King Crimson's MUSIC IS OUR FRIEND 2021 tour of the USA, with Special Guest The California Guitar Trio

t’s been eight years since Starless was returned to the KC setlist. You might think that folks hearing it live are now a bit blasé about it but there’s always an incredibly strong emotional reaction upon hearing those opening strings.
Written by Galen Herod
A haiku does not have to be 5/7/5. That's a guideline for English speakers to get them started. It's a little nutty to think a minimal art form of grace and beauty should rely on being an accountant. Ezra Pound is famous for many haiku, like his In a Station of the Metro: The apparition of these faces in the crowd: Petals on a wet, black bough.
Written by Marian Connel-Limer
Solid Selection with a highly entertaining performance
Going in, I hadn't expected much of the California Guitar Trio, but by the time they played their cover version of Echoes by Pink Floyd, I was entranced and ready to delve into the real meat of the set. A stable but shaky performance of Pictures Of A City led to an earthshattering Epitaph and Red, going into my favorite part of the concert, the extended introduction to Indiscipline. Seeing the drummers make faces at eachother while dueling polyrhythms drove me to near-hysterical laughter, as it did my older brother, whose prior exposure to Crim goes as far as stuff I played on the ride to the venue. After Indiscipline came a similarly stellar performance of One More Red Nightmare. All around, Mel Collins' wind contributions really tied the divergent styles of the set together. Islands was near-identical to the album version, for better or for worse, with the same crescendo at the end, though feeling emptier than on the album by way simply of not getting loud enough. When the band came back from intermission, they immediately broke into a fair rendition of TCOTCK, and then an absolutely menacing Starless, complete with the lighting darkening dramatically. It made me wish more of the show made usage of dynamic lighting, due to how effective it was here. The show's Encore, the iconic 21st Century Schizoid Man, is possibly the best performance the Jakko era has had thus far, helped by Gavin Harrison's virtuosic drum solo in the midsection. Overall, this being the first, and possibly only time I see King Crimson live in person, It was a servicable selection of tracks with great performances all around, and an acceptable outing for a band of this caliber. 8.5/10