My taste for some live King Crimson was whetted after seeing Les Claypool (of Primus fame) perform Thela Hun Ginjeet live a week ago. Thus I decided to check them out at the Fillmore in San Francisco.
This was the second time I was seeing the band, and the previous lineup was definitely more exciting. The current line up features Robert Fripp, Adrian Below, Trey Gunn, and Pat Mastelotto. Missing were Bill Bruford and Tony Levin and even though the show was amazing, their absence was definitely felt.
The band was incredibly tight! Perhaps even more so than their earlier six-member incarnation. Fripp, who I consider to be one the most talented guitarists out there, was in great form and he and Belew traded off solos with each other note-by-note. It was an amazing sight to watch. Gunn and Mastellotto provided a great backdrop for the self-indulgent of both Fripp and Belew, especially during the improvised songs.
The music they played was a great mix of some new songs and some old stuff, almost like a "greatest hits" performance. The set included songs like Thela Hun Ginjeet, Dinosaur, Elephant Talk, Red, Frame by Frame, and Lark's Toungues In Aspic.
While I do make that comment above that the band wasn't the same without Levin and Bruford, I'd also have to say that the current incarnation really came through in terms of the tightness and in the energy level. The audience really got into them and left the show mesmerised by the sonic mastery of the band. Definitely the kind of music you want in your diet on a regular basis.