King Crimson – L.A. Confidential (Siréne-150)


L.A. Confidential (Siréne-150)

Greek Theater, Los Angeles, CA – June 6th, 1984

Disc 1: Improvisation, Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part III, Thela Hun Ginjeet, Red, Frame By Frame, Matte Kudasai, Industry, Dig Me, Three Of A Perfect Pair, percussion solo/ Indiscipline, Sartori In Tangier

Disc 2: Waiting Man, Man With An Open Heart, Sleepless, Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part II, Discipline, Heartbeat, Elephant Talk

Of all the great progressive bands of the seventies, King Crimson made the most interesting transition into the eighties. Instead of going completely pop Fripp and the band were able to create music that still sounds extremely fresh and original. People criticize this line up and Adrian Belew in particular for sounding too close to David Byrne and the Talking Heads but there is much more going on in this music than “narrative lyrics”.

L.A. Confidential is an excellent stereo audience recording of King Crimson’s second of two shows at the outdoor Greek Theatre. It is detailed, dynamic and captures the atmosphere of the event on the rainy night perfectly. There are some very faint audience conversations occasionally but nothing too distracting (except during “Indiscipline” – when Belew sings “Looking at it for a long time” someone by the taper shouts “Did you like it??”)

There are two cuts on the tape. The first is between “Dig Me” and “Three Of A Perfect Pair” and the second after “Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part II”. Both cuts are faded and neither music nor talking is lost.  The opening improvisation, “Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part III”, and “Thela Hun Ginjeet” are all segue into one another. “Red” was added to the set list for the North American tour and sounds good but really needs John Wetton’s heavy bass to be effective.

“Please allow me to tune this darn thing. That’s right, that’s Bill Bruford” Belew says before “Frame By Frame” which is followed by the mellow “Matte Kudasai”. Before “Dig Me” he says “thank you very much, that is from our very very yellow album Three Of A Perfect Pair. Here’s another”.

“You’re very kind to sit through the rain. I can’t think of anything else I’d want to do than play some more” Belew says before “Discipline” to a loud ovation. This show occurs on Tony Levin’s birthday and Belew says “Excitement galore. Excitement everywhere. Before we start…Tony Levin is a very excitable guy and it also happens to be his 27th birthday today. He thought we forgot” before leading the audience in a round of “Happy Birthday” as a prelude to the final encore “Elephant Talk”.

L.A. Confidential is a great release of a fun show and the first time Siréne issued an eighties Crimson tape on silver disc. Other Siréne releases from 1984 include Red Alert (Siréne-115) with a tape from the following show in San Diego on June 8th, 1st Avenue Entry (Siréne-147) capturing the Minneapolis show on June 20th and Sleep Talk (Siréne-109), a four cdr set covering two nights in Gotana, Japan April 29th and 3oth.

The band played their final show five weeks after this appearance in Montreal (and released officially on DGM as Absent Lovers). It would be another decade before they played together again as King Crimson so this is a great reminder of how potent they were as a live band. The label utilizes the glossy paper and a Three Of A Perfect Pair motif making this a very classy and yellow. Sound quality is the most important point for any release and this is simply a fantastic document of a great show and is definitely worth having.

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