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Otohiko's Review
:: Posted by emmapeelfanclub on November 21, 2015

I would like to commend and thank Otohiko for his excellent overview of the Toronto gigs and this seven headed incarnation of the mighty Crim.

Iím in total agreement on your view of the drum trio and your summation of Rieflinís role is spot on though until you pointed it out, I hadnít looked at it from that angle so I thank you for putting it into words giving me a better understanding. Gavin indeed is a drum genius - the solo he played on the first night in Salford was utterly unbelievable, and it was wonderful seeing the other six members all watching and enjoying him. As for Pat... man, that guy plays with such power, passion and ferocity!

Iím also in agreement about Jakko. He really impressed me when I saw their two shows in Salford - itís not easy taking on the vocal parts of Greg, Boz and John but he does so with ease and confidence and turns in some nifty guitar work as well. Maybe some of his critics donít like the fact heís not an upfront frontman like Adrian was, instead taking his place in the backline but for me that highlights the fact that this King Crimson is about the Elements fusing as a complete entity. You have seven outstanding musicians to watch at any one time whereas looking at some of the Ade era videos that DGM have been graciously posting on YouTube sometimes it feels more like Ade backed by King Crimson. This line up, I feel that everyone is on an equal footing.

Tony is simply in a class of his own - a magnificent explorative musician and Mel... what can one say about Mel? On the second night when I saw them, very early on in the show as a number ended, I heard a guy sat behind me say "That sax playerís f***ing brilliant isnít he?" and I had to nod in agreement! That leaves Robert. All I will say is it was a privilege to see and listen to him play some of those parts that have boggled my mind over most of my life and as for his actions the other night which he explained, I am in full understanding and support.

:: Posted by Bakullama on November 21, 2015

0hitzp said....."Jakko - I really want his critics to just stop, or at least defer their judgment until they see him live with this band. Iím gonna say something possibly controversial right now, but Iím starting to believe that heís the best and certainly most versatile vocalist Crimson ever had. Iíll leave it at that. "

Not controversial to me, I totally agree and I have not even been to one of the shows. He sounds fantastic and brings the spirit and mysterious "quality" of King Crimson back to life in a beautiful, terrifying, and somewhat melancholy way. I have only heard what has been released so far, but Iím lovin it! And to be honest I have not heard any criticisms or opinions saying otherwise.

Fripp it Good!
:: Posted by hmozel on November 21, 2015

Thankfully the only flashes seen at last nightís Crimson show (Nov. 20) were the metaphoric lightbulbs over the heads of those dummies who finally got it through their thick skulls NOT to take pictures. Sure, it may have taken two large signs stage-left and right spelling this out, Robertís recorded pre-show plea, a crowd largely hostile to transgressors and interdiction by beefed-up security, but it was beautiful to enjoy a concert without flashes or distracting video screens. Perhaps Robertís stand will pay dividends to other bands, so that his name becomes synonymous with electronics-free events: "Hey man, that show was really Fripp." Or maybe, "The audience was totally Fripping last night." Hopefully, the third and, regrettably, final Toronto show will be as blessed as Fridayís, where MUSIC and not peopleís manners was the topic of conversation on the way to the parking lot. (These dialogues - often between young people a fraction my age discussing songs BY NAME and with knowledge - gives me hope for the future of quality music.) These Toronto shows are probably the last time the Crimson King will pass through these parts so it was fantastic to see the journey end on a high note. Thank you Robert, and all the other musical souls who contributed to KC over the decades. Itís been magic.

Howard Mozel

Encores are optional
:: Posted by throbber on November 21, 2015

It isnít unreasonable to cut short an encore if you donít like the audience behaviour. Encores are meant to be an unscheduled extra.
Overall, I think one has to class a Crimso event more as a classical concert than as a rock gig. Things like starting on time are a pretty big hint.

To Our Canadian Friends!
:: Posted by froggy55 on November 21, 2015

Anyone who knows anything about King Crimson and Mr. Robert Fripp KNOWS that bootlegging in any form or fashion is a major pet peeve with him! Hell, the man threatened to retire because of people like the ones in the audience who did not comply with the "revised" photo policy!

