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progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

concert review

King Crimson - Madrid - June - 2000

Part A (light):

For the onlookers or those that are in a hurry the repertoire was:

- "Flying Pan". -
First contact with the sound technician's mother.
- "The Contrukction of light". -
Thanks to that is slighter it sounded better than most. Big two guitar games. A class of rhythmic accentuation.
- "Vroom". -
Almost as intense as always but without Bill Bruford...
- "Project X (improvisation)". -
In improvisations like this is where K.C shines. Of course it ended up without a resolution.
- "One time". -
Dead. Adrian Belew cannot make everything. The electronic drujs even less.
- "Dinosaur". -
This piece can move the dead if necessary.
- "The World's my Oyster...". –
It is quite heavy and monotonous but the improvisation of Fripp with piano sounds gave it some colour.
- "Project X (improvisation)". -
Another moment recommended by progVisions.
- "Cage". -
Brilliant. The whole group and Belew with an acoustic guitar transformed it into a new topic.
- "ProzaKc Blues". -
In direct it is very amusing, mainly for the happiness of our friend Belew.
- "Lark's Tongues in Aspic 4". –
Left us with our mouths wide open.
- "Three of a Perfect Pair". -
Belew in solitary with an acoustic guitar making the Riviera shine.
- "Deception of the Thrush (ProjeKct 4)". -
Together with the former two, the best piece in the concert. Trey Gunn makes us cry.
- "Sex, Sleep, Eat, Drink, Dream". -
Had an air very different to that of the 90s version but it was quite original, with an improvised air.
- "Heroes". -
It is not necessary to say more: it is David Bowie's piece. Here the sound became so uncontrolled that we could not understand Belew.

Part B (dense):

King Crimson in direct has always been something admirable, overwhelmingand surprising. In this occasion it fit the curiosity of listening to a new formation: Trey Gunn (touch guitars), Pat Mastelotto (electronic percussion), Robert Fripp (guitar) and Adrian Belew (guitar and voice). In the case of Madrid there was a horrible sound caused partly by the own room hall (those that do not believe a deaf person with chronicle neck problems designed it, please see the architect plans in the city council of Madrid) and for an overwhelming volume that created a ball of sound in with only with effort and pain King Crimson appeared.

Does somebody know if the technician of K.C. has worked in some tour of Motorhead?

Most of the repertoire was centered in the last work "The construKction of light" including improvisations based on the ProjeKct X. The old topics were not too old -almost all from "Thrak" (1995) - and also scarce. These sounded different as they made it with a double trio in the 90s. One could also enjoy an excellent "Deception of the Thrush" this time interpreted by the formation of the ProjeKct 4, that is to say all less our friend Adrian Belew. By the way, while "Vroom" was interpreted a couple of flashes led Mr. Fripp to deny with the head. Next he told to Belew to repeat “no pictures”, which he made with his special and admirable gracefulness. One good, one bad thing. It seems that the anger of Fripp lasted the whole concert. On the other hand it seems that Belew never gets angry.

This man is the sympathy, the humbleness and the modesty made musician. When he comes into stage it seems that he is having fun with his friends that are half meter below him, listening to him (not as Robert Fripp). Belew has a voice and a wonderful technique. In fact one of the most intense moments was "Three of a perfect pair" that he interpreted just with an acoustic guitar, controlling all the intensities of the piece to perfection and allowing the public to be moved by them. In the most complex pieces his capacity to take rhythmic accents and completely different compasses in the guitar and in the voice is admirable. And he plays it as if he was playing the "Satisfaction" of the Rolling Stones.

Pat Mastelotto continues with the uncertainty. Certainly he is a drummer of quality but it doesn't seem to me that what he plays with the electronic set could not be done with an acoustic drum. Maybe in the concept of ProjeKct it is adequate, but, for example, "One Time" sounded dragged and cold with blame 90% attributable to the sound of the percussion. The electronics limit the music and the musicians almost denying them all expresiveness. The timbre of the drums together with the terrible sound creates a very heavy atmosphere. On the other hand there will be more than two that miss Bill Bruford that after almost thirty years in King Crimson, undoubtedly, contributed a lot of personality. Without him K.C. has a toe sprain. Trey Gunn competed hand by hand with Adrian Belew in the title of “we love..." (by the way Fripp didn't enter in the competition). He has all that is necessary to be admired as a musician: virtuosity, sensibility, elegance and an exquisite pleasure. Even more, in diverse occasions he moved away from the lights to come closer to Mastelotto and to guide him in the rhythms and more complicated structures. Gunn doesn't only cover Tony Levin's role but rather he also has to complete as a guide as Bill Bruford used to do. He takes advantage of the versatility from the Warr Guitar to the maximum creating some complete bass lines as well as some melodies worthy of tears. Who could listen the other day "Deception of the Thush" in Madrid knows what I mean. When finishing the piece he received an ovation that he politely thanked with a couple of reverences (as Robert Fripp). To See Trey Gunn in direct is a gift.

Robert Fripp was Robert Fripp. One could enjoy his -quite discreet- soundscapes, the 80s arpeggios, his solos of infinite and linked notes, his midi sounds (including bass lines, a surprising solo with piano sound in "The world's my Oyster..."), etc... The truth is that to see him play the arpeggios distorted to the speed that he makes it in "Lark's tongues in Aspic 4" doesn't stop to impress. He is an exemplary musician and he is also simply a bad-mannered one. It is necessary to recognize that if someone tells you not to take pictures, if you have some brain, even it seems stupid to you, you should not take pictures. We continue without knowing if the problem is the incipient career of top model of Robert Fripp or that photos ruin his Karma, but the most logical thing is to pay attention just in case.

Certainly, five flashes in two hours is an inconceivable percentage, Mister Fripp. Maybe then we do not deserve to be looked at, not even greeted, although we pay him the food, the gasoline and the wool suit. The aphorisms with which he fills the librettos of the CD's as well as his famous political-musical-ethical-administrative pamphlets are incomplete because they lack this: The artist's reciprocal commitment with the audience is a multi-state process that begins with good education.

The same as it was clear that Fripp doesn't have it, it was clear that K.C. has some sublime musicians, an intense live concert damaged by the artificial percussion and such a defined personality as made by a thirty year-old experience in the elite. A group like this deserves a sound that makes justice and that they didn't have. In spite of everything, a good concert.

Part C (attack):

The group in charge of investigative journalism at progVisions has discovered that the famous palm trees of the Riviera are of plastic material, so the possibility exists that at some moment the activist section of progVisions would make an investment in combustible material.


César García - June 2000


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