King Crimson continues to live on in spirit with the Crimson ProjeKct. Since Robert Fripp’s retirement, this ProjeKct is not comprised of any of the prog-rock pioneers original members. However, given that King Crimson has long been something of a fluid, changeable entity, it’s not as much of an issue as it would be with other bands. It is a refreshing surprise to see that this is anything but a King Crimson tribute act. Instead, this is six masterful musicians who wish to continue the innovative nature of, and pay homage to, Fripp’s band.
On stage tonight we have the inimitable Tony Levin (on chapman stick and bass) and Adrian Belew (on vocals and guitar), who were part of the 80s New Wave-inflected King Crimson incarnation. Each man fronts their own trio, and the performance features various combinations of Levin’s Stick Men Trio and Belew’s Power Trio.
While not all the songs played tonight are King Crimson’s, it’s these which receive the most vociferous audience reaction. For many, it’s an extremely rare chance to hear the songs of the legendary prog-rock pioneers, performed with the complexity, intricacy and improvisation they require. There is, though, for all the technical skill, a lot of visible joy on stage. Seeing Belew take the lead for Indiscipline with characteristic wide-eyed madness is a thrilling site. The ominous power of 1974’s Red is viscerally reproduced and reimagined.