Live at Nassau Coliseum ’78

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Look what just washed up on shore!

I have been binge listening to Emerson, Lake & Palmer all week following a cocktail session of bloodies with my brother Bill last Friday. He came over at weeks end for drinks and I threw on Tarkus (what a great album) and that got me going. During my ELP gluttony, I discover this gem, Live at Nassau Coliseum ’78, which was released in 2011. It was recorded in February 1978. Previously it had only been available in bootleg form, but the group’s label went back to the original tapes, cleaned them up, and remastered this high energy phenomenal performance of the band at the peak of their artistry and popularity.

For the last 10 to 15 years ELP has put out several live recordings and reworks of their most popular songs, not really giving us anything new or of substance since Black Moon back in 1992. This recording (Nassau Coliseum ’78) is more than just a summary of their greatest hits. It is a “Nice” slice of time from a band best known for their complex arrangements of grandiose concertos. But, here the adaptations are deconstructed and performed at their core with just the instruments the three musicians are famous for. The performance by the trio is raw, almost intimate giving us a glimpse of that time and place. It’s exceptional! There is a Close Encounter, some StarWars, a little America a la Westside Story and some 2001 a Space Odyssey, all embroidered into this 2 hour performance of ELP classics from the decade of their finest Works.

On Tiger in the spotlight, Greg Lake sings:

Bass playing in my face grabbing the elastic,
Drums listen as she comes hammering the plastic
Keys, I play along with ease
Freeze she’s shaking at the knees
Doing something drastic, chasing the fantastic
To screw your shadow in the sky
But did you ever stop to wonder why?

I’ll tell you what, this set got my knees shaking, and my legs moving. Great run with this one. Enjoy!

1. Hoedown (4:46)
2. Tarkus (17:28)
3. Take A Pebble (3:13)
4. Piano Concerto #1 1st Movement (5:21)
5. Maple Leaf Rag (1:30)
6. Take A Pebble (Reprise) (2:54)
7. C’est La Vie (4:20)
8. Lucky Man (3:22)
9. Pictures At An Exhibition (15:37)

1. Tiger In A Spotlight (4:05)
2. Watching Over You (4:37)
3. Tank (2:12)
4. Drum Solo (6:49)
5. The Enemy God Dances With The The Black Spirits (2:45)
6. Nutrocker (3:48)
7. Pirates (13:31)
8. Fanfare For The Common Man (11:35)

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