“Please stand up!” says Belew near the end of the gig. “Maybe talk to us?” he pleads, suggesting that the respectful restraint displayed by the audience up to that point was slightly unnerving the group. Perhaps this accounts for a set that, whilst being a reliable and honourable enough performance, somehow it doesn’t quite come alive until the band hit Frame By Frame.
Fripp has been trying a different, brighter interlocking runs between verses on Frame throughout these gigs, and here he offers another variation different again to previous experiments. Were these variations he wanted to use originally perhaps? Or simply a way of retaining the element of surprise within a set list that offered little variation?
One track where there’s variation aplenty is Manhattan. A turbulent, multi-layered collage charting the bright lights and darker corners of a busy metropolis. Interestingly Belew had written the lyrics to what would become Neurotica the previous month when the band played their three-night run at The Savoy in New York but it wouldn’t be until the following year that words and music came together. Whilst the blaring evocation of a city brimming and bursting at the seams with traffic of all kinds was inspired by New York, it could easily apply to an equally busy Tokyo.
A fiery Neil And Jack And Me and a stomping LTIA provide other highpoints in the set.
Whilst obviously being no substitute for the real thing, a fairly hissy bootleg tape provides us with a reasonably decent thumbnail sketch of what went on.