UK 2013 @ Highline Ballroom, 4/19/2013
Old prog rockers John Wetton and Eddie Jobson, with younger guitarist Alex Machacek and killer drummer Virgil Donati, rumbled through town to play our own spectacular Highline Ballroom, in the latest incarnation of the band UK (known presently as UK 2013).
The song selection here was killer for fans of the band that began in 1977 (yes, way back when), opening with a bunch of songs from the very first UK album including “In the Dead Of Night,” “By The Light Of Day,” “Presto Vivace,” “Reprise and Thirty Years,” and “Nevermore” all played pretty much non stop and expertly, with Machacek, the youngest member here tackling some truly difficult Allan Holdsworth moments and Donati, well what can you say about Virgil Donato other then…spectacular!
Some heavy dudes have manned the drums in UK; Terry Bozzio, Bill Bruford, so these parts are none too easy…but Christ, Donati made it seem so.
Not that Wetton or Jobson weren’t up to snuff. It’s great to see this duo together again, with Jobson both manning his complicated keyboard runs and violin solos as Wetton, singing these songs about as well as he ever has and playing big bad bass parts to boot!
Jobson’s treated us to a violin keyboard solo of “Nostalgia/Prelude/Theme of Secrets,” the band’s hit “Alaska” (one of my all time favorite U.K. tunes). The regular set ended with the rousing “Caesar’s Place Blues” and “The Only Thing She Needs.”
The encores were King Crimson’s “Red” (the band had already run through a killer jam on K.C.’s “Starless” earlier in the set), then Jobson and Wetton stood center stage as Jobson played a portable keyboard set-up for him and Wetton sang the sweet “Rendezvous 6:02.” It was a great night of equally great music from UK version 2013 at the Highline.