Tuesday, November 8, 2011

a powerful barrage

so much to say about the 2 of a perfect trio tour
where do I begin?

the look on my face in the above photo says it all:

probably best to let you, the audience, tell your thoughts
and I encourage you to do so here,
but from a very personal vantage point within the tour
here are my honest impressions:

musically and practically speaking it was close to crimson,
but it was not crimson nor was it treated as such.

the crimson experience obviously has a heavier
yet more ethereal vibe because of robert's rigor,
whereas within the 2OAPT tour I tried my best to lighten up
the atmosphere with joking off the cuff commentary
while maintaining the integrity of the music.
still the shows were very intense,
especially in they way built to the inevitable climax.
that speaks volumes about the material itself.

while all 3 trios and the 6-piece band were certainly on fire
it was you, the audience who inspired me the most.
it was amazing to see the sizable turnouts include so many
young, therefore new fans, many of the female gender,
and to feel your enthusiasm for something
you may thought you'd never experience,
or for the longtime fans
something you thought you'd never experience again.

it's as close as we can offer and no one seemed cheated,
(though I missed my ol' partner robert).
I was amazed at the nostalgia in evidence.

crimson is indeed treated differently:
bigger venues, more money, more prestige,
free pretzels,
but those of us within the tour were very
happy with what we had to be happy with.
I think all of us would like to go at it again.

ironically, I prefer smaller clubs for their capacity
to truly reach people through the performance,
even though the money has a lower ceiling
and therefore dictates what is possible (or not).
the tour was probably too long but no matter.
my red shoes held up remarkably well as did my voice.
it was also one of the most copecetic tours
I've ever been a part of.
no bullshit. no drama.
just the joy of making music.
seeing tony levin setting up his own gear also speaks volumes.

day to day there were so many hilarious moments
mixed within the insanelylong drives and harried soundchecks.
highlights include patricia fripp reading a message from robert,
playing with danny carey again and meeting his girlfriend ryan
and her sister sarah (delightful people) then riding in danny's orange
lamborghini (yikes, 100 mph in less than 4 seconds!)
and living to see so many old friends
(including rob and bob bear)
danny zelisko's ever-popular bud abbott impresssion,
and in the "fun" van making the ridiculous
adrian belew fitness camp videos with
julie filming on her new iPhone while tobias drove faithfully on
after conducting the ongoing search for the perfect breakfast spot,
then meeting so many of our 2OFPP campers again,
and finally playing for my girls, ava and leah.

now the girls know I'm not just a guy
who hangs around the house looking lost.

in the van after breakfast julie often read us
the glowing reviews. great reviews. every one.
everybody loved it!
but one small snaggle I did notice:
some reviewers left me out!
please don't leave me out. it's disrespectful.
"the friendly frontman may easily be taken for granted"
that was my most recent fortune cookie.

one last thought:
it is incredible to be in the middle of such a powerful barrage.
thanks so much to all involved; hope we do it again.

also of note:
my last appearance of the year comes this sunday, nov. 13
at the chicago humanities festival. at 5:00.
I'll be giving a one-hour q&a/demonstration of guitar effects,
technology, and the future of ...who knows.
then it's back to making more music in studiobelew.

photo: ava belew


  1. Adrian, I had the fortune of attending the show in Agoura Hills (standing next to Danny Carey). I just want to say thank you so much for everything!!!! Best to you.

  2. Saw you the first time with Crimson in 1982 (& 4 other times since). Sadly I was sick when 2OAPP came through Solana Beach so I missed out! Argh. You & Tony deserve better than hauling around in crowded vans with your amazing resumes. Your willingness to do so & continue to pursue creative, adventurous, "out there" music is truly appreciated by your many fans.

  3. Adrian,

    I've seen you in large venues, I've seen you in small venues, and I have to agree, the energy level in the small clubs is amazing.

  4. It really was a fantastic show! Thanks for indulging in the nostalgia! If we could now concentrate on getting Dust released on CD...

  5. Wonderful show. My favorite part was the Crimson trio -- Tony, Pat, and you -- but it was all great, from the solo bands to the super-saturated encore.

    It was my first Crimson-related show, and I'm happy to have finally heard Frame by Frame, Thela Hun Ginjeet, and One Time live, in concert. Your voice still sounds great; I don't know how you do it.

    Again, please!

  6. Adrian, you were great as always and your new drummer, Tobias Ralph was killer. The double trio ending was
    as good as any of the many King Crimson shows I have seen in the 80s, 90s, and 00s! I hope you play with them again next year, so that I can bring my wife!

