**** 5 Stars Rating
This D.V.D. released by the omnipresent Robert Fripp, leader
of those pioneers of Progressive Rock (in this case perhaps a more apt title
would be Adventurous Rock) King Crimson have at last brought out a recording
that does justice to the band’s musical ability and visual presence.
From a musical point of view you get over two and a half
hours of Crimson music from the amazing Double Trio King Crimson, a title made
up as ever by Fripp where, although all six members were on stage at the same
time, they were able to break off in mid-song to play as two separate units, and
then all come crashing back together with the power of Thor’s double sided
This is used to dramatic effect on such old Crimson standards
such as “Lark’s Tongue In Aspic Part II” from 1973 (come on if you
haven’t heard it, aren’t you just a little bit curious to find out what a
song sounds like with a title like that?), originally recorded when only Robert
Fripp & Bill Bruford were in the band. From this lineup the others in that
period being Jamie Muir on percussion, David Cross on violin, flute &
keyboards, plus the mega-talented John Wetton on bass & vocals, but when
this 1998 version of the band come in altogether on that most famous of Crimson
riffs, the wallpaper shreds from its glue. Most of the well-known songs in the
life and times of King Crimson from 1973 onwards are here, with a definitive
version of most songs laid down.
Visually, the band line up as a back row and a front row. In
the back row the two drummers sit on either side of the stage as if castles on a
chess board, Bill Bruford in a dapper yellow double breasted suit, whilst Pat
Mastelotto effects traditional Rock ‘n’ Roll garb in jeans and t-shirt.
Sitting on his stool in the middle, dressed in black, is Mr. Robert Fripp, no
emotion showing but firmly in command of his guitar and those all around him.
The front line consists of the mercurial Trey Gunn on stick guitar, on your
left, to the right is without doubt the best bass guitarist in the world of
rock, Mr. Tony Levin. And slap bang in the middle is Adrian Belew, the band’s
lyricist for more than twenty years, lead guitarist, and focal point of the live
show, with his pleasant bouncy personality. The fact that he resembles Rick
Bryant more and more as time passes is neither here nor there.
This version of King Crimson is a joy to behold. These days
Bill Bruford and Trey Gunn have gone on to pastures new, but the nucleus of the
band are still going and are in fine form as last year’s offering “The
ConstrucKtion Of Light” showed (Robert Fripp always chucks on extra capital K
into the title if he can).
But the joy of this D.V.D does not stop with the concert
There are so many extras with this set it is hard to know
where to start. Firstly, there are seven different camera angles on which you
can view this concert, zooming in on just one player, or taking an overall view.
After watching the concert you can switch over and watch Tony Levin’s road
movies from this tour including clips of travel, hassles, rehearsals, and even
some very honest ‘warts ‘n’ all’ arguments between band members. A
section on the history of King Crimson called, “In The Court Of The Crimson
Kings” which chronicles the life and times of King Crimson and all its
different line-ups, with plenty of photographs to match. Great fun is the 21st
Century Schizoid band where, with an interactive menu, you can select a choice
of singers, soloists, and rhythm sections from 1969, 1971, 1974 or 1996 to
perform one of King Crimson’s most famous songs.
There are also some surprise items slipped into the
proceedings, but then if I told you about them, they wouldn’t be a surprise
would they. Also included are many extra D.V.D. Rom features if you want to slip
the discs into your computer and become a complete King Crimson Anorak.
So whether you’re a fan of King Crimson or not, but you own
a D.V.D. player and want to use it to its maximum effect, then this is the disc
Well done Mr. Fripp and cohorts, leading the field in
innovation, as always.
If you prefer to just get yourself an audio document of this
fantastic King Crimson line-up, they also released a double CD version of a
concert from this tour with a near identical set list called “B’Boom The
Official Bootleg”, and well worth seeking out.
Robert Fripp - Guitar & Mellotron
Adrian Belew - Guitar & Vocals
Trey Gunn - Stick Guitar
Tony Levin - Upright & Electric Basses
Pat Mastelotto and Bill Bruford - Acoustic & Electronic
1. Circular Improv
2. VROOOM VROOOM
3. Frame By Frame
5. One Time
9. Matte Kudasai
10 Three Of A Perfect Pair
12. Coda: Marine 475
13. Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream
14. Elephant Talk
16. Talking Drum
17. Lark’s Tongues In Aspic
19. Walking On Air