St. Louis International Progressive Keyboard Extravaganza

Also see: Par Lindh Project ~ Alaska

From: Roy DeRousse 
Par Lindh Project, Barry Palmer/Dave Duncan, and Alaska will play a long format concert on June 5, 1999 at Centenary Church in St. Louis and also at Off Broadway Nightclub on June 7. This includes the world premiere of Barry Palmer's material on radio or in live performance. You will hear Barry's vocals on classic Triumvirat songs supported by Swedish keyboard maestro Par Lindh and the Par Lindh Project and with Alaska. The Triumvirat Tribute material has not been played in 2 decades. The church will let the concert go as long as the artists want to play and all artists are cooperating with each other now for these concerts which give you the best of the individual groups plus the bonus of a historic Tribute to Triumvirat Music. Check out for updates as they occur such as venue photos, ticket sales, videos sales, and more.

From: Steve Taaffe <>
I just got back last night (Tuesday) from the St. Louis concert featuring Barry Palmer(Triumvirat), Alaska and Par Lindh Project. In a word it was incredible. Barry was over to St. Louis from London for his only US visit and played several of his new songs he is working on for release later this year. Barry gave me a copy of his demo cd to play on Radio Free Kansas which I will be doing next week. He had John and Al of Alaska backing him up while he also played the classic Triumvirat songs including "I Believe". Alaska had the Triumvirat sound down perfect. Alaska's own set of music was from the cd that they have out now plus they played several ELP tunes. John's keyboard work was fantastic as was Al's drumming skills. The first concert was on Saturday June 5th at the Centenary Church in St. Louis which featured the turn of the century authentic pipe organ which Par Lindh played. Everybody there was in awe as Par played it. Par Lindh Project, from Sweden, played a lot of their music from the cd's that they have released. The interaction between all the members of Par Lindh was incredibly tight. One special treat for those of us attending the second concert, which was on this past Monday night at The Off Broadway Club in St. Louis, was that Par Lindh played the Hammond C3. It was very cool to hear that. I had permission to tape all the musicians as well as Rob LaDuca, who manages Par Lindh and Alaska and plan to have the real audio interview on the website within one week. Rob said the concert tour has been a huge success and was also looking forward to NEARFEST concert coming up. Par Lindh still had Chicago and Detroit to play before returning to Sweden. Those e prog members in those cities should make plans to see Par Lindh because they rocked the house. Oh yea...bring your ear plugs cause you will need them.

From: (Brett Rains)
Went to The House Of Blues here in Chicago last night for the Par Lindh Project/Gong show, & man, what a show. Gong aren't exactly my cup of tea, so I'm not going to comment on them here, but PLP were amazing. These guys really must be experienced live as they are certainly more powerful on stage! I got to the hall early to stake out a good spot. Chicago's House Of Blues is a beautiful venue, with a sort of southern-gothic feel, & a great ornate decor. Got to meet Mr. Rob LaDuca & hang out with him awhile before the show (pleasure, Rob!) & watch him hawk some PLP souveniers. As we were talking, none other than Par Lindh himself arrived, & I was introduced to Par by Mr. LaDuca. Got a gracious handshake from Par & he even signed my copy of "Mundus Incompertus"! As for the show, the word 'majestic' comes to don't get any better than this. The band played a one hour set that was fantastic! There were a few small problems with the mix, but the sound was great. And loud! The setlist started with "Baroque Impression #1"; followed by "The Cathedral"; then a new, extended piece that Par joked "has no name & might be on the next album" (great!); & closed with the entire "Mundus Incompertus" suite. The band has really evolved into a tight, muscular unit. MVP award has to go to guitarist Jocke Ramsell--the harmony runs he & Par pull-off effortlessly are awesome. This guy is one talented picker. The Nisse Bielield/Marcus Jaderhom rhythm section was rock solid & I was impressed at how powerful a drummer Nisse really is. And Magdalena Hagberg! Not only is this lady beautiful, but she could sing the phone book & make it sound like angels from Heaven. Her violin playing was the surprise of the night--impressive! I didn't know she played violin. Par was in top-form as well. I was standing no more than 10 feet from his battery of Roland keys (no Hammonds on the road, sorry Jeff!), & was close enough to read the labels (in Swedish) on his synth dials, & he is incredible to watch. While he is controlling 4 sets of keys at the same time, he is also leading the band like an orchestral conductor, giving various cues to the players with a simple nod or a hand gesture. The entire band constantly kept their attentions on his side of the stage. Par is in the same league as the Old Masters, Emmo, Wakey, & Fritz (sounds like a law firm, lol), IMO. The crowd was great & very receptive, & the turnout was good (Gong had a lot to do with this, I'm sure). I was glad to see this, as I heard the showing for the gala St. Louis shows was pretty disappointing. All in all, great show...did I mention these guys are awesome? Blah, blah, blah, you get the point. Par plays Detroit this Friday before going back to Sweden--how much is air fare?

