Stanley Theatre Pittsburgh United States

A cracking, take-no-prisoners version of The Great Deceiver opens this defining, much bootlegged performance from 1974.[endtease] For those who prefer a pastoral Crim, look no further than the sublime improv Daniel Dust that quells a boisterous crowd (including yelled requests for Ladies of the Road) and elegantly sets up a reflective Night Watch. This is desert island stuff indeed.

Though part of this show was featured on the Great Deceiver box set, this is the first time that the complete concert - mixed from the multi-track recordings - has been made available.

Lament, Fracture, Easy Money, 21st Century Schizoid man, and the full length Larks Tongues Part Two all appear for the first time.

AUDIO SOURCE: Multitrack



Walk On
The Great Deceiver
Improv Bartley Butsford
Easy Money
Improv Daniel Dust
The Night Watch
Dr Diamond
Improv Wilton Carpet
The Talking Drum
Larks' Tongues In Aspic Pt II
21st Century Schizoid Man


Written by Jure Humar
Oustanding concert with some most interesting improvs
The USA tour of 1974 never ceases to astound me. The band was very probably exhausted from the EU tour and yet they managed to take North America by the storm. From the particularly quiet beginning of Starless to one of the most amazing middle sections of Easy Money (which I consider one of their three definitive songs), the concert is a joy from start to finish. Despite Fripp, Wetton and Bruford being the main player, Cross does his best to contribute and he most definitely succeds. He's one of the unsung heroes of King Crimson. And his playing at this concert is outstanding, especially on the improvs. Between the bone crushing guitar of Fripp, heart stopping drums of Bruford and the soul devouring bass of Wetton, Cross' violin is like a butterfly, making holes in the clouds to let the sun in. And there's another this I MUST highlight. John Wetton's bass playing on Wilton Carpet. That bass line is possibly the heaviest bass line I have ever heard. All in all, one of the most essential gigs of the 1974 tour and very possibly the whole Wetton era. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Written by Tim Cleary
Catch Krimson Fever...Buy this show!
This show demonstrates that this lineup was probably THE premier band of the 70s, just as the original lineup was probably the premier band of the 60s. Yes, the lyric on Dr Diamond is almost impossible to sing at this pace. I have a feeling that it may be actually impossible to sing it and play anything at all at the same time - I defy any John Wetton detractor to either play his basslines at his level or sing his vocal line at his intensity... I won’t ask for both, as I doubt many could respond. From the moment The Great Deceiver begins until well after the final notes of 21st Century Schizoid Man die away, this show is spellbinding. Sometimes it’s even better than that. This night’s renditions of Lament, Fracture, The Night Watch, Starless, LTIA2 are all stellar. 21SCM is played by the entire band so far behind the beat I have no idea how they held it together at all, let alone played it with at least the intensity of the later Double Trio versions. All in all, this show is more metal than metal, more industrial than industrial; and contains probably the best live blues/funk/rock backing ever recorded - and these are just the instrumental parts, let alone the solos. If you like music, even if you’ve never heard of King Crimson - grab a copy of this show. As far as I’m concerned, this is THE SHOW to get. I first heard some of the tracks from this gig on a King Biscuit Flower Hour recording and spent quite a while tracking it down. I thought that recording was totally amazing, and it only had three tracks (from memory) Lament, The Night Watch and Starless. When the announcer somewhat breathlessly interrupted at the end of Starless describing ’an incredible musical journey from King Crimson’ he was only skimming the surface. This recording is much, much better - more clarity, more bass, more tracks, more of everything... People say that this night was inconsistent - I say its (very minor) flaws simply serve to highlight the superlative musicianship of all involved. Recovering from a ’flub’, such as John Wetton’s slurring or stumbling over lyrics, demonstrates enormous playing and listening skills. Even ’poor old’ David Cross, who spends most of the night relegated to playing mellotron parts (which are still amazing) acquits himself not just well, but spectacularly. If ten stars were available, I’d need still more to rate this concert and recording accurately.
Written by Christopher DeVito
The Above Average Deceiver
This download is worth it for Fripp’s ripping solo on Schizoid Man. The solo opens with 60 seconds of full-on scream in Fripp’s patented FLAIL mode. After a wind-down and a brief pause, there’s a couple of minutes of single-note lead that goes from angular sustain to jagged feedback to knotted strings of notes and back again -- just some good old-fashioned electric rock guitar, supported by a monstrous, crunching groove from Wetton and Bruford. At the other end of the spectrum, and just as good, is the pastoral Daniel Dust improv into Night Watch (even though Fripp has to stop and start over again because of all the loudmouthed assholes in the audience). This was pretty much David Cross’s only chance to make an audible contribution on violin -- very nice. It’s clear that by this point Cross was having trouble fitting into this band; often he played supporting piano or mellotron, and on the loud tunes where he played violin, he was just audible enough to be distracting but not loud enough that you can really hear what he was trying to do. But on quieter pieces he made a vital contribution. I have to wonder how Dr. Diamond hung on as long as it did in the set list -- they needed an auctioneer to spit out those rapid-fire lyrics. The instrumental section is heavy though. Overall, this concert feels uneven to me, and I don’t think it’s among the best by this group -- though it’s nice to have a complete set from the Spring 1974 tour. But get it for Schizoid Man. Next, how about more from Summer ’74? -- Chris DeVito
Written by Nick Roperti
Simply the best line-up
I do respect the complexity and virtuosity of all King Crimson line-ups from 1980 and beyond (including the projects) but I find myself falling in and out of love with this era while never tring 72-74 incarnation, which I believe is not only the best of the Crimson line-ups but quite possibly the best rock band to hit the stage in the seventies. If Fripp had not broken up KC and gone into isolation, I’m pretty sure it would not have been long before the masses would get wind of the incredible energy and musicianship of this incarnation and would  agree with me. This Pittsburgh concert here is a wonderful example of the ambiance and stage presence KC had in the seventies. I love it! Unlike any of the next KC lineups, when I listen to this concert I feel the energy of a huge 70s concert venue packed with excited fans who could be there for Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Kiss, Queen or any other heavies of that period. As the crowd screams with with racaus exhuberance, I can almost smell the pot smoke in the air and the five minue pounding for an encore at the end of LTIAII is almost worth the price of the download. I think this lineup just had a certain presence lacking the other incarnations to come. Belew is a talented front man, but sometimes I tire of his cerebral, grinning guitar noodling. Wetton just seemed to take what he was doing very seriously and sang with heart and soul that I sometimes can’t always find with Belew.