You should consider yourselves extremely lucky that he even CONSIDERED the revised photo policy, because us Americans werenít allowed to take photos AT ALL!

If the man asks you to refrain from taking photos until after the show, then WHY NOT SHOW HIM THE RESPECT HE DESERVES AND COMPLY WITH IT???

Congradulations Canadatards who took photos too soon! The show got cut short because of you!

:: Posted by weesev1957 on November 21, 2015

Robert is not alone. Attended a sublime Keith Jarrett concert in London last night and he delayed a return to the stage while some photo issues were dealt with, then when he did return he berated the errant individuals strongly, with accompanying expletive, to much applause from those who were there to listen.

Toronto, tonight and yesterday
:: Posted by Otohiko on November 21, 2015

Wow, what a difference! Security DEFINITELY got their act together tonight, asking everyone to turn their phones off as soon as we got in the venue, and moving in fast the moment someone turned theirs on during the show.
Very, very good concert! I felt like some things in the main set were actually stronger yesterday, but it also seemed like Fripp needed a good half of this show to recover from yesterdayís (or maybe it was me who was actually recovering from it - very subjective, of course, but I was certainly left a bit shaken by last night). By the end, all seemed in very good spirits and RF seemed to take pleasure in taking photos himself, staying on stage longer than the rest of the band doing that.

Iíve got good vibes for tomorrowís show! I think this Crimson is very much back in form, and itís hopefully heading for greatness tomorrow.

On the setlists - yesterday we got the full Larks treatment (Part I + all of a Side B), and both new songs. Today we had only Meltdown out of the two new tunes, but they really brought out the heavy stuff - VROOOM, Red, Level Five all featured loudly and powerfully. Overall, tonightís set was nearly uniformly stronger. Easy Moneyís semi-improv solo break approached the intensity it had in the 70s. Starless was devastating. Yesterdayís Court was rather a sedate cover, but today really came to life, especially in the mid-section. But for the two nights, I think my highlight remains the first nightís Larks playthrough.

On the band: many many things to be said, but what canít be said enough is just how important and revolutionary the triple drum section is. Theyíre a band within a band, and what they do nobody else in rock music does. If you dismiss this band because of the retrospective setlist, youíre denying yourself what is, without question, the most innovative approach to playing a show like this today. There are no part-time drummers in this band. This is not just a gimmick to make things louder. This is not a "six-armed drummer". Itís a very organic creative unit of very different musicians that I think accomplishes what the Double Trio meant to do when it came to reimagining the rock band format, but never fully succeeded at.

Pat Mastelotto, to me, remains the most entertaining member of the band to watch. I was a little worried that heíd get shifted more to percussion and that would take away from his frenzied heavy hitting attacks that defined the Double Duo era, but no such thing - itís all still there, he just has more toys and more time and space to play with them now. Gavin Harrison is the drumming genius - heís subtler, but has razor precision and the professional mind of a jazzman. And I finally figured out Bill Rieflinís role - heís the "conductor". No, not like an orchestra conductor - that role in this band is shared between Fripp and Harrison. Rieflin is more like an electric conductor, passing megawatt pulses of energy back and forth between Mastelotto and Harrison, with grace and skill. Thereís not been anyone with a role like that in Crimson before, and his role is huge. I "got" it right away and Iím very happy heís in the band now.
Mel has played seemingly effortlessly both nights, and seemed very relaxed and enjoying himself - notes of Oh Canada and La Marseillaise wandered in both nights during the break in Larks I, to very good responses from the audience. To me this was the nightís substitute to talking to the audience - instead, using musical language to acknowledge the time and space. Tony Levin is, well, Tony Levin! Heís been his remarkable self, and his brand new bass part for the end of Larks II is one of my highlights so far.

Jakko - I really want his critics to just stop, or at least defer their judgment until they see him live with this band. Iím gonna say something possibly controversial right now, but Iím starting to believe that heís the best and certainly most versatile vocalist Crimson ever had. Iíll leave it at that.

