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LIVE REVIEWS

King Crimson at Paramount Theatre

Read "King Crimson at Paramount Theatre" reviewed by Geoff Anderson

King Crimson Paramount Theatre Denver, CO September 8, 2019 Every band should have three drummers. No, wait, every band needs three drummers. King Crimson proved that Sunday night with, not just three drummers, but three drummers right up front. Well, maybe two and half drummers; drummer Jeremy Stacey spent half his time on keyboards including the all important mellotron. But, no matter how you cut it, all that percussion right up front created ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Heaven & Earth: Live and in the Studio 1997-2008

Read "Heaven & Earth: Live and in the Studio 1997-2008" reviewed by John Kelman

Yet another year, yet another characteristically detailed and chronologically contextualized King Crimson mega-box set. Except that 2019 is no typical year. And Heaven & Earth is no typical King Crimson box set. While Heaven & Earth: Live and in the Studio 1997-2008 completes (well, almost) the series of box sets documenting King Crimson's original commercial recordings (and so much more), it's far from the group's first (or only) release to go along with the current three-drummer ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

King Crimson: Live in Newcastle, December 8, 1972

Read "Live in Newcastle, December 8, 1972" reviewed by John Kelman

"Never say never," or so the old adage goes. When it comes to music, there are two more that should be added: “farewell tour" and, most certainly as it relates to King Crimson's Live in Newcastle, December 8, 1972, “the complete recordings." This, the 48th in the veteran group's King Crimson Collector's Club series of archival releases, turns out not just to be an unexpected addition to the group's Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Panegyric), but belies that fifteen-disc, 2012 40th ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

King Crimson: Meltdown (Live in Mexico City)

Read "Meltdown (Live in Mexico City)" reviewed by John Kelman

Something happened to King Crimson between June 28, 2017 in Chicago, IL and the band's five-night run from July 14 to 19 (with a night off on the 17th), that same year, in Mexico City. Both engagements were exceptional, with the Chicago performance captured on Official Bootleg: Live In Chicago, June 28th, 2017 (DGM Live, 2017), and now, with Meltdown (Live in Mexico City) serving as an audio and video document of the best performances from those five Mexican nights ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

King Crimson: Live In Vienna, December 1st, 2016 (UK Edition)

Read "Live In Vienna, December 1st, 2016 (UK Edition)" reviewed by John Kelman

Another year, another live King Crimson set? True, perhaps. But since reforming in a slightly shifting but conceptually constant form in 2013 to begin touring in the fall of the following year, the band's forward-looking, ever-growing repertoire of new music and revisitation of old music (from across its nearly half century career) made new again has been documented solely through live recordings. It's entirely appropriate, in fact, given the band's only remaining co-founder, guitarist/keyboardist Robert Fripp's longtime assertion that Crimson's ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

King Crimson: Sailors' Tales 1970-1972

Read "Sailors' Tales 1970-1972" reviewed by John Kelman

If it's a fundamental truth that adversity can sometimes bring the absolute best, creatively speaking, out of music and the people who make it, then the roughly 23 months following the release of King Crimson's classic 1969 debut, In the Court of the Crimson King (Island)--and, after a single North American tour, the breakup of its first lineup--could always be argued as producing some of the group's very best. This, despite a revolving-door lineup and, even, significant doubts and frustration ...

LIVE REVIEWS

King Crimson at Lisner Auditorium

Read "King Crimson at Lisner Auditorium" reviewed by Eric Thiessen

King Crimson Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University Washington DC October 28, 2017 The original King Crimson burst like a supernova upon the 1969 music universe, with talents from Jimi Hendrix to Pete Townshend extolling its virtues. The quickly departing band members ultimately would become integral parts of groups from ELP to Foreigner, Camel, and the Alan Parsons Project, as Robert Fripp's vision and acerbic personality became overbearing. As such, the continually ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

King Crimson: Official Bootleg: Live in Chicago, June 28th, 2017

Read "Official Bootleg: Live in Chicago, June 28th, 2017" reviewed by John Kelman

As many King Crimson fans eagerly await the November release of its latest 40th Anniversary Series box set--this time spanning the years 1970 through 1972, when saxophonist/flautist Mel Collins was a constant alongside band co-founder/guitarist Robert Fripp for three studio albums (1970's In the Wake of Poseidon and Lizard, and 1971's Islands) and one live album (1972's Earthbound)--along comes Official Bootleg: Live in Chicago, June 28th, 2017, another “warts and all" live soundboard recording along the lines of Live In ...

LIVE REVIEWS

King Crimson at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier / Massey Hall

Read "King Crimson at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier / Massey Hall" reviewed by John Kelman

Part 1 | Part 2 An Evening with King Crimson Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier / Massey Hall Le Festival International de Jazz de Montréal / Non-Festival Event Montréal, Canada / Toronto, Canada July 3, 2017 / July 5, 2017 Having covered the reunited, refreshed and reinvigorated “seven-headed Beast of Crim" for two nights each in San Francisco in 2014 and, again, in Montréal in 2015, was there really a good reason to see ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

On (and Off) The Road

Read "On (and Off) The Road" reviewed by John Kelman

Sometimes the best music--and some of the best bands--are those that come from the most difficult of births. When King Crimson co-founder/guitarist Robert Fripp had the idea for a new band after dissolving the last incarnation of the '70s-era Crimson lineups seven years prior, it was a completely new concept and, with the exception of returning drummer Bill Bruford, a totally revised lineup. Gone were the mellotrons and symphonic leanings of old. In their place: technological advancements including ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Radical Action (To Unseat The Hold of Monkey Mind)

Read "Radical Action (To Unseat The Hold of Monkey Mind)" reviewed by John Kelman

Plenty has already been written about King Crimson's surprise reemergence in 2014 at All About Jazz, beginning when the now 47 year-old progressive/art rock band commenced its first tour since 2008 (and its first extensive one since 2003) with a new, expanded lineup featuring a front-line of three drummers and a back-line of two guitarists (one, also, a vocalist), a bassist/stick player and a reed/woodwind multi-instrumentalist. From reviews of two nights at San Francisco's Warfield Theater in the fall of ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Live in Toronto: Queen Elizabeth Theatre, November 20, 2015

Read "Live in Toronto: Queen Elizabeth Theatre, November 20, 2015" reviewed by John Kelman

"The best live albums are the ones that make you glad they were recorded while simultaneously regretting you couldn't have been in the venue on the night." So writes Declan Colgan, president of Panegyric Records--the label responsible for, amongst other things, King Crimson's extensive 40th Anniversary reissue series of its initial run of studio and live albums, remixed by Steven Wilson or Jakko M. Jakszyk--in his liner notes to Live in Toronto: Queen Elizabeth Theatre, November 20, 2015, the full-concert ...


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