Starlight From A Starless Night
I wrote this gig review shortly after the March 4th show at Blueberry Hill. As for the recording, this along with the Belcourt show are my favorites from this tour. Also do not miss out on the soundscapes from Estonia later in August 2006, if you enjoy these.I had my doubts about the way the evenings show would unfold due to several reasons. There was an hour and a half between doors opening and the scheduled start of the show. What would people do during this time frame sitting in a small basement that makes 12th & Porter, in Nashville, look like a concert hall? Why drink, speculate on the show and trade tales of King Crimson adventures of course.When we handed over our tickets to be ripped, no mention was made of a ban on photography, smoking or recording. I didn’t see any signs posted with any of these messages either. Yikes, this could be one short ugly evening if no one is delivering this message. As we entered the venue at 8:30 it was already a full and sold out looking house. We made our way to the stage checking to see if any chairs were available. Of course they were all taken. This turned out to be okay. I propped myself up against a partition stage right being crowded out somewhat by a bevy of microphone stands. I then sat down after Roberts’ guitar tech, John Sinks, had changed the screen saver from the photos to the abstract shapes, starting with the Apple logo.I’m not sure what song was playing when Robert came out but I would have to guess that it was one of the new offerings by The Vicar. He set up a few chords without giving them volume until the song that was playing faded to the end. The first soundscape started out very much like the newest Fripp & Eno CD. A very lush base of scapes topped with those sinewy guitar lines that are ever so subtle and alluring. This soundscape seemed to me to be kind of an introduction to the audience. "Hello, I am a soundscape, this is how the evenings bleeping and droning will unfold."I was mildly distracted during this scape by the group of people seated in the second row next to me, who had just pushed their way back to thier seats with a pitcher of beer and several trays of food. They continued to guzzle and and gastrate throughout this first scape until they had cleared their plates. Yikes!The first scape was washed away and the second one started with a deeper tone and seemed much more ominous. One of the gastro gang then had to excuse herself because she was having difficulty with the music. Good for her, and great decision in spotting ones’ ability to participate.The third soundscape hit the middle ground between the intenseness of the first two. I call this one the brain eraser. Only because I can’t remember how this one was built up. I do remember hearing several other occurrences in the room though during this one. Somewhere during this one, I became aware of the bar cash register adding it’s own loop to the performance. It had a steady mechanical staccato 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, stop and then repeat the loop. This cycled on for what seemed like several minutes to me and I was actually enjoying it! Then there was the sound of a shattered glass not unlike the sample that Adrian used on his v-drums during ProjeKct Two.It was the perfect sound of a shattering glass; which fell landing flush on the concrete floor of the room. Again I think it’s interesting that I can recall more clearly the cash register and the shattered glass. Was I not fully listening to the soundscape? Or was my attention so enhanced by them that I was able to appreciate the ambiance of the room? It was something that I haven’t noticed or experienced while listening to recordings of soundscapes.My trepidation of the audience turned out to be totally unfounded. There was no hooting and hollering or song requests being shouted out, no photography or requests for autographs that I was aware of.End section one soundscapes, begin Words. Robert began by reading aloud the Music section of the Riverfront Times. After reading the name of each performer or other option for an evening out, he would scold the audience asking, "What are you doing here?" He then turned to the Savage Love advice column and read the trials of a poor young girl who’s boyfriend has her at the bottom of his priority list. Going so far as to getting angry and stopping if she so much as wanted to change positions during intercourse. Instead having to pretend it doesn’t hurt to have her legs pushed so far back they pop out of her hip sockets. Robert concurred with the advice offered by Savage with the handy acronym DTMFA; which stands for "dump the mother fu**er already."He then stated the ground rules for anyone asking a question, this while waving off several attempts by people anxious to jump right in and ask one. The first questioner, I believe, asked Robert what his favorite question to be asked was? After coughing up $20 for the answer, Robert replied that he didn’t have a favorite question followed by rolling laughter from the crowd. Qualifying that by saying, any question that is a "burning" need to know question was his favorite type of question.A few questions later someone asked if he would play Starless or any other King Crimson songs tonight. He stated that he would not, but asked what it would be worth to hear the guitar lines of Starless? The figure of $100 was settled on pretty quickly and a woman approached the stage placing $100 in bills there. I thought that Fripp was bluffing the whole time, but he actually walked back, picked up his guitar, laid down some scapes and then played the lead guitar theme from Starless! In my estimation that was worth much more than a simple $100, and I was very surprised that Robert responded in this way. Although this was my first live soundscapes performance; I have never heard of him responding to requests in this manner before. This was nearly the highlight of the night, setting the stage for what was the highlight.After a few more questions Robert asked if Bill Murphy was present. Bill has been recently posting some of his interviews with King Crimson alumnae at the projekction website. Robert asked Bill if he had any questions. Bill said that he thought they’d been answered, but wondered what Robert missed most while he was on the road touring. Roberts response, from the heart, was that he missed his wife. He stated that it is like having half your heart removed while being away from her. The Word session ended here and there was a short break before resuming soundscapes.The next soundscape was the most touching to me. It had a wonderful buildup and then had the loud guitar lines come randomly in over the soothing base of sound. These are very powerful and resonate with me quite a bit for some reason. As this one was ending and he was making a transition to the final scape of the night, Robert began to look puzzled. He checked dials, kicked buttons and pedals, but still a look of bewilderment came over him. There was some laughter and light applause from the audience which he tried to motion away and then exclaimed that "This is not possible. This can’t be happening, but let’s go with it." The soundscape and guitar lines that he performed for the $100 earlier during the Q&A was back in the Solar Voyager II. The final soundscape of the night was Starless and Robert stuck with that theme building on it and letting it wash through the room. Unbelievable!After taking final bows and leaving the stage to a most appreciative audience, one of the remaining salvageable tracks from ProjeKct Six was played in full as the exit music. The music sounded like a combination of soundscapes, the ConstruKction of Light and ProjeKct Two v-drums. It sounded to be something much more than the sum of those parts, however.I pray that this show gets posted to DGMLive! and made available for download. Great stuff! Very enjoyable, memorable and momentous night. Thank you!