My first ever Crim experience....heavy, shredding and ethereal
Review as originally appeared in Extreme magazine Canada 2000
King Crimson Nov. 24 2000 The Warehouse Toronto, ON Canada To experience King Crimson live is something that is akin to watching highly skilled surgeons playing a nice football match. Just as their music constantly evolves, so does their roster. For the year 2000, three were summoned by headmaster Robert Fripp, combining to make up a double-duo. Trey Gunn, touch guitarist/low end provider; graceful, disciplined and scholastic. Like an expert swordsman. One can tell what is to come simply by how they make their first move. Next- Pat Mastelotto the 'hitman'; forever pushing the boundaries of rhythms and conjuring new calculations between time and space. Every square inch of his kit was struck. Top shelf playing. Master of blending analog with electronics; the Frank Lloyd Wright of percussion? Adrian Belew, guitar and vocal pipes. permanently awash in a jovial state. Also Zappa henchman. Wonderfully bizarre vocal notations and angular guitar playing. A hero. And last but not least - the deceptive one - Robert Fripp; audience-to-artist behavioural engineer, a stoically serious seer. Seated at his station flanked by technology. Running down the guitar frets like no tommorrow accompanied by a deep-down demeanor of having a damn good time. Toronto was the last night of their 2000 North American tour. The experience from every gig they played should culminate into their best show yet - in theory. The result: arguably so. This should be mentioned- no Court of The Crimson King. Instead, force-filled renditions of a new kind of music- exploratory, random yet disciplined. Even the young attended, dispelling any rumours that Crim shows are nothing but sausage parties. The first chord to be struck belonged to Lark's Tongues In Aspic Part IV, an instrumental that rhythmically played out like a stop-motion film racing with a snail on methamphetamines. Delightful. Further tracks would be played from Crim's latest release, The ConstrucKtion Of Light (Virgin Records), including the title number and ProzacK Blues, where Belew's vocals and wit matched that of a pub crawler arguing with a stodgy professor - very nice. And despite the technical brilliance of their shows, an equal amount of emotion and pleasure emanated from Belew's sole acoustic rendition of Three of a Perfect Pair. They understand that more is less, when needed be. Additional key set-list material heard: Thrak's Dinosaur and the vintage Red. Although the show would be stopped short due to the invasive usage of pesky spectator camera flashes (Fripp's ethical enemy), the Crim managed to stop time in their 1.5 hours onstage. A little diappointing, but it still left a residue of infinite enjoyment. It is highly recommended that these four gents be witnessed onstage. They are not old men on the mountains, although their crafty wit dictates so. Instead, they are giant molecules of sound, forever expanding. This ain't no 'prog'; it's rave music for the 21st century. You'll be impressed.