Live in Nashville, TN -- the 19th entry in the subscription-only King Crimson Collectors' Club series -- is the first volume to be released concurrent to the active performing and recording life of the same incarnation of the band. Perhaps more simply stated: The King Crimson featured on this live single CD is likewise the group actively recording and touring at the time of this disc's release. In fact, the turnaround time was less than four months from performance to issue. This mighty Crim features the talents of: Adrian Belew (guitar/vocals), Robert Fripp (guitar), Trey Gunn (Warr guitar), and Pat Mastelotto (percussion). The band is captured here during the opening performances of the Level Five North America tour, which took place in November and December of 2001. The standard practice and methodology of recording an album first and then touring to support it has been abandoned in favor of what Belew calls "risky listening," which involves working through new material in front of a live audience night after night prior to taking it into the studio. Although the tour's typical 90-minute performance has been truncated to necessitate a single CD, the track list for Live in Nashville, TN accurately represents the resonant fusion of road-tested warhorses such as "Red" and "Thela Hun Ginjeet," as well as the debut performance of the instrumental "eleKtriK"." Indeed, it is a glowing testament to the astounding musicality and discipline of this unit to be able to pull such a challenging endeavor off with such aplomb. This is especially evident when considering that this 21st century schizoid band is as musically informed by cutting-edge industrial artists Rammstein or Tool than any other ensemble or genre previously -- and often erroneously -- equated with King Crimson. The only caveat is that the sheer sonic potential found here is likened to that of the original 1969 quintet. The same parallel can likewise be drawn from the extraordinary appeal and strength of the material as well. As an introduction to this trailblazing unit, Live in Nashville, TN could arguably be bested only by extending the program onto a second disc.
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AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer