Reviewed Aug. 28, 1992.
Emerson, Lake & Palmer have reunited. While that may make some fans of faster-simpler-louder wince, the trio’s reunion tour — which stopped at Universal Amphitheatre Friday — is surprisingly satisfying.
Opening with the ELP classic “Karn Evil 9,” which includes the prophetic line , “Welcome back my friends/to the show that never ends,” the show was full of material from the band’s ’70s beginnings, including hits “Lucky Man,””From the Beginning” and “Still You Turn Me On.” More musically involved, classically based material also was offered.
The fantasy of “Pirates,” the majestic update of Copeland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” as well as pieces from the band’s “Tarkus” album and Mussogorsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” all were fodder for a male-heavy audience that came to be impressed by these most accomplished musicians.
New material from the Victory Music release “Black Moon” isn’t as ultimately pleasing as the group’s catalog, but still warrants a mention.
Album’s title track and “Paper Blood” stand up well against the older songs, while a new reading of Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet,” featuring Emerson’s signature trumpet-flavored keyboard sound, is the best cut from the new collection.
Members of opening act Bonham confided before the show that they were nervous about playing their biggest L.A. show to date, and it showed.
Singer Daniel MacMaster’s vocals were forced at times, while the rest of the band simply stuck to performing the songs.
Comparing Bonham with Led Zeppelin is, perhaps, unavoidable, especially in the vocal and drum categories.
But who more than Jason Bonham, son of Zep drummer John, is more entitled to play in such a band?