Saturday, November 17, 2018

King Crimson @ Olympia, Paris - November 17th, 2018

Tonight was the last night of the King Crimson Paris residency and the last night of their Meltdown 2018 European tour. Being somewhat of an obsessive-compulsive fellow I attended all three Paris dates and even treated myself to the Royal Package experience for the last night.

If you’re a fan of the band then you likely know what the band looks and sounds like these days, as well as what the setlists are like. Suffice to say it’s a fan’s dream come true. The Olympia is an old, stuffy theatre a few metres away from where cinema was born. Although it was rebuilt and renovated about twenty years ago, it is still the same place where the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones and many more played when they first came to Paris. I’ve been to over forty shows in that venue and always feel like I’m walking on hallowed ground.

The Royal Package punters were greeted by Robert Fripp who engaged us on a few of his favorite topics: the remuneration of artists in the music industry, the relationship between the musician and the audience members, photography, etc. I’m sorry to report he was very affable with quite the sense of humour, not at all like the curmudgeonly old goat he is often portrayed as (and I suspect he likes to portray himself…)

He raised the question (I'm paraphrasing): "why does KC seem to attract mostly male audients?"An interesting question, and although this is not the only reason, or probably not even the main reason, a clue could be found in the fact that there is also a distinct lack of female individuals on the stage...

After that KC’s manager David Singleton answered a few people’s questions on the band, the business etc. before introducing Stage Left Drummer Gavin Harrison, the guy who is solely responsible for dropping the band’s median age under seventy. He was also very interesting, forthcoming and funny.
  As for the concert, it was of course absolutely brilliant. Apocalyptic at times, light at others. Sometimes solemn, sometimes playful, always riveting. The repertoire of course we all love, even (especially) revisited in this absolutely crazy fashion. A few years ago it was looking like Crimso was to be no more. I am very glad things have turned around and am hoping for more from them. They have found the perfect format for these times and these times need them to stick around. So guys, please, same time next year? 

Check out the other King Crimson and KC-related shows reviewed on the blog here:

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