From: Steve Taaffe <>
Just wanted to comment on Brett's review which was a very accurate description of what I experienced in St. Louis. The word "majestic" definitely fits Par's work. I also got a copy of the guitarist, bass and drum player for PLP... they have two cd's out and they really rock. I interviewed the members of PLP and you can hear the Real Audio interview complete with music on our website. Par's name is actually pronounced "Pear". For those not familiar with PLP you can hear some of their music starting on Monday on our LIVE webcasts. Now that Anglagard and Anekedoten are not around anymore Par Lindh's music will fill the void very nicely. I'm looking forward to their next release. You should have seen him play the turn of the century church organ as well as all his other keyboards...mind blowing to say the least.

From: Mike Flemmer <>
My copy of the St. Louis Centenary Church Keyboard Extravaganza video arrived today. This video concert features Par Lindh Project, Barry Palmer, and Alaska from a concert on June 5th, 1999. (more info and to place an order at: ) Ladies and gentlemen, PLP turns in an outstanding performance, satisfying in every way. Many thanks go to Joe Toohey for organizing the event and capturing it on video! THANKS, JOE! (thanks also to the Centenary Church!) The video comes on two tapes with Alaska and Barry Palmer on tape 1, PLP on tape 2. I'm not an Alaska or Barry Palmer fan, so my review will only be about PLP on tape 2. However, if you are a fan of Alaska and Barry Palmer, I'm sure you'll like their performances. I'll let someone else review them. I'm reviewing PLP only in this post. The star of the show was PLP and they pull 'all the stops' (literally). My expectations have been exceeded. Every now and then, the right combination of musicians happen to find each other and the result is a group that has that extra 'something'. PLP has that extra 'something'. NO doubt about it. First, let me say what could have been better about the production, then I'll review PLP in detail. It's obvious that big money could not be spent on production costs because the production is grade C. If you've ever seen the ELP 'Pictures' video from the 70's, this looks very similar. However, I'd rather have a grade C video than no video at all. The first problem is that the audio is mono, not stereo! This is upsetting, as stereo certainly can't be that expensive to produce, right? Even in mono, I still enjoyed it. The other problems are:
-camera work doesn't know how to follow the music (this would take full rehearsals and more costs)
-audio problem on the organ
-the piano is actually off stage, out of view
Even with a grade C production, I still thoroughly enjoyed watching PLP perform. All the musicians are superb and the group is very tight (which is not easy considering the complexity of their music, which often has several slow/fast changes in each peices that have to be executed with utter precision).
---------------- The Musicians --------------
-PAR LINDH is an astonishing musician. Not only is he a classically trained pianist/harpsichordist/organist, he writes the groups excellent music, each piece an outstanding prog work. These are compositions that rock, and yet also have slow sections. Something interesting is always happening every 16 bars. The compositions have 'forward' motion, either building to a climax, or exploring a harmonic progression. Solos are rarely improvised and they never venture out of context. It's remarkable to watch the guy play every type of keyboard with equal skill. I have no doubt he could play a Rachmaninov Piano Concerto one day, and then give a Bach organ recital the next. 