  7. Some reviews left you out? That's shameful! Julie Slick's guitar player certainly deserves more respect than that!! :-)

    I saw two back-to-back shows, one in a large theater and one in a tiny club, and loved both. Thanks so much!

  8. Hi Ade

    Is their going to be a DVD of this tour?

  9. ooohhh...or a wonderful live CD? Too many record companies over the years for that? Wonderful, wonderful show!

    Will Bearsville happen again after toapp camp next year?



  10. What an amazing show. Both bands were outsatnding it was my 5th time seeing the ABPT,the first time with Tobias on drums he's really something and 1st time seeing the Stick Men.The Crimson finale was very kcool.The highlights for me were as always ABPT playing "e",the Stick Men playing Supercollider & Relentless along with THRAX and B'Boom played during the finale. We flew up from Florida for the show just as we did in 2008 for KC at the Nokia. I would also like to add that Julie was on fire.
    The pics in Tony's road diary are great.
    Oh yea the e dvd is great !!

    Thank you so very much Adrian,Julie,Tobias,Tony,Pat and Markus

  11. Me and the Mrs would jump at the delight at seeing you all again. It was an amazing performance and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. I have been a fan of yours since first seeing you play with Frank Zappa on the Sheik Yourbti tour at Stanford college and have been following you since. It was the Mrs first time seeing any of you and she was throughly amazed. What a delight it was to meet you afterwards, finally getting to meet my guitar hero in person. You and the rest of the band are really great in person and it was a delight to meet you all. i hope to see you soon

    All my best
    Derek and Lori

  12. Live Album Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    One of the greatest shows of my life.

    A million thanks to all the players.

    Not King Crimson, but certainly Big Red.

  13. I've been a fan ever since the KC Discipline album, all of the Adrian Belew solo albums, even the Bears and have loved all of it. I finally got to see all of you for the first time live in Salt Lake City with my oldest son, who's now 22. He was blown away and now you have another fan.

    Thanks for a killer show in a great venue. I've never seen so many unbelievable musicians on the same stage.

    My son and I can't wait to see you the next time you roll through town.

    Rob and Cam

  14. Hi Adrian, Santa Ana was a great show and everyone, including Danny Carey, played well. You, though, were on fire, establishing a vibe that continued to the end of the gig. Having seen KC in LA in 1984, I saw this as a showcase for that shared history, but also for the two groups and their talented members. Thanks for a great concert! Paul

  15. That was a great tour, one of your best, and it was very inspiring to see Tony and Pat tearing down their own gear and drive off in the van after the gig. It was a blast to hang with you and the trio at Orbit Room, thanks for the stories, hope to do it again sometime! DB.

  16. Saw (and definitely heard; my one complaint was the almost painful volume at the Royale Boston venue) this tour in Boston.
    Thank you so much for this experience.
    Hopefully some (all?) of the shows were recorded and might (please?) be available at some point (pretty please?).

  17. Adrian many thanks to you and everyone involved for putting on an amazing tour. Saw you in Chicago and the venue itself was perfect, though the stage was a bit small for the group it seemed. Despite the small issue with the drum equipment the show was amazing!

    No it wasn't Crimson reunion tour it was different and for the better IMO as it allowed everyone to play Crimson, ABPT, and Stickmen music live as it should be and be able to see the appreciation and enjoyment on our faces.

    Hope it wasn’t a once in a lifetime opportunity but if it was, then I am glad it happened in my lifetime. The only thing that could make it perfect was if a show was recorded and a DVD was on its way or even a CD would be great as well.

    As I told a friend after the show "3 to the power of 3 equals 6 to an unknown level of audio wondrous".


  18. Thanks Adrian! Caught you guys in NYC as I always do when your in town. I thought the Crimson trio section was awesome and wonder if you would ever consider touring with that unit itself?

  19. I had the pleasure of seeing the St. Louis show. Of that I say this;

    The Friendly Frontman looked fit as a fiddle, and was in fine form, even when he flubbed. Adrian does a wonderful job of making eye contact with an intimate audience, making them believe he is playing just for them. I had that feeling at least six times. At least twice, you caught me leaning back from one of the stunning sounds leaping forth from your guitar. You and Jeff Beck have that effect on me. And I've never had the pleasure of being six feet from Jeff while he performed. Powerful stuff!

    No, it wasn't Crimson that came to visit that night. It was Crimson's cool uncle! He smiled, he joked, he let us in on the musical fun, and he let us take pictures! It was a prime example of musicians that took their craft seriously, but not themselves.

