I don't have The Road To Red box set (yet) so do not buy digital downloads of concerts -- has anyone heard the July 1, 1974 concert who can shed some light as to why RF feels that was the only definitive point of that band alongside the recording of Red? To help clarify, I'm referring to the recent descriptions of KC9 as "The Fourth Definitive Formation" following 1969, 1974 (though only July 1, 1974 & studio), & 1981.
I realize that David Cross is good friends with the band again, but does that not seem to discredit Cross quite a bit? By the end of the 1974 touring I've read that Cross was being overpowered on-stage by the trio, yet they had been performing mind-blowing improvs all through 1972-1974 leading up to that. Does anyone understand why Fripp puts so much emphasis on the final concert? Besides likely being a pretentious statement, is this probably just something he holds in high regard internally and has yet to share, or were the renditions of Schizoid & Improv : Cerberus on that night so damn fantastic?
EDIT : found the following on the concert page of DGM -- Of this momentous concert John Wetton comments “If I shuffle off this mortal coil tomorrow that gig would be the one for me. That was the one…it was almost tearful, it was so emotional.” [endtease]Memorable for not only being the last date with David Cross but also for Fripp the first gig “since the 1969 Crimson where the bottom of my spine registered ‘out of this world’ to the same degree.” Of the improv, Cerberus, John recalls “It's very together. It's almost telepathic the stuff Bill and I are doing…The energy level is terrifying.” And so it is. An unbelievably poignant gig marking the end of an era but the beginning of something else. Just a week later with David Cross no longer with them, they entered the studio to start recording Red and just two months after that, King Crimson would "cease to exist."
And from the CC Live at Central Park product page -- The 1969 outfit began at the top and then disappeared. This team took two years to get to the same point of being-out-there-ness. As the sun went down and we moved into the ominous bass riff emerging from the "Starless" vocal, red stage lights faded up from behind the band. For me, a stunning theatrical moment highlighting the tension within the piece and the group: a moment of resonance". - Robert Fripp
I have the July 1st show. I prefer Asbury Park which was a few days before, but I think that is because it is a much better sounding show in terms of quality. 7/1 is a viciously aggressive show, like the 1974 tour in general. Their improvs are very intense and all the studio songs are played with a lot of power. 1974 Crimson is my favorite Crimson so you may have to mind the bias. It's a great show. Cerberus is a great improv. It is true that Cross isn't too audible, but it's not like Ikey circa 2008 or anything.