Saturday, June 27, 2009


This is a Rare CD….NOT to be missed!

I am listening to the 13min long version of Beat Box Guitar right now and the sonic attack of the trio surpasses all other past live recordings. When I first saw this I was a bit skeptical because I have heard so many versions of live recordings over the past few years. Often times with this same or similar song lineup. But there is something about this night that set the world on fire!

I cannot believe this song Eric is blasting away on his kit and Julie is bubbling up like a Mt Vesuvius about to erupt! From here they blast into A Little Madness and let me tell you. You will understand the name of this song after hearing the first 15 seconds of it. This is pretty ferocious guitar, bass & drums. We are not talking a lot of fancy ass drums that take up the entire stage here. We are talking just the most basic kit. Yet it sounds like the wildest drums you have ever heard. And Julie and Eric are still talking between themselves. They have a musical brother and sister bond, its some sort of language they use when playing. Like the kind of cerebral language only twins can speak and these two are not twins.

I cannot say enough about the quality of this release. I bought the version off Amazon because I want the mp3 files, I prefer the lossless files found in Flac but these will do in a pinch. However, I must add that this sounds like a physical disc here on my headphones. The band is in full tilt mode at the 4min mark of this song and building up towards a sonic explosion ending. This music is NOT for the faint of heart but if you LOVE good music then you will not be let down by this recording. Like I said, having heard numerous live bootlegs and all of Adrian’s recordings but I have never heard anything quite like this before.

Drive starts out with the engine of a car starting and driving off...and then Belew comes in making his signature whale sounds and layering his notes over each other. I have had the pleasure of seeing him perform this three times now live. I love the textural qualities of Adrian's playing the way he builds sound on sound live. It is not a lot of gadgetry or trickery it's layering and layering in a live setting. It starts to envelope your brain and before you know it you are in a rocket ship headed for the cosmos.

The music breaks at the 3min mark and feeds into a special tribute and if you don’t know the song I am talking about I won’t spoil it for you George…what a beautiful segue. As gently as it feeds into this song it gears itself back into the main drive. It’s like rolling through the countryside with the top down on a warm spring day. I have heard this song before but yet once again Adrian is otherworldly tonight. He is playing on and on with this and it has just really developed nicely from the first days of hearing it. And all of a sudden he breaks into a very Frippian attack.

Neurotica is a total assault on the senses. I have loved this song for many years since I first heard it on the album Beat. The lyrics have always floored me so make sure to Google the lyrics for this song. The music is like a swirling palette of aural colors mixed together and at times splattered with the intensity of a Pollack on the lyrical canvas of life. Julie and Eric’s playing here is very supportive of Adrian and adds a lot to the mix. This song was played originally by more musicians and as a trio they have really broke it down and fit it into the trio format. Yet it is not lacking in any way musically. It is as full as if the double trio were playing this.

Of Bow and Drum starts out with Adrian shredding along in his signature Twang Bar King way. The song explodes and then fades back into the chorus. The drum parts are filled nicely by Sir Slick whom I have dubbed “The Percussive One” and the bass is performed so effortlessly by the Barefooted Priestess of Cool & Her Collective Consciousness. As usual Adrian is releasing the signature sonic guitar but as stated before there’s intensity and a maturity going on with The Trio that I have not heard before. They are becoming a Unit......hmmmm. Go figure….maturing like a fine wine!

Frame By Frame ahhhhh another of my favorite King Crimson classics. This song feels so natural you almost forget it is Adrian Belew Power Trio playing and not King Crimson. Although I might add that Robert in the mix would be quite cool too! Maybe a guest spot at the Orange Peel in Asheville on August 23rd might be in order. Robert?

And then here is a song that is so special to me. First lyrically I love this song and second it is special for me because this was the first King Crimson tour I ever saw. The Trio does an amazing job on this. You guessed it…..Three of a Perfect Pair!

Keeping it new and fresh, yet holding to the original in a way that compliments. Adrian's lyrics have always been so inspiring to me they are like poems rather than the usual top 40 inspired lyrics that are as far away from actual poetry as you can get.

Well anyway I will leave the last song up to your own interpretation. I really hate these blow by blow reviews but for some reason tonight felt that I must digress and do just that. But I must add that originally Bruford was amazing on these Crimson songs! However.....if you listen to Eric playing this you will not be missing a thing in fact Bill is probably impressed with this boys playing style. He does often remind me of Bruford or Bozzio if I had to toss in a comparison.

Oh and let me say this in closing! YOUNG LIONS RULES on this recording! Check it out buy it today you will not be sorry! I am completely and utterly speechless now! The ending of Thela Hun Ginjeet is killer!

Thanks again to the Trio and Julie for using her many talents and getting this recording online and on Amazon!.

(click on the word Amazon to download this wonderful new disc by Adrian Belew Power Trio)




  1. hey mike, great review - your excitement about these great musicians blasts right through your words. i've not picked up anything by this band but on the basis of this review i'm going over to itunes and dropping a copy. thanks also for popping "starless" over on your music player. i haven't listened to that for an easy year now and coming back "fresh" to it is always thrilling. steven

  2. Hey Steven,
    Glad you enjoyed my review. I was very impressed with the new live show. Thanks for checking out my blog hope you enjoy the music and help spread the word about this amazing band. Starless is one of my all time favorite King Crimson songs. If you have never heard it yet there is a Fripp soundscapes recording where Robert does a tribute to Starless check it out here
    Peace, Mike