Emerson, Lake & Palmer performed on this day in 1978 at the Providence Civic Center in Providence, Rhode Island.
This concert was the last concert of the second leg of ELP’s Works Tour. In fact, it proved to be the final concert of the decade for the trio. In between the time that ELP first took the stage at Plymouth Guildhall and this final concert, the band had performed a grand total of six massive tours, visiting three continents and delighting hundreds of thousands of people. This final tour, the Works Tour, had featured their most ambitious idea on tour yet when they brought an orchestra with them to North America. Unfortunately, this caused serious budgetary issues, and the group was forced to finish the tour as a three-piece. From reactions I’ve heard during my time covering this, the return to a three-piece was taken well.
After this tour, the band took a long holiday in the Bahamas, during which time they made their last album of the decade, Love Beach. They quietly disbanded later in the year.
There is no known recording of this concert.
For now, the curtain closed on ELP the trio. However, all three had plenty going on after this! Carl Palmer attempted to front his own band soon after this. After Carl Palmer’s PM folded, he joined forces with several other prog rock refugees, including UK’s John Wetton and Yes’ Steve Howe and Geoff Downes, to form Asia. Greg Lake temporarily stepped in to join them, providing the first partial reunion for ELP.
Lake, meanwhile, immediately made the jump to an attempted solo career, collaborating with an entirely new set of musicians. Most famously, this included Gary Moore, a guitar legend in his own right. As stated above, he also got a chance to play in Asia. He provided the second link in the partial ELP reunion change in 1986 when he and Keith Emerson teamed up with legendary drummer Cozy Powell for one album and a North America tour.
Keith Emerson would spend the early eighties largely working on film scores and a couple of solo albums. One of the most notable of these scores was for Dario Argento’s Inferno, an Italian horror film which was a loose thematic sequel to Suspiria. This earlier film, incidentally, had had a soundtrack by the prog rock band Goblin, who claimed ELP as one of their influences. As far as I can tell, the first time Emerson returned to the stage was with Emerson, Lake & Powell eight years later. He and Carl Palmer United two years after for another US tour with Robert Berry, forming the trio appropriately named Three.
ELP themselves would finally reunite as a trio in 1992, when they released an album and went on a world tour, once again taking the world by storm with their strong work ethic.
The venue at which the band performed, the Providence Civic Center, had already seen them eight months prior earlier in the Works Tour when they had just begun performing again as a three-piece. I talk about the Civic Center here.
- Edit on 2020-07-14: Added venue link.
- Edit on 2020-09-15: Optimized for new site.