Someone Please Remind Me To Breathe!
I’ll start by saying that this is the best concert I have ever seen out of hundreds by anyone of any genre. Previously it was Crim’s 2017 tour finale in Milwaukee. I probably slept two hours last night after the first Stockholm concert. King Crimson concerts absolutely exhaust me but I’m still too hyped to sleep!
Iona handed Drumson Andrew and me the Royal Package tickets, and they were front and center. Robert gave a wonderful introduction, pointing out how important the audience is. Approximately: The band is father, the audience is mother, and together we give birth to the music.
Manager David Singleton came out and played part of “Pie Jesu”, a beautiful Soundscape by Fripp which was played by orchestra (actually digitally overlapping orchestras). He talked about the difficulties with all the paperwork and taxes on souvenirs (different in every country). He also mentioned the Travis/Fripp app which is coming out tomorrow. I asked how the band can tour and avoid sickness. He introduced Gavin (Andrew’s idol) as the special guest, and noted that Gavin had been under the weather. He did a nice mock-puke for us.
The sound mix was perfect (thanks Chris Porter). Maybe those small speakers on either side of Jeremy are meant for people up front.
“The Hellhounds of Krim” where each drummer is playing with four sticks into “Neurotica” to “Red” to “One More Red Nightmare”. No chance to breathe yet! “Discipline”, with the incredible guitar duo interplay into “Indiscipline” with the crazy drums interplay (and showmanship). Pat, Jeremy and Gavin even make eye contact with audients while playing their challenging parts.
The emotional “Epitaph” followed by what I think is this band’s signature piece, “Radical Action Suite” which is capped by "Level 5". This is as heavy as heavy gets. We sat next to a French couple, and I’ve never seen a woman so into Crimson!
The first set ended with the tearjerker “Islands”. I could barely get out of my chair as I felt completely spent, but need to use the WC.
Another “Drumsons” leads into “Cirkus” and then the beautiful “Bolero” from “Lizard”. Gavin’s snare work is stunning here, and Fripp’s guitar which mimics the oboe from the LP is sublime! “Suitable Grounds for the Blues” followed by the must-be-difficult-to-play-even-by-Crim “LTIA4”.
“Moonchild” features a brilliant double-bass solo by Tony and piano solo by Jeremy.
I love how Jakko stretches out the line "In the Court of the Crimson King"!
Another scorching “Easy Money” with a lot of improvising. Talk about Jakko giving everything he’s got! “LTIA2” into “Starless”! Goosebumps and tears.
And the encore was “21st Century Schizoid Man”, which meant a super drum solo from Gavin. I’d love to have a box set of all his solos along with the Drumson trios!
At least one thing is certain in these Uncertain Times. King Crimson will give 100% for 3 hours and make it seem like 1 hour. Luckily, the setlist is always Uncertain.
Thank you Mr. Fripp, King Crimson and the DGM team for the best concert I’ve ever seen! We’re taking the train to Oslo for the Royal Package on Sunday.