‘It’s a very different place to be’: Reinvigorated Robert Fripp takes stage again with a retooled King Crimson

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Perhaps the biggest news from last night’s appearance by King Crimson at Albany, N.Y., apart from its having followed such a lengthy period away, was the sight of Robert Fripp playing in a spotlight. After all, in his most recent performances dating back to the late 2000s, Fripp rarely acknowledged the audience — typically playing off to the side, well out of sight.

“Clearly, I’m ready to be loved,” Fripp jokes, in a newly posted talk.

Tuesday’s performance kicked off a U.S. tour that many thought would never happen, after years of silence from Fripp as he endured a series of battles with former record labels. “My professional life,” he adds, “has not been an easy one. It hasn’t been one that is characterized by sweetness and the ringing of joyful bells.”

When King Crimson emerged again, however, it was with a rebuilt lineup. Fripp is joined in this latest incarnation of King Crimson by a trio of drummers in Gavin Harrison, Bill Rieflin and Pat Mastelotto as well as bassist Tony Levin, saxist Mel Collins and guitarist/vocalist Jakko Jakszyk. It seems the presence of so many fresh faces has given him a new spark.

“Something has clearly changed; I’m in a different place in my life, as a person and as a working player,” Fripp says, before deftly deflecting attention away from himself. “I’m nothing much to look at, but this band is such a wonderful band to be a member of. Being a member of this band is such a privilege. I feel so grateful to be live on stage with them. It’s a very different place to be.”

King Crimson’s on-going American tour continues tonight, again at the Egg in Albany, with stops in Philadelphia, Boston, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle through October 6, 2014.

King Crimson’s setlist from Tuesday, September 9, 2014:
Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, Part One
Pictures of a City
A Scarcity of Miracles
The ConstruKction of Light
One More Red Nightmare
Percussion Interlude
Hell Hounds
The Letters
Hell Bells
Sailor’s Tale
The Light of Day
The Talking Drum
Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, Part Two

Hoo Doo
21st Century Schizoid Man

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