I never set out to see three aging progressive rock acts in the space of 5 days, but sometimes you have to drop everything to go see these guys while they’re still on top of their game and still have a pulse.
Anyways this was our itinerary a couple of weeks ago:
- Thursday 09/19/2019 – King Crimson – Wang Theater – Boston
- Sunday 09/22/2019 – Rick Wakeman – Tupelo Music Hall – Londonderry, NH
- Tuesday 09/24/2019 – Steve Hackett – Wilbur Theater – Boston
King Crimson (50th anniversary tour): A bunch (seven! – 3 of them drummers!) of brilliant musicians playing complicated, chaotic music for their die-hard but extremely nerdy fans. They never once spoke to the audience, but made up for it by playing for 3 hours. Their leader, Robert Fripp looks like a bald gnome in business attire and headphones, but his guitar still scrapes, crunches, screams and sings like it was 1973. I had a near-religious experience when they played Discipline, and actually pumped my aging, wrinkly fist during the opening bars of Red.
Better than I dared hope for.
Rick Wakeman (Grumpy Old Rock Star Tour): This was almost the exact opposite of the King Crimson show. It was just Rick Wakeman playing solo piano and telling stories and jokes between musical numbers. It’s kind of like having your favorite old British uncle tell stories about how he barely survived the 70’s and 80’s – that is if your uncle is also a musical genius who plays jaw-dropping, transcendent piano in between potty jokes.
Steve Hackett (Genesis Revisited):
This night at the Wilbur theatre (a run-down but funky theatre next door to the Wang) meant a lot to me. I’m a huge Genesis fan, and always preferred some of their older stuff when Steve Hackett was their lead guitar player. When I found out that Hackett and his band would be playing Genesis’ album “Selling England By the Pound” start to finish I knew I couldn’t miss this show. I don’t think I embarrassed myself too much when I begged Beth if we could do the THIRD show in 5 days. I didn’t get down on my knees – but I would have.
Anyways – I will fast forward the more maudlin bits, like how I may have wept just a little bit during the solo in “Firth of Fifth”, and sang every word to “Dancing With the Moonlit Knight”. In summary this was great music very well done by a bunch of very talented musicians. Steve Hackett is absolutely in top form and seems to really be enjoying himself. The crowd loved it.
Very special night. I had the time of my life.
My advice – If you see some of your old heroes out there on tour, a BUY THE TICKETS! MAKE THE TIME!