King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap

Click here for a recap of the 08/03/2008 show.

Per usual, I won't give anything like a formal concert review.  I think I can name about 70% of the songs they played off the top of my head, I'll have to listen again to some of their releases to get the rest (anything in the Thrak/Vroom, ConstruKtion of Light period is pretty vague to me).

The Belcourt holds something like 300 people (actual seats, no standing area, one level).  I got there an hour before the show and there were probably already 100 people there.  Talked with a few of the people in line, couple of guys from Nashville, another guy with his son from Birmingham, AL, not sure about some of the others.  Usual talk about 'where have you seen them before' and so forth, some discussion about the...something that is Robert Fripp (part of the issue was trying to describe the something...'nutty', 'compulsive', 'eccentric'...though most all would add 'brilliant' to it).  When the doors opened a few minutes late, one guy noted "they better hurry up, once showtime hits, Fripp will have them start even if it's half empty."

No reason to worry.  They didn't actually prevent people from having cell phones, they just announced they'd remove anyone using them or any other A/V equipment (I wasn't paying attention, but only noticed one person being asked about something).  The crowd had more women than I expected, so it was 'only' 75-80% male.  As always, I found it somewhat humorous to watch 60+ people rock out, then again, I only hope to get to that point sometime myself.  And the band did start in 1968.  I felt a little sorry for an 8-ish year old girl there with her parents.  Towards the end, when her parents were rotating for either bathroom or drink refill, she would go with whichever one was leaving.

Anyway, the show itself.  They played just short of two hours, one encore.  Fripp sat in front to the left, as usual pretty much hidden behind his equipment stack.  Not sure if he does that because he doesn't like the crowd looking at him, or doesn't like looking at the crowd.  Belew was in the middle.  I'm long past being able to identify equipment anymore, but one odd thing I noticed was that he had another guitar behind him that he never used.  Maybe a backup, since it is a bit surprising he doesn't break any strings when he plays.  Levin was to the right, playing the stick for about 70% of the show.  Behind the three were Pat to the left and Gavin to the right.

One funny moment occurred after the first 15 minutes.  Belew was motioning to someone in the crowd to come forward, and some women did and threw a pair of gym shoes at him, then ran out, with what looked like to be two kids with her.  Apparently, he forgot his favorite guitar-playing shoes and so came onto the stage barefoot until (what I assume was) his wife delivered them.  Nice.

The following is basically the list of songs as I remember them, not exactly in the exact order, but roughly.  And I wouldn't be surprised if I got one wrong (40 years worth of material is hard to keep memorized).  To the extent I remember more, and/or they play the same playlist, I will update:


1) Drummers duet, un-named

2) ConstruKtion of Light, parts 1 and 2

3) Level Five

4) Neurotica

5) Three of a Perfect Pair

6) Indiscipline

7) Frame By Frame

8) Dinosaur

9) One Time

10) Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream

11) B'boom

12) Elephant Talk

13) Red

14) Drum duet

15) Thela Hun Ginjeet

16) The Talking Drum

17) Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part 2


18) Sleepless

19) Vroom

 20) Coda: Marine 475

Although, there is one vote for Lark's Part 4 and Coda: I have a dream for the encore. Since I can't go back and hear it again, I'll leave that open.

I listened to both Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part 2 and Fracture and thought I recognized parts of both, which is why I was so unsure about 17).  I'll try me-memorizing them and see what they do tonight.  I'll relisten to 14) as well.  Thanks for the feedback and I'll try to keep it updated for the next few shows as well.

It's hard for me to remember all of the instrumentals, especially of the later period (if any are from any of the ProjeKts, I won't know them, and anything from Thrak I'd have to hear again) and it's hard to know if anything was new.  It was very loud, very precise, and overall a very good show.  The last song before the encore confuses me the most since I think parts of it sounded just like Fracture (but not sure, since anything from Starless or Aspic they'd have to change since they don't have a violinist, obviously), but I'd forgotten how good some of the other pieces were.  I'm also reminded how much when listening to a band that covers so many different releases how much easier it is to remember which song is which when there are friggin' lyrics.  Sheesh.

