Headliner: Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy Tour 12.5.2015

Carl Palmer is a renown drummer that Rolling Stone called, “1 of the top 10 greatest drummers of all time”.  I will not go though a history of Carl’s bands or accomplishments, you can read more about that on his web site, www.carlpalmer.com.   He is best known as the drummer for Emerson, Lake and Palmer, ELP.  ELP was 1 of the super groups of the 70’s.   Carl has recently put together a new group with Paul Bielatowicz on guitar and Simon Fitzpatrick on bass guitar.  This tour is a celebration of the music of ELP.  It was an instrumental concert showing the group’s ability to perform ELP’s songs with dizzying complexity and energy.

I originally saw Carl with ELP in 1973 when they did the “Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends” tour.  I have been a fan ever since.  Carl is a master of the drum kit.  Over the years I have seen him many times and even been lucky enough to see the rotating drum set done for the “Works” tour.

Since then Carl has scaled back on his drum kit.  However, it has not effected his playing and, in reality, I believe he has become better with the smaller setup.  Tonight’s show had a simple setup (compared to his ELP Stainless Steel kit), but it still sounded amazing and Carl was a technical wizard on it.

At first I was skeptical of how ELP’s music would sound with a guitar instead of Emerson on the Hammond Organ.  You need not worry.  Both Simon and Paul pulled it off and made the music sound wonderful.  There were times I could not figure out how they were able to recreate the ELP sound, but they did it.  I was especially satisfied with their version of “Tarkus”, the entire 20 minute piece, which contained the complexity and energy that I heard back in 1973.  They also did “Fanfare For The Common Man”, where Carl did a 6 minute drum solo showing off his mastery of the drum kit.  It was a lesson in how a master technician can really drum and not just hit the drums as a lot of drummers do.

Overall the crowd enjoyed the show, and the Talking Stick Resort Showroom is a great venue to see a concert.   All of the seats make you feel like you are right there with the performers.  After the show, Carl and the band were nice enough sign items for people.  If you liked ELP’s music or just want to see true musical masters, you should see this show. (Setlist below photos)

Review and photos by Fred Kuhlman


Photos © 2015 by Fred Kuhlman


The setlist included:

  • Intro – Helicopter
  • Ride Of The Valkyries
  • Rondeau Des Indes
  • Welcome Back My Friends
  • Fugue In D Minor
  • Peter Gunn
  • Barbarian
  • Jerusalem
  • Mars God Of War
  • Schizoid Man
  • Knife Edge
  • Guitar Solo
  • Trilogy Theme
  • Trilogy
  • Bass Solo
  • Tarkus
  • Carmena Burana
  • Fanfare For The Common Man (Drum Solo)


  • Hoedown

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