-JOCKE RAMSELL on guitar is excellent. Solos are virtuosic.
-NISSE BIELIED, drummer, is working his butt off!
-MARCUS JADERHOLM, bass, never gets a solo (I think), but he is also virtuosic as well.
-MAGDALENA HAGBERG, vocals, violin. Sounds as good live as she does in recordings! Always perfectly on pitch. It's evident she loves the music and since ladies in prog are very rare - let's hope she sticks with this group for a long time.
---------------- The Concert ---------------
A very polished show and superb musicianship. Highly satisfying to watch. These pieces really do rock in a live concert! And, these people are nice. They thank the audience for applause and Par even bows his head in thanks almost like a pianist would in a recital (something maybe now a habit from when he use to give harpsichord recitals). Here' what they played:
Outstanding! Excellent opener. Here's what Par Lindh has around him: a synth facing the audience set for harpsichord tone, 3 synths in a stack facing the guitarist, and something really beautiful on his right - a 4 manual pipe organ with a mini-moog on top! Unfortunately, every time Par plays the pipe organ, the audio goes out! You can still hear the organ, but at 80 percent volume reduction. There is an obvious short in the mike. Only once, at the end of The Cathedral, is the pipe organ audio ok and the conclusion of Cathedral is highly satisfying, with Par playing what sounds like a Bach fugue.
They play ELP's arrangement of Jerusalem! Then they go into another song, but I'm not sure the name. 
3. PIANO CONCERTO (by Par Lindh)
Par plays solo on the piano. He says he is working on this work - a piano concerto. We hear what sound like the opening section, about 5 minutes. It's a very Emersonish piece, lots of runs up and down the keyboard, a soft moment here and there. One problem- the piano is not on stage! Par leaves the stage to play a piano that is off stage, out of camera range! We can however, just barely see his face, and thankfully, somebody remembered to put a mike near the piano, so we can hear it ok! 
A nice work featuring Magdalena on vocals. She is outstanding on every piece.
Par solos on pipe organ with a prelude by Buxtehude. But again, the audio is out- we can hear it, but it sounds far away.
This nifty work rocks and yes, they don't have a name for it yet! But, they said it will appear on their next album.
If this isn't a prog masterpiece, I don't know what is! Excellent video of watching Par's hands on the keyboard (harpsichord sound). Magdalena sounds as good live as she does on the CD!
About 5 minutes shorter than the CD, I think the opening is skipped. Still, a great piece of music. Standing ovation.
9. (ENCORE) ?
I don't know the name of this piece but I like it.
Nothing bugs me more than the fact that many ELP concerts were not filmed for future prosperity! Too many incredible ELP concerts were never filmed! How often does an Emerson come around? Not often! Let's not make the same mistake with PLP! I hope more filming of their concerts takes place! Again, I am very thankful again to the organizers who made this event happen and had it recorded on video in the USA! That had to be a challenge. The rewards were worth it. I feel like I have a concert of PLP that I can watch again and again. Maybe it's even historic. The first PLP concert filmed in the USA for commercial release? A must have for fans of PLP, even considering the grade C production. Thoroughly enjoyable.

