Tony Levin is a MONSTER. King Crimson is a Monster Zoo
Old 19th August 2008
  #1
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Tony Levin is a MONSTER. King Crimson is a Monster Zoo

I had the distinct pleasure of seeing King Crimson Friday night at the exceptional Nokia Theater in Manhattan, one of three sold out shows. A fourth was added to accommodate all the NY area fans

I had seats in the 8th row, near the center. Pat Mastelotto was joined on drums and percussion by Gavin Harrison - together they were astounding when they were pounding, and the FOH engineer nailed the drum mix. Incredible.

Tony Levin was nothing short of a revelation. Now, I don't normally gush when speaking of performers, and I been around long enough to have seen Zeppelin and Who shows when they both had their original drummers. For that matter, I have been to many Yes and Rush shows in my life (I started playing bass in 1972) so I've seen more than a few good bass players.

Tony just has a style and mastery of the instrument (bass as well as Chapman Stick) that - to me, anyway - stands above. His interaction with the band, especially Pat (who also plays with Tony in The Tony Levin Band) and Adrian Belew is a joy to watch, and seems rare compared to the typical full-on rock productions that have been touring for the past ten years or so.

When he plays the Stick, it becomes more an extension of the artist rather than just his instrument of choice. You'd have to see him play it to truly understand.

Which is the point of this post - if you have the opportunity to catch King Crimson live, I highly suggest you do so - you will see and hear actual, live musicians playing actual, live instruments - some with signal processing and effects - with a great degree of skill and dexterity and even more importantly...

with real talent, and a passion for the music they are playing!!! Yes, it's true!!! Even in 2008, such a thing is possible.

Support live music... and live musicians!!

-gil
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Old 19th August 2008
  #2
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thumbsup I'm jealous! Long time fan ... all eras ... would love to catch them ... hope they make it to Maryland.
Old 19th August 2008
  #3
I've been a crimso fan since 1970, I own a black les paul custom from being a young fan of that band, sorry I couldn't go, glad you got to enjoy them
Old 19th August 2008
  #4
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octatonic's Avatar
 

I was stoked to hear Gavin joined KC- he is one of my favourite drummers.

I just hope they hit London sometime soon.

JR
Old 19th August 2008
  #5
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Thumbs up KC

Lucky you!! Adore KC ! I saw Pat Massteletto and Fripp playing with David Sylvian years back at the royal albert hall which was something !!Amazing players!..
Got to see King Crimson live!!
Old 19th August 2008
  #6
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Unfortunately King crimson won't be playing Europe again as far as I know. Fripp wrote about it in his blog and how financially nonviable it is for them to do it again.

I'd love to see king crimson, till then I'll make do with my dvd's.

Did they have a support group and also did they play any new songs?

I'm probably one of the rare KC fans who's dying for new material lol
Old 19th August 2008
  #7
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i gotta see this show...

hope they come to brazil... but the closest i expect them playing is in argentina...
Old 19th August 2008
  #8
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I was at the 1st show in Philadelphia and it was great imho. Both Gavin and Pat were nothing short of amazing.

There was no opening band just straight ahead King Crimson.
Old 19th August 2008
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Williams View Post
Did they have a support group and also did they play any new songs?
No support group - they went on at 8:30, played until 10:12, then went off for a few.

The came back at 10:15, played Thela Hun Ginjeet (with Adrian on his knees, playing his pedals by hand), and went off stage again. I made a face and said, to no one in particular - "What? No 'Elephant Talk'?" and the guy next to me said "they played it last night right after Thela".

Then, like a minute later, they come out and Tony does this cool intro thing on the Stick, and then starts in with the Elephant Talk lick and the crowd (and I) go nuts.

They ripped that song to shreds, and when it ended we were all screaming and clapping and blown away, thinking it was over... and then they launched into 'Indiscipline'.

My only complaint is that Robert Fripp spent the entire show sitting behind his "rack of doom", totally unseen by the audience. I don't get it.

-g
Old 19th August 2008
  #10
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Didn't make it to the show but the many times I've seem KC Robert usually played to the side on his stool but always next to his rack, so at least you could see him and the interaction between everyone.
Old 19th August 2008
  #11
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Heh!!! Saw them twice in Argentina during the Vroom Tour (1994) before they went to Real World to record B'Boom. Had a short talk with Bill (sorry he´s now far away musically from the Crims), Adrian and Pat. Couldn´t talk with Tony.
Tony is the David Gilmour of the bass, the right notes in the right places. a real pleasure.
I´ve thought Beat had a lot of ovedubs until I saw "live in Frejus", Oooops. Everything live, with Bill doing his trademark pardiddles in the octobans, in a conga-like pattern and tony playing double handed patterns in sync with Adrian. Four guys sounding like 6 or seven!!!!!!!!!!!
Hope i can see them live again
Cheers
Old 19th August 2008
  #12
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AND, he's a nice guy too! Saw him at HoB Hollywood when his band opened for Porcupine Tree. What a great show, and agree, he's one of the best in the biz. He came out in the audience and just hung out, drank a few beers with us during the PT show. Great conversation and just an all around down-to-earth guy!
Old 19th August 2008
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilWave View Post
My only complaint is that Robert Fripp spent the entire show sitting behind his "rack of doom", totally unseen by the audience. I don't get it.
Expectation is a prison. - A Fripp-ism
Old 19th August 2008
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilWave View Post
My only complaint is that Robert Fripp spent the entire show sitting behind his "rack of doom", totally unseen by the audience. I don't get it.
You loved the set, right ... well he leads the band, so you 'saw' him all night!
It's his choice ... perhaps he doesn't need the spotlight?

