Why Pink Floyd? week continues on Thursday with a look see at Pink Floyd’s follow up recording to Dark Side of the Moon. Wish You Were Here was released on September 12, 1975 (36 years ago). Richard Wright and David Gilmour have each declared Wish You Were Here their favorite Pink Floyd album.
I first heard Wish You Were Here at the WNEW-FM Christmas Concert at the Westchester Theater (The concert starred Renaissance, Janis Ian and The Stanky Brown Group). It was played extensively in between stage changes for Renaissance who was the headlining act. I was surprised to hear the enthusiastic crowd response to the music as it wafted through the concert hall. I developed an immediate connection with “Welcome To The Machine” which to me has always signified our society’s interdependence upon technology. I am a 30+ year technology professional and “Welcome To The Machine” speaks to the engineer/designer I’ve become.
We watched the Concert One Limited, Emerson Lake & Palmer, 40th Anniversary Reunion Concert DVD the other night. It was filmed at the High Voltage Festival, on July 25th, 2010 at Victoria Park in London, England.
We found the live concert video to be an exciting visual experience. Rent or own it to learn more.
Continuing with the progressive rock music theme, MusicOfOurHeart turns its focus to the super group, Emerson, Lake and Palmer.
It was Scott Muni‘s radio show Things from England that turned me on to Emerson, Lake and Palmer in November, 1970. When he played “Take A Pebble” from their first album, I was forever convinced.
ELP is a group I have yet to experience live in concert. I saw the Carl Palmer Band perform at Toads Place in New Haven on June 1, 2006 . Carl Palmer was very personable as we spoke with him before and after the show.
Then three+ weeks later, June 24, 2006 I got to witness the Keith Emerson Band at the very same venue. It was ironic their paths did not pass closer. Keith Emerson outdid himself on Moog Synthesizer and keyboards. His concert was a very exciting event.
I then saw Keith Emerson and Greg Lake at the Ridgefield Playhouse on May 8, 2010. It was an intimate evening where both artists performed, answered questions and looked very relaxed. So this is the closest I have been yet to ELP live in concert via these three concerts.
Last I knew Emerson, Lake and Palmer were contemplating a North American Tour but nothing has materialized yet. I have my fingers crossed for a 2012 ELP US tour.
The good news is that the historic Emerson, Lake and Palmer High Voltage Festival headliner concert is now available on DVD. This extraordinary 40th anniversary reunion concert was held on July 25, 2010 at Victoria Park, in London, England. Here is a taste of that concert from the DVD promo.
I ordered this DVD on amazon today. I’ll let you know how it is later in the week 😉
We couldn’t ask for a more beautiful evening midst the rolling hills of Connecticut for Renaissance in concert at Infinity Music Hall.
Infinity Music Hall has such superb acoustics. The hall is an architectural wonder, a visual treat for the eyes and senses. We usually get our seats in the mezzanine, overlooking the main floor. This provides us with a great vantage point to watch the musicians as well as the entire stage.
Renaissance designed a unique concert experience in performing two of their best albums, Turn of the Cards (1974) and Scheherazade and Other Stories (1975) back to back, playing every track in logical sequence. These two albums actually follow each other in the Renaissance discography forming the heart of their catalog. It made perfect sense to witness their music performed in concert as we listen to it on the recording. I long for the days when WNEW-FM, 102.7 NY City featured progressive album rock.
The band was in top form initiating “Running Hard”, as Annie Haslam joined the stage to enthusiastic applause. Annie Haslam acknowledged her fans with equal gusto. Turn of the Cards unfolded quickly before us as Michael Dunford pointed out. “Black Flame” and “Mother Russia” were my favorite songs of the first set.
Scheherazade and Other Stories, the second set, took us in a whole different magical direction. I found myself thoroughly intrigued with this series of songs. “Trip to the Fair” opens the album, taking us to a fair in the renaissance age. “Ocean Gypsy” took us to the water’s edge, a place of utter tranquility.
“Song of Scheherazade” which is performed in 9 movements was happily beyond the masterpiece I envisioned it might be live. My music appreciation was enhanced with new found dimensional harmonies, richly accented by the dual keyboard interplay. The band worked in collaborative splendor to create elegant music baroque. I was ecstatic to float in dream sequence on the puffy clouds Renaissance formed all around us.
The evening ended with a single encore (I must admit I felt guilty after listening to two full recordings of great music requesting more…). “Mystic and the Muse” failed to disappoint. It was yet another high point of the evening as Annie Haslam reached her highest arias to our blissful astonishment.
Renaissance was very accommodating to their fans. We love that Infinity Music Hall has a designated area for merchandise sales, meet and greet/ autograph sessions. We purchased the 2011 Tour Poster and had it signed by all the members of the group. It was such a thrill to meet Annie Haslam and Michael Dunford at the autograph table. It means a lot when you can exchange a few words with people you admire.
This morning I received an interesting e-mail from Genesis Publications. They are a limited edition, specialty music book publisher from England that “produce lushly designed rock photo books.” – N.Y. Times
There was a time in my life (1968-1971) where the only two bands that mattered were Jethro Tull and Traffic. I was a fervent fan of these two English music groups. I went to their live concerts at the Fillmore East and the Capitol Theatre in Portchester, N.Y.
I even bought an exact replica of the stars shirt that Steve Winwood is wearing on stage in this photograph. It caught him by surprise that I was wearing that same shirt in the audience (7th row center) on the evening that this set list was based upon. Notice that Scott Muni introduces Traffic that night 😉 (A correction to the dates of these recorded June shows, they were June 26 & June 27 ,1971, I know I have the ticket stubs to prove it!)
Traffic was a special group with a magical mix of musicians. I learned about Traffic by listening to the radio show, Things From England that Scott Muni hosted on WNEW-FM102.7 on Friday afternoons. WNEW-FM, a Metromedia affiliate out of New York City had a major influence on my musical tastes. WNEW-FM’s progressive rock format created an intellectual music platform that we devoutly followed all hours of the day and night.
I just love the lilting sound of Jon Anderson‘s voice, especially when it is coupled with the magnificence of Rick Wakeman‘s piano virtuosity. I just learned today that they will be appearing together at The Ridgefield Playhouse on Wednesday November 2, 2011.
I am very encouraged to attend this event. It’s a rare opportunity to see these two musical artists who represent the true spirit of Yes.
Their 2010 collaboration, The Living Tree, will melt your heart when you hear it. These recordings have a healing power all their own.
Jon Anderson has also just released a new solo recording, Survival & Other Stories.
Renaissance To Perform Two Of Their Most Successful Albums in Their Entirety
Progressive British rock band, Renaissance announced that they will be performing two of their most successful albums, ‘Turn Of The Cards’ and ‘Scheherazade’ in their entirety on a Northeast US tour this Fall.
Band principles Annie Haslam and Michael Dunford noted, “When our agent Wayne Forte (Entourage Talent Associates) and new manager Bruce Garfield suggested that we present to fans the ‘evening with’ and two complete albums concept, we loved it immediately and picked two of our favorites. Fan reaction has been great as are early ticket sales”.
The band recently enlisted manager and former label executive Bruce Garfield of MonsterWorks, Inc. to take over guidance of their career. “I love the musical elegance of Renaissance and have always enjoyed taking on clients with established track records with whom I can work closely and maximize the full potential of their career.”
We’re ticketed to see Renaissance at one of our favorite venues on September 16, Infinity Hall in Norfolk, Ct. Infinity Hall seats 300 people.
Here is a YouTube video from Renaissance’s sold out concert last year at Infinity Hall on July 14, 2010. “Carpet of the Sun”, is my hands-down favorite song 🙂