Emerson, Lake & Palmer. . .Welcome Back My Friends 40th Anniversary Reunion Concert is presented on Blu-ray with a VC-1 encoded 1080p transfer in 1.78:1. As far as live concert videos go, ELP looks decently sharp and well detailed, Close-ups reveal the most, with midrange and far shots being considerably softer and even bit murky at times. Black levels are acceptable. (4/5)
The fact, that there is no lossless audio on this Blu-ray, is simply incomprehensible for a live concert music BD (only a BD25 instead of BD50) that features one of the all time classic bands of 20th century rock, whether or not this particular performance is their best. Instead we get serviceable if unremarkable Dolby Digital mixes, one in stereo and the other a decent enough surround 5.1 mix. But audiophiles the world over are going to be wondering what might have been with this release, especially with regard to the pulsating drum work and synth-laden fills that make up so much of ELP's oeuvre. While there's nothing overtly wrong with either Dolby mix, they both suffer from that typical Dolby narrowing of the high end, and both feature nothing more than an okay low end. The mix is very good, with all three band members given pretty much equal weight, and discrete channelization is also quite good. Crowd noise can be overwhelming at times, and once again we get a sing along audience, especially on such evergreens as "Lucky Man." (3.5/5)
Karn Evil 9 (from Brain Salad Surgery) 1973
The Barbarian (from Emerson Lake & Palmer) 1971
Bitches Crystal (from Tarkus) 1971
Knife-Edge (from Emerson Lake & Palmer) 1971
From The Beginning (from Trilogy) 1972
Touch And Go (from Black Moon) 1992
Take A Pebble (from Emerson, Lake & Palmer) 1971
Tarkus (from Welcome Back, My Friends, To The Show That Never Ends) 1974
Farewell To Arms (from Black Moon) 1992
Lucky Man (from Emerson Lake & Palmer) 1971
Pictures At An Exhibition (from Emerson Lake & Palmer In Concert) 1979
Fanfare For The Common Man (from Works, Volume 1) 1977
The charted hit Nutrocker from 1972 was missing, and so are the more popular album cuts, such as Peter Gunn, Hoedown and Jerusalem.
Keith Emerson (with The Nice; keyboards), Greg Lake (King Crimson; vocals, bass guitars) and Carl Palmer (Atomic Rooster, Crazy World of Arthur Brown; drums). Group split up in 1979, with Palmer joining supergroup Asia. Emerson and Lake re-grouped in 1986 with new drummer Cozy Powell (Whitesnake). Palmer returned in 1987, replacing Powell, who joined Black Sabbath in 1990. Powell died in a car crash in 1998.
As stated on the disc cover, reuniting the legendary Rock Band to celebrate their 40th Anniversary Reunion Show staged at London's first High Voltage Festival on July 25, 2010, this was the historic moment when Emerson Lake and Palmer performed for the first time since 1998. Further, this spectacular performance with extravagant special effects and lighting recaptures the magic and musical genius of Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Carl Palmer as they perform their greatest hits in front of thousands of fans and leaves us with a lasting memory of the stunning musicianship of these three legendary performers.
If you are already a ELP fan, this disc is a no brainer. But for the casual fan of rock, especially from the 70s and 80s, this is a good introduction to this legendary band and their music, with decent video and audio. But if you really want to appreciate how great the ELP sound is, you have to go back to their original studio recordings, available on remastered CDs. And, at the time of writing, the blu ray disc is actually cheaper than the standard DVD. Recommended.