UK prog-rock giant King Crimson is kicking off its US tour in Clearwater this summer

It’s been 20 years since the Bay area’s seen the band, but Robert Fripp & co. are back on July 22.

click to enlarge King Crimson, which plays Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida on July 22, 2021. - kingcrimsonofficial/Facebook
King Crimson, which plays Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida on July 22, 2021.

King Crimson is kicking off its U.S. tour on July 22 at Clearwater’s Ruth Eckerd Hall, and tickets go on sale Friday, June 11 at noon.

Just about every classic progressive rock band you can imagine has been associated with King Crimson at one time or another. A third of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer founded the group with sole standing member Robert Fripp in 1969, and drummer Bill Bruford quit Yes in 1972 to take on a 25-year stint with the band alongside Asia lead singer John Wetton for the first two of those years.

The group behind “21st Century Schizoid Man” was set to stop at Ruth Eckerd in June of last year—originally with special guest The Zappa Band (. The former hasn’t rolled into Tampa Bay—or for that matter, any of Florida, since a 2001 tour stop at Jannus Live (then known as Jannus Landing.) But with vaccines rolling out so smoothly, it seems that Fripp & co. feel that a whole year of waiting to hit the road has been more than enough.

The date for King Crimson’s “Music Is Our Friend” tour kickoff is sandwiched in between Ruth Eckerd appearances by REO Speedwagon celebrating 40 years of its Hi-Infidelity album, and Firefall’s co-headlining tour with Orleans and Pure Prairie League.

Other Florida stops on the run include Orlando (July 26 at the Phillips Center), St. Augustine (July 24 at The Amp) and Delray Beach (July 23 at Old School Square).

While this will indeed be opening night, and positive anxiety levels will be high, it is worth noting that The Zappa Band—initially scheduled to open the show—will no longer be on the bill in Clearwater, and it will remain that way for the first ten dates of the tour. Taking its place will be the California Guitar Group—a trio of multicultural guitarists that have been close to the court of the Crimson King since the late-’80s.

King Crimson tour kickoff tickets that were either refunded from the past booking, or still left from the pre-COVID days, go on sale Friday, June 11 at noon and start at $53.25.

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About The Author

Josh Bradley

Josh Bradley is Creative Loafing Tampa's resident live music freak. He started freelancing with the paper in 2020 at the age of 18, and has since covered, announced, and previewed numerous live shows in Tampa Bay. Check the music section in print and online every week for the latest in local live music.
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