Level 5
Written by agnes steck
KCrim now more than ever
To the prog hive-mind: anticipation was palpable. 3000 eager fans swarmed into Denver's BellCo Theater, buzzing excitedly. Sonic honey time! Seated then we smack-dab in the center of the BellCo minutes before the band emerged. They were honored with the first of many standing ovations... this before note one was played. Then followed rapt silence as audience and performers poised with in-drawn breath... until that breath was released with the future-punk crash of a surprise Belew-era number - Neurotica. A fully locked & loaded 8-man King Crimson delivered from moment one the promise of their nearly fifty year prowess in the art of music: unleashing their aural might like a bull from the chute. What followed over the next two and one half hours was some prog dim-sum cooked up with guitar Frippery and massive Crimsonics orchestrated joyfully with masterful musicianship and aplomb. Their sound quality was stunning, precise with every nuance of this difficult yet beautifully visceral music painted exquisably into our earholes. The 3-drum front-line thumped a clockwork bombast upon which the guitars, keys & winds wove beguiling melodies and soundscapes around these rhythms: never stepping on their partner's toes. KC sounded utterly like all of themselves from 1969 til now, yet still miles beyond other musics. All their "hits" were performed: Red, In the Court of the Crimson King, Larks Tongue in Aspic Part I & II, 21st Century Schizoid Man...YES! Everything a die-hard KCrim fan might want. And that sublimely potent Fallen Angel.... Front man Jakko Jakszyk surprised most, delivering not only his version of Fripp's sterling guitar lines, but performing Belew, Wetton and Lake vocals nostalgically and with a fresh ease. He enchanted and impressed with his vocal range; my wife noted he reminded her of a trained choirboy very grown-up into his own. This version of the Mighty Crim made what was old new again; familiar classics worked out with fresh arrangements and accented amazingly, bestially, creatively & deliciously by the extra musos not available for the original performances. Fripp & Co entertained their loyal fans with power & beauty, too soon to be over for most of us. What more can King Crimson do? Denver was treated to Bowie's Heroes; so emotional, both frail and enduring. Thank you, King Crimson ...and encore.
Written by Derrick Thompson
The Heavenly Music Octet!
I play drums, and a year after someone turned me onto Bruford-era Yes, I purchased The Compact King Crimson, and instantly became a Crimso fan. To see them Bruford-less was saddening only before I saw this group. The drummers had every right to claim the front of the stage; it was not a contest, it was not a encyclopedia-of-drum-rolls show-offy muddy jam fest; the drummers, although possessing vastly different tones and skillsets, played so sympathetically to each other, and with the rest of the band. The early material sounded fresh, Mel was brilliant, and Fripp's tone has never been better. Killer Crim!
Written by Lee Nudelman
Best Concert I've Ever Been Too!!!
What a night. Both Larks, Easy Money, Fallen Angel, Lizard,Cirkus,Neurotica,21CSM, Starless, and Heroes. I couldn't ask for much more than that Mr Fripp. Please Come back!
Written by Joe Pacelt
One of the Best
King Crimson continues to impress me year after year. The Chicago show was one of the best concerts I have seen by any band, but let's breakdown this show. Lark's Tongue In Aspic to open was perfect way to start. Awesome. Next, a suprising twist with Neurotica....a Belew driven song which they made their own. Mel Collins makes these songs sound like they belong in the 1970's Crimson. Cirkus > Lizard was a wonderful surprise. Never would I thought they bust out those sleepers. The newest member made his presence felt and added to the overall sound. Then....Bamm! Robert Fripp plays this killer solo before Fallen Angel. It was best thing I ever heard him play! Fripp has step out and really went after these tunes. Mind blowing solo. Then, Jacko sings the sweetest Islands I ever heard. He has a timeless voice which is just perfect for Crimson. Set Two Pictures of a City....hell yes! I did not look at setlist prior to this show and I was glad for it. Great version!! Indiscipline starts and I think.....why? Belew song and he's out. Not sure if I like this BUT, it was good. Jacko made it his own. I just saw Belew solo a few months ago, so I still like him better on this one. Construction was good and Mel drops right in to change the sound to this version of Crim. EASY MONEY was the best song of the night. The middle section of this song was trippy in the best way. The drummers really added some nice stuff here. Pat was playing something that was intense. The Letter was good last time and this time and Meltdown is a great new song. Level five sounds better with this lineup IMHO. Starless was great. Better than last time and it was the highlight of the show last time. Encore: Heroes....Bowie tribute and Fripp played great, but 21st Century Schizoid Man destroy us. Monster song that is timeless and powerful. Now, my only regret was In the Court of the Crimson King was on the setlist and they did not play it. Overall, it was an experience to witness the highest level of musicianship on the planet. No one can touch the power and beauty of this version of King Crimson. Let's hope they continue to make this music for many years to come.