Friday, June 26, 2015

Carl Palmer Band -- Ram's Head On Stage - Jun 25 2015

Carl Palmer Band - It is normally tricky for a drummer to take out his former band's material on the road, as it often results in the writers and voices and main instruments being replaced. Yet Carl Palmer was the P of ELP and as ELP fans know was an integral part of that band's formula. Now for the past few years Carl Palmer has taken the ELP material out on the road with the more expected version of a power trio: guitar, bass, and drums. I am finally happy to see how these newer full instrumental ELP interpretations and as a bonus, I will get to see one of the best rock drummers of all time show off his skills.
It is quick to see how fun this format is tonight as both the young guitarist and bassist show off plenty of chops in their playing and their creative use of sounds to 'synthesize up' their parts. They alternated interpreting the vocal lines on their instruments on the few songs that had them, while avoiding the Greg Lake solo acoustic numbers. As for Carl Palmer, he had all of his amazing skills on display. He is such a hard hitter with a level of quickness that just isn't seen often. In his drum solo during 'Fanfare for the Common Man' he showed amazing skills with his cymbal work, coaxing many tones and rhythms with flashy moves. His kit is not of the Terry Bozzio/Neal Peart school, but he can create a lot of melody out of it. And his playing partners stay with him the whole night with lots of progressive and metal moves of their own. The bass player looks like he is playing a six string bass and also adds the stick to a few songs. The guitarist is seated with a slight injury but has amazing speed and touch. The ELP songs sound great and they focus on the classical cuts that ELP did so you would not have to know anything about them, but would really dig them if you enjoyed classical music and metal. But the crowd tonight knew the material and were fully into this excellent set.

Quote of the Night: Carl Palmer came up to a downstage mic in between songs and song couplets to introduce them or tell stories--"it's kind of nice to get up, you can rearrange your shorts", but it was his intro to a nice surprise, which was quite memorable "When we were discussing ideas for songs to do, I brought up 'Mars, the Bringer of War',Holst, yes right. But I lost that argument... our first (laughter). And we ended up doing '21st Century Schizoid Man' the King Crimson song, no our band doesn't do it. So now we bring you 'Mars'... oh, and then yeah, we'll do 21st Century Schizoid Man."

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