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Emerson Lake & Palmer: 40th Anniversary Reunion Concert (Blu-ray)

Playing together for the first time since their 1998 tour, ELP took to the stage at the July 25th 2010 High Voltage Festival and played a nostalgic (and fairly predictable) set in front of thousands of rabid fans. Captured in high-definition and presented on crystal clear Blu-ray, the folks at MVD have delivered this show in all its glory.

Despite some rough going at the outset during "Karn Evil 9" and "The Barbarian" (the band look under-rehearsed and not as tight as we've seen them in the past, with Emerson noticeably making a few mistakes and seeming to have a hard time keeping up), the band soon settles in and delivers a high energy set that thrills the crowd with a host of classic songs. "Knife Edge" and "Touch and Go" show the trio at their hard hitting best, with "Bitches Crystal", "Take a Pebble", and "Pictures at an Exhibition" providing for the more atmospheric moments and longer, melodic arrangements. A much heavier Greg Lake pulls out the acoustic guitar for the staples "From the Beginning" and "Lucky Man", while the rousing finale "Fanfare for the Common Man/Drum Solo/Rondo" sees the band offer up plenty of theatrics just like they did back in the early 1970's.

The video here is superb (though you really can notice just how much these three musicians have aged) and the sound excellent. As there is no way to tell if this performance might have been the last for the legendary ELP, if you didn't make it over to England for 2010's High Voltage Festival, you'll want to pick this Blu-ray up and savor the show over and over again.

Track Listing

  1. Karn Evil 9-1st Impression-Part 2
  2. The Barbarian
  3. Bitches Crystal
  4. Knife Edge
  5. From the Beginning
  6. Touch and Go
  7. Take a Pebble/Piano Solo/Tarkus
  8. Farewell to Arms
  9. Lucky Man
  10. Pictures at an Exhibition
  11. Fanfare for the Common Man/Drum Solo/Rondo

Added: October 21st 2011
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: MVD Entertainment Group
Hits: 2244
Language: english

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Emerson Lake & Palmer: 40th Anniversary Reunion Concert (Blu-ray)
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-10-21 02:21:57
My Score:

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends…

Those words have proved to be prophetic indeed. ELP is one of the most influential progressive rock bands the world has ever known and with their 40th Anniversary Reunion Concert DVD their legacy is assured, not that it wasn't before but this is a nice way to say goodbye (?) to their fans. Listening to this concert is like taking a trip down memory lane and on this night of July 25 in Victoria Park, London, England at the High Voltage Festival, the trio really gave their fans what they wanted to see; a night filled with bombast, pageantry and warm feelings all around.

This was the band's first performance since 1998 and although they show signs of the passage of time and have put on some weight, especially Lake, they can still play. The band sounds almost as good as they did in their heyday which is quite an achievement. Palmer is still a monster behind the kit showcasing his awesome talent in every song, playing with a controlled fury that few are able to achieve. Emerson is as virtuosic as always, adding just the right degree of symphonic bombast to the performance, although it did take him some time to warm up. Lake's voice still sounds very good and although it may have gotten a bit deeper with time, his warm tone is still welcoming.

The set list reads like a greatest hits album, from the classic "Karn Evil 9", a fine choice to start the evening once all members found their stride to the concert ending "Fanfare for the Common Man" which includes a huge Palmer drum solo on his now famous rotating stage. There is not a bad song in the bunch including ripping versions of "Bitches Crystal", "The Barbarian" and "Touch and Go". More poignant moments include the classic "Take a Pebble" and the beautifully poignant "From the Beginning" where ELP show they can be just as effective in mellower realms. Of course, the night would not be complete without my personal favourite "Lucky Man". Lake had some technical glitches early on but they were soon corrected and it was not a distraction.

This is a high definition DVD in Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. It looks and sounds great and really brings that night back to life. The stage features two large screens and cool lighting throughout especially during the dramatic "Pictures At An Exhibition" and the aforementioned "Fanfare for the Common Man", both a real feast for the senses.

Also included are interviews with all three band members by DJ Nicky Horne. It is an interesting and insightful listen.

Truly one of rock's most legendary acts, ELP proves they still have it in them. For fans of the band and progressive rock in general, this is mandatory.

*This is not the blu-ray addition*

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