“King Crimson lives in different bodies at different times and the particular form which the group takes changes. When music appears, which only King Crimson can play then, sooner or later, King Crimson appears to play the music.
This is as true as true can be.
August 12th at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, the Version VIII lineup performed: Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, Gavin Harrison. Spectacular musicianship, discipline and control, a powerful and encompassing sound — King Crimson delivered.
I've seen Crimson a few times and I've not known them to play much from their older canon, but the concert's set list was full of old favorites. In fact, there was more from Thrak than I could have hoped. [Thrak is a favorite of mine, a desert island top ten, in fact.] Their rendition of Walking on Air was transporting. Dinosaur, Three of a Perfect Pair, Elephant Talk [Belew cracked up at one point] Vrooom — all so excellent. I nearly cried when they started Frame by Frame — hearing Belew wail live was aural heaven. It was all I could do to stay seated when they launched into Thela Hun Ginjeet.
Levin was masterful and it was awesome to see that tall mantis in person. Belew was in fine voice, if slightly raspy and textured from the previous night's concert. Mastelotto and Harrison played as one drummer. My friends and I remarked how other bands attempt two drummers but misuse the concept. Crimson, however, knows how to make this an attack of epic proportion; it's so powerful, layered and dynamic, it's transfixing. Fripp, ninja that he is, was uncharacteristically stage right in front, albeit nearly hidden behind a rack. True to form, he was the master of complexity. I don't think there's anyone quite like him.
Crimson deserves no less than top-notch. I don't know if was the house or the soundman, but the mix could have been better. This imperfection, though, didn't dent my experience. It was a phenomenal show. Three encores only left me wanting more.
It's not just concert afterglow observation; King Crimson truly continues to claim their position at number one in my book.
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Some images for you:
Tony Levin's blog
Sid Smith's photos
You should also know about:
Discipline Global Mobile
Thank you, Mr. Fripp.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
at 8:18 AM