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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Live At Nassau Coliseum '78 CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

3.73 | 48 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
2 stars This live release by Emerson Lake & Palmer covers the band's late career output, with an emphasis on their Works releases. I consider this period to the band's lowest point, so had poor expectations for Live At Nassau. However, even if you disagree with me and love these albums, it's unlikely you'll find Live At Nassau to be a go-to live release from the band. The recording quality, set list, production, and even instrumental performances disappoint on most levels.

First off, let's look at the setlist: we get some classic ELP tracks, namely "Tarkus" and "Take a Pebble", and that's about it. The goofball opening track, "Hoedown" doesn't count for much. "Tarkus" is always great, but there isn't as much gusto in this rendition as we've heard in the past. "Take a Pebble" is interrupted by a lengthy and meandering piano concerto, and the silly "Maple Leaf Rag". Afterwards, its basically highlights from Pictures at an Exhibition and Works. To me, this is a problem, because these albums aren't nearly as interesting as the earlier records. The ELP magic sort of falls flat; maybe its the fault of the song itself or maybe the band's performance, but whatever it is, most of this album sounds muddled and bland.

The real foe may be the production. The mid-levels are mixed much too high, leaving Palmer's excellent drumming at the margin, and even keyboards and bass feel lifeless. Lake's guitar during the ballads and quite moments sound very empty. That's how bad this album is: it makes "Lucky Man" sound uninspired!

Live At Nassau ultimately comes across as a subdued and muffled performance by a band known for its raucous attitude and energy. Of course, throwing garbage like "Nutrocker" and "Fanfare" in there doesn't help. Disappointing.

Setlist: 2 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Stage/Energy: 3 - Live Experience: 1

Prog Leviathan | 2/5 |


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