From: Joe (non-member)
Let me reply to a few things that you should know. View all of both tape 1 and tape 2 to the end. A lot of time went into the credits and PLP's full Gundlev's Round and Night on Bare Mountain plays during credits on tape 1 while Alaska's Anyman's Tommorow plays to credits on tape 2 from June 5. There is a lot of information in addition to a lot of music. The tune is The Iconoclast after Jerusalem which is on Gothic Impressions and the encore is a Bilbo Medley which is a new compilation of pieces from the Bilbo CD. I suggest you get the June 7 Off Broadway video set because tape 1 and 2 of that are in stereo and the PLP concert on tape 2 is left in HI-FI audio also. Most of the audio blame goes to the company JTS at Centenary (in the credits). They didn't let us know that the soundboard feed on the 2 channels to DAT and the Videographer were not stereo. Also, they forgot that the church organ mic needed to be turned on for DAT and video even though it wasn't needed for the audience. In edits I had Bob Gill turn up the audio on those parts where the organ sound was picked up by other mics. I orginally had to turn up the TV to hear the organ, so in having Bob raise the volume you can hear it along with white noise. This is the fault of JTS, not Bob Gill who could have used his own mics instead of soundboard if we had known in advance. Centenary would not let us put the grand piano on stage because it could get out of tune doing that. Until JTS came, the grand was easy to see. All of that sound equipment made the grand impossible to see unless you sat on the right side of the church. However, with 3 cameras being used, at least 2 cameras were able to zoom into the person playing on the grand. Another reason to get June 7 video set is that the stage setting is different. The drums take center stage with Par on the right side and a Hammond C-3 organ in front with his keyboard on top of it (the one at the church on my single keyboard stand). I had to drive about 30 miles away to find a 3 keyboard stand to rent since Par's was left in San Francisco by accident. Also Par does his version of Rondo on June 7 which is about 4 minutes longer than on his CD. It has a lot of clever intervals from ELP, Bach, etc. and appearing to be improvised. It appears that you might prefer the stereo HI-FI June 7 tape which has no mic problems like the church organ or view problems like the grand. Bilbo Medley, Piano Concerto, Jerusalem, & Crimson Shield were only done on June 5. There is more of a Rock and Jazz flavor to the Nightclub presentation than the more Classical presentation on June 5. Par wears a shirt with an ELP logo on it at the Nightclub and highlights of that night were a great instrumental Tarkus done by Alaska, an awesome Spartacus by Alaska/Barry, and PLP doing Rondo (not to mention Mundus and the other pieces). The ending credits on June 7 tape 2 are done to Gunlev's Round & Night on Bare Mountain in HI-FI mode also. PLP starts with Iconoclast and follows a different order and arrangement (Hammond & synths vary from method used on June 7). Par started out as a straight classical musician and brought Magdalena's classical background into play with the other 3 rock players. The fusion of genres is pure genius on most songs. The live version is way better since Magdalena does all the vocals compared to the male singing on the CDs. That has been pointed out by many people familiar with PLP.
It should be noted that Barry never met Alaska or PLP until June 4, there was only 1 hour to rehearse with sound at Centenary, and Bob Gill had never heard any of the music before. Bob did a fantastic job with split screens, multiple camera shots, slow motion, many special effects, titles, and the final edits. A single camera would have cost a lot less, but have been way too boring. Much of these considerations will get high reviews compared to single camera events. You probably have a smaller collection of videos than a lot of us since the picture and sound quality of June 5 & 7 is better than at least 90% of my video collection which has most of everything out there by ELP, NICE, Renaissance, Wakeman, Kansas, Emerson Solo/BEST/ELPowell/THREE/, YES,TULL, etc. Most of the older stuff is all from TV shootings that have found their way across the world by trading and newer stuff by both legitimate and bootleg shootings. The rating system a lot of us use, is A+, A, A-, B+, B and anything below that is unable to be watched or unable to be heard at all most of the time. These tapes were made off master Super VHS tapes directly and the sound & picture quality both rate an A when compared to the majority or progressive videos out their that are mainly bootleg shootings and TV broadcasts in various countries. The entertainment factor of Spartacus, Mundus, Rondo, & all the other portions drives the rating up to A+ for much of the concert while the soar throat of Barry and technical glitches take away from that in other portions. You will probably enjoy it more watching again and give it a higher rating if you had a bigger collection of poorer quality prog videos. In your case, I hope you get the June 7 set which overcomes a lot of the faults you have with June 5. Let's see what other's think in the coming weeks!

From: Mike Flemmer <>
A few days ago I wrote this in regard to the new PLP June5th video: >A must have for fans of PLP, even considering the grade C production.>Thoroughly enjoyable. I just wanted to clarify that what I meant by grade C. I was comparing the overall production to something that might be produced in Hollywood such as 'ABC In Concert'. My grade C refers to the fact that the production is more of a lower budget production, without the use of 10 cameras, etc... But let me clarify that there is a standard video quality rating system on the internet that uses grades A, A+, B, B+, C, C+ etc.. to describe videos for sale from all types of individuals who sell copies of concerts. This PLP video is a grade A ( IMO), when applied to this rating system. The visual is excellent. The audio is excellent (except it's mono). The are also several slick double screen shots used.

