Steve Vai and Tool’s Danny Carey to Celebrate 80s King Crimson on Tour

April 1, 2024

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King Crimson‘s beloved Eighties albums Discipline, Beat, and Three of a Perfect Pair will be brought back to life in the fall on a special tour featuring guitarist Steve Vai, Tool drummer Danny Carey, Crimson singer/guitarist Adrian Belew, and Crimson bassist Tony Levin. The Beat tour kicks off September 12 in San Diego, California, and wraps up November 8 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ticket sales begin April 5.

Crimson founder Robert Fripp reanimated King Crimson in 1981 after a seven-year hiatus. The only member from the Seventies version he brought back into the fold was drummer Bill Bruford. He recruited Levin from Peter Gabriel’s backing band, and Belew was just finishing off a stint touring and recording with Talking Heads.

The new lineup gave the group a completely different sound. “The whole Crimson catalog is special, but there has never been a band like the Eighties King Crimson, before or since,” Belew tells Rolling Stone. “It was the perfect storm of elements, a rich, complex sound, yet still accessible. It was intense yet playful. We often played in multiple time signatures and utilized the newest technologies: guitar synthesizers, electronic drums, and the Chapman Stick. You simply had never heard anything like it. I have had so many fans tell me the Eighties Crimson quartet was life-changing for them.” 

This four-man lineup of King Crimson created three albums in four years before splitting up in 1984. They reunited in 1995 for THRAK, but Bruford left the band in 1999, and Fripp once again ended the group in 2008. When it reformed in 2013, only Levin was asked back. (Bruford retired from drumming in 2009.)

Fripp put King Crimson back on ice following a Japanese tour in late 2021. But the devotion of their fans inspired Belew and guitarist/promoter Scrote to dream up the Beat tour as a way to honor the group’s Eighties work. “This music resonates deeply with me,” Vai says in a statement. “Adrian, Tony, and Danny are unique musicians with an otherworldly insight into presenting rich musical complexities in a very accessible way, and I am looking forward to searching each other’s musical minds in real time on stage. I’m sure sparks will fly.”

“This is going to be quite a tour,” adds Tony Levin. “Revisiting some of my favorite music is a treat in itself, but in company of this stellar lineup, I expect to have my musical butt kicked! And it’s also great that we’re not just playing a few shows, we’re hitting it hard. So, Road Dogs are coming to your area soon.”

Tool are playing shows in May and June, but they’ll be taking a break while Carey goes on this tour. “Tony, Steve and Adrian have always been a source of inspiration for me since the beginning of my career,” Carey says in a statement, “and now to be able to share a bit of my musical journey with them is a dream come true. There’s nothing better to make some sparks fly and light a fire under your ass than getting out of your musical comfort zone, and I can’t think of any other three guys I’d rather do this with. I think I can speak for all of us when I say I hope all of our fans are as excited as we are about this tour.”

The setlist is still coming together. “I have chosen 14 songs from the trilogy,” says Belew, “and now I’m considering the muscular compositions, which ones we should do, and how to approach those. You have two of the originators of this music, and two of the greatest players respective to their instruments, so there’s no telling where we can go. Just imagining what Steve and I may develop together, I would say there will be surprises.”

Belew also says the tour will be an emotional experience for him since he’s been so many years since he’s played this music. “It’s a magical feeling,” he says. “This has been five years in the making! I expect to be seriously nervous at first until I overcome the inherent challenges, but the one thing that will calm me the most? The joy of the audiences.”

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Here are the complete dates for the Beat tour.

9/12 – San Jose, CA @ San Jose Civic
9/13 – Napa, CA @ Blue Note Napa Summer Sessions at Meritage Resort
9/14 – Los Angeles, CA @ The United Theater on Broadway
9/15 – Anaheim, CA @ City National Grove of Anaheim
9/17 – San Diego, CA @ Humphrey’s Concerts
9/18 – Phoenix, AZ @ Celebrity Theatre
9/20 – Austin, TX @ The Paramount Theatre
9/21 – Houston, TX @ Bayou Music Centre
9/22 – Dallas, TX @ Majestic Theatre
9/24 – Atlanta, GA @ The Eastern
9/26 – Fort Lauderdale, FL @ The Parker
9/27 – Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
9/28 – Clearwater, FL @ Ruth Eckerd Hall
9/29 – Charleston, SC @ Charleston Music Hall
10/1 – Charlotte, NC @ Knight Theater
10/2 – Durham, NC @ Carolina Theatre of Durham / Fletcher Hall
10/4 – Washington, DC @ Warner Theatre
10/5 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
10/6 – Glenside, PA @ Keswick Theatre
10/8 – Richmond, VA @ Carpenter Theater in Dominion Energy Center
10/9 – Red Bank, NJ @ Count Basie Center
10/11 – Boston, MA @ Shubert Theatre
10/12 – Hampton Beach, NH @ Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
10/14 – Halifax, NS @ Rebecca Cohen Auditorium
10/15 – Moncton, NB @ Casino New Brunswick
10/17 – Montreal, QC @ Theatre Maisonneuve
10/18 – Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
10/19 – Rochester, NY @ Kodak Center
10/21 – Albany, NY @ The Egg
10/22 – Greensburg, PA @ Palace Theatre
10/23 – Reading, PA @ Santander Performing Arts Center
10/25 – Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theatre
10/26 – Cincinnati, OH @ Taft Theatre
10/27 – Royal Oak, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
10/28 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
10/30 – Indianapolis, IN @ Murat Theatre
11/1 – Chicago, IL @ Copernicus Center
11/2 – Milwaukee, WI @ Pabst Theatre
11/3 – Madison, WI @ Orpheum Theater
11/4 – Minneapolis, MN @ State Theatre
11/6 – Denver, CO @ Paramount Theatre
11/8 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Theater at Virgin Hotels

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