• 149 WESTCHESTER AVENUE, PORT CHESTER, NY 10573-4549 · (914) 937-4126

  • November 21st, 2017

    reCAP :: King Crimson :: 2017.11.15

    Words by Zachary Franck

    As the lights went down and the band entered the stage, the energy was electric. I’d never seen King Crimson before, but I was surrounded by hundreds who had, and it wasn’t hard to tell. I felt the undeniable passion for this band immediately, it was thick and intense. People were worshipping them before the first note was even played. After nearly fifty years, King Crimson is still a prominent force. Their current lineup is an eight-piece band with three drummers. Many music heads have seen bands with a drummer and percussionist, or two drummers, but three drummers, behind three kits is entirely unique. They are pushing the boundaries of music in a way that is completely unparalleled. It’s a form of calculated chaos that is distant yet accessible, from metal to jazz and everything in between.

    Robert Fripp, guitarist and mastermind of King Crimson, has reinvented his band time and time again. The arrangements of the songs are what really stood out to me. The fact that he’s been able to recreate songs from past decades in such a tasteful manner is remarkable. Joined by rhythm master and longtime friend Tony Levin on bass, they played their songs from the 80’s with ease. Levin was instrumental in solidifying King Crimson’s return after a hiatus. To see the facial expressions of older fans was priceless as they soared through their extensive catalogue. Everybody was entranced in the auditory perfection that laid before us. Seeing King Crimson isn’t like seeing a regular rock band, it’s more like a classical concert. Everybody was seated and engaged in the music, hanging onto every note that drifted from the speakers.

    As a drummer, this show was especially rewarding. By putting the three drummers in front of the other musicians, Fripp really sent a message about the importance of percussion. I was in awe from start to finish, all three drummers put on a master clinic. Gavin Harrison has been playing with them for years and it’s not a secret as to why. Pat Mastelotto brought the electronics and thunderous percussion to the table, Jeremy Stacey kept the backbeat while also playing keyboard on occasion, and Gavin Harrison did it all. Harrison has been playing with King Crimson since 2007, he is an impeccable polyrhythmic master – one of the best in the world. Out of all the great drummers I’ve seen over the years, and I’ve seen a lot, Gavin Harrison played the most awe-inspiring solo ever. Since the show, I’ve been practicing every day.

    Lastly, I’ve never been to a show where there was a standing ovation after every, single, song. It was awesome to see that type of energy in an older fan base, then again, these are the people that raised us. To see Robert Fripp leading his juggernaut of a band at 71 years old is stunning. A legendary band like King Crimson deserves to play venues like The Capitol Theatre, and vice versa. When you combine a phenomenal band with an extraordinary venue and a vibrant crowd, an unexplainable energy fills the atmosphere. And that’s exactly what happened when King Crimson crushed The Capitol Theatre.