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King Crimson - Deja Vrooom CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.45 | 138 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars I was very disappointed with this one. The set list draws heavily from the then new album Thrak. Indeed more than half the set is from that album! There are some good songs on that album for sure. Dinosaur, One Time and Walking On Air are all very fine songs, performed flawlessly here. But these three would have been enough to represent the Thrak album.

There are also too many songs from the bands 80's albums. Elephant Talk is a horrible song that sounds very much like a Talking Heads number (and for me that is not a good thing at all). The new songs People and Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream both have the same type of annoying "talking" vocals.

The 70's are represented here by the respective title tracks from the Red and Lark's Tongues In Aspic albums, as well as Talking Drum also from the latter album. All three are instrumentals and only Red is a good choice.

I fully understand that King Crimson wanted to move on and play newer things. I am not saying that they should never have changed a thing since their early days. But since they wanted some songs to represent their past I definitely would have picked different ones. In my opinion King Crimson has made only one really good album and that is, of course, In The Court Of The Crimson King from 1969. Zero songs from that classic album are played here! Zero! And from the 70's they could have picked some better songs as well like Starless, for example.

Well, maybe it is unfair to judge this DVD from what, in my opinion, should have been here instead of focusing on what actually is here. So let us move on to that.

There are six people on stage; two guitarists, two bass players and two drummers. This must be one of the weirdest line ups ever. This also means that there are no keyboards, no flutes and no saxes or anything. However, Adrian Belew plays some keyboard sounds on his guitar - how weird is that!? This format does nothing for me. I would have preferred a more "traditional" line up with a keyboard player and perhaps a flautist.

Another weird thing is that Robert Fripp sits down at the back of the stage for the whole show. On a couple of songs he stands up, but he never moves to the front of the stage until it is time for them to walk of stage! He has absolutely no interaction between him and the audience.

The show starts with an improvisation leading into an instrumental track from the Thrak album that also sounds a bit improvisational. There is a lot of that stuff on this DVD. Many passages are very dissonant and atonal. I don't hate that kind of stuff, but I can only handle it in very small quantities. There is simply too much of it here.

Frame By Frame, a not too interesting but bearable cut from the 80's, follows and after that there is a very strong part of the show with three very good songs in a row; Dinosaur, One Time and Red. At this point I feel like this is going to be a great show after all. However, this feeling is quickly ruined by yet another improvisational type part of the show with some experimental instrumental stuff from Thrak again.

The show does not get back on its feet again until the very last number, the beautiful Walking On Air; a good song but a bit odd as a closing number.

On the technical side of things I must add that I think it is extremely annoying that between every song the screen fades to black and it becomes quiet for a second or so before the next song begins. This gives the whole concert a very disjointed feel.

To sum things up: There should have been much less improvisation, much less dissonance and atonal experimentation, much more songs from the 60's and 70's, there should have been a proper keyboard player and perhaps a flautist/sax player instead of having two drummers and two bassists. Also, Fripp should come out of the shadows and interact with the audience. And finally, there should not be fadeouts between the songs.

My conclusion is that this DVD is only for fans and collectors of 80's and 90's King Crimson.

If you are a fan of early King Crimson or just a fan of classic progressive rock in general, I recommend that you get Steve Hackett's excellent Tokyo Tapes DVD (featuring original Crimson member Ian McDonald), John Wetton's great Amorata DVD and Greg Lake's Live DVD. Here you will get excellent live versions of 21th Schizoid Man, In The Court Of The Crimson King, I Talk To The Wind, Starless and some other Crimson classics. Plus classic songs by Genesis, ELP and UK.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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