Although anecdotes and banter with ticketholders are part and parcel of Lake’s format, he insisted his program isn’t just another “one of those sit-down, ‘storyteller’ things. It’s quite entertaining. It’s not a ‘legend in his own lunchtime’ show.”
According to Lake, who will perform to backing tracks, the “Songs of a Lifetime” concept grew out of his writing a forthcoming autobiography called — what else? — Lucky Man. “I thought, what a nice idea to make a concert out of this.” Besides signature compositions like King Crimson’s “I Talk to the Wind” and such ELP classics as “Lucky Man,” “From the Beginning” and “Still You Turn Me On,” Lake’s repertoire includes several songs that helped him chart a musical career, starting with Elvis Presley’s 1956 hit “Heartbreak Hotel.”
“?‘Heartbreak Hotel’ kind of lit me up,” he offered. “I was a young guitar player. It was one of the first things that ignited me, and I do believe it’s one of the greatest songs ever written.”
“Songs of a Lifetime” is a trip in the time machine, but Lake is unapologetic for its nostalgic bent.
“Some don’t want to on the past,” he said, suggesting it makes them seem out of touch and irrelevant. “I look at it as bringing the past forward. I have no problem with being reminded of the pleasures of my past.”
One past pleasure that will likely remain is Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Although the Razor & Tie label plans to reissue the trio’s catalog, Lake said he doubted that the band, whose last collaboration was at a 2010 British music festival, would be hitting the boards any time soon.
“It’s probably a very small chance,” he conceded. “Keith and Carl don’t want to do a tour again. But one must never say ‘never.’ I would be very happy to do another ELP tour.” n
Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside, 7:30 p.m., $45, $39 and $34, 800-736-1420, www.ticketmaster.com.
Contact Chuck Darrow at 215-313-3134 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his CasiNotes casino blog at philly.com/philly/blogs/casinotes/ and follow him on Twitter @chuckdarrow.