Review and photographs by Timothy Reidy
This promised to be a once in a lifetime concert, and it was. The members of UK played a full set at The Egg in Albany, and it was exceptional. The band met and exceeded all expectations.
Most of UK’s self-titled album was performed, and, as an added bonus, we were treated to some red-and-black numbers of King Crimson – “Starless and Bible Black” and “Red.”
Eddie Jobson was a monster on keyboards and especially violin, which provided the most visual appealing aspect of the band; his clear plexiglass violin was particularly artistic. The support players – especially guitarist Alex Machacek – did not seem to miss a step, at times sounding even better than the original recordings. UK has always thrived on the drummer doing a lot of the work, and following in the footsteps of such previous UK drummers as Bill Bruford and Terry Bozzio, Virgil Donati definitely delivered. And with all of the precise performances swirling around him, bassist John Wetton sang great.
The band stated they had not played in Albany in 30 or so years – it was a concert at the Madison Theatre back in 1979, if I’m not mistaken.
UK closed their concert with “Rendezvous 6:02” as a duet piece that was simply jaw-dropping. The sparse crowd gave plenty of standing ovations that were well deserved. I feel lucky to have attended this show, which brought all what one is looking for in a progressive rock show.
Excerpt from David Singer’s review at The Daily Gazette: “Jobson, the draw and the leader, lingered in the back for a good part of the show, controlling things subtly from his synthesizer. He played his violin briefly on the second song — ‘By the Light of Day’ — and finally came out to play for real an hour later. Wearing all black, round, darkened sunglasses, he wailed on his violin, sacrificing melody for speed and volume. This was good old blaring fusion at its best. Every tune had several movements to it, always an ethereal spacey middle part, and every tune earned a full standing ovation. The crowd was tiny, probably the effect of a $75 ticket price, but they carried the enthusiasm of an audience twice its size.”
UK SET LIST
In the Dead of Night
By the Light of Day
In the Dead of Night (reprise)
Starless and Bible Black (King Crimson)
Carrying No Cross
Caesar’s Palace Blues
The Only Thing She Needs
Red (King Crimson)