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Keith Emerson and Greg Lake of ELP set to launch North American tour in April at Lakewood Civic Auditorium

By John Soeder, The Plain Dealer

February 23, 2010, 3:30PM
glake.jpg"I've always liked Cleveland," says Greg Lake. "It's a good barometer -- if you're received well there, it sends out a good message."

In advance of a long-awaited reunion this summer by the British prog-rock trio Emerson, Lake & Palmer in England, keyboardist Keith Emerson and singer-guitarist-bassist Greg Lake are mounting a two-man North American tour.

It kicks off here with a concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 1, at the Lakewood Civic Auditorium.

“Ever since I grew up in music, and ever since I’ve been coming to the United States, people have always told me how important Cleveland is,” Lake said by phone today from Los Angeles, where he and Emerson are rehearsing.

Cleveland “mirrors the tastes of America,” said Lake, 62.

“I suppose it’s very central. And it’s a good barometer -- if you’re received well there, it sends out a good message.

“I’ve always liked Cleveland. It’s not a pretty place . . . but the people are very down to earth. And it’s very American.

“You tend to find extremes in other cities. You go to Boston, that’s not typical of America, really. L.A. is not typical of America. But I think Cleveland is, in some way.”

ELP (rounded out by Carl Palmer on drums) will mark its 40th anniversary with a reunion concert July 25 at the High Voltage Festival in London. It will be the band’s first performance since 1998.

Stay tuned for more on the Emerson and Lake concert in Lakewood. Tickets, $27.50-$99.50, are on sale at livenation.com, or charge by phone, 1-877-598-8703.

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