Anyway, I'd be surprised if they varied the set list much at all, but given how strong they played, I think I can make it through another 4 shows, even in 6 days.  I'll try to firm up the set list if I can.

After the encore, they all got up to the front of the stage and did the 'rock band final bow.'  Except for Fripp, who stayed seated behind his equipment stack and watched, and then exited the other side of the stage.  Strange man.

posted on Sunday, August 03, 2008 12:36 AM Print
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
8/3/2008 2:03 AM
Great rundown on tonight's show. I was there too. Sat on the 5th row. Couldn't see Fripp other that the back of his head. Wonder why he hid behind his gear. Every one else on stage looked like they were have ing a great time.
Here's the show's set list. (I wrote the songs down as they played them)

1 Drum Duet I
2 Dangerous Curves
3 Level 5
4 Neurotica
5 Three of a Perfect Pair
6 Indiscipline
7 Frame by Frame
8 Dinosaur
9 One Time
10 Sex, Sleep, Eat Drink, Dream
11 Drum Duet II
12 Elephant Talk
13 Red
14 Drum Duet III
15 Thela Hun Ginjeet
16 The Talking Drum
17 Larks Tongue in Aspic Part II

18 Sleepless
19 Thrak
20 Soundscapes for exit music
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
8/3/2008 9:43 AM
Here's the correct set list:

Drums Duo
ConstruKction Of Light
Level Five
Three of a Perfect Pair
Frame By Frame
One Time
Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream
Elephant Talk
Drum Duo
Thela Hun Ginjeet
The Talking Drum
Larks' Tongues In Aspic II
VROOOM/Coda: Marine 475
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
Rien Koopman
8/3/2008 10:29 AM
Thanks for your review

Rien Koopman
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
Einstein's relative
8/3/2008 10:50 AM
Thank you for the interesting and partially informative review.Yes,I agree remembering the names of all the instrumentals is alot of info to store!So if any one knows the complete set list please share. I would like to refamiliarize myself with this material before the Park West shows.
Thanks, tHe FR34K
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
8/3/2008 10:52 AM
Thanks for the feedback, I'll take a listen to a few more songs and then see how tonight's set list differs.
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
8/3/2008 11:32 AM
How is the the impact of new drummer (Gavin Harrison) on the band?
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
8/3/2008 11:39 AM
I'm familiar with Gavin Harrison from Porcupine Tree. He's rock solid and he and Pat played well together. I'm not sure, but I think Gavin triggered some of the spoken parts (a la Thela Hun Ginjeet's 'This is a Dangerous Place'), as there was a time or two when only Pat was drumming, but that was rare.

It isn't totally over-whelming either, they don't interfere with the balance (if you know what I mean). Then again, with Belew's 'elephant shrieks' and Fripp's 'glass shredding', hard to imagine anything over-whelming them.
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
8/3/2008 1:09 PM
I was extremely privileged to attend the final dress rehearsal in Nashville the night before the 1st show.

Needless to say Gavin is a phenomenal drummer. He appeared to me to be playing mostly (or entirely) a traditional acoustic kit, whereas Pat was firing a lot of samples and deploying lots of electronic percussion, but I could certainly be wrong. At any rate, the precision of the intensely intricate interplay (pardon my alliteration) between the two of them was quite astounding.

What can you say about Messrs. Fripp, Belew and Levin that hasn't already been well documented? To witness their individual and collective mastery in such close proximity in such an intimate setting was truly thrilling.

I would add that FOH engineer Ian Bond did a masterful job of creating a remarkably transparent mix wherein all the individual instruments could be clearly discerned, as well as providing some really interesting stereo imaging, which given the sheer density of much of this music, is no small task.

Kudos all around!
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
8/3/2008 1:14 PM
Thanks so much for posting the set list(s)--I had zero clue as to titles on Sleepless and several others. What a powerhouse sound! Wow! Totally agree as to how well the two drummers blend together.

I'd seen the Starless & Bible Black iteration in about 1973-4 in Chicago and the Bruford/Levin/Belew/Fripp lineup in '84--both times with great seats--but to see them in such a tiny venue was incredible.

