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King Crimson - Absent Lovers - Live in Montreal, 1984  CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.46 | 356 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Wonderful Document.

I was at the Toronto show of this tour, held just a couple of days before this concert was recorded on the last day of the tour in Montreal. Unknown to anyone at the time, Crimson would split after this, and not get back together (and under compromised circumstances) for 10 years. So, it is great that this recording survived. And it is very good. This line-up is, for some, their best, and their early 80s music is certainly original and inventive. The set list is the same as the Toronto show I saw, and covers most of their best tunes from the three albums, plus two oldies. It opens with each member of the band entering the stage individually, one by one, plugging in their instrument, and improvising. When Fripp enters, he lets rip his signature crazy-heavy solo, ripping the eardrums off the audience. Bruford is playing his mixed acoustic-electric set, with the wall of electric drums behind him. Belew adds feedback, etc and then suddenly without warning start Lark's Tongues Part III (from the 'Three of a Perfect Pair' album). This sets the mood, after which they launch into 'Thela Hun Ginjeet' repeat with feedback solos, 'Red', etc. One of the highlights here is the structured instrumental improv 'Industry' (again, from 'Three of a Perfect Pair'), and another is 'Indiscipline'. The latter begins with a Bruford drum solo (awesome!) over Adrian Belew playing the syncopated beat from the song. Every version of 'Indiscipline' is different, and this one shines. While a number of the songs here have fairly regular song structures, and are even played by (most) similarly to the album versions, what is often different are Bruford's fills and even beats. Sometimes he drums in four when the song is in seven, sometimes drums in three when the song is in four, etc. This is one (among many) things that make this band special. He did not, that I can tell, play this way in any other versions of the band, nor in any of his other bands. One of the penultimate tracks here is this band's version of 'Lark's Tongues in Aspic part II', with Bruford sometimes playing four (over eleven), Belew playing the violin part with his feedback-drenched style, and Fripp using a very different sound than on the original versions. The version here of Heartbeat (an encore track) is also notable. On the whole, a great collection, offering a window on their live tour. I give this 8.5 out of 10 on my 10-point scale which translates to 4 PA stars.

Walkscore | 4/5 |


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