State Fairground

Despite being incomplete it’s a very powerful rendition of Doctor Diamond which opens this show. Seven dates into King Crimson’s first American tour since the Islands band came to a halt, the energy levels being generated at the State Fairground is enough to power an entire field of Ferris wheels and then some. Although the sound on the audience recording is murky the bulldozing force with which the band plough into LTIA is actually enhanced by the overloaded recording. You get the idea that this is pretty much how it would have felt to the punters at the time. During Easy Money Wetton’s bass carpet bombs the instrumental section as it builds towards the climb-out and last verse.

The first of two improvisations tonight begins with Wetton’s funky string chops providing a bedrock against which the other Crims begin to explore and extend their musical ideas. Cross is on fine form, initially adding chunky wah-wahed notes and then threading a soaring melody between the jagged stop-start strafing from his bandmates. Once the piece beds down into a mid-tempo groove Cross and Fripp trade luminous rhapsodic lines as Wetton underpins it with a descending bass figure. In common with most audiences of the day, the bulk of the eleven-minute track sounds so organised they would not have known it was entirely improvised. That said, the end section takes them into a theme built around Wetton’s spiky motif which the band would continue to sporadically include and tinker with for the next year.

After taking the tempo down with an exquisite version of Exiles and a Book Of Saturday, whose introduction is sadly snipped off, a punter can be heard shouting for Epitaph. What the crowd gets instead is Crimson setting off into uncharted regions once again with an improv that opens into a dark and brooding mood. Once again David Cross ratchets up a tense and nightmarish atmosphere which then develops into a daring dual with Wetton’s jabbing bass. As Bruford rocks out the piece takes on an intensely vivid quality that borders on the frantic. Normally in such circumstances, Cross is normally drowned out at these moments but the vagaries of the recording have preserved his frenzied bow work. With yet another example of just how fearless this group was, halfway through everything drops back to a low rumble and the band begin the journey toward The Talking Drum, a furious LTIA Part Two, concluding with an incomplete Schizoid Man.
TRACK
TIME
01
Dr Diamond (Incomplete)
02:13
02
Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part 1
10:02
03
RF Announcement
01:37
04
Easy Money
05:57
05
Improv I
11:07
06
Exiles
07:20
07
Book Of Saturday (Incomplete)
02:59
08
Improv II
11:55
09
The Talking Drum
05:49
10
Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part 2
07:08
11
21st Century Schizoid Man (Incomplete)
05:15
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