Satriani licks, and Wetton duets with Orford's piano on "The Smile Has Left Your Eye." A surprisingly raucous version of UK's "In the Dead of Night" is quite effective, and the band also tackles "Rendezvous 602" as well. Of the solo tunes, "Battle Lines", the catchy "Nothing's Gonna Stand in Our Way", and the gorgeous "Emma" are standouts, and although these songs are much different stylistically than the prog numbers, it adds a nice contrast to the set. The band encores with a rousing version of the Asia classic "Heat of the Moment", as the crowd enthusiastically joins in on the vocals and hand claps.
Included is an informative interview with Wetton, although the odd camera angles (do we really need to see close-ups of John's eyes?) and bad sound ruin it at times. A nice biography and discography also make for enjoyable reading, but should have been proofread as it lists Wetton forming UK with Brian Ferry instead of Bill Bruford. Overall though this is a very fine and enjoyable DVD, and probably the only place where you will get to hear and see some of these songs. Recommended.