Monday, May 07, 2012

Greg Lake at the One World Theater

Being a keyboard player, I was heavily into Progressive Rock, growing up. It should be no surprise then, that my favorite band was Emerson, Lake, and Palmer (ELP). I was fortunate enough to have also met Emerson and Palmer in Poughkeepsie, back in 1988, when they were touring with another band, 3. I have never had a similar opportunity to meet Greg Lake, however.

Time has moved on, ELP reformed and broke up several times, and then Emerson's playing career was almost completely obliterated by a nerve disorder. Keith still performs, but is a shadow of his former self. It saddens me to know that this band is no longer able to execute their music.

A few months back, I noticed that Greg Lake was coming to the One World Theater to do a solo show. Greg is doubly famous in Progressive Rock circles, because not only was he a member of ELP, but he was also one of the original members of King Crimson.

Still thinking about the show during the day Saturday, I made a last minute decision and decided to go to the late show.

Arrival at the One World

Since there were two shows (an early one at 6:30 and a later one at 8:30), I arrived at the One World around 45 minutes early, in hopes of seeing Greg downstairs. I was also hoping I might get a picture or two then, because the One World does not allow people to photograph during their shows. Greg was nowhere to be found, and then I noticed a sign at the Merch table stating VIP packages were $125.00. Too rich for my blood.


After having a beer, I headed up stairs, found my seat, and ran into 4 fellow TOAPP Campers, Nathan Parse and his dad, and current King Crimson drummer, Pat Mastelotto with his wife, Deb. Ghosts of Crimson past and present this night, it appears.

I took my seat in the front row, and looked the stage over. The setup itself was very simple, with two stations for Greg to play standing or seated, and a single Nord keyboard. While the audience was seating themselves, they were playing King Crimson over the PA, including:

  • Moonchild
  • Kanye West's Power which features samples of King Crimson's 21st Century Schizoid Man

Greg came out in a dark suit, and has visibly gained a lot of weight. Enough that I am worried about the long term health impacts. For all but one song, Greg played bass or guitar and sang, accompanied by tapes or sequences.

He played two sets, with an extend Q&A session during the second set. He talked at length about his career, his own musical heroes (Elvis and the Beatles), and shared some interesting stories about Robert Fripp, H.R. Geiger, Keith Emerson, and Carl Palmer.

During the show, I was struck by how powerful and resonant Greg's voice still is. I found it to be an enjoyable night of music.

Set 1

  • 21st Century Schizoid Man
  • Lend Your Love To Me Tonight
  • From the Beginning
  • Heartbreak Hotel (Elvis Presley)
  • Epitaph - Court of the Crimson King (medley)
  • I Talk to the Wind
  • Hey, You've Got to Hide your Love Away (Beatles)

Set 2

  • Touch And Go
  • Trilogy
  • Still... You Turn Me On
  • I Believe in Father Christmas
  • C'est la vie
  • Lucky Man
  • People Get Ready (Curtis Mayfield)


  • Karn Evil 9, 1st Impression, Part 2