Following on from the recent Live in Toronto 2CD set comes this epic box set of 3CD's plus blu-ray or plus 2DVD's and blu-ray. Now, that is odd! The standard edition should have been CD and DVD with the deluxe adding the blu-ray or blu-ray on its own. If you have a blu-ray player you ain't gonna play DVD, so why add those with the deluxe edition? They do need to forget about adding DVD plus blu-ray to these sets. It's one or the other!
So, these discs showcase the complete playlist of the live Crimson repertoire of 2015. The CD's are based around the best performances which Jakko has selected and the video portion is based around a Japan concert. I admit I haven't viewed that yet, as I have only concentrated on the audio. It does sound great and the performances are top notch. The expanded lineup allows for all the details and nuances of the album versions, like on Larks' Tongues, both parts reproduced here and enhanced upon. For me the highlight is the rather funky rendition of The Talking Drum, that was rather a surprise.
The discs are presented as more of a live in the studio performance as all audience participation has been removed. Fripp's idea for this lineup is more of a performance unit, rather than studio vehicle, so I can see his thinking here. There are new pieces presented here, which are all typical Crimson fare. Radical Action, Meltdown and Suitable Grounds for the Blues sit well with the classic pieces. It's all good stuff and there is plenty here to enjoy. It's good to see that for the recent tour, they have expanded the playlist with material from Lizard, a personal favourite. I was also playing Industry, from Three of a Perfect Pair the other day and it struck me that this would be ideal for this lineup. Lots of percussion work going on and the denounement of the piece would really come alive, rearranged with Mel Collins on sax. So there is plenty for this band to get their teeth into in the future.
The packaging is as expected, top notch. All discs are housed in two separate digipaks, together with a 36 page booklet all of which fit neatly into a slipcase. Of course that is not all the Crimson for this year. We have the SW remixes of Beat and Three of a Perfect Pair plus the 80's box set which includes those plus Discipline and related studio and live material. There will also be the 2016 Tourbox, which follows the previous two boxes in design and should contain lots of interesting stuff. So lots for the KC buff to look forward to!