Final Fripp?

December 4th, 2010 by Eric Anderson

11:45pm. Manhattan–Financial District.

Morning View

Morning View

Up at 9:30. Salutations around 10. At 10:45 I went by the Starbuck’s on the corner hoping to get breakfast. But apparently the Starbuck’s near Wall St keeps banker’s hours. So I headed over to the WFC early to get breakfast there.

As soon as I walked through the door I heard soundscapes and RF was soundchecking. So, from about 11 to 11:30 I got to wander around the shops and order breakfast with SS ringing through the halls. Quite a treat!

At the performance, I ran into Erik and Adam. Erik and I have chatted on-line before but never met in person. And this was the first time I’d met Adam. We chatted about Crim stuff and compared notes on Friday’s performances.

The noon performance was very strong, less tentative and tender than Friday’s afternoon performance. The Starless/Starlight piece was presented again. And overall lots of good ‘scapes with strong play over the top. Good delicate transitions between pieces and a careful ending. Afterwards a quick poll among all the die-hards was that this performance was a keeper.

I headed over to Border’s near Broadway and Trinity and did some browsing before stopping back at the hotel room and then heading uptown to a Ducks bar near Union Square to watch the Civil War. I didn’t know what to expect but the place was PACKED with Ducks fans. I ran into a friend and ex-coworker, Mike. Mike had recently moved to the city and we caught up a little bit while watching the game.

I left at halftime to get back to the hotel and had a quick bite to eat and watched the Ducks get the game more or less in the bag before heading over to the WFC for the final show of the residency.

Again I found Erik and Adam up front and joined them for the performance. The atmosphere was similar to Friday night, a formal performance in the darkened atrium. Another strong set. For me, not quite as strong as the afternoon set, but stronger than the Friday night performance. The Starless theme was once again a welcome guest this night.

What does it mean to compare these performances one against the other? It’s almost pointless as they are each their own thing, but I guess they provide reference points one to the other.

At the end of the performance, once RF had completed acknowledging the audience, he stood at the center of the stage, cupped his hands beneath his heart, and threw them into the air with a leap. It felt like a gesture of thanks and completion, joyfully delivered. A unique sentiment that I’ve never seen RF offer to an audience of which I was a part.

RF has indicated that these could be his last major performances as a working player. If that’s so then I’m glad I was here, and I can’t think of a much more honorable and interesting series of shows for him to undertake. However, I hope this isn’t the last time I get to sit in a room while RF plays his guitar.

Views on the walk out

Lights and Palm Trees

Stairway Crowd

And the walk back to the hotel

The Walk Home

Now, watching Blue Velvet and drinking wine.


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