With ZZ Top opening the show and Golden Earring headlining, King Crimson’s rocker-on-steroids, The Great Deceiver quickly establishes that this isn’t quite your regular rock ‘n’ roll. The abrupt switch between that almost punkish staccato attack to Lament’s more genteel introduction must have had more than a few heads turned. Fripp notes in his dairy at the time that the band received a polite reception for their trouble but if you listen to the cheers and applause after a very strong reading of Exiles, the punters seemed to have come round to the Crim way of doing things.

Easy Money continues the high energy approach with the intro to the guitar solo being extremely powerful with Fripp’s lacerating solo scratching deep into the fretboard. The pace drops but only momentarily as Cross’ Mellotron flows and Fripp’s guitar goes from the reflective arpeggios of the album version to a screaming howl. Definitely one of the hardest-edged versions of this song you’re likely to hear.

And speaking of hard-edges, check out the instrumental section of Starless as Bruford takes the ball and runs with it. There’s a moment where he goes into an extended snare roll that leaves Fripp hitting that single note like he’s driving a piton into the side of a particularly precipitous cliff face. This is another remarkable rendition of Starless with the band bringing every last scrap of its considerable firepower to bear on an especially thrilling climax.

What is particularly upsetting about this gig is that as a truly savage Talking Drum is whipping up a frenzy and is just within a few beats away from the jump into LTIA Pt II, the audio goes dead. Has the tape run out? No. The venue receives a powercut. The cause of the cruel cut? Maurice Cloud,who was at the show reveals all: “Two give or take weeks later I learned from the owner of Independent Records that the cause of Crimson’s abbreviated appearance was a ZZ Top roadie pulling the plug on them.”

Please note that this concert was first released on CD as part of The Road To Red boxed set in 2013.
TRACK
TIME
01
The Great Deceiver
03:48
02
Lament
04:10
03
Exiles
06:45
04
Easy Money
05:29
05
Starless
11:53
06
The Talking Drum*
05:25
Written by Mark Taylor
Lament: I Was There
I attended this show. I purchased tickets for four friends and my little brother as I was so excited to finally see King Crimson. Golden Earring opened the show. One of my friends got up to have a wander around while King Crimson stage was being set up. King Crimson came on and opened with Easy Money. My friend's butt was not in its seat. Lament came and went, Paul still was not in his seat. Exiles started and soon after a guy with a Red Cross armband started waving his arms at me. I sighed, got up and followed him. My friend Paul had ingested some chemical substance that he had no business doing since this was a big night for me. I returned to my seat near the end of Starless. The Talking Drum started and it was building up to the big "climax" when the power to the stage was shut down. Robert, John and David unplugged and walked off while Bill was still up there pounding away for a few more seconds. Bill threw his sticks in the air over his head and left. There was mass confusion as to what had just happened. It became clear when the ZZ Top stage manager appeared and started a stupid statement about "so called guitarists and prima donas" ZZ Top had pulled the plug. For years I wondered what I has missed because the bits I did hear were sensational. Fast-forward decades later and I discover their is a ROAD TO RED boxset. I inquired here at DGM if I could purchase only the Denver show. Hooray! I got to hear the entire albeit disrupted set. Listening, it is VERY clear why ZZ Top pulled the plug. King Crimson were in ferocious form! I will be at the Chicago show on September 10 and hope to FINALLY see a full performance that will hopefully include the Lizard suite. BUY BUY BUY this blistering set from the Denver show in '74
Written by Kevin Shelton
Less A Review Than A Question
"With ZZ Top opening the show and Golden Earring headlining". I am confused. Wasn't it ZZ Top headlining and Golden Earring opening? It really doesn't make sense for ZZ Top's roadies to pull the plug unless they wanted KC off the stage so that their band could go on. Unless their just couldn't take any more high-pitched models guitar-violin duetting? I wish that Tex and the boys had fed the ZZ Top jackasses their fuzz boxes, by the way. What an asinine maneuver.
Written by Jure Humar
An incredible performance
Although this show is available in pretty short form, I am amazed at how it compensates that with incredible energy. I am particularly amazed at John Wetton's singing. This may just be his most passionate Lament. Not that other songs are any less, but I was particularly struck by that one. Unfortunately there is no improv here, but as much I love them, I absolutely felt no need for one, nor did I at any time start to think about it. The Talking Drum is interrupted, but incredibly powerful, one of the most unique performances by the band. I highly recommend this gig, but then again, I recommend anything by King Crimson. There is just no end to the amount of joy this group gives me.
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