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King Crimson at Usher Hall

Ian Patterson By

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The encores kicked off with another drum feature ("Devil Dogs of Tessellation Row") and the band, to wild cheers, powered into "The Court of the Crimson King"; whilst the symphonic power of the tune remained undiminished by time, Peter Sinfield's fantasy lyrics—46 years on—sounded dated. With "21st Century Schizoid Man," on the other hand, the band snarled with a punkish collective energy, provoking a small number of young enthusiasts and, pleasingly, an older gentleman in full Scottish regalia, to dance wildly in front of the stage. The standing ovation that followed—for King Crimson—was prolonged and the applause heartfelt.

With rumors on the Crimson grapevine that a tour is already pencilled in for 2016, it will be interesting to see if more new material muscles its way into the show. The band could probably knock out its old crowd pleasers ad infinitum, for most of the material still has the power to impact. However, a fresh musical injection might be timely, otherwise Fripp's legendary band—three drummers or not—runs the risk of resting on its laurels.

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