“Ladies and gentlemen you see before you a phenomenon which is interesting if not rare; it’s a mellotron which has just broken down.” Eight gigs into the North American tour and Fripp’s mellotron has given up the ghost forcing him to valiantly comp for all he’s worth during an otherwise storming reading of Cirkus. There have been equipment bugs throughout the tour but thanks to some on-stage support from the crew normal service is soon restored. This is a bright and often hissy audience recording but it clears up nicely for Formentera containing some choppy picking from Fripp as though he’s slightly impatient and wanting to get on to the next track. When he does he opts for the sustained laser beam tone intially. Possessing the sleek beauty of a scalpel Fripp slices the air with before reverting to the chordal sledgehammer that stomps everything in its range flatter than a tentpeg. The outro is momentarily chaotic with Collins’ brass setting ‘tron being somewhat swamped by Fripp’s scorching tone. A superb Schizoid Man with Collins setting the place on fire gives the punters in New York the kind of clout they were cruising for all along. Another powerful gig by a band who definitely know what they’re doing.

AUDIO SOURCE: Bootleg Cassette

DGM AUDIO QUALITY

AVERAGE CUSTOMER RATING

TRACK
TIME
01
Cirkus
09:17
02
RF Announcement
01:30
03
Pictures Of A City
08:40
04
RF Announcement
01:04
05
Formentera Lady
06:40
06
The Sailors Tale
13:47
07
21st Century Schizoid Man
08:28
08
RF Announcement
00:54
09
The Devils Triangle
07:02
Written by Pablo Cordero
An outstanding Sailor's Tale and a great gig overall
First off, the sound quality is mediocre, it starts off really dull and unfocused but eventually improves to listenable. The performance however is mostly outstanding. The 14-minute "Sailor's Tale" is a clear highlight, with an extraordinary guitar solo which blends the laser-beam sustain of the "Earthbound" version with some furious rapid-fire strumming. After the customary (and interesting) VCS3-treated drum solo, the band finishes the song by playing a jazzy little melody which I had actually heard the 1969 lineup play before... this melody can be heard 3:40 into the Improv on the Marquee 1969 recording, though I do not know whether this is a cover of an existing tune, or a peculiar theme which Robert Fripp never found the right home for. Either way, it makes for a fantastic ending to this unusual performance of "Sailor's Tale". Though the sound quality is not as good as on the Detroit performance, this is an overall better, more powerful performance, and the audience is very enthusiastic throughout.
Written by John Hart
WOW
I’m not sure if I was at this show, or if it was the next night, but the download certainly sounds better than I recall the show did in the Academy. The drum solo is fantastic, the best recorded of this version of Crimson, at least in my opinion. And the sax! I must admit to being ignorant of the varieties and qualities of horn players then. The band I worked for later had a four piece section, so my eyes were subsequently opened. I have been putting off getting downloads, Fripp & Eno 1975 being my only other excursion into that format. This download has changed my mind about doing it. (I also downloaded a 1995 show I was at). Yes, I have been living in the 20th century for too long! More on my original experience: Drove up from the Jersey shore w/ a friend, I was 18 yrs. old, my first NYC concert, after going to shows in Asbury Park since ’66. (Herman’s Hermits, if you must know)! We parked a couple blocks away. Sat thru The Flying Burrito Bros. and Redbone, waiting for the headliner, KING CRIMSON! Sat under the balcony, which may explain the sound. I remember the dim stage lighting, some of which seemed to be from floods on the stage floor. (Later, as a light man, the first thing I did was get rid of all floor based lighting, ’cept for one special effect). I highly recommend this recording!
Written by Jeff Oaster
Start here!
At the time of writing this review, I have about a dozen concerts by the Islands lineup - pretty evenly divided throughout the band’s year as a performing entity. This concert is my favorite, and while I intend to download a few more in the future, it will be a difficult task to top this concert. So what makes it so good?Obviously, the sound needs to be good and it’s quite decent on this: B/B+ would be my rating and it is perfectly sufficient even if you don’t have "bootleg adjusted" ears.The performance is quite spirited as well. Collins, as usual, sets the bar very high, and the rest of his mates are more than equal to the task.The setlist? Apparently the band was running a bit late - Fripp apologizes before the Devil’s Triangle about the short set and encourages the fans to come back the next night for a longer set (shrewd move, Mr. Fripp). As a result, the band did me a favor and cut out some of my lesser favorites - I really do not like Ladies of the Road. Between the lyrics, the bluesy riffs that Fripp doesn’t seem comfortable playing and the fact that Boz and Wallace seemed to clown around too much, it just doesn’t work for me. And hey, they skipped it tonight! Groon also is a song I can do without - too disjointed, scattered and meandering.So what we’re left with is a good rendering of Cirkus, complete with a wobbly mellotron. Pictures is solid. Then the band kicks it up a notch. A solid Formentera Lady hands off to the best version of Sailor’s Tale that I’ve heard. Mel Collins solos during the transition, and you can see that he is starting to feel out the extended handoff that would appear in the ’72 recording. Once Fripp takes over for the solo.... pass the goosebumps please. He starts the solo with the laser-beam-scalpel-like precision and then switches halfway through to the "chordal sledgehammer" (love that term) that is more familiar to the studio recording. Absolutely brilliant. The brass mellotron kicks in and the climax spills over into the drum solo. While I am not a fan of drum solos, it seems quite an appropriate ending after that ending. Fripp resumes soloing after Wallace is done battling the VCS3 before the band finishes with a jaunty little jingle. Whew! Schizoid Man is equal to the task with an incredibly intense version as Collins tears the roof off the place (he can’t let Fripp outsolo him, right?)So yeah, I rather like this one.
Written by Jeremy Weissenburger
Had you ever heard the hot date before the love letter?
This show was the first concert recording I had heard from this era. In fact, I had gotten a hold of this recording before I had listened to “Lizard”, so to me, this version of “Cirkus” was the first I had ever heard, and for a time became the more definitive version. The stomping feel to it makes the song may come across as lumbering, Boz screaming at one point as if he is trying to raise the dead. But to me, it makes the song much more sinister than the studio version turned out to be. It is, without a doubt, my favorite live version of this song. “Sailor’s Tale” is good, even with the schmaltzy ending. You can tell the band is still having fun playing this tune. "The Devil’s Triangle" is quite a feat for them to try, since the studio version is vastly different. I’m glad this show is finally up on DGM Live for download. The sound is good with a slight hiss, not perfect (but what do you want for 40 years ago?). But after the first minute or two the performance makes you forget it’s even there. Man, listening to this takes me back to when I first heard it those many years ago on cassette (what is that again?). The strength of “Cirkus” alone makes this a good buy. Recommended.
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