Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Life Changing Experience

2 Days ago I saw King Crimson at the Keswick Theater. The gravity of that experience just hit me.

It took me and my girlfriend (who now has a crush on Adrian) 3.5 hours to get to the venue from where we live. She couldn't get out of work until the very last minute so as soon as she got home it was a rush. Mapquest gave us some faulty directions at the very last minute which cost us the beginning of TCOL and drums. Fortunately, my friend got there early enough and we handed him his ticket out the window of our moving car so he got to catch it. Here are my reactions (track by track)

TCOL: missed the first 2 mins tops. When i got into the venue I heard the band playing I thought maybe it was just the CD or something but then I rushed to my seat as fast as I could when the realization hit me. People were being seated the whole time. Talked to a guy during the encore he said the band was playing Drums when he walked in as DOORS OPENED. (I will be there ultra early for the Sat NYC show)

Oh yea the song. mind blowing. I think the 2 new songs they played (TCOL/L5) were by far the strongest material. These 2 songs alone put this as my fav KC line up so far (right in front of the Double Duo. I'm one of the few it seems to think that KC has done nothing but get better ever since 1969. [except lizard/islands but those still kick major ass])

Red: I was floored. Tony rocked the stick for this song which surprised me a great deal. Gavin really fits in well for the older tracks it seems.

Frame by Frame: Great performance from the front line. Gavin and Pat switched off playing the verses and then both went BERSERK during the "chorus"(?). First Chorus: Gavin rocks the rims of the drums/snare Second/Third Chorus: Gavin was rocking ride/little bell cymbals (not splash) while Pat was ripping it up on some tribal drums. Not sure if they were electric or not.

Neurotica: Chaotic intro only played by drums. Wow. Adrian missed the first pass of "Arrive in Neurotica". Song ended with just Drums/Stick. Very bizzarre version of this song but TOTALLY awesome.

TOAPP: Blistering version. Love Tony on backup vocals. They really bring the song to life. Adrian takes the solo on this one. Doesn't sound at all like the weird 80's solo, but a backwards guitar solo. I liked it, but i much prefer when Robert takes the solo. I guess Adrian wanted to mix it up a little bit since he's been playing that song all through his solo tours.

Talking Drum/Larks': Tony again rocking the stick. Little muddy and tappy but it fit in really well. Gavin holding the groove for these songs while Pat does ALL KINDS of weird muir-esque things into his overhead mics (waving and whirling and twirling allsorts). Larks' was slow and sludgy as hell. As slow if not slower than the studio versions. Very Metal.

One Time: Adrians voice sounded great, however for all the "And I've been" sections he was off with the drums, but Pat stuck to his guns and didn't shift the groove, which I thought was excellent. Soundscape in the middle of the song was otherworldly. I think this is the best place for soundscapes, just letting the song dissolve into a sea of sound and then bring it right back. Oh Tony dons the bass for the first time.

B'BOOM: (Sort of) They really crank for this song. Gavin does a lot of his signature offtime stuff while Pat holds the ground and when they do the theme it really resonates. Adrian and Tony and Robert all stay on stage. Robert is stonefaced the whole time and Adrian and Tony try to be serious but really arent those kind of people so they wind up smiling a whole bunch during it.

Dinosaur: Great version. No string part in the middle. Pat took lead for this song while Gavin did sort of what Pat used to do during the Double Trio lineup for this song. Gavin seemed mighty bored though. Oh well.

Level Five: Absolutely Jaw dropping. Tony did an awesome job covering Trey's part on the stick. (I was very skeptical of how he'd take care of it, not because of difficulty, but it just doesn't seem like his style). The way the drums were divided up were absolutely insane. There needs to be a release of this lineup doing this song. During the extremely heavy breakdown in the middle it was just cymbal madness and then they'd break for tony/robert to do their complicated duet and then go back into the cymbal chokes. If anyone had second thoughts about their ticket purchases, this song should put them over the edge.

