The band’s signature theme, LTIA Pt 1 is taken at a ferocious lick, propelled by pure adrenaline in a way that leaves its studio equivalent gasping for air. The section after Cross’ plaintive obligato is filled with menace. Bruford’s gong and cymbal scrapes emerge from the sonic gloom, roaring like some dark, lumbering beast against the rising staccato of Fripp’s homing-beacon riff that gradually pulls the quartet back into the light.
While it’s still something of a surprise to hear Peace and Cat Food by this lineup, this part of the tour is notable for the amount of new composed material that’s included. Lament and Night Watch (including a really ‘out there’ solo from Fripp) glisten and the way in which the strange angularities of Fracture gradually coalesce into something that feels relentless and unstoppable is worth the price of admission alone.
This set also benefits from two improvs. The first, after some customary pussyfooting, works out into a straight-ahead rocker albeit in this instance subsumed within a blizzard of distortion as the band turns up to eleven. The second is a more abstract affair and the eagle-eared listener will recognise a bass motif John Wetton would later deploy when the band performed at Providence the following year. Despite the obvious limitations of the source material, including tragically truncated renditions of Talking Drum and LTIA Pt2, this is a great gig