And well, RF is RF! His NST-toned guitar has certainly changed his approach to some classic parts, but overall Iíd say the sound is very very reminiscent of the 70s. As always, the guitaristís sheer good taste and out-of-nowhere spontaneity makes him a joy to watch even when heís not having a great show, like yesterday. Today his show was quite good. If we can all get him to great tomorrow, as I hear heís been many concerts with this band - thatíll surely be my Crimson concert of a lifetime! All the other elements of the bandís greatness are already there.

:: Posted by Beatcomber on November 20, 2015

I am going to weigh in on what happened last night. I was there and really enjoyed the show and I am sure that if this was another era we would have left entirely happy, not realizing we had been deprived of a song. There was a flash or two that seemed to precipitate Fripp leaving the stage but I would hardly say that there was a great deal of flash photography. 

He was pointing a couple of times and I could see the screen of the guy who he was pointing at as he was taking a video, so Fripp must have seen a red light in the audience. I understand any artist taking issue with others recording their shows to then profit from the sale of that material or even broadcasting it when it may not have been up to the artistís preferred standard.

However, if an artist feels as strongly about this as Fripp then it should be made explicit that those caught doing this will be, without exception, removed from the venue. Ending the show short for the entire paying audience who is enthralled with your music due to the perceived unfavourable behaviour of a few is not only unfair but disrespectful to your fans and those who have followed, willingly or not, your preferences.  (I would equate this to the teacher who punishes an entire class for the conduct of a few students.) 

While his preference for the way in which audience members should conduct themselves is certainly made explicit it is presented in a more paternalistic fashion in which he is instructing us how we should enjoy and "consume" music and the concert experience.

I have no problem with someone suggesting the appropriate way to enjoy music or the concert but in the end it is not any individualís place to tell another individual how they should make the concert experience most fulfilling for them. They paid their money just like I did and they should be able to enjoy the show in any way that best suits them. Having said that, if I find someoneís behaviour, excessive taking of pictures with flash photography, is distracting me and detracting from my experience then I will respectfully ask them to stop or seek the support of management to do so.

However, that doesnít mean that my preference for enjoying the concert is the same as theirs. You know what bothers me? Yelling and clapping. How about if he announces that the audience should hold their applause until the end because it is distracting and breaks the concentration of those who are trying to enjoy the show? However, I donít think it is reasonable to impose this preference of mine on others. (If it is about the distraction of the flash for the band members then stipulate that the flash must be turned off and they could even let the audience know that the flash is actually useless given the distance most people are from the stage.)

Donít think that disagreeing with Robert on this point means you arenít a worthy of being a true fan or appreciating the music. Quite the opposite; I would argue that no one is a fan is a casual KC fan. Anyone who was their last night are fans who have legitimately come to appreciate this bandís music and have developed their own personal relationship with it.

Fripp may have created the music but once he puts it out to the public he cedes his control over how each individual chooses to listen to it, the way a particular individual understands it and ultimately how each individual connects with it.  There are thousands of ways in which this can, and does, take place. In the end this may be less about artistry and more about control. My wife has no idea who KC are and when I told her about what happened last night her response was, "Heís in the wrong business." Having said all that, I wish I had tickets for tonightís show and tomorrow nightís show too.

the cameras, again
:: Posted by kboman on November 20, 2015

Very sad to read that supposedly grownup individuals were once again unable to honour a simple request made by their hosts for the evening. Unbelievable. You should be effing thankful that geographical favour smiled at you and enabled you to go in the first place given how limited-edition this round of touring is.

And for all the posters here who for some reason feel they have a right to blame Robert of all people for what happened, did you actually read his statement? Did you read any other posts in this guestbook?

Robertís statement ends "A report on tonightís performance, presented from a viewpoint of playing in public for over 56 years."

Please report back when you have corresponding experience of public performance of music as demanding as the KC catalog.

Phone home
:: Posted by toycritic on November 20, 2015

Whenever I go to a concert, I leave my phone at home.

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King Crimson Tour 2015
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