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Keith Emerson - Keith Emerson Band Featuring Marc Bonilla - Moscow CD (album) cover


Keith Emerson


Crossover Prog

4.16 | 27 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Finale

Here we have the great Keith Emerson performing live with "The Keith Emerson Band featuring Marc Bonilla" in Moscow some years ago. Hearing it now it is incredible that Emerson has lost none of his energy over the years. Indeed, this live concert rocks more than Emerson Lake & Palmer ever did! As I noted in my review of Greg Lake's similarly excellent 2006 live concert DVD (simply called Greg Lake Live), the addition of electric guitar to classic ELP songs is a real winner. ELP was a great band in their own right, but I have always felt that the trio format was somewhat limiting. It is an interesting fact that both Emerson and Lake decided to add more guitar to the ELP songs in their respective solo bands' repertoires - in both cases to great effect, I would say! (And, of course, Palmer plays with Steve Howe in Asia.) Here it is Marc Bonilla who sings lead vocals and plays electric guitar while leaving bass guitar duties to Travis Davis. The drummer is Tony Pia. Together they make up a really tight unit and the performances are very good.

The set list consists mainly of material that Emerson performed previously with Greg Lake and Carl Palmer, including a piece of Karn Evil 9, Bitches Crystal, The Barbarian, and a 35 minute version of Tarkus. From the Emerson Lake & Powell album comes Touch And Go, (a song also performed by Lake's solo band). There are here also several tracks from the 2008 studio album credited to The Keith Emerson Band featuring Marc Bonilla. That was a good album, and these new songs hold up rather well among the classics.

Bonilla's voice is very similar to that of Greg Lake and he sings the songs originally sung by Lake very well indeed. Lucky Man, though, is so much Greg's own personal song that I feel it was unwise to include it here. Still, they manage to pull off a strong rendition of that classic song. Overall, this is an excellent live record that I would warmly recommend. It is a very nice companion to the aforementioned Greg Lake Live DVD.

Any fan of ELP or of keyboard-driven Symphonic Prog in general is not going to be disappointed by Moscow!

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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