Greg Lake – Greg Lake Live (2006)

As Greg Lake continues his celebrated one-man “Songs of a Lifetime” tour through the UK and Italy, I returned to this 2-DVD career retrospective from Image Entertainment/Warner Music Vision.

Starting from his King Crimson days, to Emerson Lake and Palmer, and then on to his solo years, Greg Lake Live is a fine concert capsule from his 2005 tour — and a chance to see him again with a full band. Sharply shot in widescreen and presented in Dolby 5.1 Surround sound/DTS, Live finds his group expertly replicating each period, while Lake mainly plays rhythm guitar and harmonica. He’s clearly pleased with them, going so far as calling them a “world class band.”

It was wonderful to hear him do “In the Court of the Crimson King” after so many years. Greg’s faithful version of ELP’s “From the Beginning” and his own “I Believe in Father Christmas” still sound great, as well. I loved his acoustic guitar on both.

[ONE TRACK MIND: Greg Lake joined us for a song-by-song survey of his amazing career, including stops with King Crimson and Emerson Lake and Palmer.]

“Love You Too Much,” which Lake says he wrote with Bob Dylan, follows way too many 1970s rock ‘n’ roll cliches in its 12-bar paint-by-numbers stylings, however. I could’ve done without that number. Meanwhile, what can you say about Greg’s “Lucky Man”? A classic ELP song then and now, and it’s performed well here. “Karn Evil 9″ also gets a real vigorous ELP-like workout, with Greg’s strong vocals shining through.

Lake is joined by wunderkind lead guitarist Florain Opahle, a 22-year-old who plays with a fire that reminds me of Paul Kossoff from Free or Gary Moore. He actually looks years younger than he actually is.

Self explanatory extras on the second DVD include “Welcome Backstage” (featuring full rehearsal footage, Greg playing a fun short bit of the Shadows’ “Apache”), an additional 2005 four-man acoustic performance of “I Believe in Father Christmas” at St. Bride’s Church with guest Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull fame on flute.

Lake will make four more stops in England, with a stop tonight in Cambridge, before heading to Italy for a handful of additional more shows through early December.

Upcoming tour dates for Greg Lake’s ‘Songs of a Lifetime’ …

November 22, 2012: Corn Exchange, Cambridge, England
November 23: G Live, Guildford, England
November 24: Guildhall, Southampton, England
November 25: O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London, England
November 28: Piacenza, Italy Teatro Municipale
December 1: Rome, Italy Teatro Ambra alla Garbatella
December 2: Bologna, Italy Auditorium Manzoni
December 3: Verona, Italy Teatro Camploy
December 4: Trezzo (Milan), Italy Live Club
December 5: Firenze, Italy Viper Club

Steve Elliott

Steve Elliott has written for Shindig, Twist and Shake, Garage & Beat and Ugly Things. A big fan of all things rock and roll - especially the British Invasion, garage rock, psychedelic, new wave, folk rock, surf and power pop - he was a consultant on Sundazed Music's reissue of 'The Best of Butch Engle & The Styx: No Matter What You Say' in 2000, and has also provided liner notes for Italy's Misty Lane Records. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.

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