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King Crimson - Deja VROOM (DVD) CD (album) cover

DEJA VROOM (DVD)

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.44 | 110 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars King Crimson's 1995 video release at the height of their tour for THRAK is a high quality and very well performed statement from the double trio incarnation of this group. The dvd, treated as if it were a vinyl and requiring you to flip the sides of the disc to watch the different sets (which I find a bit annoying if you are sitting comfortably and you do not want to flip the disc to watch the second half), features a great overall setlist and some interesting special features, but the menus are very very hard to use (mainly because they don't tell you where you are and choosing what button you should press to scroll to the right selection can be a bit trifling). The sound on this dvd is very in your face, except Tony Levin's stick is very very hard to hear during signature songs like Frame By Frame and to a lesser extent Elephant Talk.

The first set opens up with a short improv that has all the members going off on random tangents before coming to a consensus with VROOM VROOM. This instrumental is well played and kudos to Levin for his great bass interlude (in the vein of Wetton's bass interlude in Red). Normally, I love Frame By Frame live, but the sound on this version (and it may be Belew's guitar) is somewhat grating to the ears and it pains me to be not so fond of this version of it. Other things worth mentioning are B'boom, with it's awesome introduction from Fripp and the great dynamic drumming between Mastelloto and Bruford before breaking into THRAK, in which Belew uses an electric screwdriver to vary up the sound a bit (as well as some piano on his guitar compliments of the guitar synthesizer). The first set closes with Matte Kudasai, which is another well performed live incantation of it to say the least.

The second set opens with some great guitar work from Belew and Fripp in Three of a Perfect Pair, in which Fripp's solo sound replicates that of a saxophone. Elephant Talk opens with a nice duet between Levin and Gunn, a little improv often called Two Sticks (althought on this video Gunn is exclusive to the Warr Guitar). I'm quite fond of Belew's solo on this song, it blows his other live versions of it out of the water. The Talking Drum/Larks Tongue in Aspic Part II is a great instrumental duo with some awesome violin from Belew via his guitar synthesizer. The version of Larks Tongue in Aspic Part II has also got to be the heaviest version of this song I've heard and it's probably my favorite live version of it. All in all both sets are great to watch, but there's some problems in my opinion with Tony Levin's stick mixing and the overall quality of the sound itself.

The special features range from informative, to very creative, to somewhat boring. In the Court of the Crimson King is essentially the entire history of the group through the words of Fripp himself. Vector Patrol is also somewhat interesting, but nothing out of this world. Tony Levin's road videos are also somewhat boring because there is no dialogue in them, only extended viewings of conversations and other things the band is doing (including playing arcade racing games). 21st Century Schizoid Band is among the most creative things ever released on dvd. Here you can choose whatever era of Crimson (69 era, 72 era, 74 era, or the 95 era) you want to have as the backing band, whichever vocalist you want (Lake, Boz, Wetton, or Belew) and whoever you want to solo (McDonald, Collins, Cross, or Belew). The zany mixtures you can make are quite interesing and can provide a lot of fun for the times when you are bored.

In the end, Deja VROOM is an interesting dvd collection well worth a purchase. My only gripes with it lie in the having to flip the disc to watch both parts of it, the impossible to navigate menus, and some little sound glitches here and there in the show. But other than that, this is a great dvd with a great show (that thankfully auto starts the show so you don't have to navigate the menu for it). 4/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 4/5 |

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