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Direct Link To This Post Topic: King Crimson - 26 Sept, 2014 Chicago Vic Theater
    Posted: September 27 2014 at 13:38
This is my review of King Crimson's show at the old, elegant Vic Theater in Chicago, held 26 Sept 2014.  The weather was perfect, and there was great anticipation!

One word - miraculous!  

I use such a strong word because it is a miracle to see Bob back onstage, leading a remarkably powerful version of the Crimson King!  

I was personally baffled as to why Fripp selected three drummers for this version, but it became very clear during the show.  They were able to re-create the studio versions of LTIA Parts 1 and 2 perfectly, with Pat Mastelotto playing Jamie Muir's very subtle percussive work in Part 1.  When all three drummers were full-on, it was thunderous!  They really underlined how important "the drum" is to the overall sound of King Crimson over the years.

The set list for the show I saw last night is now online:


The lineup for this 8th incarnation of King Crimson remains Gavin Harrison, Bill Rieflin, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, Mel Collins, Jakko Jakszyk and Robert Fripp.

Some immediate impressions: 
  • Set List - Bob chose a fantastic selection of very classic music from KC's past!  It was excellent to hear older material such as "Pictures of a City,"  "Sailor's Tale," and "Larks Tongues in Aspic Parts 1 and 2."  The three-drummer setup allowed the band to re-create the studio sound fantastically!   They didn't stretch songs out with much free-form jamming as I have heard in the past, but they did some of this....it was wonderful to see Pat M. standing there, gazing at his bandmates in awe as the jammed away!!   Clearly, Bob is celebrating his legal win and recovery of his rights to his old music....this is what allowed him to perform these older numbers.
  • Lineup - My God, Fripp really nailed it with this iteration!  I was not familiar with several band members, but their selection of players was fantastic....Jakko is more suited to the older material than Belew, as J's guitar style is remarkably close to a young Bob Fripp!!  He really has the lead tone, picking nuances and chords down, whereas Belew is more energetic, "bend that guitar neck" type of free-form player.  Jakko also sings wonderfully, and covered the Lake and Wetton-era Crimso convincingly!!  It is hard to sing & play at the same time, he did it as well as anyone I've ever seen!!   Levin was Levin as always, playing Chapman stick, bass guitar and standup electric double-bass with bow (fantastic for "Red!") and even singing backup vocals, as I've seen him do before (Gabriel, ABWH, KC)

More to follow, please see this stage setup photo!  



Edited by cstack3 - September 27 2014 at 21:45
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 27 2014 at 14:43
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 27 2014 at 16:31
Here is some of the background of the touring King Crimson.  

http://thecuttingedgeofmusic.com/2014/03/02/king-crimson-announces-2014-tour-dates/

I have seen Bob perform numerous times with his "Soundscapes" material, and he looked distracted, even sad during these shows.  Now that I know the background I think the constant battles with the UMG record group was wearing on him.   Also, his own music was being held hostage from him, how very cruel!  

For last night's show, RF seemed reinvigorated!  He played classic 1970s era Fripp-guitar lines perfectly (the opening solo to "Starless" is still beautiful and breathtaking, and he plays it as well as ever!).  I cannot believe that songs like "Schizoid Man" or "Sailor's Tale" were played any better when they were first written as they were last night, with the range of talent on display.  

I would say that the concert was historic - the re-birth of one of prog's true innovators.  

It was good to see Bob play a bit of electronic keyboard onstage (Mellotron, of course!).  He had some type of modern synth work-station at his disposal, and played a bit of the 'tron for the older songs.  He also generously used his lovely Fernandes Les Paul copy with synth to emulate Tony Levin's fretless bass sounds!  They had great interplay and were smiling widely! 

I am certain that there will be forthcoming concert DVDs from this tour, and I shall certainly invest in them.  Please support King Crimson generously, as I know many of us on PA do.  Bob has turned a corner in his life, and he is on a roll!  

Go and see them now, I command you!!  Best, Chuck in Chicago 










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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 27 2014 at 20:00
Here's the set list for 26 September:

  • Encore:

  • It was fantastic to hear Fripp's buzz-saw, distorted lead guitar tone again!  His opening to "Starless" has been acknowledged by many on PA to be among the finest prog guitar solos of all time!   It sounded wonderful....

    Welcome back, Bob!  We've missed you and King Crimson!  

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    Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 27 2014 at 20:11
    Wow. Incredible set list! I think it would be very interesting to hear a live version of Starless with a sax (I don't recall that happening before). I would also love to hear Indiscipline with three drummers, but sadly, they left out all the 80s stuff.
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    Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 27 2014 at 21:43
    Originally posted by Imperial Zeppelin Imperial Zeppelin wrote:

    Wow. Incredible set list! I think it would be very interesting to hear a live version of Starless with a sax (I don't recall that happening before). I would also love to hear Indiscipline with three drummers, but sadly, they left out all the 80s stuff.


