If Belew was still feeling sore from his tooth problems of the previous evening then you’d never know it from this sprightly performance. Interesting to note how once again Level Five is bumped up near the top of the setlist but who cares where it is when it’s on killing form like it is tonight - even with a couple of dropped lines here and there. There’s a bit of rough and tumble during Vrooom and a blistering but short solo from Fripp. Then in order to compensate for some equipment trouble from Fripp’s rig (which is absent from Virtuous Circle), there’s a short improvisation. Heavy on the dense atmospherics from Mastelotto, Belew adds some of his angular, note-bending squalls. Eventually the techs do their thing and Fripp rejoins the team for a mighty blast of LTIA IV which is frankly astonishing!
For some folks attending the shows the vagaries of seating position and front of house mixing presented some challenges. Take Joan Bull who shared these thoughts with ET readers. “I want to apologize to King Crimson. I left the concert thinking they'd been unable to generate many sparks. A friend suggested maybe they were tired from touring (and tooth). But, after waking up this morning, and after listening to the Level 5 CD, I realize how much the poor use of the sound system affected the performance. After all, how can you set the place on fire when the audience - and perhaps the band - are sonically assaulted? The volume level for JPJ was criminal; I wondered if they were substituting volume for talent. The volume level for KC was more tolerable - but when did the decision get made to feature the kick drum over all else? I hope they put out a live concert CD so I can actually hear the music.” Well, ten years later, your hope came true!
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