Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A brief intermission: A note on some of Crimson's live work

Aside from THRaKaTTaK I haven't really discussed live Crimson.  I'll save you, the reader, from reading my mouth foaming fervor about it as well and simply make a few suggestions.  There is a lot of live material, the list is astonishing to say the least.  If I set up a tournament just for live material we would be here until the next presidential election.  So here are some good starting albums.  None of these are bootlegs and are available through DGM Live or other means.

VROOM VROOM or Live On Broadway - both are wonderful examples of the 90s Thrak era sound.  I have heard other live albums from this era and the mix is iffy at best.  VROOM VROOM has the better track list, but Live On Broadway sounds better and does a better job of accentuating the dual drummer model they had.  You could not go wrong either way, and it really is based on whether you prefer a better mix or setlist.

USA or Live In Asbury Park - Both are stellar albums.  USA is easy to find on vinyl which gives it bonus points.  Asbury Park is just an insane performance.  These two showcase the '73/'74 era.

Live In Chicago 8.7.2008 -The line-up that never was.  This form of Crimson lasted only a handful of shows before falling apart in a quick blaze of glory.  The dual drummer format is back and the mix allows for it to be showcased brilliantly.

Live at The Greek Theatre 8.3.1982 - I think the Beat tour was the best for 80s Crimson, they had the best selection of material and were creatively firing on all cylinders.  As is painfully obvious, I don't think any of the Three of a Perfect Pair material added much to their shows, and just added songs I'd rather not hear.  I know there are other great shows from this era, but this is the one that actually showed me how good 80's Crimson was.  Waiting Man as the show opener is just breath taking, and Bruford's violent drum solo for Indiscipline shows that there was great drumming in the 80s (you just had to find it).

Epitaph - A multidisc collection of live performances from the original line-up featuring more versions of 21st Century Schizoid Man than you could ever need.  Also features some songs that would eventually be reworked on to In The Wake of Poseidon and ones that simply faded away.