    Julie is a MONSTER. Her bass sound hit me square in the chest, and stayed there for a while. Uncle Tony was, well, Uncle Tony. He's not a legend for nothing. What a joy to hear this bass tandem.

    Big ups to Markus, who probably came the closest to personifying Uncle Bobby. I mean that in a good way. Supreme talent!

    One of the best moments of the night was Pat and Tobias cutting eights before the double trio tore into "Indiscipline." This went on for the better part of five minutes (if not more), and I don't think it was planned. PLEASE tell me that moment was recorded, because I'd love to pay to hear it again and again and again. By the way, which one of them was Buddy Rich, and which one was Max Roach?

    The room was just big enough to contain the whole of the music. I had a good sweat going by the time it was done. I wouldn't mind doing that again.

    Thanks, as always, for renewing my faith in music.


    Ced Hendrix

  20. what everyone else said and more , i was really moved at this show . being more of a solo belew fan than a crim guy i was on the fence about tix . so glad i went , i laughed a lot ! the drum battle was the BEST thing i ever saw involving sticks on a stage . when i saw tobias i was thinking "who is THIS guy" , then i noticed some different thing right away , and he had me completely won over half way thru . julie looked more "into it" if thats possible , i just felt bad for her about the gremlins she dealt with (power supply's , the worst) but i dug some of the fuzzbass she was doin . i cant believe your girls hadn't been to a show yet , i can imagine they were thrilled . you looked RIPPED , seriously , i will think twice about lipping off from now on ... we'll see ya tomorrow at the keynote . ( please play variations for us )
    Pt2 .

  21. Adrian, both my husband and I saw your trio at the Old Town School of Music on October 8th. I've been a fan of you for as long as I can remember as has my husband. Your music was one of the things we shared and that helped bring us together. This was definitely the BEST show we have seen in many moons. You never fail us and keep surprising us along the way which we LOVE. We just got home from your electric guitar lecture/performance for the Chicago Humanities Festival on Nov. 13th. My husband is currently in a corner banging his head against the wall because he said something to you about "being underrated as a musician" and he thinks he may have insulted you. He most definitely meant to say that you are the most incredible musician he has ever known and he wonders why this isn't obvious to most people. I am writing this now to get him to stop banging his head against the wall:) Happy Downtime to you!!! We look forward to your new material.

  22. Adrian, just saw your fantastic talk at the Chicago Humanities Fest. Been a fan for maaaany years and was tickled to see the youngsters turn out as well as the grey heads. You look and sound amazing as always, although I kinda miss the red suit from the Crimson days. Thanks for being so generous with your time and talent!

  23. Adrian,
    I met you at the Indianapolis show. We've met several times before. As always, a pleasure to both be at your shows and talk with you. Thank you for being so approachable. I look forward to what you cook up next!

  24. Thanks for your generosity in answering my nosey question at the keynote . i could not figure out what it was and it has been buggin me since the 2pp show . now that i know not only will i be keeping it to myself but i really want one , BAD !! i would mod it with an input for an oscillating relay (rapid fire) for the switch trigger . i was glad you enjoyed the slide synth , have fun with the hot zoo phrase trainer . thanks so much for signin my strat , i am gonna shoot it with some clear or somethin . have fun in there , i cant wait for the new one .

    PT2 .

    p.s. the keyote was really nice , you came off very admirably . the lady introduced you as andrian bellow . it was a treat to be so close , its always like magic watching you work .

  25. Adrian what can I say? I feel like one of the luckiest individuals on the planet. I got to see the first rehearsals at camp, and the second to the last show at the Belcourt.

    I have to pinch myself, just so I know that I really lived through it all.

  26. As a big fan of KC, the Power Trio, and all things Belew, I can't help but be a little sad that I missed out on the musical intercourse. The 2OAPT tour completely skipped Ohio... can't say I blame anyone really, it kinda sucks here. Covington was pretty close, but when you live near Akron and have a wife and baby to look after, even a roadtrip of that magnitude is too far. So if the 2OAPT tour happens again, I truly hope I get a chance to revel in it personally.

    P.S. If there are no available venues in Northeastern/Central Ohio, I offer my living room. It is small, but I will help Tony set up his gear if need be. ;-)

  27. Adrian,

    Saw you at the Humanities fest last night. It was great to hear you talk about the guitar and take us thru the technologies/effects you use.

    Thanx again and look forward to seeing you live.

  28. Adrian! Amazing performance at the Chicago Humanities Fest last night and fantastic to spend some time with you both after. What a year for you; Metropole to Chicago, 3OAPP to 2OAPT! May you keep it going!

