Kinetic Playground Chicago
There are times when this is more a documentation of a crowd bellowing and roaring than it is a recording of a band in concert, a band who are often relegated to something happening in distance. Nevertheless, King Crimson’s small but reliably loud PA system manages to overcome the hurly-burly in the more aggressive passages of the repertoire.
In between the increasingly bad-tempered bickering that seems to be kicking off in all corners of the venue, Crimson, largely oblivious to all of this, embarks on a dark and doomy improv after Easy Money. Here, the over-saturated sonics creates an air-borne relief sculpture; acerbic violin colliding with Wetton’s barbed-wire bass; gaseous clouds of Mellotron drift over Bruford’s white-noise cymbal, and explosive snare flashes.
Just before the improv winds down into Exiles, Fripp takes advantage of a Bruford backbeat to introduce the Fracture motif a full seven months before it would receive its definitive performance in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. Even in the mire, there is still treasure to be found. Meanwhile, during Peace, numerous punters compete with each other to see who can yell “SHUT UP” the loudest. And they say Americans don’t do irony!