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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Live at High Voltage 2010 CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

2.66 | 47 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

2 stars High Voltage Festival, Low Voltage Performance

Full Disclosure :

ELP have always been at the top of my all time favourite band list. I have seen them live at least 6 times beginning with the Works Tour featuring the full orchestra. I have personally met and talked with Carl Palmer twice, once during the original tour of ASIA and a few years later at a drum clinic in Toronto. I consider myself somewhat of an ELP complete'ist in that I try and get my hands on everything they have released as a band or as solo artists.

Production :

As a live ELP album this one falls somewhere in the middle. It's not nearly as well produced as WBMF but far superior in production to In Concert. The sound quality has the full range of frequencies that In Concert lacked but is missing the true richness of WBMF. The mix is strong and balanced, unfortunately that works against this recording in that it exposes many of the shortcomings ELP faced on this concert. The keyboard sounds are thin and more in line with what was happening in the 80's and for any Emerson fan it's a kick in the gut. There's just enough audience noise in the mix to remind you that this is a concert but anytime I hear feedback like that in Take a Pebble I cringe.


Song Writing :

Since this is essentially a 'best of / reunion' type of thing the song writing itself isn't terribly relevant to this recording, but where it falls apart is in the arrangements. It's clear that Emerson is far from being on his game at this point of his live playing and there are way too many compromises for my liking. I have always viewed ELP's live stuff as a chance to hear unique interpretations of their own songs. With this show they are but faded shadows of their former selves with nothing unique at all.


Originality :

ELP have always been an original band to my ears so to judge them on this I can only judge them against previous live efforts. Unfortunately there is nothing outstanding in this recording that has caused me to get excited about what I'm hearing. It sounds more like a struggling tribute band who can't quite get all the parts that the original musicians could.


Performance :

First, let me grab a tissue and wipe the tears from my eyes. My hero has so far to fall and he has fallen all the way. My anticipation of hearing this concert was crushed with almost every bar of performance from the beginning. While Greg and Carl seem to be holding up their end, given their ages and the complexity of the music they present, Keith just seems to be barely getting by. His playing is sloppy and uninspired. Greg's voice is better than some performances in the past (allowing for his limited range these days) but when he seems to forget the lyrics to Tarkus and calls to the sound man "feedback, feedback, feedback" my heart just sank. Carl's drumming sounds strong and he seems to have recovered from his philosophy of keeping it simple (a la ASIA) and provides some of the little spice there is to be found here. As a band they have lost the tightness and precision of their past and for anyone with a real ear for music you may find listening to this concert a bit painful as they struggle to hit the mark.


General Impressions :

This concert mostly likely should never have been committed to disc. It would have been far better for the band to do the one off concert and have the audience rely on their herb infused memory to recall the apparent glory rather than have something tangible that can be replayed to prove the point that as a band they are way past their prime. I find it difficult to even put the second disc in the player. I may revisit it some other time just say I've heard the whole thing but there is little that it can do to boost the impression that's been left after hearing the first part of this recording. All I have left to say to my heroes is rest in peace dear friends it was good while it lasted and I'll miss you dearly.


Total = 37/100 (37% of 5 stars)


JD | 2/5 |


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