Levin and Belew each have enough performer-to-audience connection energy for a whole band on their own!
Old 20th August 2008
  #15
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I've seen Robert on other Crimson tours, he sits down, which is fine, but until this tour he was always visible - you could watch him play the notes and interact with the band and see his expressions and get a feel for the man and his music.

It just seems odd to me to have such a great artist virtually disappear behind his rack... and there is lots of stuff I sell and sold in that rack!!

The last time I saw Tool, Maynard did almost the entire show singing to a spotlight at the back of the stage, with his back to the audience.

"Artistic license" some might say.

I paid good money for those Tool tickets, and drove 3 and a half hours to go see them. I couldn't decide whether it was pretentiousness or a total disdain for the audience on Maynard's part, but I wasn't too pleased with his decision, nor was the rest of the crowd.

To each his own I guess.
Old 20th August 2008
  #16
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I don't see why you think you are owed anything more than what you got? If you loved the music ... why is that not enough? Maybe Levin would have been less powerful were Robert more visible? It is what it is.

If you want to have the other thing Van Halen is on tour ... great in their own right.
Old 20th August 2008
  #17
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gm5k's Avatar
 

I believe Liquid Tension Experiment is going to eventually release a DVD from their recent reunion tour. should be amazing
Old 20th August 2008
  #18
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corworld's Avatar
 

Tony is a monster player, with good taste too. Also a really nice guy.
Old 20th August 2008
  #19
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I love that line Tony played on Elephant Talk.
Old 20th August 2008
  #20
Gear addict
 

Cool clear sight of performers...?

I just can't see why backs turned or head in his/her rack would be seen as disrespectful!!or make people feel 'cheated' Fripp is there playing for you!!Creating sound and textures for you.!!
Same with Miles Davis..Nothing to do with anything but the fact that they are performing and delivering music...live!!! Night after night!! Serving you,their audience!

If it was a bunch of gorgeous dancing girls,then i want lights and full sight-front and back!!!!

Wish i was there!! What a band!!!!!!!!!!
Old 20th August 2008
  #21
Lives for gear
I first saw Tony with Crimson in April of 1982 and it was obvious within the first 30 seconds what a monster he is. That show was nothing short of a revelation. Belew was simply amazing. I managed to sneak my head in during soundcheck and saw him marking the stage for all the various feedback sounds he got. While playing, he was like a little kid in a candy store, just bursting with the joy of making music. Even Fripp, who has been incredibly staid every other time I've seen him, ended up at the end of the show kicking over his stool and rocking out like he was in a hair band.

After that, I saw Tony with Peter Gabriel 3 or 4 times in the 80s and then with Crimson a number of times in the 90s (got to hang with him briefly at SPAC in Saratoga during the HORDE tour while I was playing bass with The Dude of Life, but that's a tour best left alone) and the 00s. Always the consummate player and performer. Pretty much everything he's ever done has been just perfect, from his work with the Roches to Jamie Aebersold records to Gabriel and Crimson. It was very interesting to hear him with Anderson, Wakeman, Bruford and Howe. He's energetically the polar opposite of Chris Squire, very rooted and deep, but it still worked great. It was also the first time I got to see the funk fingers, drum stick appendages on his fingers, close enough to see what was going on.

He also shares a couple of non bass passions with me: espresso and photography. His book, Beyond the Bass Clef, is highly recommended. In fact, I'll have to find that and reread it!

Edwin
Old 20th August 2008
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
I don't see why you think you are owed anything more than what you got? If you loved the music ... why is that not enough? Maybe Levin would have been less powerful were Robert more visible? It is what it is.

If you want to have the other thing Van Halen is on tour ... great in their own right.
I said I was disappointed. It's not a matter of being "owed". With Crimson, I have come to expect to see Robert sitting down - I did not expect not to see him at all!

With Tool, it was more of the idea that Maynard (who I have great respect for) is the front man and lead singer (unlike The Man With The Horn) of the band, and by default is a big part of the reason anyone goes to see them.

...and I *did* go see Van Halen this tour - twice - and they were great. But can you imagine David Lee Roth with his back to the audience? As for Eddie, he was in great form the second time I saw them, but even he was a little "reserved" this time - they had a big ramp that extended into the audience, and while David and Wolfgang made good use of it, Eddie never came down it, not for a solo or a hook or anything.

Part of it may have to do with the fact that he had this antique thing coming out of his guitar, which was connected to his amp in such a way that he could not move more than 25 feet from it! ;-)
Old 13th October 2008
  #23
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tony is THE MAN... that is all.
Old 13th October 2008
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by julieslick View Post
tony is THE MAN... that is all.
If Tony is The Man... then Julie is The Woman!

I saw you with Adrian the last couple of years and you ROCK!

Steve
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