Tony used an Ampeg amp and what may have been a Lakland 5 string when he didn't play stick. Fripp never changed instruments--looked like a Les Paul with a sort of sunburst finish? I noticed the same thing with Belew having an unused ax--he seemed like one who was prone to changing out guitars--but never did last night-I have no idea what model it was--reminded me of what Martin Barre (Jethro Tull) plays maybe?--the amp had the look of a twin reverb--but the logo appeared to begin with a cursive letter J. Harrison played Sonor with Zildjians and I was unfamiliar with the logo on Pat's set...

This combination of 5 players without mellotrons is much more appealing to me. A superior blend of musicality, power and versatility. I'd love to see several more sets!

They had a TON of fun last night. Miles Davis was mysterious. Robert Fripp is incredible--but he is both mysterious and really strange. I can understand hiding behind the stack for purposes of concentration and for observing how the band was gelling (or not). But the audience repeatedly applauded his solos mid song and yet he chose to not only refuse to come to the front for a wave--but went WAY out of his way to exit the other side and duck behind the back curtain. Pat waved for him to join the other four, but he refused. Stage fright? I heard a bad entrance or 2--maybe he didn't think a bow was warranted? See this lineup if you get the opportunity.
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
8/3/2008 5:58 PM
Thanks for all. I will go at NOKIA THEATER




# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
Bill S.
8/3/2008 6:39 PM
First the Return to Forever reunion, and now this!

What a great summer!
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
Joel B.
8/3/2008 11:15 PM
The Coda in the encore included and instrumental version of "I have a dream" that comes at the end of Lark's Tongues Pt. 4 on TCOL. Usually Adrian sang that, but didn't for the Aug. 2 show. Just for further clarification on the setlist. For tonight's show (Aug.3) they dropped Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream, One Time and Sleepless but added Walking on Air. They did a different order than last night too.
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
8/4/2008 9:15 AM
Mr. Belew uses Parker Guitars which are renowned for (among other things) staying in tune even when heavily abused. If you would like to see a short video of Adrian talking about why he likes Parker Guitars just go to You Tube and do a quick search.

# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
8/5/2008 12:01 AM

The posted setlist by Vargan looks right but the encore?

Wasn't the encore on the first night: Sleepless, LTIA Pt.IV with the unsung CODA.....??
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
8/5/2008 9:05 AM
Correct me if I am wrong, but Fripp uses a brand called Fernandez.

Looking forward to two shows at the Nokia
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
the worm ouroboros
8/5/2008 12:58 PM
I attended 8/3/08 KC show in Nashville. Although they were great, of course, I want to mention something that bothers me, to see if I am alone in this observation.

I thought the mix did not do them justice at all.

The bottom end was very loud, and sounded muddy and unclear. With the drums, you felt the thump of the kick drum(s) in your chest, and the toms, especially the lower toms, were very loud and impressive sounding. But the low end was so pronounced that the detail of the cymbals and other percussion, and even the tonal definition of the drums, was lost due to the overbearing bottom end. It almost sounded as if the highs were all severely cut.

And this seemed true for a lot of Tony Levin's sound as well. For much of the performance there was very little musical distinction to his tone. Some of the time, it sounded as if there was a strong sub-bass element added that just drowned out all the detail of his playing.

There were some good moments, but overall, especially given that this is band where the notes and the tone matters, I was very disappointed to be listening for the detail and finesse and hardly hearing it.

It seems that the trend in mixing has been influenced by bass heavy R&B and dance music, and that approach is blindly applied in all situations. Am I alone in thinking that this does NOT SOUND GOOD? Its great to feel the thump, but where is the detail, where is the musicality.

I see this approach to sound engineering at a lot of clubs in Nashville, and I don't understand why, with all the engineering talent that is in "Music City" that this is such a constant. I was told by one engineer at the Gibson Showcase that they tuned the system and the room to sound like that, because it gets people on the dance floor. That's fine, if your there to dance, I guess. But why do they think that is how you should mix when you are there to LISTEN?

