Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


King Crimson

Eclectic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

King Crimson Live At The Orpheum album cover
3.10 | 122 ratings | 11 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

from partners
Live, released in 2015

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Walk On: Monk Morph Chamber Music (2:34)
2. One More Red Nightmare (6:07)
3. Banshee Legs Bell Hassle (1:40)
4. The ConstruKction of Light (6:31)
5. The Letters (4:57)
6. Sailor's Tale (6:51)
7. Starless (12:15)

Total Time: 40:55

1. Walk On: Monk Morph Chamber Music
2. One More Red Nightmare
3. Banshee Legs Bell Hassle
4. The ConstruKction of Light
5. The Letters
6. Sailor's Tale
7. Starless

Total Time: 41 min. approx.

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Fripp / guitar
- Tony Levin / basses, Chapman stick
- Bill Rieflin / drums
- Pat Mastelotto / drums
- Gavin Harrison / drums
- Jakko Jakszyk / guitar, vocals
- Mel Collins / saxes, flute

Releases information

CD+DVD Panegyric, Discipline Global Mobile DGMSP2 (2015 US) (DVD-A Sound options: 24/96 Hi-Res stereo)
CD+DEV Wowow Entertainment, Inc. IEZP-85 (2015 Japan)
LP Discipline Global Mobile, Panegyric, Inner Knot DGMLV1 (2015 UK, Europe & US) (200 g super-heavyweight vinyl version limited to a single pressing)
LP Wowow Entertainment, Inc. IEPS-9118 (2015 Japan)

Thanks to Glimpse for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy KING CRIMSON Live At The Orpheum Music

KING CRIMSON Live At The Orpheum ratings distribution

(122 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(28%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (16%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

KING CRIMSON Live At The Orpheum reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars The best official King Crimson live album for 40 years, but still could have been so much better

Live At The Orpheum features material that was recorded live on King Crimson's most recent tour which saw them perform some classic songs that they hadn't played live for a very, very long time. Sadly, not all of the classics that were performed are included on this live document. In fact, this live album features a heavily truncated set list. The long overdue return to some classic material was probably prompted by the welcome return of Mel Collins on saxophone and flute who previously was a member of the band in the early 70's. Mel also was a member of the excellent King Crimson alumni group the 21st Century Schizoid Band in which he collaborated with Jakko Jakszyk who handles lead vocals and second guitar here. Jakszyk is a very good singer and guitar player and his voice suits mellow songs like The Letters (originally from 1971's Islands) and Starless (from 1974's Red) perfectly. The latter song was also performed by the 21st Century Schizoid Band and so was the instrumental Sailor's Tale (also originally from Islands). These three songs are the best of this live album. The first four tracks include two shorter instrumentals that add little of interest to the proceedings and a version of ConstruKction Of Light (originally from the year 2000 album of the same name). The only other song from the 70's present here is One More Red Nightmare. As other have pointed out, the absence of 21st Century Schizoid Man is a disappointment and so is the lack of songs from the recent A Scarcity Of Miracles album (a King Crimson Projekct featuring Jakko Jakszyk, Mel Collins, and Robert Fripp). Filling out the line-up here is Tony Levin on bass and Chapman stick and no less than three (!) drummers in Bill Rieflin, Pat Mastelotto, and Gavin Harrison. Personally, I think the idea of multiple drummers is silly and pointless. But thankfully it doesn't disturb too much.

Despite its obvious flaws (and discounting the vast catalogue of archival live releases that have appeared over the years, most of which I am not familiar), this new live album is the most interesting live release under the King Crimson name since 1975's USA with John Wetton. Still, if you want to hear classic King Crimson songs performed live I would much rather recommend the excellent live double album Pictures Of A City - Live In New York by 21st Century Schizoid Band which blows Live At The Orpheum (and much else) away by a million miles. That brilliant alumni band featured Mel Collins and Jakko Jakszyk as well as other ex-King Crimson members in Ian McDonald, Peter Giles and Ian Wallace. Also, live releases by John Wetton (for example, his Amorata concert video and the Nomansland live album) and Greg Lake (for example, the Greg Lake DVD video) feature strong versions of classic King Crimson songs that overall outshine Fripp's band.

