Sunday, September 29, 2019

In The Court Of The Crimson King

This past Friday I went to Nashville, Tennessee to see the band King Crimson perform at the famous Ryman Auditorium.  The band is currently on a world tour for the 50th anniversary of their first album which was released in 1969 and they are one of my all-time favorite bands.  I was accompanied on the trip by my long time friend and rock and roll partner in crime, Tom Conley.  We first met when fooling around in 6th period study hall in 1967.  We have been in and out of trouble ever since.

We had a leisurely drive to Nashville which is approximately a three hour drive from where I live.  It was great to have time for some conversation and rock and roll as we drove through the countryside.  I use the term "countryside" because some sort of road issue caused my GPS to route us off the main interstate highway and down country roads where I have no memory of ever being before.

After checking into our hotel we eventually found our way to downtown Nashville.  Let me tell you this.  Downtown Nashville on a Friday night is a wild place.  There are honkytonk bars everywhere, a professional league football stadium, and a large arena.  The Ryman Auditorium is in the heart of it all.  It was originally built as a church and for many years was the home of the Grand Old Opry.  In terms of geographic location and musical history, it may be the last place I ever expected to see a Prog Rock band like King Crimson.   

King Crimson are no ordinary rock and roll band.  Their music is complex and the members of the band are all virtuosos on their instruments.  They have three drummers who are much more than simple keepers of the beat.  They have a bass player who has toured extensively with Peter Gabriel, another one of my favorite musicians.  In addition they have two guitar players including the phenomenal Robert Fripp, and finally a woodwind and flute player.  The level of musicianship was mind blowing.  I never thought I would hear and see most of these songs performed live and with such precision and clarity.  Seeing this manifestation of King Crimson was #1 on my musical bucket list.  I was not disappointed.  It was the best concert I have seen by anyone in quite a while.  I felt like I had died and gone to Heaven.

My long hair is long gone but I still have the tee shirt!  

Here is the set list for those that might like to know what I heard.

Set One 
  1. The Hell Hounds Of Krim
  2. Pictures Of A City
  3. Suitable Grounds For The Blues
  4. Cirkus
  5. Red
  6. Epitaph
  7. Electrik
  8. Moonchild
  9. Radical Action II
  10. Level Five   

Set Two 
  1. Cat Food
  2. Frame By Frame
  3. Lark's Tongue's In Aspic Part IV
  4. Islands
  5. Easy Money
  6. Indiscipline
  7. In The Court Of The Crimson King
  8. Starless
  9. 21st Century Schizoid Man


Mike said...

I love King Crimson! The Moody Blues are my all-time favorite group but I always thought KC was the most talented group ever.

Michael Brown said...

I, too, love the Moody Blues and have seen them many times. My buddy and I listened to Days Of Future Passed, In Search Of The Lost Chord, On The Threshold Of A Dream, and To Our Children's Children's Children on the drive home.

Mike said...

Now that sounds like a very nice trip! The Moody Blues have always seemed very unique to me and I feel I get some spiritual healing or something. Feeling a little down, just put some Moody Blues on. Works for me every time (for 40 years)!

Michael Brown said...

I am also a big fan of the Byrds. I only saw them once in 1970 as the opening act for Jefferson Airplane. This would have been around the time of their "Untitled" album.

Mike said...

I love the Byrds, especially with Gram Parsons. I've been listening to Jefferson Airplane this week. I seem to end up featuring a different group each week. Did you by any chance listen to Nick Drake, Love or Big Star? I didn't back in the day but I caught up with them later and really enjoy them.