Welcome Back, My Friends, to the Show That Never Ends!

–Lachman Balani

For classic rock lovers, that is a saying that is reminiscent of the iconic band Emerson, Lake and Palmer (ELP).

Carl Palmer, original band member of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, is making sure that is the case as he tours the world with Paul Bielatowicz and Simon Fitzpatrick keeping the ELP legacy alive.

Earlier this week , Palmer , looking as fit as a fiddle, walked onto the stage at The Rose Theatre in Brampton and without further ado showed the audience the stuff he is made of with thunderous beats of his drums at lightning speed leaving the patrons awe-struck right from the start!

“Man he just came on like a bat outta hell!” exclaimed a fan.

After the death of his former band mates Keith Emerson and Greg Lake within a few a months of each other last year, Palmer has been touring hard under the banner “Emerson, Lake and Palmer lives on : Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy” . The concert consists of two totally instrumental sets of ELP’s greatest hits. ELP as many classic and progressive rockers will know was one of the best shows in the 70s full of pizzazz, great showmanship and zapped out music drawing rave reviews from many quarters.

After the breathtaking beginning, Palmer stood up and introduced the other two members of his band, recited a small anecdote and announced his next song and once again went back to smash the hides of his drums. This was the pattern throughout the concert. A song, a story announcing his next number and back to energetic drumming at dizzying speeds!

ELP were known for extended songs and Palmer and his band did not disappoint with long songs from “Welcome Back My Friends, to the Show That Never Ends”, the songs “Jerusalem”, Knife Edge”, “Lucky Man”, “Pictures at an Exhibition” and many more including King Crimson’s (Greg lake was a member) “21st century Schizoid Man”.

Simon on his Chapman stick also played a stunning song from his album “The Planets Suite” and Paul’s incredible melodious solo on his guitar from his album “Preludes & Etudes” sent the listeners to a plane of blissful elevation.

Throughout the performance a screen at the back showed images of the 70s era and also newspaper snippets of  ELP as well as some humorous clips from the TV programs “Cheers” and “The Simpsons” that included allusions to ELP.

But what knocked everyone out of their seats was Carl Palmer’s dramatic 10 minute long drum solo towards the end that manifested the warp speed that gained him fame. He still showed he had it as he flipped his drum sticks in the air, caught them deftly and kept on pounding away on the snares, cymbals, high hats, toms and just banging the bass drums with his feet even as he thwacked the gongs behind him with mallets. This was the finest moment with Carl in his element!

“Like, he’s a maniac!”  another fan burst out.

There was thunderous applause as the whole auditorium stood up and clamoured for more, and of course Palmer came on again and gave us another dazzling display of phenomenal drumming!

At the end of the show, yet another fan asserted loudly:  “There was Bonzo (John Bonham of Led Zeppelin) and there was Moon (of The Who) but there still IS Carl Palmer!”




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