Review by Guillermo
4 stars A band with three drummers? If this could have happened when I was a teenager (and it was more than 30 years ago!) I could have been very "excited" and "surprised" ("A band with three drummers? Wow!") to see and to listen to this "experiment". the present for me this "experiment" only sounds more like another one done by Robert Fripp in a very long list. It is not the first time that KING CRIMSON has more than one drummer in the line- up, but I still think that with one very good drummer in any band is enough. Fortunately, one of the drummers in this new line-up (Bill Rieflin, with the other two drummers being "old" members Pat Mastelotto and Gavin Harrison) plays keyboards in some parts of some songs (particularly in the songs from the seventies "The Letters", "Sailor's Tale" and "Starless"). And my main interest to listen to this album was to listen to those songs from the seventies (which also include "One More Red Nightmare", from their "Red" album) played again with Mel Collins playing flute and sax. For me, the best period from this band was the 1969-74 period. Alll these songs are very well played, but with three drummers they sometimes sound with some excess....but very well anyway. It could have taken a lot of rehearsals to the three drummers to coordinate between them about who was going to play "what and when" in every song.

In this new KING CRIMSON line-up there are two former members of the 21ST CENTURY SCHIZOID BAND (Mel Collins, who also was a member of KING CRIMSON between 1970 and 1972, and Jakko Jakszyk, lead singer and guitarist who does a good job in this live album). Also Tony Levin plays bass and stick (with him being also and "old" member of the band from the eighties and nineties, a period of the band which I don`t like, due more to the musical influences of Adrian Belew than from the musical influences of Levin and other members from that period). From the Belew line-ups there is a song called "The Construcktion of Light", with the typical "obsessive" interplay from the guitars (a thing which I never liked from the Belew line-ups), but with very good flute and sax played by Collins. "Walk On : Monk Morph Chamber Music" is a brief instrumental "experimental" musical piece which works more as an introductory piece to the concert while the musicians walk to the stage. "Banshee Legs Bell Hassle" is another experimental instrumental musical piece which for me sounds a bit influenced by their "Larks Tongues in Aspic" album from 1973.

A four star rating for this live album from me, only for the inclusion of some songs from the seventies. But I still think that it is not necessary to have three drummers in a any band.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars The good news here is that King Crimson, after four and a half decades, still exists. Also, after years of running away from Crimson's back catalog of simply amazing music, his Frippness is now embracing the history of the band.

I'm sad to say I missed this tour last fall, coming at I time when attending such a concert was not an easy thing for me. I hear the live shows were spectacular. Unfortunately, I have only this disc and DVD to judge them.

My first impression is that the trio of drummers seems to have been a focus of this tour. And they do not disappoint, for the most part. It says something about Bill Bruford's abilities that these three percussionist together on One More Red Nightmare and Starless cannot match the jaw- dropping drumming on the original versions.

But don't get me wrong. These are very good renditions of songs from different stages of KC's vast and varied career. Obviously, Fripp is the only one here who played on all of the original versions of these songs. Other than Smilin' Bob, Mel Collins goes back the furthest of this group, having appeared on "Lizard" (sadly not represented here), "Islands" and "Red". Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto represent the later incarnations of the band (although the 80's albums are also not referenced), and Gavin Harrison and Jakko Jakszyk are here from the most recent grouping.

While they are quite competent at performing the classic songs, I am sad to say that they barely put their own musical signatures on these classic tracks. In fact, the only true variation from the original versions is Levin's funky bass line in Starless.

Still, this is an enjoyable disc. Particularly the fine version of Sailor's Tale.

