“If we are looking for a KC live (show); Chicago was exceptional” – Robert Fripp
“One of our best” – Tony Levin
King Crimson evolves, changes, morphs as relentlessly as the Soundscapes which open each concert. Since the 2016 tour of Europe, the band has become a double quartet line-up with Bill Rieflin’s return from sabbatical as keyboard player & Jeremy Stacey’s confirmation as a permanent member/third drummer. This allows for the inclusion of an ever more complex & compelling array of material, far more than can be contained in a single concert. With options for up to three keyboard players in the current line-up – Fripp & Stacey both have setups alongside their respective guitar/drum rigs - the majority of Lizard is performed live for the first time ever, likewise Fallen Angel from Red is making its first ever concert appearance/live recording, Cirkus envelops the listener in sound, the beautiful title track from Islands closes the first set, while staples from the 1980s line-up Indiscipline and Neurotica appear in very different arrangements. New piece, The Errors makes its recorded debut & current audience favourite Heroes appears in the encores at the end of Disc Two. Add to this list of concert newcomers & returnees, live staples of the recent tours such as Starless, Easy Money, a recording of Level Five described as the “best ever single performance” of the piece by King Crimson biographer Sid Smith & a storming ending provided by the evergreen 21st Century Schizoid Man & it’s easy to see why the band was so pleased with this gig & the audience went home happy.

King Crimson continues to re-invent & re-imagine both itself & its music; the kind of thing that once would have been called a “progressive” approach. It’s an approach that has benefited band members and listeners alike from January 1969 to the present – September 2017.
Bellscape And Orchestral Werning
Larks' Tongues In Aspic Pt I
The Errors
The Lizard Suite
Fallen Angel
Larks' Tongues In Aspic Pt II
Pictures Of A City
The ConstruKction Of Light
Easy Money
The Letters
Radical Action II
Level Five
21st Century Schizoid Man
Written by Waen Shepherd
Just when you think they can't get any better...
... along comes this astonishing set. I'm privileged enough to have seen line-up 8.x twice, different each time and always mind-blowing, but nothing prepared me for this. My undying love for The ProjeKcts and the Double Duo aside, I have to agree with Fripp's liner notes when he refers to this as the fourth definitive version of King Crimson. And this is by far the best of the discs they've released so far. Even though it ostensibly features fewer 'new' songs than the beyond-brilliant Radical Action set, there's something about the way the 'old' material is approached that almost makes Radical Action look like a cheap Greatest Hits cash-in. Not only are we hearing 40-plus-year-old material King Crimson played live for the first time (Fallen Angel is simply astounding), alongside material written specifically by and for this band and radical new interpretations of songs played to death by other line-ups (Indiscipline - specifically designed to be different every time it was played - has never sounded as different as it does here, and it's a wondrous thing), it's also apparent now that the songs this line-up have already been playing for the past few years are stubbornly refusing to become tired or stale. Whether it's the simple addition of permanent keyboards or the increasing coherence of the eight players I don't know, but this version of King Crimson somehow manages to be stunningly precise and incredibly powerful while still retaining a raw, experimental edge. I thought by now I'd heard all the live versions of Easy Money I ever wanted to hear, but this set has proven me wrong. Larks and Starless also refuse to rest, with new sounds and startlingly altered solos appearing when you least expect them. This band isn't simply revisiting old songs - it's taking those songs and evolving them to the next level, seemingly capable of knitting together every era, every line-up into one. They utterly OWN the music they play and I can't describe the utter joy I feel knowing that, as the Crimson King approaches His fiftieth year, He is finally finding a way to make Himself complete.
Written by Mitchell Lawson
This is THE release from the current lineup.
