Greg Lake: Westbury, NY, April 22, 2012
After a question about Emerson, Lake & Palmer's Trilogy album (Atlantic, 1972), Lake commented that, "The three best ELP albums, in my opinion, are Tarkus (Atlantic, 1971), Trilogy and Brain Salad Surgery (Manticore, 1973)." When a Russian-born member of the audience explained that the Trilogy album changed his life, Lake thanked him for his support and explained that he felt that, "If someone buys your record you owe them a live performance."
Following a few more questions, the concert resumed with a cover of Jimi Hendrix' "Axis: Bold As Love," which was preceded by a story about how ELP was formed. Lake explained that Keith Emerson and he wanted to form a keyboard/bass/drum band, and as such they approached drummer Mitch Mitchell, who had been the drummer for The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Lake explained that, "When rumors of the group started to circulate, Robert Stigwood, the manager of Cream, called and suggested Carl Palmer." They jammed and the rest was kismet. Of Hendrix, Lake explained that "Jimi was one of a kind" and that his music was brilliant. "I hope I can do it justice," he said before he played his homage to the guitar virtuoso.
"C'est La Vie," "Lucky Man," which "was written when I was 12-years-old" (and was recorded purely by accident with extra studio time), and a cover of Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready," on which Lake showed his keyboard prowess, rounded out the set. At the end, the ecstatic crowd stood and gave a very enthusiastic ovation. Lake thanked the audience and disappeared behind the curtain and into the darkness.
After a few minutes, Lake reappeared and gave the crowd a truly moving and appropriate encore. The evening's final performance fittingly was "Karn Evil 9," with the truly moving and appropriate lyrics:
"Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends
We're so glad you could attend
Come inside! Come inside!
There behind a glass is a real blade of grass
Be careful as you pass
All Photos: Christine Connallon