It’s always a bone-crushing experience hearing this one in concert but tonight in Philadelphia the story is slightly different as various gremlins make merry among the stompboxes.
Oddly though none of the momentum accrued thus far is dissipated, the absence of a guitar suddenly opening out the sonic space rather than destabilising it. “An auspicious beginning,” quips Belew in the aftermath and applause.
Potato Pie had made its live debut on the tour at the previous evening’s gig in New York but with that gig gone awol from the archives, tonight’s performance is our first chance to savour a slice of Crimson blues.
The spiky textures of the main theme are beautifully contrasted by the silky smooth solo from Fripp where the notes slide into near silence.
Afterward, we can hear Belew off-mic asking his bandmates if they should do another track, indicating that the show was originally scheduled to end with Adrian’s vocal line “I was hoping that you might solve this puzzle of mine someday” hanging in the air. In the event, the night is brought to a decidedly definitive end when they plough into Vrooom.