On This Day (March 4)…Tarkus Erupts Onto The Touring Scene

Emerson, Lake & Palmer performed on this day in 1971 at the ABC Theater in Stockton, Britain.

Date announcements of the first portion of the tour. Retrieved from here.

ELP had finished their last major tour, which introduced them to the world. With the Tarkus tour, they truly hit their stride. Prior to this but after the conclusion of the debut tour, there had been a trio of dates in February, one at the Southampton Guildhall and two at Theater 140. However, the two Theater 140 dates seemed to include a setlist based more heavily on their previous tour (I talk about the setlist issue and why it’s a bit ambiguous here and here). I have yet to look into the Guildhall date to know the exact setlist. Unless more information comes forward about the Guildhall, then, I’m marking this as the beginning of the Tarkus Tour.

This tour would go on throughout 1971 and would take ELP to the United States for the first time. All three had performed there in pre-ELP groups, Carl Palmer with The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Greg Lake with King Crimson, and Keith Emerson with the Nice.

Concert memorabilia. Retrieved from here.

While setlist.fm provides no insight into what happened, the setlist on other nights of the tour can suggest what happened. The group played the full rendition of “Pictures at an Exhibition”, as well as “Tarkus” and three numbers from their debut album. Some nights also included “Jeremy Bender” and “A Time and a Place”. Two other covers rounded out the setlist, “Nutrocker” and “Rondo” ported over from the Nice.

There is no known recording of this concert.

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