last thursday, gordie and i went to a king crimson concert.
<p>john paul jones (led zeppelin’s old bassist) opened for them. i’ve never been much of a zeppelin fan so i was less thrilled than most of the people there. he’s obviously a talented musician, just doesn’t really play a style that i’m very interested in. he stuck with a pretty unsurprising mix of rock and blues type songs, playing one of a half dozen or so instruments on each (guitar, bass, mandolin, pedal steel, etc). since crimson’s music is so much about pushing stylistic boundaries, i was surprised to see such a traditional rock act opening. the multiple led zeppelin covers in his set were pretty disappointing to me, but then, i’m not much of a fan anyway. i do have to give him credit for being the first person i’ve ever seen play a pedal steel guitar without it sounding even remotely like country music.</p> <p>i’ve been a big king crimson fan for a while and in particular a robert fripp fan. so after patiently waiting through the opening act, i was elated when crimson finally took the stage. they’ve trimmed the band back down to just four people (fripp, belew, gunn, and mastelotto) from their previous “dualing power trios” lineup. they still sound absolutely huge though. they played mostly new stuff, including songs off their upcoming album, with “elephant talk” during the encore being the one concession to their older music.</p> <p>it’s impossible to fully describe the music of king crimson. every member is a complete prodigy on their instrument. robert fripp does things on the guitar that no one else would ever dare to. trey gunn was phenomenal. the band as a whole sounds like nothing else on this earth. no one has ever even come close to copying them. their carefully written, planned out material sounds improvisational and their improvisational material sounds like it was carefully crafted and painstakingly fine-tuned ahead of time. </p> <p>the <em>only</em> disappointment i had with KC’s part of the show was that Fripp, being the eccentric that he is, removed himself visually from the rest of the band. he spent the whole time off to the side next to his guitar equipment, completely out of the spotlight. you could tell he was there and could make out a dim outline of him but that was all. i have no idea, why.</p>