Esoteric Antenna 2013
From the shoulders of giants, a prog rock titan gets down to play with the clay, Prometheus-like, with fire in his hands.
Whether with KING CRIMSON or ELP, there’s always been a feeling that Greg Lake, calm as rock in the eye of a hurricane, is self-contained and what he needs to knock on his audience’s heart is an acoustic guitar and the voice. Those booming pipes in place, the veteran doesn’t opt for such a stark setting, save for “Trilogy”, on the tour that serves as a traveling illustration to his autobiography, which provides an additional tangent for Lake’s fans to relate to and for Greg himself to sing classics he loves but didn’t write. The artist may not precede the piano-sprinkled “I Talk To The Wind” or “People Get Ready” with a story that leads into equally soulful rendition of the smoking “Heartbreak Hotel” or his own gauzy “From The Beginning”, but these unexpected turns keep the interest level high, highlighting also less obvious choices from the Lake’s catalogue.
Here, “Touch And Go” almost restores its original bombast, with the leader’s bass on the rumble, and “Lend Your Love To Me Tonight” gradually warms up yet doesn’t get as hot as the bittersweet burn of unplugged “Still…You Turn Me On”. Likewise, stompers “Karn Evil 9 First Impression Part Two” and a snippet of “21st Century Schizoid Man” get a different slant, while for the aurally Gallicized cover “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away”, which is echoed in the monumental “C’est La Vie”, Lake incites the punters to join in on the chorus. And if the joint of “Epitaph” and “The Court Of The Crimson King” translated into delightful modernization of both, “Lucky Man”, the first song Greg wrote, sounds as youthful as back in the day. Perhaps, not as intimate as one could assume it would be, a glimpse into the life of one great artist is more insightful than those storming formations he was a part of.