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To hell with King Crimson, go see Robert Fripp live while you can

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Which shade of King Crimson can one expect to see tonight? The baroque-hippie, fast-shredding prog-rock of “21st Century Schizoid Man”? The show-offy protomath prog-rock of the band’s 1972-’74 peak? The global-fusion avant-AOR prog-rock of the group’s trio of albums in the early-to-mid 1980s? I have some bad news: You probably won’t get any of these. What you’re likely to witness is what “King Crimson” has been about since 1995’s THRAK—cheesy, technically impressive prog-rock that’s favored by Guitar Center employees and diehard fans. Yes, that’s not exactly an endorsement. So why go to a present-day King Crimson show? Because its mastermind, Robert Fripp, is one of the greatest guitarists alive. Whether he’s playing monster riffs or complex chord progressions or unwinding solos that might make Yngwie Malmsteen shit his pants, Fripp is someone who deserves a venue as regal and historic as the Chicago Theatre—even if you have to endure post-80s King Crimson for the privilege.   v

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