When I saw the trio, I forgot to mention that one of the CGT took a picture from the stage. It can be found here and I can be found in the Floyd shirt. My wife is on the left of me.
Years ago, a friend and I were discussing the concept of Power Trios. At the time, Rush was the only band which we felt embodied this concept. This was long before I listened to Primus or any other trios that I would consider in this light. Friday night, the wife and I went to see the Adrian Belew Power Trio. Let me tell you, the name fits! Even though I have listened to Side Four many times over (mine’s autographed ) and heard a couple of bootlegs of last year’s tour, hearing it all again live with almost the exact same set-list (the only change being the addition of a new song: “E”) was a joy to behold. I highly recommend one pick up the CD at Adrian’s website. For that matter, you should pick up all the Sides: Side One, Side Two, Side Three, and Side Four. One and Three feature Les Claypool on bass and Danny Carey on drums, Two is all Belew (and my favorite of the Sides), and Four is a Live show with the Power Trio. You can’t go wrong with any of them.
On to the show! As I said, my wife went with me. This was more from guilt than anything else, I think, as she said she felt bad for not joining me for RF and the LOCG. I had no problem with that as I knew that music wasn’t her cup of tea and while hoping she would enjoy the ABPT show, I was still a bit weary that she might not. My fears were unfounded and she had a great time. So much so, that she asked when they would be returning to our area while on the way home. Yay! Score one for Ade and the Slick kids.
We were third row center for this awesome event. Notice in this first pic (sorry for the crappy cell phone pic) that there are only 2 heads between me and the stage. My ass didn’t like it (we were in temporary chairs as opposed to the cushy theater seats) and it let me know, but the rest of me was very happy with our location.
The show opened with the California Guitar Trio. I was excited to hear them and didn’t even know they were going to be there until the day before the show. They were awesome and their cover of Echoes by Pink Floyd was spot on. As soon as I heard the first “ping” I thought “Are they going to play Echoes?” Seconds later I knew for sure and enjoyed every second of it for PF was my first love in music. While not 22 minutes long like the original, they still nailed the seagulls in the middle and just sounded awesome. They also did a nice cover of Tubular Bells and towards the end of the song, their soundman jumped onstage to accompany on a melodica. Very cool. The wife wasn’t as impressed with these guys as she was with ADPT, but as I said, that’s not really her cup of tea.
Soon after the CGT left the stage, the ABPT came on. No introduction, no pomp and circumstance, just the three of them walking on with Adrian bouncing into his “guitar center” taking a quick bow and then jumping right into “Writing on the Wall.” This was followed by “Dinosaur” which had a wee comedic moment during the dinosaur sounds: Adrian looks over at Eric (Slick on drums) and says “a baby dinosaur” and then proceeds to make a wee dinosaur sound. They laughed, we laughed, and then they were back in the groove. At one point during the show, I looked over at my wife and said “She’s phenomenal!” in reference to Julie (Slick on bass). My wife agreed whole-heartedly. This made me feel good as it was then that I knew she really was enjoying herself and could appreciate the level of musicianship that was involved here.
The other thing I’d like to point out was the level of happiness on stage. It was so refreshing to see a band on stage having the time of their lives doing what they loved to do. All three smiled at one time or another, Adrian being guilty of this on multiple accounts. At one point during a few of his jams, he would be sitting on his stool doing incredible things on his Parker Fly, and he would suddenly look up at the audience and smile a smile that would belie the fact that he was “at work.” Simple grins that said “I’m having a blast doing this, I hope you are, too, and by the way, listen to these funny sounds.” It was almost a 4 piece when you consider how much a role Humor played. I can’t wait to see them again and hope I’m able to.
My only complaint: the ass who sat in the row behind us and was constantly yelling “Woooo” at full volume. During Beat Box Guitar, he must of yelled at least 15 times. It got annoying very fast and at one point it looked as though Adrian was getting tired of it. About halfway through the show I looked over at the ass and he was telling his friend something to the effect of “I don’t care if people don’t like it, I’m having fun so fuck ‘em.” One other offense: speaking loudly during the CGT set. Obviously not one who was familiar with the KC style of listening. When you’re at a show where everyone is acting like that, I can understand people doing it. However, at this event, everyone stayed in their seats and gave their full attention to the people on stage. Except for this guy. The only sour note on an otherwise wonderful night.
Well played, Ade, et al.
The wife agreed to attend this one (she wasn’t interested in the LCG), so I’m very happy. We’ll be waiting for you, Belew, in the center of the 3rd row, in Harrisburg, PA. March 14th can’t come fast enough, in my opinion.
