Adrian Belew Power Trio (with Very Special Guest Alonso Arreola) @ El Plaza Condesa

When one finds out that King Crimson (or any of its members) will be performing in your home territory, the only proper response, firmly set in stone, is an excited, squee-worthy “I HAVE TO GO”. And us who have had the pleasure to witness the handiwork of these titans of music in our simple time in this mortal coil, the experience becomes an addiction.

This time it was that master craftsman, Adrian Belew, the charismatic frontman of that Rey Carmesí since the 80s and whose work has marked the Mexican rock scene, specially in bands like caifanes (El Silencio), Santa Sabina (Símbolos) and Jaguares (Crónicas de un laberinto). And just to show his affinity to those songs made in México, he had for support Alonso Arreola, that virtuous bassist who previously worked his magic in La Barranca.

Alonso Arreola warmed up during 45 minutes the stage and the ambient at Plaza Condesa, leaving a few of the punters with mouths wide open. The bad apple in the bushel was some bellend in the audience that kept yelling insults and near the end was shot down by Arreola himself when he dedicated a bass tapping session that caused an uproar that drowned the man’s insults.

Arreola himself said at the end of his set that it was the moment everyone (including himself) was waiting for: Belew’s rekindling with his Mexican public, in the form of the Adrian Belew Power Trio. Belew was on guitar and voice, siblings Erick and Julie Slick (drums and bass) who are a pair of virtuoso kids who were hired back in February 2006 in the USA.

It should be mentioned that Plaza Condesa used to be an old cinema/theatre recently refurbished for gigs, with great acoustics, a great choice for an intimate atmosphere of musical delicacies (including a capuccino and a crepe in the VIP zone).

Setlist concentrated mostly on Belew’s recent solo albums (titled Side One and Side Two), with a little trip down memory lane towards those glory days with Robert Fripp and Co. (Dinosaur, Neurotica, Thela Hun Ginjeet). A special mention has to be made about ‘Writing on the Wall’, because the studio version had powerhouses Les Claypool (bass) and Danny Carey (Tool), and this is where Erick and Julie pulled their weight. Hate to resort to that cliché of “like those fine old wines” regarding Mr. Belew, but in this case, it does apply. Great showmanship, excellent attitude, and happy to transmit all his experience to a pair of kids that could very well be his own. Mesmerising.

A relatively short but scrumptious set, like a filet mignon, and certainly a good evening for a rainy Sunday in Mexico City. No better companion, except going to a gig for the first time with your wife for the first time as a married couple and finding a friend again after 20 years of separation. As the credit card would say: Priceless.

All thursdays are 2 x 1 at plaza Condesa. 

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