I'm still wowed by the show Saturday evening.
The first opener, Graham Elvis was difficult to understand in parts (I actually didn't get his full name until looking it up just now). He had some fun guitar music and some rockin' pop-type tunes. However, based on what we were there to see, he didn't really fit. His guitar playing was good enough, just very different from the Adrian Belew/King Crimson that the fans were expecting.
The next act - Andreas Kapsalis was incredible guitar. I pegged him for a Guitarcraft student. His style and poise was that of a very experienced musician very focused on creating music from his instrument. Watching him play was an experience to behold. He even broke out a Crimson song - "Frame by Frame". Before starting, he commented that he was playing it as a tribute to The Man and after playing it very well, remarked that he could have chosen an easier tune. It wasn't until the last tune - a flamenco style song - that we discovered he's part of a trio. He's also local, so there will be lots more opportunities to catch his shows. I'm looking forward to that.
Then Adrian came on stage with his new Power Trio - backed by the Slicks, Julie and Eric. On the second song, "Dinosaur", the crowd really started getting into the music. I, however, had a brief moment of deja vu. In 2001 at the Chicago Theater, King Crimson played. On the second song, Adrian Belew lost his voice. The rest of the 2 hour set was totally instrumental. The second song was, you guessed it, "Dinosaur". However, his voice stayed firm and he brought the house down with several tracks from his recent three albums, several Crimson songs - including a thank you to Andreas Kapsalis by playing "Frame by Frame", and even a couple of the "classic" Belew tracks from "Op Zop Do Wah". I have to say that I was very impressed with his bassist and drummer. Despite their age - 20 and 19, respectively - they had great poise and commanded the audience's attention during their solo portions of various KC songs (songs written with very specific musicians in mind - Tony Levin, for instance).
What really wrapped up the performance for me was the energy and pure joy that came off the stage during the performance. Adrian Belew is a man who loves what he does and there is no mistaking it. The audience couldn't help but be wrapped up in the music and whisked away for 90 minutes. He wasn't there to converse with the audience, he was there to perform his craft (even said early in the show "You know how much I like being here, so let's get on with the music.").
I left the venue with a signed copy of "Side One". Defnitely one of those more memorable experiences.