    Also, please remember my suggestion to make Belew/Levin/Mastelotto "a band!" One that doesn't 'have' to be beholden to Crimson. New music, and maybe a 4 or 5 pc. Or Double-Trio!


  29. ade sorry Marsha and i missed you. next time you are up frederick md area give us a headsup. dinner w/you and the crew/is always as much fun as the show. well,in a goofin kinda way. rick p.s. where is the caps key on these things

  30. Adrian,
    Thanks for autographing the Here cover in Indy and great to talk to you again. Possibly the best show I've ever seen-- the 2OAPT version of "Red" literally kept me awake for the next 3 nights. Incredible! Best wishes wherever you go!

  31. Alice Reynaga from SDNovember 15, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    My husband & I were at the wonderful show in Minneapolis in October. It was so great to see you again, to get to meet you and the other members of the bands. Thanks for giving such a powerful performance at such a great venue. Please tour again so we can attend. We live in Sioux Falls, SD, but will travel where we need to for a show to see the one-and-only YOU. I am thrilled with my photo of you & I together; it is on my music wall. Thanks for making yourself so approachable. God bless you.

  32. I got to see both the Salt Lake City and San Francisco shows. I think I sat by Anonymous and his son in the front row in Salt Lake... the better of the two shows. You guys were really on that night. Hope Julie was able to find some veggie foods. I enjoyed Patricia Fripp's lenghy introduction and persuasive purchasing opportunity suggestions at the San Francisco show. You had to shake a lot of hands that night, including my kids. Thanks for being a good example for them.

  33. Dear Loretta:
    Many thanks for your performance and your time on Sunday, you are a gentleman. I so appreciate bringing your newest Parker baby for me to fondle and cannot wait to hear you show it who is the boss. You made this year very special for my wife and I, for which we are deeply thankful.
    We wish you all the best for future projects, whatever they may be and cant wait for camp in August!
    Steve and Dawn
    P.S. My apologies to Daniel for the bad Shepard's Pie!

  34. hey everybody! thanks so much for your delighted comments. no one enjoyed the tour more than I did and to know you felt the same is priceless to me.
    there will be no official CD or DVD this time round, sorry, it was just too much to organize. good news is: we WILL do it again somehow. well, at least all 6 of us WANT to. as I've explained before much of the very hard work is the organization of the booking of shows, rooms, rental vans, etc., and this falls mainly on martha (and tony and our agent john) to do. give the poor girl a break and we'll see what can be done next year.
    again, it was great to see all of you again and I thank you for your enthusiastic support.

  35. Encore!! Encore!! Encore!!
    and if you feel like doing it again, well I think a whole lotta people will be there!!

  36. Adrian! You were amazing in San Francisco! Thanks for stopping to say hi before going to meet the throngs of adoring admirers. Too bad you couldn't spend a little time in SF after the show.

    I'll second Chris' comments above - I feel privileged to have been at camp and witnessed the first rehearsals of this historic tour. I can't wait to hear the new stuff and hope to see you at camp next year!


  37. Adrian (Loretta),

    Congrats on the tour. After spending a week with you guys and watching you rehearse, it was tremendous to see the performance and to know that other fans got to see this wonderful band play this incredible music.

    It didn't matter to us that the Man From Dorset was missing, although his presence adds that certain x factor, because you guys (and girl)were terrific in every way and the music of King Crimson is still relevant and powerful some three to four decades later. Let's face it, to "Boppin' Bobby," the TOPT camp might have been level 13 of hell for him. I say that without any disrespect intended, of course.

    Any reviewer that forgets to mention AB is not a very good reviewer IMO.

    I remain "heeeaaaaaonk" a devoted Crim fan,



  38. Thank you so very much Adrian for bringing your tour to Portland, OR! Simply incredible! Thank you for being the color in the grey World of Pop music.....PROG RULES!

    Johnny T.

  39. Adrian, I just got around to commenting on this. I saw the final night at Moogfest ( we were the ones in the front row joking with you about playing Moonchild! And I'm pretty sure you were alive when that came out!! ). What a show, what an experience. To see 6 musicians so talented, so humble in their approach to their music and their fans was a real treat. Talking to Tony about Stravinsky as he was breaking down his setup was great. PLEASE bring the Two Of A Perfect Pair back around the US in 2012 or 2013. I've seen Crimson shows and always love them but this was on another level. Sure it would be great to have Mr. Fripp in the mix but as you pointed out the lighter/funnier tone of the show added greatly. I've loved your music for over 30 years now ( I guess that dates me ) and continue to enjoy it. Please keep it coming for many years to come.

    Your fan for life
    Jeff Morris

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