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King Crimson: Eyes Wide Open (DVD)

Containing two concerts, one from Japan in 2003 and another from London's Shepherds Bush Empire in 2002, this lavish 2 DVD set from the legendary King Crimson contains hours of intricate prog rock, from one of the true innovators of the genre.

DVD 1 features a ripping 90-minute set taped April 16, 2003 in Toyko on the Power to Believe tour, and for the most part contains songs from that release as well as The ConstruKction of Light, plus some bonus sound check footage in the special features section. Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Trey Gunn, and Pat Mastelotto play with precision, finesse, and controlled fury throughout the set, and reach musical highs on tracks like the thunderous "Level Five", the jagged "Lark's Tongues in Aspic Part IV", the raucous "Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With", and the delicate "The Deception of the Thrush." Each of the four players are virtuosos in their own right; Gunn's marvelous Warr Guitar & Stick textures, Belew's maniacal whammy bar excursions, Mastelotto's nimble drum work, and Fripp's rich soundscapes and metallic shards of fury.

DVD 2 was recorded on July 3, 2000 in London, and while not as polished a visual product as the Tokyo show (the video is a bit grainy at times), the performance of the band is perhaps a little more powerful and energized, plus they play some older material, specifically from the Thrak album, as well as a solo acoustic performance of "Three of a Perfect Pair" by Belew that is just marvelous. The really neat part of DVD 2 is the inclusion of a whole host of improv's recorded at various venues over the last few tours, that can be viewed in whole via the special features menu, however, the DVD is programmed to drop in some of these improv's during various parts of the Shepherd's Bush set, which makes for an interesting viewing process. You never know when one of the improv's will pop in, and each time you watch the DVD you will see a different one, at a different part of the set. Pretty cool idea.

For some, this "packed to the gills" DVD set might be a bit daunting and exhaustive, especially given the exploratory nature of this incarnation of King Crimson. Even for KC fans, it's a bit much to watch both DVD's back to back without giving yourself a break in between, but there's no denying the power of the performances. Soundwise, this is a wonderful audio experience that just begs for a great speaker set up.Eyes Wide Open should be an essential addition to any prog rock fans DVD library.

Track Listing
Disc One
Introductory Soundscape
The Power to Believe I: (A Capella)
Level Five
ProzaKc Blues
The ConstruKtion of Light
Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With
One Time
Facts of Life
The Power to Believe II (Power Circle)
Dangerous Curves
Larks' Tongue in Aspic: Part IV
The Deception of the Thrush
The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum.

Disc Two Into the Frying Pan
The ConstrucKtion of Light
One Time
London Improv I: Blasticus SS Blastica
The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum
London Improv 2: C Blasticum Cage
ProzaKc Blues
Larks' Tongue in Aspic: Part IV
Three of a Perfect Pair
The Deception of the Thrush
Sex, Sleep, Eat, Drink, Dream

Bonus Features:
Disc One - Tokyo Sound and Camera Check: Indiscretion I / Indiscretion II / Indiscretion III
Disc Two - Improvising Crimson

Added: June 27th 2004
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: King Crimson Website
Hits: 4599
Language: english

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