It seems nobody was happy this particular night. Sound engineer George Chkaintz had trouble with the sound in the recording truck, roadie Tex is frightened to turn down Wetton’s amp despite the discreet urgings of other members of the band and crew, Fripp is giving tour manager Dik Frasier grief,and the promoter isn’t best pleased because the band haven’t done an encore!
Despite all of this, the concert isn’t anywhere near as bad as Fripp and others judged it at the time. LTIA rips and roars like an angry beast, and the exquisite lead lines during Exiles compensate for the liberties taken with some of ithe timing. Fracture is a major event with Wetton and Bruford seemingly in a deathmatch race to see who can reach the end of the song first. Thankfully Fripp and Cross manage to keep up with them! The improvs are robust in character and prove that even with all of the problems and politics in the band, Crimso hit escape velocity: the second one in particular gives a gently-inclined Cross a chance to move out from under the overbearing rhythm section. Oh, and did I mention that Starless is a must-have belter?
Mixed directly from the multitracks, with the exception of those improvs, having been previously pressed into active service on The Great Deceiver box set, this is the first time the entire concert has been made available.