|| March 04, 2003
|| Birchmere Alexandria, VA
This is the sound of a slightly unbalanced Crimson occasionally teetering and finding its feet after Adrian Belew’s illness had caused the previous evening’s concert to be cancelled. On that occasion P3 stepped into the breach (the concert is available as KCCC 34). Tonight though Adrian turned up. Though still clearly still unwell, Belew nevertheless takes to the stage and helps the Crims to give a lively and eventful show.
Fripp comments on his diary “The audience were supportive & generous, and the sound contained & tuned to the room; that is, not loud. Onstage, the sound was interesting. Very much a beginning again performance, with simple errors.”
Some of the errors Robert refers to can clearly be heard on tracks such as Elektrik, Level Five and FaKCts of Life. Yet so often with Crimson, the potential threat of an below par performance are turned around and the act of recovering from the brown moments and missteps adds another frisson to the proceedings.
Consequently Oyster Soup is even more of a roller-coaster ride than is usual complete with an unexpected coda from Ol Spider Fingers. The version of LTIA is an astonishing bulldozer in which Fripp’s fast running lines are delivered with both accuracy and gusto whilst Pat ensures there’s a rockier than usual punch to the track.
* source recording is incomplete
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Band Member Diaries
Tue., Mar 4, 2003
Written by Robert Fripp
Hotel Acceptable, Alexandria, Virginia.
E-flurry discharged. Incoming mail included a request for free tickets & will I see you after the show? This is a sufficient indication to me that I need now go off-line. Playing guitar in this band is enough, without the other band responsibilities that fall to me; without the personal responsibilities that are part of living a life; without the professional & DGM responsibilities that fall to me. Very little of the work on the road has to do with playing music: it is the price we accept in order to embrace that privilege. Which doesn't mean we have to accept vampirism.
Computing at Fripp Mobile HQ in the parking lot.
Now, a break before setting off to the Birchmere for soundcheck. MJK has called to report a 100% improvement in the Belewbeloidle health. Ade is coming to soundcheck to fully discover how wretched he is, or not. ProjeKct Three, so recently reformed with 100% of its original members, may now be about-to-be-becoming ceasing-to-exist. Although another reformation is always possible. Even a tour. Even an album.
Back on the Crimbus, I am suddenly & unexpectedly checked-out of the Radisson. The words overnight drive to New York on our day-sheet had escaped my attention.
Once more on the Crimbus, in Mobile HQ. We are pulling out & leaving for the Washington hotel to pick up remaining Crims, and then we hurtle off into the cold night towards NYCNY.
King Crimson has returned. Adrian is back. Playing to a seated house, with tables, is a particular kind of event. The Birchmere, as a venue (and one I enjoy), is probably better suited to P3 than KC. That is, King Crimson with our current repertoire & production rig. The audience were supportive & generous, and the sound contained & tuned to the room; that is, not loud. Onstage, the sound was interesting. Very much a beginning again performance, with simple errors.
There was, however, a significant level of violation. Did I see anything? No. Was I told of anything? No. So how do I know? Because of a feeling in my solar plexus. My sense of this has now been validated so many times that I feel no necessity to justify this sense to those who don't experience it.
The Crimbus is fully loaded, and driving out of central DC. Mahler is tuning the air in Mobile HQ while I edit the Sanctuary press conference. This is a job sent to me from Laura at DGM HQ.