Well, due to the help, Ive got my hands on the box, thanks to some friends in the east who'll go unnamed, and sadly I was just provided - so far with the full artwork and packaging of the 2 disc regular box. Anywas- damn! Hot damn!
Let's begin with the Zoom Club first show - first impression is: I can hear Jamie much better now although these are sonic differences that'll go unnoticed to the untrained. I'm enjoying 'Zoom' right now, and man, they got it funky right from the beginning, eh? The band grooves and gels as if this wasn't their first, but rather, as if they've been playing for YEARS, BUT - they've decided to play it safe. The level of telepathy is amazing- and as uncontrollable Jamie seems to be, he just fills the sonic landscape with sheer delight. (note - many have complained that he's mostly only heard in the quiet parts; I've actually noticed he spends most of the time just playing drums. Hint: that china cymbal and snare drum sonic differences - out of a million other things, of course) Peachy. You can even play it in your car. Fripp hits the notes slowly , or in between, or lightning speed- jedi fast. At points it sounds like he's tapping, but we all know he doesn't do that, hm? 'Book of Saturday' with drums and extra lyrics, fragments of 'Lament' and the 'Fallen Angel' improv... You DO get the impression that, as long as 'Zoom Zoom' is, that they're playing it safe in this concert. Hints of the Earthbound band abound - rhyme not intended - as many things sound mostly like jams rather than the classic Crimso blows; in its 44 minutes, if I may mention it again, I get the impression it's just an old river prog band jamming (no offense, but...) HOWEVER, when things get to the calm, paranoid Z'Zoom preceding Exiles, you do realize there's much wasted potential there. I've got a theory: Jamie's gear didn't fit entirely in this venue, and Fripp decided to make of this hot date just a calling card, and I may be wrong one either one or both accounts since by the the grand finale 'Talking drum -> LTIA Pt. II' is somewhat of an earth shattering experience, and Jamie CAN be heard on his percussion. Other shades of the Islands era are obvious in the brief, to quote an ET member, 'pastoral' 'Easy Money', which (gasp) reminds me of 'Ladies Of The Road'. Ok I'll stop.
A conundrum. A meek band performance when they have togetherness in spades. Can't blame Jamie. Hear the last two songs! Plus, as sonically 'very slightly improved' it is, I've never found this concert to be bad sounding. Not for an audience recording. But I can't help it and will give this one **1/2.
More to come, and your reviews would be appreciated too!