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.