This is King Crimson’s first performance in front of a crowd since they had wowed the punters at Le Spectrum (documented on Absent Lovers) back in 1984. Essentially a dress rehearsal in front of invited guests and the South American press, the tickets that had been made available sold out in two hours flat.
Prior to this concert, it had been seven months since the Double Trio had last assembled before an audience in Argentina. The first gig of any tour is always a slightly fraught affair; anything that can go wrong probably will. Gear will futz, fingers and feet will lie to their owners and the sound could well be unsound as the entire crew get to grips with the task of presenting nearly two hours of challenging music. Understandably perhaps then, this version of Discipline is not an assertive statement but more a gentle easing in, marking out their territory. A slow burning version of Vrooom sounds more confident, especially on the remorseless spiraling coda, though like Frame By Frame which follows, is not without the occasional wobble.
There are some nights when the energy flows within Crimso and this gig is certainly one of those. Vrooom though to Dinosaur seem to be possessed of a glowering intensity that one wonders how they will be able to sustain such power. The answer is to dial things down a little with the inclusion of an elegant rendition of One Time. B’Boom and Thrak reconnect Crim to some tumultuous forces including Adrian’s patented power-drill noise generator, Levin’s prowling bass and a brief but nonetheless laser-guided solo from Trey Gunn of the kind he would throw about during ProjeKct 2. Within the space of only a few minutes all kinds of musical landscapes are created and regenerated amidst the ever-changing turbulence.
The Elements Of King Crimson is a special limited edition 'tour box' created exclusively for sale at King Crimson's concerts and via the band's official online outlets. The set contains a 24 page tour booklet and two CDs containing extracts, elements from studio recordings, alternate takes, live tracks, rehearsals and finished recordings from 1969 - 2014 (much of it previously unreleased on CD).
To reward longtime King Crimson fanatics who waited ten long years (1984-1994) for new studio material, the band issued this EP of six tracks that would (for the most part) later appear on the full-length THRAK. The band is caught at its rawest and most passionate, erasing any doubts that may have surfaced concerning whether the regrouped KC could still cut it. They haven't rocked this hard in years, the proof being in the first two songs – the long and winding instrumental title track and "Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream," which contains some classic paranoid Adrian Belew vocals.
From cautious beginnings Improv II quickly expands into lolloping beast of a track providing what is arguably the best set-up to Exiles to date. As Cross and Wetton hurl fuzzed lines across the stage over one of Bruford’s slow-burning jazz vamps, Fripp introduces one sustained note that lasts somewhere in the region of 37 seconds. An object lesson in making a little go a long way.
Though this particular line-up were edging closer to oblivion, listening to this full show 30 years after the event, the energy levels are astounding. In his journal from the time RF described the show as "Tired. Lifeless. Lacklustre” Maybe Fripp’s estimation of the gig was informed by his recovering from mild food poisoning, the cumulative effect of prunes and a boil in his ear! It seems nobody was happy this particular night. Sound engineer George Chkaintz had trouble with the sound in the recording truck, roadie Tex is frightened to turn down Wetton’s amp despite the discreet urgings of other members of the band and crew, Fripp is giving tour manager Dik Frasier grie, and the promoter isn’t best pleased because the band haven’t done an encore!