One last note. Instead of giving us a CD and DVD of different formats of the same set, it would have been a better gift to the fans to give us the entire set. Hearing these guys play Larks' Tongues In Aspic 1 & 2 and of course 21st Century Schizoid Man would have made this album far more enjoyable.

Review by Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Well this one is a conundrum wrapped up in an enigma. After announcing his retirement from music, Robert Fripp went on to record and release a Crimson ProjeKct with Jakko Jakszyk and Mel Collins, and then to relaunch King Crimson with an expanded version of the Scarcity of Miracles line up and set out on tour with a front line consisting of 3 drummers. The set list leaned heavily on the late 60s - mid 70s, with a smattering of 90s and noughties material but bypassing the 80s material altogether. Then came the inevitable live album - a 2 disc set, with the same 41 minutes of material on CD and DVD (audio only). At this point even the most devoted Crimheads were scratching their heads and muttering WTF?

Taken at face value, it's actually a pretty good live album. The 3 drummers work together well (with Bill Rieflin occasionally downing sticks to play keyboards), and there's all the intricacy, subtlety and depth that you'd expect from King Crimson on stage and firing on all cylinders. The opening soundscape includes an old snippet of Fripp counting in the orchestral players from (I assume) the Islands sessions, before the septet roars in playing One More Red Nightmare in a completely different time signature and tempo. This is the least successful track, although Jakko belts out the lead vocal with gusto and the band give it maximum Crim; somehow, the whole is not quite the sum of the parts, and they come across more like a competent tribute band than the real thing. Then we get a brief percussive interlude (credited to Gavin Harrison) which could have escaped from The Power To Believe tour, or from Lark's Tongues in Aspic. This leads into the instrumental part of The Construkction of Light. Mel Collins plays some jazzy flute and later sax over the interlocking guitars of Jakszyk and Fripp, and the piece takes on an interesting new character. Then we're back to the 70s with two selections from Islands, both given fresh vitality and a 3rd millennium makeover with a frisson of free jazz. Rounding things off is a superb version of Starless, which Crimheads will have on repeat for weeks.

The track selection seems a bit random. The 2 tracks from Islands have both been included on other live albums - Ladies of the Road is a particularly good document of the 'Islands' line up - and The Construkction of Light is a live staple of recent line ups that was included on Heavy Construkction. The two songs from Red, on the other hand, have never been played live before, and we also get two new fragments. Set lists from the American tour included two songs from a Scarcity of Miracles, as well as improvs, so there was the opportunity to include some more fresh material, as well as a few more old favourites. Having said that, it's beautifully played and recorded and it is interesting to hear the contemporary KC getting to grips with some of the more neglected parts of their back catalogue.

Is it worth buying? I don't regret buying my copy, and I have listened to it extensively over the last few weeks. It's not much use for a newcomer to King Crimson, and indeed there are plenty of good collections that give an overview of their whole career, not least the 'Elements' double CD released to coincide with the tour. It wouldn't make much sense for anybody who is mostly familiar with KC's studio work; good live recordings exist for every line up, mostly double sets with two hours' worth of live and steaming Crimson goodness. If you're familiar with the live releases, this provides a fascinating footnote to what has gone before, although I suspect that there will be a more comprehensive release from this line up in the not too distant future. Two stars, then; as good as it is, this is really one for fans and collectors.

Review by Neu!mann
2 stars A recent ProgArchives forum discussion posed the question: "How difficult is it for the oldies among us to get into New Prog?" The word 'oldies' doesn't quite register with this aficionado, who as a teenager caught the tail-end of Prog's mid-'70s Golden Age. But it's a useful question, with an answer perhaps implicit in the belated return of one of Progressive Rock's founding fathers.

More so than other classic proggers, King Crimson has always lived on the cutting edge of musical innovation. And this first look at the newly-retooled band once again breaks new ground by presenting a surprisingly disposable live album: their first in an otherwise impeccable career spanning almost half a century. (Say what you want about the bootleg quality of the 1972 "Earthbound" album; it certainly wasn't forgettable.)

