Emerson, Lake & Palmer performed at Madison Square Garden on this day in 1973. It was the second of two holiday concerts they did at this location, the first one having been performed the previous night.
These concerts were actually the last stop on the first leg of the Brain Salad Surgery tour. This particular leg had begun in early November, prior to Brain Salad Surgery’s November 19th release, and they played 30 dates in all. The album was played in full every night, accompanied by other highlights of their discography. On the two Madison Square Garden nights, “Silent Night” also made its way onto the setlist.
After this date, ELP took a month-long break afterwards before returning to the United States. During this very short hiatus, singer Greg Lake married Regina Bottcher early in January; the couple would remain married for the rest of his life.
At both of these concerts, ELP were supported by the band Stray Dog. This band had originated in Texas as a bluesy outfit before going to London and getting signed by ELP’s record label, Manticore records. Greg Lake produced some of the music on their first album.
This concert has been recorded and is in circulation online.
Madison Square Garden, where ELP performed this gig, is a legend in itself. I talk more about it, as well as some specifics about these two gigs, here.
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