Welcome Backstage is an unusual DVD. It is a short film about Greg Lake putting together a band for an upcoming tour. It was filmed in September of 2005 at the “Classic T-Stage” in Shepperton Film Studios in the UK. The entire 60 minute film is about the band, some thoughts, rehearsals, some full length songs, and some excerpts.
Greg Lake was the founder; along with Robert Fripp, of the progressive rock band King Crimson in 1969 which recorded the classic album “In the Court of the Crimson King.” In 1970, Lake left King Crimson to form Emerson, Lake and Palmer which had huge success in the 70’s.
After a short stint with Asia in the 80’s, and some reunions with ELP in the 90’s, Greg Lake formed the Greg Lake Band in 2005. This band consists of Lake on guitar, David Arch on keyboards, Trevor Barry on bass, Bret Morgan on drums and Florian Opahle on lead guitar. It is Greg Lake’s classic songs and Florian Ophale’s guitar work that make this DVD.
Some of the tracks are a little bland. “Fanfare for the Common Man” is one where they are going through the motions. On one hand, I can understand this — after all this is just a rehearsal. But there are others like the old ELP staples “Take a Pebble” and “Welcome Back My Friends,” that are really good and stand on their own.
A lot of what makes these tracks so good is German born Florian Opahle. This kid can play! He has been a studio musician as well as working with Greg Lake and Jethro Tull. I predict that he will go far in this business.
Welcome Backstage is a DVD for special tastes. I liked it from the stand point of the rehearsal stage feel. I liked it from the aspect of seeing Florian Opahle play. I think that it would have been better served to be packaged with a DVD of the live show for a two disk product (which is what they did in the UK)
If you are a person who loves music, especially some of the old acts, Welcome Backstage provides some insight into a classic musician. If you were a fan of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, you too should enjoy Welcome Backstage as I did.
Track List for Welcome Backstage
Farewell To Arms
Fanfare For The Common Man
Take A Pebble
Watching Over You
I Believe In Father Christmas
Welcome Back My Friends