There's an attractive mix of new and old blood in the reconfigured septet: the biggest band yet assembled under the Crimson banner, albeit top-heavy with drummers to no real purpose. But the forward-thinking aims of guitarist Robert Fripp were undermined by a mercenary nostalgia in the concert set list, featuring two songs from 1974, a pair from 1972, and a single representative from the year 2000, plus a few throwaway improvised transitions totaling less than three minutes altogether.

The return of old friend Mel Collins is an unexpected dividend, and the delicacy of his flute and saxophone adds some much-needed warmth to the otherwise clinical mathematic equations built into "The ConstruKction of Light". But the rare live appearance of "One More Red Nightmare" isn't as convincing: the song dearly misses John Wetton's husky baritone, and the combined efforts of three ace drummers can't equal one Bill Bruford.

Legitimate complaints have been made about the brevity of the disc, barely adding up to forty minutes, with two-thirds of the concert left on the cutting room floor. Mr. Fripp has always been an outspoken champion of quality over quantity, and rightly so. But where the former is lacking the latter would have been welcome. The live versions here don't stray far enough from the studio originals, and were the various outtakes really not worth sharing? Or was this abbreviated package intended only as a bare-bones teaser for an unabridged future release of the same show?

If so, I'm calling foul. Fripp and DGM usually set the bar for commercial integrity higher than this. As it (currently) stands, there isn't enough substance here to distinguish the new King Crimson from alumni reunion acts like the 21st Century Schizoid Band, or the Levin-Belew Crimson ProjeKct.

So, how difficult is it for the oldies among us to get into New Prog? The answer will vary with the oldie, but re-treads like this can make the transition almost painfully easy.

Latest members reviews

3 stars As on many modern live albums of KC, the warm-up track serves as a short piece to get the listener into absorbing and attentive mode. Then come the well known songs of the 70's such as Starless, One more red nightmare, The letters and Sailor's tale. Experimental and improvisational side is repr ... (read more)

Report this review (#2240254) | Posted by sgtpepper | Saturday, July 27, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is how I explain this rather confusing album: 1. The new line-up and setlist. Paradoxes abound. Three dynamic drummers who all play with admirable restraint. Songs drawing from past releases all but shunned by virtually all previous line-ups now come to the fore, but instead of making the wh ... (read more)

Report this review (#1461818) | Posted by Glubluk | Thursday, September 10, 2015 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I don't get the point of this album at all. Is it just a warm up to see how the line-up will function before bigger things are planned? That would make sense. Is it a technical exercise to evaluate the three drummer concept? (Which like 3D in movies, is a novelty which works but adds little ... (read more)

Report this review (#1366166) | Posted by TheWalrus123 | Tuesday, February 10, 2015 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Variations on a scene. Or a lack thereof. First off, let's discuss the two white elephants in the room. King Crimson's three drummer lineup and the stingy amount of live tracks and their importance in the KC canon. From the very moment that I read the news of Fripp's reassembled 2014 lineup, ... (read more)

Report this review (#1358041) | Posted by SteveG | Friday, January 30, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars First off, the album is a slight disappointment because of the songs from the tour that were left off. I saw the tour when they cam to wisconsin, and I was blown away by the versatile Krim material they chose. Much to my chagrin, their incredible arrangements of Talking Drum, Lark's Tongues in ... (read more)

Report this review (#1346952) | Posted by Garrett Verdoni | Saturday, January 17, 2015 | Review Permanlink

2 stars A Scarcity of Standing Room One of the great consolations afforded by the Crim's vast eclectic output is that even at their most willfully impenetrable, piously abstruse or drippily soporific, they are seldom predictable and at the very least their abject chaff is some of the most harvestable ... (read more)

Report this review (#1346807) | Posted by ExittheLemming | Saturday, January 17, 2015 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of KING CRIMSON "Live At The Orpheum"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.