King Crimson Bringing It All To The Paramount

The newest configuration of King Crimson features, from left, Robert Fripp, Jeremy Stacey, Chris Gibson, Tony Levin, Gavin Harrison, Pat Mastelotto, Jakko Jakszyk and Mel Collins.   Photo by Dean Stocking

The newest configuration of King Crimson features, from left, Robert Fripp, Jeremy Stacey, Chris Gibson, Tony Levin, Gavin Harrison, Pat Mastelotto, Jakko Jakszyk and Mel Collins. Photo by Dean Stocking

By Connor Beach
cbeach@longislandergroup.com

The newest configuration of progressive rock band King Crimson will bring its complex sound and unique formation to The Paramount next week.

The band was founded in 1968 by Englishman Robert Fripp, the only one of more than 20 current and former members to have played with every rendition of King Crimson.

“Robert Fripp is the founder of King Crimson, and it’s his musical vision that determines the direction that the band has gone in all these years,” said Tony Levin, 71, who first met Fripp in 1976, when they both played on Peter Gabriel’s first solo album. Levin joined King Crimson as the bass player in 1981. “It’s quite different from incarnation to incarnation, and he has also changed membership quite a few times.”

Levin, who lives upstate, said fans could expect to see a unique set up from this newest eight-man incarnation of King Crimson.

“This incarnation features many unusual things for King Crimson or any rock band; we have three drummers, and we feature them at the front of the stage,” Levin said.

Levin added that this tour will feature King Crimson songs from all of the band’s nearly 50-year history for the first time during a live show in decades, but they will all be slightly reimagined.

“We are playing a lot of the back catalog from King Crimson,” Levin said. “King Crimson steadfastly refused to do that for many decades, and now Robert Fripp has decided that that’s a viable way for the band to go.”

King Crimson is known for creating challenging and complex music that Levin says requires a lot of practicing, but keeps the band members fresh.

“There’s a lot of practicing that goes on and a lot of trial of new techniques in rehearsal, and I love that because it keeps me fresh," Levin said. "The band is a great experience for me because I’ve been around quite a while, but I don’t feel old as a player; I’m still trying to learn."

The chemistry of the current King Crimson members pushes each player to get better, according to Levin, and the audience can expect to hear challenging music and see things on stage that they never expected.

Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show on Monday, Nov. 13. Tickets are $39.50-$124.50 and are available at the box office, or online at ParamountNY.com.