On This Day (August 2)…ELP Cross Into Burlington

Emerson, Lake & Palmer performed on this day in 1998 at the Flynn Theater in Burlington, Vermont.

Poster for the show. Retrieved from here.

ELP’s last-ever tour had begun. Four dates total, this one included, were performed as a solo act. The rest were performed as part of a triple threat which also included Dream Theater and Deep Purple. The latter band had an interesting history with ELP: the trio had been the headlining act at California Jam, at which Purple had been the penultimate act. While ELP hadn’t changed, only two members of Deep Purple had been both at Cal Jam and on this tour!

The setlist for this night’s concert was one of the most remarkable mixes of ELP’s overall career. Six of their nine studio albums were represented by at least one number. While a great many were commonly on setlists, others were more rarely played. “The Sheriff”, for instance, had dropped off the setlist back in 1974. This meant a whopping twenty-four years of lawlessness on ELP’s stages!

There were also more surprising numbers, notably “Crossing the Rubicon”. This was the last song ELP would ever write together, intended for an album which never ended up coming into being. Another surprising inclusion was “Touch and Go”, the only song to cross over from one of ELP’s partial 80s reunion bands back to ELP proper. Cozy Powell, one third of Emerson, Lake & Powell and the drummer for this song, had died earlier that year; he was the first member of ELP’s extended musical family to die. Perhaps the inclusion of “Touch and Go” was as a tribute to him.

The last surprise was “21st Century Schizoid Man”, originally from In The Court of the Crimson King. Greg Lake had been the song’s original singer and had left King Crimson for ELP, but the song had not appeared onstage with ELP in the 70s. This was a nice counterbalance to “Rondo”, a number from Keith Emerson’s pre-ELP act the Nice. “Rondo” was a common encore number for ELP through the years, and was notably the point where Emerson would stab his Hammond with knives.

This concert is known to have been recorded, and is in circulation online.

Recording cover. Retrieved from my own copy.

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