On This Day (January 22)…Black Moon Rises Over Toronto

Emerson, Lake & Palmer performed on this day in 1993 at Massey Hall in Toronto.

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The trio onstage during the Black Moon tour, though not at this night’s performance. Retrieved from here.

This concert was undertaken as part of their Black Moon Tour. At this point, the second leg of the tour was well underway, having begun about a week prior in Edmonton. Thus far, they had only done Canadian dates.

Unusually for their setlist, it appears that the group were beginning with “Tarkus” (source). The rest of the concert proceeded with a respectable mix of their old stuff from both the early 70s and the later 70s. Three numbers from the new album were included, and Keith also performed a number he had first begun performing in the Emerson, Lake & Powell era, “Creole Dance”.

The concert has reportedly been recorded, but not officially released. I am looking for it as of this writing.

The venue at which they performed, Massey Hall, is a major one in Canadian concert history. It was funded by Canadian-American agricultural businessman Hart Massey, who commissioned the hall in memory of his son Charles Albert, who had loved music (source). The cornerstone was laid the day after the anniversary of Charles Albert’s birthday on September 21, 1893. The hall itself was complete less than a year later and inaugurated by a festival on June 14, 1894.

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The Hall in 2017. Photo by Arild Vågen. Retrieved from here.

The architecture of Massey Hall incorporates Palladian elements in its exterior and Moorish in its interior. When it opened, it could seat around 3000, having shrunk to 2,752 over the years due to renovations (source). It is still known for its great acoustics, which have been described as “warm”; this might be why so many live albums have been recorded here! It has been a national historic site of Canada since 1981 (source).

toronto massey hall
Interior of the hall from the stage in 1993. This would have been how ELP saw it on the night of the concert–though probably more filled with people! Retrieved from here.

I’ve seen some reports that the concert hall is currently undergoing renovation, but its site suggests the hall is still having concerts.

The venue has seen its fair share of notable events, including lectures by noted feminists, performances by such famed musicians as Enrico Caruso and Igor Stravinsky, and even boxing matches! (source) Several live albums, including Rush’s All The World’s A Stage, have also been recorded here. These are just some of the other concerts which have taken place at Massey Hall.

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