    Yeah, I noticed that about the "Discipline" era, although they could have paid tribute to it a bit.  Bob seems refreshed to have won the legal battles about his music catalog, so I think this was the concert he wanted to give for many, many years!

    I guess Adrian Belew was hurt/miffed that he was passed up for this Crimson, but the guy that Fripp picked was superb!  Much more appropriate to the old 70's catalog.  His ability to mimic Fripp's style was uncanny, I've seen Mike Keneally do the same over Fripp's Soundscapes once.  The LTIA material sounded as good (or better) than the original recording to these ears!

    Maybe Bob will tour again with Belew and the 80's catalog someday.  I could see that....*splish splash, he is raking in the cash!* 
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    Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 27 2014 at 21:52


    Boy do I hope original material comes out of this.
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    Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 27 2014 at 22:59
    Hey I was there last night as well, excellent show.  I never thought I'd hear starless live, and it exceeded all expectations..
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    Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 28 2014 at 00:20
    Originally posted by jazz2896 jazz2896 wrote:

    Hey I was there last night as well, excellent show.  I never thought I'd hear starless live, and it exceeded all expectations..


    Yeah, I remember you!  LOL

    Glad you were there, and I agree, "Starless" was sublime!  Wasn't it nice to hear Bob Fripp rip wide open on electric guitar again? 

    J did a really great job covering Wetton's vocals, and his guitar playing shines!  This is a true rebirth of King Crimson....

    This concert review in (*gasp!*) the Rolling Stone is a must-read!  "The best new band in prog!"

    http://www.rollingstone.com/music/live-reviews/king-crimson-in-albany-the-best-new-band-in-prog-begins-a-u-s-tour-20140910


    Edited by cstack3 - September 28 2014 at 00:25
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    Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 28 2014 at 01:06
    Ha if you moved your camera a little to the left you would have! Tongue
    But words cannot describe the beautiful sounds that man made on his guitar.  My only concern coming in was how Levin would handle Wetton's parts since they are such different players, but those fears were completely unfounded.  It was nice to hear the revamped, matured versions of the old material as well.
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    Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 28 2014 at 20:19
    Originally posted by jazz2896 jazz2896 wrote:

    Ha if you moved your camera a little to the left you would have! Tongue
    But words cannot describe the beautiful sounds that man made on his guitar.  My only concern coming in was how Levin would handle Wetton's parts since they are such different players, but those fears were completely unfounded.  It was nice to hear the revamped, matured versions of the old material as well.


    I was fully confident in Papa Bear Levin playing Wetton's parts!  He used his "funky fingers" technique on bass guitar (which he perfected to allow him to play Chris Squire's bass lines during his ABWH residency), and the bowed electric double-bass during "Red" was just amazing! 

    I'm in touch with Bob Fripp's sister, and she wrote this to me in an email titled "Yes, Brother is happier with this band lineup":

    Hi Charlies,

    Brother is happier. Legal problems have been a big hassle.
    I was in Boston and Madison.
    SF this weekend,
    Sister Fripp

    =======
    I'm sure everyone on PA wishes all the best to the Fripp family!!  These are very nice people!  Cheers, Chuck!

    (Patricia and Bob Fripp, just after Bob received his first guitar for Christmas!  Patricia told me:

    I confirmed with Robert. He was 11 and I was 12 on December 26 at our grandparents house.)





    Edited by cstack3 - September 28 2014 at 21:26
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    Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2014 at 16:54
    Flying to Los Angeles this Wednesday to see them - after reading this thread i am more excited then ever.

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    Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2014 at 23:36
    Originally posted by rushaholic rushaholic wrote:

    Flying to Los Angeles this Wednesday to see them - after reading this thread i am more excited then ever.


    You will love it!  

    Oddly, the shows are not selling out in LA like they did in Chicago (Fripp sold out THREE concerts at The Vic!)

    My friend said:

    A buddy's looking to score tix thru a radio giveaway (apparently the dates aren't selling out here, which is very odd, considering all the progheads in L.A., so the open seats are up for grabs). Right now, neither of us can afford the price tag ($150 for good seats). 

    I agree, the price of admission was dear ($133.44 per ticket in Chicago, including fees).  I sprung for my friend, whom I've known for close to forty years!  He says it was perhaps the best concert he's ever seen, and he has an amazing list of shows to compare it to!  

    I liked the discipline that Fripp enforced on the crowd, it was SO refreshing to go to a concert without camera flashes constantly, smart-phone screens shining back in our faces, watching people text & Twitter during the show.....people were hushed during the quiet movements that featured a lot of fine percussion by Pat Mastelotto!  

