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King Crimson - Live In Toronto CD (album) cover

LIVE IN TORONTO

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.58 | 67 ratings

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CapnBearbossa
5 stars The hottest of all hot dates so far on this King Crimson tour.

Which tour is that? Why, the 2014/2015 nostalgia tour, of course, whereby North America as well as other continents will be touched down on by a truly on-fire incarnation of this band. A band that is no doubt too intimidating to open for, let alone to follow....

Oh, did I say nostalgia? Because that's what they're doing this tour, playing the greatest tunes of the 70's, the ones that put King Crimson on the map as the ultimate juggernaut of Progressive Rock during the first half of that decade.

Mr. Fripp ("one of the guitarists in King Crimson") said such a thing would never come to pass, but it has, and it's wonderful thing for hungry ears to behold. This is basically the group (Jakszyk/Fripp/Collins/Levin/Harrison) that recorded "A Scarcity Of Miracles", plus two extra drummers (Rieflin/Mastellotto); but, unlike the band that recorded "Scarcity", this beast's reason for living is to give the vast 70's catalog of this group another lease on life. Fripp himself sounds as good as ever on guitar, and certainly tears through the solos in a lot of these songs, especially in "The Letters", with great vigor and renewed energy. And if not multiples of times before, then unquestionably now, Mel Collins' presence also adds fire to the band and its performance of the classics.

Collins is a storm of activity on this record, helping to reinvigorate more recent works as well to rejuvenate older ones. "Vrooom", "Level Five," and "The ConstruKction of Light" all get Mel's unique treatment, and it certainly makes them sparkle in a way they never did before. "Red" profits as well from his canny, jazzy contributions. "Level Five" even starts to sound like the "21st Century Schizoid Man's" rowdy nephew; and it's worth noting that the new instrumental "Radical Action" really showcases Mel's ability to burn down the house.

The classic tunes , among them "Lark's Tongues in Aspic Pt. I," "Sailor's Tale" and the usual suspects from the KC debut "In The Court..." sound very much as you might expect; but then, hey, what is this? The sound is also crisper than ever before. Indeed, the Crims have never come through with more crystalline clarity than on this recording. This is a very nice sounding concert, and that's whether you buy the article mail order or download it via dgmlive.com (yeah, you're welcome, Uncle Bobby) in FLAC lossless audio.

I think I would recommend this as an introduction to the group to just about anyone, and that says a lot. But it mainly says that the boys have gone a great way towards making themselves accessible. Yeah, accessible - not something you think of immediately with King Crimson, is it? Some have questioned the value of having three drummers, and perhaps "Live At The Orpheum" from 2014 didn't showcase the advantages of this approach clearly enough. But it works very well indeed on this recording.

If you are a fan of the group, you really owe it to yourself to at least purchase the download. You won't be sorry.

CapnBearbossa | 5/5 |

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