3 from Zum:
- Shinkuro Matsuura (Japan) wins the award for “the one who looks like they’re having the most fun on stage.” (It was fun watching him play and I was able to wish him well before the RHoS show.)
- Luciano Pietrafesa (Argentina)
- Fumihito Hatano (Japan)
1 from the Seattle Guitar Circle:
- Curt Golden (the apparent leader of the currently touring LCG as he took his cues from RF and all others from him; sits opposite RF on stage @ front right corner)
So, last night I drove out to Ram’s Head on Stage in Annapolis. While I had a great time at Monday’s performance and loved every note I heard, I was hoping I wouldn’t be treated to a duplicate performance. I was not and this made a happy evening even better.
The layout was the same as Monday night, with RF on the far left facing center stage. His rack, the Solar Voyager, to his right, pedals and such arrayed in front of him, the LCG starts to his left and arcs to the front right area of the stage. And I had the honor of sitting next to “Mr. Vonnegut,” who reminded me I needed a wee bit of the McClellan 12.
On Monday, I was far too excited to listen as carefully as I did last night, and I was rewarded for my efforts. I was surprised to hear Flying. I recognized it almost immediately* and it made me laugh. I couldn’t have been happier. There were other musical surprises as well, but this is the one I remember the most.
The only fly in the ointment imo, and mind you it was a wee fly, was the crowd was not as aware of what was expected of them from RF and Co. as the Birchmere audience. This group was far too eager to applaud at the briefest of pauses in the music; the LCG did not let this deter them from continuing and usually the applause died rather quickly. There was also someone who talked a few times a bit too loudly during the silences, but he was politely but firmly asked to “Please be quiet” by someone near him and he did for the remainder of the evening.
These disturbances were minor enough to not ruin the evening. I had another great night listening to some incredible music that I will remember for the rest of my life.
The final thing I’ll mention: while waiting for the room to open pre-show, two older guys came in (hell, average age for the crowd, I felt a wee bit young at 39 :P) to pick up their tix from will call. One had a really nice camera slung over a shoulder. Looked expensive. Long story short, he had no clue as to the performer’s preferences regarding photography. I had to laugh at that as I found it incredible that there’s still people out there who don’t know this about RF. GET A CLUE PEOPLE!! Along that train of thought (“wtf?”), why were people arriving 40 minutes after the show began?
Regardless, thank you, again!, Robert Fripp and the League of Crafty Guitarists for another wonderful experience. I shall never forget it.
*- I couldn’t remember the name at the time, but as soon as I got in my car, I booted up the iPod and found it. When they were playing it, I almost felt like singing along… la la la la lalala. Thanks again!.
Having never been to see RF and the LCG, I was a little apprehensive. Although I own an LCG cd and a Soundscapes cd, I was still unsure of what to expect. I think a lot of this apprehensiveness was brought on by the fact that my concert-buddy for the evening was a good friend of mine who had almost no experience with any Frippian projeKCts. I had subjected him to early KC in the past, but I don’t think it took. Hell, I was turned on to KC 20+ years ago and years had passed before I ventured out from the cassette my Uncle had given me. But taking a veritable Fripp virgin was interesting. Especially since he passed on the offers to have a listen to cds beforehand.
The Birchmere was also new to me. From the website I was thinking “beer hall” but that turned out to be just the front room. The room for the performance was more like a banquet hall with a low stage on one side. We had tables, wait staff, and food! It was quite a change from the clubs, arenas, etc. that I am used to. It reminded me of the Cabaret Lounge of the Love Boat. Except with long dinner tables.
Upon entering the room from the bar, I stood looking around thinking of seating; a Quarter came up to me and told me where RF would be sitting and that there were seats available just to the side with a view. Off I went. I found seats 15 feet from the stool. Unfortunately, RF’s back was to us the whole performance, so no views of his hands at work. This was acceptable as my ticket for the Ram’s Head performance is more centrally located and given RF’s placement, I should have a good view tomorrow night. Last night was open seating.
The performance was everything I expected and more. I heard things I recognized from my LCG cd, but most of it was new to me. The KC and Mission: at the end were very nice. And while I was fairly certain that we would be hearing Soundscapes and the LCG, I did not expect to find them offered together. This was an unexpected treat and I enjoyed it. My only real disappointment of the evening was that it was so short. I was hoping for at least another hour, but as I mentioned, I’ll be getting 2 more hours tomorrow night so I can deal.
I did see someone take a picture mid-performance, but this person was standing against the back wall with the venue’s sound board operator in an area that one would assume to be employees-only, so I assumed she was “official” and did not say anything. Thankfully, she didn’t use the flash!
Thank you RF and the LCG for a wonderful evening. In 24 hours, I will be enjoying it again.