I did not expect to hear the same poor unmusical sound at the King Crimson show. Did anyone else notice this aspect as well, or is it just my pet peeve to want to hear the highs as well as the lows, and to have dynamics and musicality in a performance?
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
The Eyeball Kid
8/5/2008 4:38 PM
I was at the 8/3 show, sitting about half back in the center and thought the show's sound was amazing. Each instrument could be clearly heard and had their own space. I would be curious to know where Worm was sitting that he did not like the sound. I am usually overly critical about sound and lights at shows.
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
8/5/2008 6:29 PM
For what it's worth, on 8/2/2008, I sat on the left side of the theater about 8 rows from the stage. Belew seemed to think there was something wrong with the sound at one point (he called a roadie onto the stage who looked at his amp, plus he looked to be displeased with the sound of his guitar around the same time), but I thought the sound was very good.

On 8/3/2008, I sat on the right side of the theater about 6 rows from the back, and I thought the sound was muddier. Not horribly so (as a reference, I've seen Porcupine Tree 3 times in the last year...the two shows in Chicago I thought the sound was excellent, the show in Atlanta I thought the sound was I do pay attention a little bit to it), but I did remember explicitly thinking once or twice during the show that the sound wasn't as crisp.

But, like I said, for what it's worth. Not a screamingly obvious difference to me, but something I explicitly noticed.
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
the worm ouroboros
8/6/2008 7:31 AM
I was sitting near the front on the left side. This may have affected the sound. But I walked back to the back at one point, and it didn't seem to be that much different.

Still a great show, though.
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
8/6/2008 11:36 AM
I was about 4th row right side for the 8/2 show. I thought the sound on the percussion could have used some help. I agree with the thump of the bass drum and some of the cymbal work got lost in the mix.

BUT...the main pa columns were only 12-15 feet in front of me; I'd tend to lend credence to the poster who sat in the center.

KC's music must be very difficult to mix due to it's complexity. When I saw them in '74 and they had two mellotrons playing, distinguishing what was coming from where was much more difficult.
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
Fright Watch
8/7/2008 2:18 PM
That set list is great.

Can't wait to see them Friday.

This is going to be awesome.
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
8/7/2008 4:48 PM
Great, i have a question are they playing new songs..Gain Harrison is one the best players actually, i pray for a sudamerican tour..
From Lima, Peru thanks for the info...
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
8/7/2008 5:50 PM
They are not playing any new material. No improvisation (other than guitar solos) that I can tell either.

Yeah, Gavin is great. Both drummers are great, and as I've mentioned, they seem to be having the time of their life up there.
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
Thela Hun Jewjeet
8/8/2008 12:21 PM
I'm getting impatient as Mon nt 8/11 draws near as I'll be seeing them at The Keswick in Glenside, PA. This will be the 5th time I've seen them and the line up is sounding like it should provide for an amazing experience. I do miss Trey Gunn and Bruford as they blended with the others extremely well, 2 tours ago.
Can anyone tell me if the band was selling CD's of new material in the lobby of any of these recent shows? When I saw them about 7 yrs ago at The Tower Theater in Upper Darby, PA I bought a copy of "Level Five" which was recordings of new material at the time from a recent tour which they officially studio recorded again with some changes which became their "(can't remember the title)" album.
Thanks in advance!
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
8/9/2008 6:23 AM
Hey folks!
Both set lists that I posted are 100% accurate
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
Patricia Fripp
8/10/2008 10:33 AM
This is Sister Fripp (Patricia) who just saw the shows in Chicago. Great!!!!!! What you may not know is Robert is as good a public speaker as he is a guitarist. Please spread the word about Robert Fripp’s public speaking events and
Robert Fripp spoken word CDs.

Robert Fripp speaking events in Seattle, LA, and Phoenix in November 2008.

Robert Fripp CDs of his speaking events. You will hear his comments are brilliant, funny and poignant.

Thanks....Patricia Fripp.
Half of the speaking team of Fripp and Fripp. Keynote speaker, Executive speech coach.
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
8/15/2008 12:51 AM
Adrian has had two guitars on stage since the first time I saw him live on the Side Two tour (I'm only 19, I was too young to see Crimson back in the day unfortunately). He has them marked on the body of the guitar with that looks like white smudges. The one he plays has one white smudge, his backup has two smudges.
# re: King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap
11/1/2008 3:25 PM

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