Sleepless: Interesting version of this song. Sounds very similar to the B'BOOM version. Tony rocked the funk fingers for this song. I'm glad we got it because this isn't a sub song, you just either get it or you don't. I think it's placement after level 5 was absolutely awful though. Metal as hell -> 80's dance/pop. Why? Just slide it into the encore, right where it belongs.

VROOOM/Coda: Marine 475: WITH THE MELLOTRON INTRO FROM THE ALBUM! Interesting to say the least. Remained very true to the original version, but Gavin did some strange jazzy hi-hat stuff during the main riffs. I'll have to reconsider how I feel about that on Saturday.

Encore: Here I snuck down to the front and sat in the isle. WAY LOUDER in the front. Makes all the songs just that much more powerful.

Drums: Cool again. Not much more to say.

Thela: They rocked the shit on this song. Gavin went absolutely Hog wild and tony used the Funk Fingers for the main riff and then switched over to his pinky/ring for the "heat in the jungle street" section. Adrian drops to his knees and wrenches his pedals like a madman (he does this on his solo tour too).

Elephant Talk: This song is an excellent encore. Fans loved it, not anything particularly different about it though. Adrian seemed a little bored, didn't have his usual screaming of the lyrics like we got in the Double Trio, but I'm just being picky.

Indiscipline: This song rocked very hard. Pat didn't do very much. Gavin took the intro solo and was the main man for the crazy sections. My first time seeing this song, Adrian is so cool during this song.

Pat gave his sticks to an 8 yr old kid in a TOAPP shirt. (You can see a pic of him on tony's site) They also got snuck backstage after the show. Lucky kid.

Robert was very stoic the whole performance. I feel bad i didn't mention him that much but there's not much to say. During Sleepless (I think) he moved one of the monitors on the floor by like 6 inches. (It wasn't even one that was facing him). I could just imagine him being irritated by it the whole show (THIS IS NOT IN THE CORRECT PLACE) and at that point he just couldn't take it any more. It made me laugh. I think Robert rocks for putting a huge ass effects rack between him and the audience. Someone gets a seat right in front of their hero and all they get is a huge box. Now, in his defense, Robert always keeps his effects rack to his right, so it's pretty much just the fact that he sat on the left side of the stage. He could have switched with Tony easily though and not had the big controversy, so I think he just wants to stay out of the limelight. That's how he's always rolled, why is everyone STILL so irritated with it? Why would someone change their ways after 40 years of perseverance? I think he's a champ for even coming out to do these shows at his age. I'm not sure I would. The solar voyager being in the way lets Robert have it both ways. People want to take pictures, all they're going to get is a big box, while he gets to be on stage and rock out with IMO the finest band I've ever heard.

Thank all 5 of you for this great show.


Tunes said...

I was at the Aug 12 show. As you say "The gravity of that experience..." has been with me throughout 8/13. (I suppose part of this was due to the adjustment of my hearing back to where it was before the concert.) Thanks for taking the time to comment. I agree with you on this: "I'm one of the few it seems to think that KC has done nothing but get better ever since 1969. [except lizard/islands but those still kick major ass])". LTIA2 was absolutely incredible - I don't understand why there are so many negative comments about these shows. During LTIA2 I was impressed by how this band covers the David Cross parts. One Time was excellent and I was glad to be able to experience T. Lev's playing. Another highlight occurred at the end of the show when Fripp created soundscape chords while the band played behind him. Your comments about Fripp offer about the best description I've heard or read -
the solar voyager and the left side of the stage, no flash distractions. I suppose he wants to hang with Pat M. Also, if he was on the right side, he'd have to have his back to the audience to keep the s.v. from blocking the band. Adding soundscapes creates staging difficulties. Following FZ's theme for the Fillmore '69 album - its a great time to be alive. Thanks again for your words.

Tere said...

argh wish i was there. New Zealand is Cold and Krimsonless. I will sell a limb if they go to japan.