Being a Chilean citizen is not easy. Living in a small country located literally at the end of the world means that many bands skip my country during their world tours. Such is the case of King Crimson, which have only played in South America in Argentina, and that was back in '94 when I was still a child. Luckily for me, now that I am living in France I had the chance to finally attend my first KC concert. And oh my Fripp... what a concert it was!
I had watched and listened to countless of KC live performances, and my favourite lineup was the '80s formation. But having never been able to actually attend a concert, I was curious and quite cautious of the new formation with 3 drummers (!) and no Belew. No need to worry though, the new KC incarnation is bigger and louder than ever, and technically flawless as always.
During the first part they played songs from Poseidon (Picture of a City), Lizard (Cirkus), Islands (Sailor's Tale) and Larks (Larks I and II, Easy Money, The Talking Drum). A personal highlight for me was Epitaph. Jakko's vocals are very faithful to the original and Fripp's guitar in this version was sooooo smooth that when he started to play the first notes of that song my eyes got a bit watered. He really is like a good red wine.
After a 20 minute intermission that gave me some time to pick up my jaw, the second set contained pieces from Red (Red, Starless(!)), Discipline (Indiscipline), ITCOTCK and A Scarcity of Miracles. Mel's winds provide such richness to the tunes and are never out of place. An Tony's bass lines... always the precise note at the precise time... he's such a clever bassist.
Some stuff from the '90s and '00s (VROOOM, ConstruKction of Light, Level Five) were played during the 1st and 2nd act (I think...don't remember exactly), plus some new stuff mostly percussion-oriented where the three drummers combine perfectly in harmony and precision...quite a powerful sight reminiscent of Japanese drumming (Kumi-Daiko).
And last but not least, for the encore we had the privilege of seeing the performance of 21st Century... including a Gavin solo that left his kit smoking. Really, if you closed your eyes while he was playing the solo, it was like listening to the three drummers playing together...only that it was just Gavin alone. He is at the top of his game and for me he was the star of the night (although I might be biased being a huge fan of Porcupine Tree).
Overall almost 3 hours of music and only music. Not a single word was spoken by any member of the band during the whole concert. The music speaks for them. What an experience!
And now after 24 hours of my first KC concert I am suffering from serious withdrawal symptoms and I just can't wait to see them live again... maybe next year? In any case, right after the concert only one word was in my mind: gratitude.