Having just seen King Crimson live here in New York the other night, I can say first hand that the band are absolutely slaying it on this current tour, as this new live album recorded on June 28th of this year in Chicago clearly demonstrates. Dipping way back into their catalog more than they have possibly ever done, the current line-up of King Crimson are giving us a tour for the ages, a set list that draws from every past incarnation of the band but is heavy on the '70s material.
The line-up for this live album consists of :
Robert Fripp – guitar, mellotron, keyboards , soundscapes
Mel Collins – saxophone, flute
Tony Levin – bass guitar, NS upright bass, Chapman Stick
Pat Mastelotto – percussion, acoustic and electronic drums
Gavin Harrison – main drums
Jakko Jakszyk – lead vocals, guitar, flute
Jeremy Stacey – drums, keyboards, backing vocals
Bill Rieflin – keyboards, synthesizer, mellotron
Once the ominous "Scape Bells" introduces things, the band tear into the savage "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part One", and there's no looking back from there. Tracks from the '80s and '90s incarnations of the band are sprinkled throughout a set that is heavy from the Lake/Wetton/Burrell years, Jakszyk doing a fine job handling the vocals of these 'fallen angels', especially on gems such as the Mellotron drenched "Starless", the jazzy "Islands", a powerful "Cirkus", and the two surprising inclusions "Lizard" and "Pictures of a City", both made all the more incredible due to the presence of the legendary Collins, who is back in the band where he belongs after a decades long absence. Levin, as always, simply wows from start to finish, his acrobatic Chapman Stick work on "The ConstruKction of Light" is mesmerizing, but it's the drum trio of Harrison, Mastelotto, and Stacey who are the true stars of the show, who are doing things together on this tour that will leave your jaw scraping the floor. There's also plenty of thunder here as well, with pounding renditions of "Easy Money", "21st Century Schizoid Man", "Indiscipline", and a cover of David Bowie's "Heroes" providing heavy prog bombast.
Mellotrons, flutes, sax, drums galore, sinewy bass, and jagged guitars flying in every direction...all that and more are included here on Live in Chicago, easily one of the best live albums of 2017, and a document of a tour that is not to be missed.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
Intro: Scape Bells
Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part One
The Lizard Suite:
a) Dawn Song
b) Last Skirmish
c) Prince Rupert's Lament
Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part Two
Pictures of a City
The ConstruKction of Light
Radical Action II
21st Century Schizoid Man