Robert Fripp - guitar; Greg Lake - vocals, bass; Ian McDonald - woodwinds, mellotron; Michael Giles - drums
This is the second to last show of King Crimson's first American tour, and the second to last show by the original lineup, who would disband shortly afterwards.
Although incomplete, this is a wonderful segment and an excellent recording of the original lineup in action. This is also quite unique as it captures the group playing in a distinctively different framework than they were known for around this time. The first couple of songs are missing. "Mantra," which begins this recording, showcases the band's ability to play delicate, introspective music just as well as the strong and forceful music King Crimson is known for.
This song transitions into an excellent jazzy arrangement of the unreleased song "Travel Weary Capricorn," which features a distinctive Spanish-flavored improvisation in the middle. Robert Fripp had never used such a clear, unprocessed tone on his guitar and the entire ensemble plays beautifully on this piece.
As "Travel Weary Capricorn" comes to a close, Michael Giles begins very softly playing the 5/4 repeating pattern that begins Gustov Holst's "Mars." This tempo, evoking the martial rhythm of field drums, slowly builds in intensity. As the other musicians begin playing this repeating pattern, it gets progressively more aggressive and menacing. At the point where the anxiety factor is reaching an almost unbearable level, the mellotron begins playing demented improvisations over the rest of the group.
How audiences must have felt during this is anybody's guess, but the sheer intensity is pulverizing and not for the faint of heart. How any group could follow this and not be anticlimactic is left only to speculation. On this night that difficult situation was left to The Chambers Brothers, who took the stage shortly after.
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