Tonight is the last night of the KC Elements Tour. (Sadly, really regretfully, I could not attend any show.)
Most would say that the King Crimson Elements Tour of 2014 was a resounding success. Going through the reviews, all the ones I read were positive.
No surprise to me. This group was different from all my expectations (therefore, in my mind, exciting) and this very difference allowed them the freedom to explore the music in a new way.
This is no nostalgia act. Definitely not of the "run-through-the-hits" medleys kind. KC is interested in music right now, despite when the music was written.
King Crimson remain the longest running and one of the most creative ensembles in contemporary music. Many thought they had run their course. What could these old geezers bring to an audience?
These gents are an exclusive club where massive musicianship is already assumed, but more than mere dexterity, a player in Crimson must be intuitive. Play the right notes at the right time in complex time signatures, keys and arrangements. Then, if that weren't enough, being able to sense what the music needs in the moment.
KC's history is a very rich one. Trouble is that that can follow a band like a shadow.
Some folks want nothing more than a stroll back in time, indubitably of their youth, to their favorite incarnation of this band. Life doesn't work that way. If that's what you were expecting, then your expectations were met by disappointment.
Sid Smith, author of In the court of King Crimson, has a very colorful way with words. Here's his SF KC concert review.
"I thought King Crimson played a blinder of a set tonight. So far on the tour my experience has been that first night of a run has been fine but somehow lacking that certain, almost ineffable edge that makes a good gig a great gig. Tonight however, the team sounded full-on and deep down hungry. A great Vrooom with an especially hot coda and how about that revved-up mayhem through the 5s section of The Sailor's Tale??? Some folks have asked if the novelty has worn off after seeing them so many times. Are you kidding me??? This band hit the ground running but b****** me backwards through a hedge and call me Barbara if they haven't just shifted gear and notched up a new level."
As usual, I let Robert Fripp express final thoughts.