I don't even know where to start. There's so much "new" stuff here that sounds absolutely amazing, and everything familiar is presented definitively. The new arrangements of Neurotica and Indiscipline feature some really impressive drumming, and the addition of saxophone really fills out the songs and transforms them into something fresh. The Errors is a great blend of Jakszyk's jazzy/bluesy tendencies with the interlocking guitars (and now drums) that are now such a hallmark of the group. The Lizard material is performed so well that even I, somebody who doesn't favor the album, find it compelling and beautiful. Fallen Angel and Islands are genuine tearjerkers, changing just enough to make these performances feel unique, but not changing so much that they become unrecognizable. As for the tried and true material, oh boy. We have definitive recordings of LTIA1 and Level Five alongside a haunting rendition of Easy Money and what may be my favorite version of 21st Century Schizoid Man. The soloing and improving is a huge step up from other performances from this incarnation in my opinion, Fripp and Collins in particular sound like they're making more of an effort to add to the whole piece rather than just play what comes to mind. I also really have to commend the drummers for going out on a limb more often on this recording, as other performances have been tight as hell but lacking in the improvisational spirit that separate Crimson drummer(s) from the rest. Honestly, my one and only complaint is that Live in Toronto feels largely obsolete because of this. What Bill adds to songs like Pictures of a City and Construkction of Light makes a night and day difference, you can tell that "fairy dusting" is really keeping the rest of the band on their toes. There's a wonderful moment in the beginning section of Easy Money where he plays a silly melody that jars horribly with the rest of the band and it had me laughing out loud, in a good way. Radical Action still has its place as a virtual studio recording, but honestly this blows all other live shows out of the water. If you're new to the band, buy this. If you're a fan of the band, you've already bought this.
Fabulous sound. I was at the show and this is fabulous.
All great. I just need to make time to sit and listen to the show start to finish. It was an incredible show. I bought the download after not having the patience to wait for the CD version I ordered. I wish the download would have been in a higher resolution other than 16/44 but it does sound very good and not ruined by compression. I wish the tags had been better. After the download I had to re-do them all for playback on JRiver. Again a wonderful show and if you're on the fence............don't be...........buy this show!! Keith
Written by Peter Warsop
Live In Chicago
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! Thank you to all at KC/DGM for the unexpected treat of making of Live In Chicago available for download two weeks earlier than expected. I'd already ordered the CD but this salved my impatience. The playing sounds vigorously confident, at ease but never indolent. The size of the band allows greater variety of timbres and sonic interactions than any previous incarnation yet never sounds cluttered. RF's second Principle Of King Crimson has borne delicious fruit. The entire concert is glorious but for me the most joy was from listening to previously unheard arrangements and one completely new composition. The Errors (a.k.a. Radical Action III) has a lyric that suggests (perhaps sardonic) acceptance of criticism; a desire for honest, plain speaking. Interspersed with pointilist guitar lines I hear swinging Big Band jazz. Neurotica now portrays not the sirens, car horns and venting steam of Manhattan, but a downtown avant-garde jazz club, frantic cymbal-riding percussion and squawking saxophone mania atop TL's hectic bass part. The vocal line has been pared back to the five lines commencing with "arrive in Neurotica" and is doubled on the keyboard. The other Eighties piece given a re-fit is Indiscipline; 3:30 minutes of rhythmic pad for the three drummers to play with before sax and guitar lurch in on the theme. Jakko's melody harmonised on guitar and voice is a revelation, adding a new dimension that sits delightfully against the relative atonality of the backing. I was struck by the realised potential of BR's re-assignment as a dedicated keyboard player. This is particularly apparent on the gorgeous Islands. Unique in the Crimson canon, languid and melody-led, with almost no drumming (those guys deserve a rest), it ebbs and flows beautifully and is, strangely, reminiscent of a meditative groove that Van Morrison could be proud of. Also with the piano to fore, JJ singing at the bottom of his register and MC's plaintive sax, Dawn Song opens the Lizard Suite. Then the ominous, rhythmically shifting two chord pattern underpinned by the mellotrons provides a backdrop for interplay between the bass, sax or flute, piano and guitars. In the denouement of Last Skirmish RF's guitar soars above the monotonous, desolate landscape. The whole has a vibrancy that it is now apparent was not quite attained in the studio version. Fallen Angel is a faithful rendition of the layers of overdubs from Red; a ballad that only KC could have come up with and only this version of KC could have done justice to in concert. Remembrance of JW is unavoidable. Thank you.