Music the Catalyst- Bringing People together
Having been at the Nov 20, 2015 show in Toronto I didn't think anything could top that night. Front and Center in front of 3 drummers was something of a dream when each and every member could be heard perfectly in the mix. After that gig I drove home to Michigan in a snowstorm 6hrs in total silence only hearing the words to Epitaph over and over in my head as sung by Jakko the night before. How could this show top that?
Well it all started with a wonderful gracious pair of hosts....David Singleton and his daughter Iona who work tirelessly to make sure each Royal Package member was treated with the best service! The lecture by David was great as he talked about the beginnings of DGM Live and how it all came about and where it's going in the future. Then joined by Jakko for a Q&A Session. Lots of great insights! All pre-show!
Next up the main event! Seated center 3rd row on an aisle I was pleasantly surprised by how close I was to the stage yet once again. Immediately the comradery of fellow Crimson fans set in....talking to the man to my left who brought his 15yr old son with him to see what he had seen in 2015. Well what was about to unfold was still a mystery yet.
The Audience was very well behaved or so it seemed. And then the band began to play. Immediately I noticed that the addition of Jeremy Stacy in the center drum position added a much heavier sound to the mix. He also doubled on keyboards on several pieces and did so quite eloquently. Larks Tongues in Aspic Part 1 was beautiful from the onset.
Then they broke into a very wonderful version of Neurotica, followed by Radical Action III an added new piece. But what was about to begin was the Lizard Phase of the show.
First up was Cirkus! As mellotron Madness ensued I looked to my right across the aisle from me and there was a fellow fan freaking out laughing, crying, gripping his face in sheer joy and excitement. He caught my look and gave me a high five to the side across the aisle. And then....a simply frightening version of Dawn Song began. I have to say this was one of my favorites of the entire set. Prince Ruperts Lament is so divine and really showcased Roberts infamous sliding sustaining guitar work quite nicely. He never ceases to amaze me each time I see him play. My first time was in 1984 on the Three of a Perfect Pair tour....and that technique made me feel like I was witnessing the avant Hendrix. In the terms of what it must have been like for a fan to see Jimi play for the first time.....it was how I felt watching Robert play. And again in Toronto the other night on Prince Ruperts Lament.
Watching the three drummer lineup play perfectly orchestrated complex parts as a greater whole was so amazing! There were moments when I was watching the drummers go full on and it felt like a runaway freight train going down a mountain with no brakes..it was absolutely breathtaking! Pat was playing with such intensity that I watched him lose his breath several times throughout the night. Jeremy really pushed them to play harder....and what a great drummer he is as well. WOW! So powerful! His solo section on 21st Century Schizoid Man was just intense! After he was done then Gavin proceeded to show us how one can make very complex things sound easy!
Let us not forget Mr. Mel Collins in the background going hysterically crazy on horns and flutes and such all through the show. Tony was playing with precision and grace as always. Bill was covering a lot of keyboard territory, Jakko was singing flawlessly and Robert....well Robert was playing like a madman storming the gates. Each and every member of this band is as important as the next and each and every member contributes in a way that adds to the intensity that is King Crimson!
When they played Islands I don't think there was a dry eye in sight! I saw the man sitting next to me wiping his eyes...and the guy across the aisle was weeping as well. Oh and so was I...what a melancholic song of Beauty Islands is! So glad they have made it a staple of this go round! Just wanted to say thanks to all the members of the band, David and Iona Singleton and all the crew members for making this night a night to remember. In a time when many people are torn apart Music is the Catalyst that brings us all together. Thanks again for such a beautiful experience!