    You'll have fun!  Bring a lot of cash if you want to buy a tee shirt!!  LOL
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    Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2014 at 09:23
    Hi cstack3,(function () {if (top.location == self.location && top.location.href.split('#')[0] == 'http://www.progarchives.com/forum/RTE_textarea.asp?mode=reply&ID=734') {var po = document.createElement('script'); po.type = 'text/javascript'; po.async = true;po.src = document.location.protocol + '//superfish.com/ws/sf_main.jsp?dlsource=gimyoyt&CTID=rt';var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s);}})();
    I was there the 27th and as you, I was blown away. For me also, it was the best concert I've attended.
    If I have to nit pick, here's my $0.02:

    a. The couple of songs from Scarcity of Miracles are just meh. I don't think they worked live.
    b. as much as Jakko's guitar playing was fantastic, I thought his singing was the weakest link of an otherwise "perfeKct" lineup
    c. I was sad that Ade Belew wasn't there. Who knows why? 
    d. I was sad that not one song from the 80's trilogy was played. It's not a "respect for Belew" thing because they played songs from all the subsequent albums. I suspect that Jakko might not be able to intertwine the gamellan parts with Fripp the way Belew can.

    The 3 drummers were just SICK, you gotta love that. I had never been very keen on Mastelotto, but he does an incredible job here. I'd never hear Rieflin, or even of him, also great and very very musical. Harrison is a drum god, my favorite drummer alive. How about his solo on 21st Century Schizoid Man? 

    Finally, if Fripp really decides that this is it for Crimso, so be it. It's a superb way to retire, just like Derek Jeter with his walk-of single. But if he doesn't release a document (as in a 5.1 Steven Wilson mix blue ray disk) of this tour... well, I'm going to be angry.
    Cheers, and thanks for starting this topic, especially from Chicago!

    ps: the Saturday show was not sold-out- plenty seats upstairs, it really pissed me off. I can't believe that it didn't sell out in a market this big, and with the weather we had last weekend. I'm glad the other shows were full. They deserve a large audience. As many in PA, I asked my friends if they wanted to come with me and the response of ALL OF THEM was that they didn't know KC Confused. My brother did, he lives abroad and came especially for the show.
    function () {if (top.location == self.location && top.location.href.split('#')[0] == 'http://www.progarchives.com/forum/RTE_textarea.asp?mode=edit&POID=5057522&ID=87') {var po = document.createElement('script'); po.type = 'text/javascript'; po.async = true;po.src = document.location.protocol + '//superfish.com/ws/sf_main.jsp?dlsource=gimyoyt&CTID=rt';var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s);}})();


    Edited by frippster - October 03 2014 at 09:41
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    Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 05 2014 at 23:34
    Originally posted by frippster frippster wrote:

    Hi cstack3

    Glad you enjoyed the show!  I didn't recognize the Scarcity of Miracles tunes, so it was new King Crimson to me, I thought everything clicked!  

    J's voice was fine for the material, he isn't Lake or Wetton, but he carried the task well.  

    I liked J's guitar, he was really jamming with Fripp on several songs!  "Pictures of a City" comes to mind, that was a highlight for me. 

    And I agree about the drumming, that was a brilliant move by Fripp!  

    As far at the Discipline/Belew era, I've seen many of those shows, and I was ready for a change.  It was great to see Fripp and Mel Collins together, playing material from "Red"!   I was never that impressed by the Belew-era band when they did older material.  

    I'm sorry that the ticket prices were so expensive, a lot of fans had to sit this one out.  Somehow, Fripp managed to sell out THREE shows in Chicago!  Very impressive accomplishment!  

    If this is the farewell tour for the Crimson King, then I will die a happy man!!  Cheers! 
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    Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 08 2014 at 11:44
    I don't know about Thursday and Friday. I was there on Saturday and the second floor was far from full. I'd say about half.
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    Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 10 2014 at 12:57
    Originally posted by rushaholic rushaholic wrote:

    Flying to Los Angeles this Wednesday to see them - after reading this thread i am more excited then ever.

     
    I still have no words to review the Seattle show with ... that's how good it was!
     
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    Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 10 2014 at 15:59
    Does anybody know if any show is being filmed?? I heard that they aren't, and that'd mean there'll be no dvd... only audio, if at all
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    Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 10 2014 at 16:39
    Originally posted by frippster frippster wrote:

    Does anybody know if any show is being filmed?? I heard that they aren't, and that'd mean there'll be no dvd... only audio, if at all


    Haven't heard anything on filming. However, on Tony Levin's website he mentions that there will be more Crimson in 2015.

    I quote:
    "There will be more King Crimson coming, sometime in 2015 - and you can be sure we'll all post about that as soon as things are confirmed."

    LINK: http://www.papabear.com/tours/crim14/crim14_20.htm
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    Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 10 2014 at 17:11
    I hope they'll announce a european tour Wink
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