That was... strange... October 28, 2013
Written by TheNightWatcher
What to say of band when the collective heart seems to wish vacation? Perhaps that the result might be a performance like this one.
1972 KC has rarely touched me, mainly because, while Collins, Wallace and Burrell seem very often into their own raucous selves (musically speaking), RF goes through the motions many a time.
The "1972 RF syndrome" has affected the whole band on the occasion here presented. OK, turns out it is difficult, not knowing the circumstances which lead to this point, to blame a particular cause or another, however, it seems a ghost visited the band during their sleep and stole their magic until the next concert.
The cut-in "Larksí Tongues In Aspic, Part II" is a bad omen as the violin sounds a tad scratched and the rhythm quite off - What is that? - also, the rest doesnít sound too good either, with lotsa miscues, bad timing and whatnot, all bound to fall apart and, on occasion, doing so. Even Crossí solo is all about near finds, with the echo added causing only notes to cluster together.
"Lament" is the highest point of the performance. I find Wettonís vocal inflections here quite fun to hear, where there is certain humour in the way heís singing the pessimist lyrics, and the reverb present is a good touch; that is a relief to perceive, specially given how off his bass is in the "pre-storm" section. And then thereís RF, with a painful wail of a solo quite unlike his other ones from this song and quite like other pure-hatred beams from 1972-74.
What happens next is more likely a result of drainage of will and spirit: An ugly, brief improv lingers until "Exiles" is slowly introduced by Bruford from the general blot, but the latter is almost like a shadow, Frippís solos and Crossí phrases both failing to provide any useful resource to the song. It comes and goes almost as if dragging itself over a minefield.
THE mark of this eraís Crimso is the mindblowing improv, therefore Improv II is the black sheep of the pack and the strangest of them all. I must go against the flow here and say the first 3 minutes are the best here, where some little precious melodies loom over the general heavy atmosphere, before that is broken by the most rhythm and riff autopilot Iíve ever seen this band in - not a pretty listen. Afterwards, "The Night Watch" walks in the same way as "Exiles" previously did... Watch the cues, boys!
This time "Starless" does not allow catharsis but, quite perniciously, sighs from relief. The end is a mess and the leading up to it is equally tricky, fingers fall off of Mellotron keys and solos sound strangely contrived. The audience applauds but I guess thatís more like consolation rather than true enjoyment of a show which falters on so many levels.
The final assessment of this recording is like listening to King Crimson without King Crimson, a band sounding like it and playing the songs youíll expect but without any of the combustion, impulse or accuracy.
To me the result is more than the fault of a strange board mix filled with eccentricities, but also of a band that doesnít seem to be in a good hair day, or a good anything day, for that matter. Luckily, Toronto, Asbury Park, Penn State University, Providence and Central Park came to rectify the scenario.
not as bad as they say August 5, 2012
Written by crimson_king22
i went ahead and downloaded this concert, despite what others have said about it.
itís not as bad as they have made it out to be.
With the exception of Improv #2, which is horribly scattered and leads absolutely nowhere [it sounds as though they arenít listening to each other at all], the mix isnít all that bad, and the rest of the tracks are your usual standard fare for concerts in June 1974. I was hoping that the improv, at some 8 and a half minutes long, would have some redeeming value, but.....it doesnít.
one request: the next one for release should be the concert from the Shrine Auditorium June 19th, 1974....ok?....the improv on that one brings tears to my eyes, but i have a bad quality/incomplete recording......thank you.
Action Breeds Reaction: It's The Mix, Not The Performance July 19, 2012
Written by Carnamagos
Human reactivity is a common vice. Case in point: The 1973-74 version of King Crimson has been posthumously praised to the heavens, perhaps to the stage where the trumpet-bearing angels themselves are becoming a little resentful. As a result, of late we see inferior periods of the band (1971-72; 1981-84) trending upward, and the magisterial 1973-74 outfit, it seems, trending downward. Do the books really need to be re-balanced? I donít think so, but listeners should decide for themselves. ∂ The relevant questions here are the following. Is this performance on a par with those of "the week of miracles" (6/24-7/1/74)? No, it isnít. Is it as poor as the DGM review claims? No, it isnít--not even remotely. Is the problem that the musicians are tired and irritable? I donít think so. This is merely a very eccentric mix, and that is what I think has put the DGM reviewer off the scent. ∂ To give just a few examples: John Wettonís bass is generally much further down the mix on this tape than it has been in other soundboard tape mixes. David Cross, by contrast, is louder in the mix, which makes his occasional flat playing--usually caused by monitoring problems, it is true, and not confined to this gig--more noticeable than usual. The ending of "Starless" seems peculiar mainly because the guitar drops almost completely out of the mix at that point, and we are mostly left with a "power trio" consisting of Cosmic Mellotron of Doom, bass, and drums. ∂ The improvisations, as usual, are a matter of personal taste. This one is entertainingly all over the map, with elements of the "usual" í74 improvs mixed with jazz fusion-ish bits reminiscent of the 1973 tours. Itís neither the best nor the worst that this tour has to offer. ∂ Finally, since there are only forty-four minutesí worth of material here, I question the validity of asserting that the entire performance must have been sub-par--unless the set really was that short, which is possible, if they were a supporting act, but still doubtful. ∂ In sum: This is an odd mix. Some may like it, others not. I am on record as saying that all the Summer 1974 dates are desiderata, and those who agree shouldnít be put off this one by a review that equals the mix in its oddity. ∂ Finally, let me say that I look forward to equally "objective" reviews of the post-1974 era. ;-)
Still '74 Crim July 19, 2012
Written by PR1955
1974...To me the "glory" year...Yeah description sez it all...But it still has the fire you want in a Crim show...If only this combo carried on after this tour...
2 1/2 out of 4 on this one...
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