it had been what? two months? since I last heard side four (live) and the time seemed ripe when last night I donned headphones in the serenity of my studio and listened to our latest release.
"Ladies and gentlemen put your hands together and welcome adrian belew's power trio..."
first thought: wowee! the energy and excitement is palpable! I feel as though I'm in the front row! john sinks (live recording) and saul zonana (mixing) certainly did their jobs well. it's a visceral experience and does not have that annoying hole in the middle that so many live records have.
second thought: eric and julie are simply sensational. as the record flows along I keep coming back to this one notion: eric and julie both play exactly what I would like to play. their tastes are so paired to mine and to their own abilities (which are stunning). this is powerful stuff.
which brings me to my only criticism of the record: the guitar playing! there are indeed times when I (the guitarist) seem to lose control of the flying Parker and nearly go airborne. at first I thought maybe that knock on the noggin I received jumping on stage really did affect me. but as I listen further through the record I realize not as an excuse but as a fact, one of my pedals was giving me problems that night (what's new) and in the couple of places I note where the guitar goes off it is because of that same pedal problem. c'est la vie.
from the beginning I envisioned this as a true live experience, warts and all as they say, and so left things the way they actually happened. most "live" records are so doctored as to be more "live in the studio" than "live on stage". it is worth noting that eric and julie never lose control, playing flawlessly throughout. (yow! I better start practicing!)
something which slips by easily unnoticed are the vocals. that's a good thing. the vocals are right on, not an easy thing to do live. and biff's harmonies add a sense of perfection usually found only in the studio.
did we use too much reverb on the drums? that thought occurred to me at some point, but NO, I think it is exactly as it should be. rarely do I listen back to my own recordings and wish I'd done something different and side four (live) is for me a perfect time capsule of the band in February 2007. it was a good evening despite the thick snow outside and the trio did what it always does. excite.
my last thoughts have to do with the krimson material. krimson music of the 80's and early 90's has now become so imbedded as to create a kind of benchmark. either you can play the stuff or you cannot. I'm very proud of the fresh intensity the power trio brings to this music and thankful to the years of hard work and sacrifice it took king crimson to make it. songs like thela hun jingeet or three of a perfect pair stand the test of time remarkably well. and dinosaur has found new life in trio form. which brings me to a very important point I want to make...