On This Day (May 25)…Works in Louisville

Emerson, Lake & Palmer performed on this day in 1977 at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky.

This was the second of two dates that the group performed in this location, the kickoff of the group’s Works Tour. This first leg of the tour was accompanied by a 59-piece orchestra and a choir comprised of six people, as well as a great many technical assistants and a large road crew. The total size of the retinue has received various estimates over the years, ranging from 112 in the Works Live liner notes to 145 in Greg Lake’s autobiography!

While the use of an orchestra would spell financial disaster for ELP on this tour, this was still a daring way for the band to continue building on their prior concert experiences. Greg Lake and Carl Palmer had never before toured with an orchestra, while Keith Emerson had played dates here and there with the Nice backed up by an orchestra. Lake would speak later in his autobiography about the difficulty of performing with such a large ensemble rather than just with Emerson and Palmer, as there could be much less spontaneity when they were all working with a conductor.

There is no known recording of this particular concert.

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Post Sources

  • Macan, Edward. Endless Enigma: A Musical Biography of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. p 395-396
  • Lake, Greg. Lucky Man. p 201-202

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