Last Night: Crimson ProjeKct at Warehouse Live

KCP July 9 1.JPG
Photos by Jay Lee
Crimson ProjeKct
Warehouse Live
July 8, 2012

Let's get one thing straight from the very beginning: King Crimson, by any other name, is still King Crimson. This requires an understanding of the nature of the band, which fans have come to learn over the years. King Crimson is a living, breathing entity with no specifically static lineup and many, many off-shoots called ProjeKcts.

So when I tell people who I saw at Warehouse Live on Sunday night, I will automatically say King Crimson, albeit with a tiny asterisk beside the name.

That being said, this isn't your granddaddy's King Crimson. It's actually closer to your daddy's King Crimson. The erstwhile founder and only continuous member, guitarist Robert Fripp, is off in England somewhere enjoying retirement, and you won't find Greg Lake making any appearances.

What you will find are two members of the third "classic" version of King Crimson, the New Wave-inflected 1980s version, which featured Adrian Belew on vocals and guitar and Tony Levin on Chapman stick and bass. If you are unfamiliar with their names, check the liner notes of your Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, Talking Heads, and Frank Zappa records, to name just a few.

KCP July 9 4.JPG
Rounding out the line-up are Pat Mastelotto on drums, a 1990s era member of King Crimson from their "dual drummers" period, Adrian Belew Power Trio members Tobias Ralph on another set of drums and Julie Slick on another bass, and Markus Reuter of Tony Levin's band Stick Men on touch guitars.

If that sounds excessive, it's because the production of King Crimson's music was often so layered and nuanced as to require all these people just to play their intricate polyrhythms and multi-tracking.

The show started out with trios first, before launching into the full-on King Crimson revival. Levin's Stick Men kicked things off with an extraordinary showing of the versatility and capability of the relatively underappreciated instruments of the Chapman stick and touch guitar. Then a firey set from Adrian Belew's Power Trio took things over, showcasing some of the best improvisational jazz jams from his solo career.

However, to remind you what you came for, Belew introduced a King Crimson song, an '80s semi-instrumental known as "Neurotica." It was an unexpected choice, but was easily the greatest showcase of the Power Trio's combined talents in their set. Slick in particular showed off some of the fastest basswork I've ever seen, making her fingers move like lightning.



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10 comments
Guest
Guest

Wow, excellent show! I've listened to the recordings through the years, and enjoyed them very much, but experiencing this stuff live brings it to a whole other level. They make it look and feel so effortless + amazing to see how much joy Belew brings to what he does....very inspiring.

Andrew Williams
Andrew Williams

Unfortunately I am natively from Houston and by a number of different circumstances all working themselves out at the same time I was able to fly up to New York and see the band play, then flew back early the next morning. I 'think' the Crimson ProjeKct is playing a New York show all by their lonesome as well, I'd definitely check it out if you can!

Andrew Williams
Andrew Williams

I don't seem to recall them claiming to be King Crimson at any point really.

JHH
JHH

I saw that show (08) as well am still blown away by it and wish could have made trip over for this but didn't work out; glad to hear it was fine and enjoyable! (BTW, did you happen to see the JT & Genesis tribute show @ BB Kings the next nite in NYC-that was memorable as well). JHH

eggplant
eggplant

This is not King Crimson! O.K. A.B. since 1981., T.L since 1981, P.M since 1995. Good write up, one dumb review. I guess if you only work on 6 or 7 albums your not really in the band.    W.S.K.

Darren Lock
Darren Lock

This is not King Crimson - this is the cover band...

Gertrude J. Phillips
Gertrude J. Phillips

 this was a pretty good representation of what Crimson is capable of...MayorMoney.blogspot.com

Frank M
Frank M

I saw the ATX show Friday which unfortunately was only 8 songs long as they opened for DT, but I thought they were amazing. The last time I saw KC was at Cullen while at UH with Fripp, but any combination of the above musicians, no matter what the band is called, is always worth catching.

Andrew Williams
Andrew Williams

I was lucky enough to see the last show on King Crimson's all too brief tour in 2008 in New York, and was very glad that the Crimson ProjeKct took one of the off nights during the Dream Theater tour to play Houston. While maybe not as atmospheric or powerful as the Crim are known to be, Markus was able to jump into some of Fripp's parts with apparent ease and made the show a fitting tribute to the legacy that is King Crimson.

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