A good time was had by all, believe you me. For those of you who enjoy musicianship, Palmer still brings the heavy artillery. His Ludwig kit, with its bright metal finish, might put you somewhat in mind of his notorious synthesized set from the seventies. But his current touring kit’s a bit more restrained. There are synths involved, sure, but then again he started that technological revolution in music, akin to Emerson’s pioneering use of the Moog as a touring instrument.
But I digress. It was one helluva show. Here’s the setlist:
Barbarian, Hoedown (two better opening songs would be hard to find in anybody’s catalogue), Peter Gunn, Bitches Crystal, Canario (which came as a definite surprise), and then an absolutely monstrous version of Tarkus/Aquatarkus (for anyone who doubts this twisted yet powerful piece of music can be done without a keyboardist, just download it on iTunes and prepare to be amazed). Carl then took a well-deserved break while guitarist Paul Bielatowicz and brand-new bassist Simon Fitzpatrick (who has to be heard to be believed) embarked on a duet beginning with Somewhere Over the Rainbow, then Flight of the Bumblebee. Carl then rejoined the band for a link that reminded me very much of Karn Evil, Second Impression, and then it was Fitzpatrick’s turn. Ever think you’d hear Bohemian Rhapsody as a bass solo? He did it. Then they played Trilogy, a truly badass version of Pictures including the Blues Variation, then Fanfare For the Common Man with Palmer’s obligatory and as-always thrilling solo. The evening ended with Carmina Burana and, for dessert, Nutrocker. A wonderful show, and my thanks to Davin Christensen for alerting me to it while I was out of town. Much appreciated, man.