 From: Joe (non-member)
Yes, a of folks can't afford stereo TVs and VCRs. A lot of people say they can only afford one video set, but there is no best set for everyone since both have their merits. Remember that June 7 is through the nightclub soundboard which means zero audience noise (except for a few very loud whistles during some exciting moments (not proper at a church). The slow sections have zero noise and Bob Gill used a lot of video effects during the Barry Palmer slow songs. PLP did not get any edits which is why that tape was left in HI-FI as well as stereo. You have the correct PO BOX and amount. I prefer checks, since I already have one person checking what happened to a money order that I never received. I do wait for checks to clear, and people forget that places like my credit union issue bank checks at no charge which is like a cashier check and safer than losing a money order. I knew your were rating against expensive productions like Pay Per View videos such as ABWH, but most of the old Kirshner & ABC rock concerts have poorer video quality and sound from age. Beside owning the ELP Pix at Exhibition (Rock & Roll Your Eyes) 90 minute video, I saw it in the movie theatre back when it first came out in the early seventies under the title "Emerson, Lake, & Palmer in the Movies". I sat through it twice to hear the music, but we all gave boos every time that stupid color effect like acid drugs went on the screen or the dumb cartoon overlays. Cheers went up every time those stupid effects went off the screen. I would not ruin a good concert film by taking away from the artists for so long with such stupid effects that hide them. The standard PLP concert is Nightclub style. St. Louis was the only Church gig in the USA and was totally unique. I could not allow it not to be captured on video since rock concerts simply can't get access to such a great venue like Centenary. The other reason was Barry Palmer only did St. Louis and this was the moment to join with Alaska & Par since nobody else would bring them together if I didn't put up the money. June 7 is what you would see if PLP came anywhere near you. There may be an effort to have colleges invite PLP across the USA by Rober LaDuca eventually. I only handled the St. Louis concerts since I live here and wanted the revival of T'rat music along with PLP, Alaska, & Barry's solo works. The extra ELP works thrown in was a bonus treat by the performers. The chances of Florida getting PLP are actually better than St. Louis. You have people like Mark Glinsky in Orlando and other folks that would help out. Someone has to take care of expenses and the rest falls into place. These videos are the only chance of me recovering huge financial loss from gigantic expenses and very small crowd turnout in St. Louis. Par would like to come here to play with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and now I have video to show to the business people in attempting this with their funding in the next year or two. So far, Japan is the most interest foreign country in these videos and there will be coverage in Progression Magazine along with an ad of mine to help spread the word. If word gets around, these videos will sell. You need to check out Triumvirat if you don't have any of there music. Old Loves Die Hard & Pompeii are CDs that are easy to get now. The rest get re-released later this year with bonus tracks.

From: Mike Flemmer <>
>The same thing happened to me with Par Lindh Project-Mundus Incompertus. Too many drums. The album could be better if the drums played calmly.
> Nah, I like the drumming on MI. The dude is great!
I understand both viewpoints. After watching PLP on the new video just released I can tell you the drummer is working his butt off - very much in the style of Carl Palmer, and just as hard. Great, tight, complex drumming. The drummer is superbly keeping the band together and the fast/slow sections are perfectly executed. The musicians often don't even have to look at each other for cues. I can understand how someone might want less drumming on the CD so they can hear the melodies and music more. I kind of thought that too on first hearing. I thought, "were the drums really necessary when the music is this good on it's own?" Yes they are. After watching PLP in concert, I now consider the loud drumming essential to the music, as much as it was for ELP. However, the CD doesn't have a live feeling- it's a clean studio performance and raw, loud drumming may indeed sound a bit too much. But the drummer is just playing in the studio as he does in concert. In concert, you'll love it.

From: Mike Flemmer <>
PLP Off Broadway June 7th video (1999): I'm half way through watching tape 2 of the just released Keyboard Extravaganza video from This is another outstanding performance of the P? Lindh Project. Highly recommended! I'm wearing headphones and playing the video on a stereo VCR. Yes- tape 2 (PLP) is in full HI-FI stereo and the audio is outstanding! I'm blown away. Also, xxcellent close ups of the drummer, guitarist, and singer Magdalena.