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jdgm

King Crimson

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I just got back from seeing King Crimson live at the Brighton Dome (Sussex, UK). Quite a show.

Ticket in 4th row of the circle cost me £65 inc booking fees, about $98 USD. Seating was uncomfortable and cramped and beer was £4.90 a bottle (!), but that didn't matter too much.

This was about the 4th gig on what may be the last KC tour; there was no support or intermission, and the show lasted over 1 1/2 hours.

 

There are seven musicians in the current line-up; Robert Fripp, saxophonist Mel Collins, bassist Tony Levin, guitarist/vocalist Jakko Jakszyk and three drummers; Gavin Harrison, Bill Rieflin and Pat Mastelotto.

 

The drummers are at front of the stage with the other 4 behind and slightly above them. Visually it is spectacular though static - no-one moves around.

There was no light show or spotlights, only a change to deep red light for the last couple of numbers.

 

The lead vocals are all sung by Jakszyk whose voice is somewhere between Greg Lake and Wetton, absolutely right for the part as well as being a fine guitarist and a good foil for Fripp.

There are no amp stacks or conventional backline but Fripp has a refrigerator-sized rack and played his Crimson Guitars Robert Fripp Signature throughout. (EDIT) This has a Fernandes Sustainer, MIDI, piezo and conventional pickups.

IMO he should have been a bit louder at times but his unique guitar sound was still there and in the mix. (EDIT) I am told he tunes in 5ths.

 

Collins plays baritone, tenor, alto and soprano saxes as well as flute and Levin has an electric upright bass, Chapman stick (inaudible) and 2 MusicMan basses (one still has the "3 Of A Perfect Pair" tour graphic) which really cut through, and he also sings backing vocals.

 

Having 3 drummers with full kits might seem a bit too much but Mastelotto and Rieflin (who played in Ministry) also had drum machines and mellotron-sounding keyboards, and all 3 co-ordinated with the others immaculately. Putting them in front was the right thing to do.

Gavin Harrison got the drum solo and I got the impression that this guy knows the position of everything he hits to the millimetre. There were several drums-only sections; to me this style of drumming originated with Bruford during his time with KC and if he'd been there tonight he could have replaced at least 2 of the drummers...with all due respect.

 

The material included "Easy Money", "Construktion Of Light", "Epitaph", "Sailor's Tale" and "The Letter" - still a very dramatic song, "Starless", "In The Court Of The Crimson King" and encore of "21st Century Schizoid Man".

Plus more, some of which I think came from the 1st album or "Poseidon" - sounded familiar but I cannot remember the titles.

 

This was the 5th time I have seen KC in its various incarnations and a good one to go out on. There is no other band like it. Nothing could be as good as Bruford/Wetton in 1972 or the 1st tour with Belew and Levin in 1980 but that was back then and we are all so much older now. Fripp is 69.

 

Well worth seeing!

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I am a huge King Crimson fan, mostly of the Adrian Belew time-frame, Three Of A Perfect Pair, etc.

 

Tony Levin is my personal hero.

I love him down to his bone marrow.

 

[biggrin]

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Thanks for a nicely written review.

 

The US tour never got within 400 miles of where I live now so I sadly missed it. I've been following through others though and I have no doubt it was a great evening.

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Sounds like a great show. I was listening to Red in the car this evening. John Wetton's singing - on Starless always gives me chills. Glad to hear the new incarnation is sounding great.

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Found your review very interesting jdgm, sounds like a good show.

 

I must get round to listening to some of the more recent line-ups of the band. My favourite period of King Crimson is the Fripp/ Wetton/ Bruford/ Cross one and I especially like the Larks Tongues album, but Red is also great and Starless is a haunting, epic highpoint of that album for sure.

 

Love this performance of Starless;

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAAqAnCBNKQ

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Love Crimson, saw them every time they came to Boston when I was a teenager, 3 or 4 times... I read a couple years ago that Fripp had retired. I was devastated! So this thread made me very happy..!! Is its at all possible I will try to see them.

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Does anyone know why Adrian Belew wasn't part of it?

 

According to Wikiopedia...

 

"The new line-up formally ended Adrian Belew's thirty-two year tenure as King Crimson's frontman, as he was not invited to rejoin the band (due to Fripp considering him "not right" for the new approach)."

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They didn't make it here or near either.

The absence of Belew and Bruford makes it a bit easier on me but I would have been utterly crestfallen without some fossilising.

 

Glad you enjoyed it. I really would have too.

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They aren't playing anywhere near me. I did love the live album they released last year. I hope there is more to come and I have heard rumors that they are working on new material.

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Love Fripp's stuff. Downloaded a Sylvian/Fripp performance a while back and it's awesome. I think it's called' 2 Thieves'. Unique and brilliant.

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