Since Crimso last played the States they’d not only parted company with Peter Sinfield but had managed to break-up during their first writing/rehearsal session in January.[endtease] Despite this setback the band fulfilled what it believed to be their contractual obligation opening here in Wilmington. The eagle-eyed visitor will look at the date and think this is the gig from which Earthbound was partially culled. Indeed, the team at DGM HQ initially thought so. However, closer inspection of the tapes revealed that there were two performances that night at the Armoury, of which this is the first - therefore the very opening notes of that tour. We shall have to wait for the second set, which featured the celebrated version of Schizoid Man or the storming Groon which closed the live King Crimson album that refused to die (although RF does try out the same opening phrase on this Schizoid solo). Mel Collins is as raucous as ever on Pictures and pay close attention to Ian Wallace’s moving of the rhythm during the improvised section. On the handover between Formentera and Sailor’s Tale things become abstract and there’s a sense of the freedoms which might have been open to the group had it been able to escape the reigns of the KC repertoire. Overall, Fripp seems subdued particularly on Groon where he fails to pick up the gauntlet thrown down by Mel Collins’ bruising solo. Consequently there’s a certain degree of drift though this is rectified by an energetic Schizoid Man for which the crowd are especially appreciative.

AUDIO SOURCE: Cassette Soundboard



Pictures Of A City
Formentera Lady
The Sailors Tale
RF Announcement
Ladies Of The Road
21st Century Schizoid Man
Written by Samuel Langer
Great concert
Audio quality: 7 Performance: 9 Groove: 7.5 Good concert, worth buying. This is such a groovy and heavy tour, and most of the time the poor cassette sound quality adds to the grittiness of the music. This is a good example. The Groon is especially good in this concert and the solos groovy! Although one issue I have is that the panning gets all weird on some tracks including Groon, but for short amounts of time only, and it only detracts slightly from the listening experience. Definitely worth a buy if you like Earthbound. Note: If you look it up, the versions of Groon and Schizoid Man from Earthbound were indeed recorded on this date, although from another concert the same night. So If you're hesitant on buying this because of Earthbound, do not be so.
Written by Ian Howard
50 Years Later
I live in the area and I pass by what used to be the Armory a lot (which is now I believe a garage or a completely different place all together) It's crazy to think that King Crimson played in a small state and it was recorded for the (dreaded?) Earthbound album with its improvs and all that. Next week it'll be its 50th anniversary and I discovered that there's TWO performances of this. The quality is slightly better than the album as well.
Written by Brennan
A start to one of the heaviest tours by King Crimson
Listening to this tour is an experience, each show pummels you with improvisations, hilarous banter and heavy metal. This show, the start of the tour is a great start to that. Every song on this is loud and distorted, partly from audio quality and partly from the POWER of the band here. People just shrug off this tour and its album for being too "lofi", well it definitely adds to how loud this show is. If you like loud things, I suggest you to pick up this show, and the whole tour if you have the money.
Live Islands line-up Reassessed
Upon hearing this first Wilmington set as well as the other shows that made up the selection of the infamous 'Earthbound' live album, I can definitely say that this line-up was a much better improvising band than history has painted them. Far from the basic "jam band" that Fripp had described them, the Boz/Mel/Ian quartet could definitely hold their own. Not inferior to, but DIFFERENT to KC69, KC72-74 and other line-ups. Hearing the improvs within "Formentera > Sailor's" and "Groon" were a revelation (from this show and others), not just the fluid playing of the mighty Mel Collins' sax/flute work but also the underrated Ian Wallace's drumming (his Crimson Jazz Trio records are HIGHLY recommended). Not to mention the solid anchor that was Boz in which the other band members can execute their flights of fancy. So don't believe the smear campaign that was the 'Earthbound' LP. Download and listen to this line-up in flight and hear what they can REALLY do! Hopefully it won't be long till we can finally hear the 2nd Wilmington set with the legendary "Schizoid Man" that bursts open on 'Earthbound'.