Center Stage

Is that an extra choppiness in those slashing chords and a greater precision in the way they are wielded? After many years of honourable service on the Crimson setlist, this is a leaner, meaner Larks II, retooled and resharpened, and once again jabbing and prodding in just the way it was always meant to. In choosing LTIA Pt II to close out the first set on the first night in Atlanta, it somehow manages to evoke feelings not only of catharsis and completion but also a sense that anything might be possible in the second half.
Larks Tongues In Aspic Pt II
Written by Michael Yaeger
The Eight-Headed Beast slays!
My 12-year-old-drummer Andrew (Drumson?) and I just had the best night of our lives witnessing the finest band. As Mr. Fripp says about this definitive version of KC: “Nothing is quite the same afterwards”. The Royal Package enabled us to get front row seats. The higher price is worth it, and it helps keep Crimson on the road. Iona Singleton has such a great aura and gave everyone a nice greeting at the door, handing out the artful bags designed by her brother. Next we met the super-nice Adrian at merch, followed by getting a photo opportunity with the lovely Patricia Fripp “Take a photo with Fripp’s sister; you won’t get one with Robert!” Then David Singleton (The Vicar) made great observations about the music and the business. Next, RF surprised everyone by addressing the audience. The banter between him and "Sister" is priceless. Then Jakko spoke, and was really friendly to Andrew and me. It seems Crimson is becoming even more organic and emotional! Pat, Gavin and Jeremy are really interlocking. Who else could make three drummers up front work? The drum-only features are fabulous. Gavin’s solo during 21st Century Schizoid Man even amazes the band. Tony is wonderful as always, he can play in so many different ways with textures are that are invaluable. Jakko (My favorite Crimson vocalist of all) can sing all emotions so powerfully and/or delicately. Hearing/seeing him sing Easy I love how he performs Neurotica, and how he SINGS Indiscipline. His guitar playing is brilliant with how he weaves or trades with Fripp. Chris was put in quite the spot and looked a bit nervous (rightfully so). And we wish Bill R. the best to return. Robert’s playing is as great as ever, and he seems so happy up there (I think he knows how special this KC is). As he has said, “I respond to enthusiasm”. The Islands Coda intro is a great choice. I first heard Crimso buying that record used in 1975. The Letters and Islands (and Sailor’s Tale from Minneapolis in June) are even more remarkable by this band. Oh my! Mel Collins! Transcendent! And hearing Lizard and Cirkus in 2017...who ever thought that would happen? The Radical Action pieces, Level 5, Construction of Light, LTIA 1, Talking Drum plus LTIA2, Starless, most of ITCOTKC. A big thank you to the 21st Century Schizoid Band for resurrecting some of the early material. Moonchild! Sinfield and Palmer-James must be pleased that their lyrics are being sung again. Plus the Great Eight play the tunes differently each time. Photographers are still caught in the act! Energy Vampires as Peter Hammill calls them. And someone called out “Free Bird”...No!!!, but the crowd was largely respectful. I lost count of how many fans were saying it was the best show they've ever seen. And of course a big part of these events is talking/raving to fellow fans. I love how Gavin and Pat are able to lock eyes and engage the audience whilst playing some very tricky parts. Gavin gave Andrew his sticks after the concert. Let’s do this again tomorrow night!
Written by Bruce Bonsall
My first Crimson show was 1982 at the Pier in NYC. I've seen them in every incarnation since, and this is (by far) the best version I've had the immense pleasure to enjoy. Three drummers? "No way," I thought. I was wrong. Tight. Tight. Tight. Each was finishing off the thoughts of the others. Sound was great, set list highlighted their full catalog. Three hours of bliss. But the highlight for me was the wry smile on the face of HRVL. "Yup, I'm 71, but my boys and I just blew you away." Yes sir, you did. Please do it again tonight!
Written by David_dave
A concert that makes a musician want to practice! Very moving music.
Written by Anthony Samford
The band was amazing... the crowd... not so much
My first time seeing Crimso since the early aughts.... 5th time overall.... the two Roxy shows in Atlanta back in 95 were life highlights, and i've been looking forward to this gig since the moment it was announced... The band was perfect.... Tony had a technical issue during Fallen Angel with his microphone and wasn't able to add the background harmonies until the last chorus, and he had to take himself out of the moment to get it taken care of, but that was a minimal issue.... The biggest issue I had with getting lost in the music and the moment were the inattentive audients. I tried my best to remain unaffected, but at times it was difficult. Many people arrived late, and they were accommodated as a steady stream of people entered during Larks Tongues I and Pictures Of A City. The ushers directed these people to their seats by means of shining a flashlight in the direction of where they should go. So I got a face full of bright light at least a dozen times in the first 15 minutes of the show. Back in 95 I really appreciated the fact that people were not allowed in or out of the main hall except in between songs. During the songs the doors remained shut. I wish that policy was also in place at Center Stage. People were walking in and out of the hall throughout the songs the entire evening. The security definitely could have done a better job. Lots of people taking pictures and video. Several flash photographs. One drunk down on the floor affecting everyone around him wasn't removed until more than halfway through the second set. Many delicate quiet moments ruined by people talking. One lady screamed "insane, insane, insane" over and over during one of the drum pieces. As loud as the drums. Yes, lady, we all know you're insane, you can shut up about it now. One guy down on the floor scrolling through and checking his phone for several minutes during ITCOTCK. I did entertain thoughts of hurling my water bottle from the elevated seating to try and knock the phone out of his hand. Thankfully there were still plenty of transcendent moments. The Lizard suite was mindblowing and probably the highlight of the night for me. Easy Money rode on the edge of the rails threatening to careen off the tracks at any moment, yet never did. So brilliant. Robert's guitar on Moonchild was golden creamy delight. Hopefully that song ends up as an upload from this leg when the tracks start going up. The Starless light show was as awesome as I always imagined it to be. I kind of hoped there would be no encore of 21st Century Schizoid Man. I don't think we earned it. Hopefully Atlanta will do right by the music for Night #2. You sure we can't move the gig to Symphony Hall tomorrow night? They let Alice Cooper play there so they're not afraid to let it get loud.