Right in the beginning here I wanna give you a crash course in music instruments for all those, who don't know this exotic monster yet. 
The Chapman Stick is a electronic bonded string instrument, which consists of one big board with 8 to 12 strings .
The original version was invented in the end of the Sixties by Jazz guitarist and session musician Emmett Chapman from Los Angeles. 
That sounds pretty easy now, but it ain't. There are only about 2000 musicians worldwide, who can play this instrument, and there are only about 5000 Sticks made so far. And one of the most well known players of this Stick is Tony Levin, bassist of Peter Gabriel and King Crimson and involved in thousands of other projects. No need to mention, that according to Billboard magazine, he belongs to the 10 greatest 4 strings magacians in the world. 
Though everything looks so god damn easy. 
And when Tony ain't on tour with Peter Gabriel  or with Liquid Tension Experience or with the California Guitar Trio or who so ever, he is dedicating his spare time to his very own baby, and that one again is either named the Tony Levin band or Tony Levin's Stick Men.  The difference between both is the amount of the musicians, the involved instruments and the way to play the music. taking off any commercial aspect. 


The current line up  of Levin's Stick Men, apart from himself, is drummer Pat Mastelotto, who we all know from King Crimson and other's......

and german born Markus Reuter, who live in Austria, and who is replacing Michael Bernier. Thanks to Markus, Tony has also found his way to the tyrolean capital Innsbruck and luv's it. 
And also Markus Reuter belongs to those 2000 Stick players, as much as he belongs to the Crimson family, thanks to his participation on the Crimson project and his former guitar craft studies with Robert Fripp.
 

We are here tonight at Munich's Feierwerk at the Orangehouse, one of five locations within this area, fitting in aprox. 150 people. For Tony himself this difference between huge Olympichall venues and tiny clubs must be pretty tough, but he is cool about this. And mind me, this is his very personal thing. Compared to a Peter Gabriel tour job, where he is reduced to 'Sledgehammer' and 'Shock The Monkey', he and his Stick Men can stretch out and develop a very personal atmosphere, as this is pure fun for all three of them.
And though this event didn't get much promoted, 80 fans of advanced music have found their way here to convince themselves about one of the very best bassists in the world and his band of course. 


Well, of course, this here is difficult stuff for the normal, average music lovers, as this is a complex and complicated music.
But while at other artists performances the music comes acrosse very tight, - the Stick Men can manage to give the performance a shortwhile very entertaining mood. And not a single second gets boring.
Next to many Levin solo tunes, Reuter's input and Mastelotto's drive, we get offered some well known Crimson tunes  inbetween. They are introducing their currentl release 'Open' which was cut live. And soon a new studio album will be released as well, of which we get to hear one or the other tune here as well. 



Watching the guys playing, exspecially Tony on the Stick does impress us a lot, exspecially, how many varieties this instrument provides. 
The announcements between the songs are handled by german boy Markus, who is proving, that he can easily hold the high quality standard leve of Levin, Crimson and Co..
The last piece of music of the official set is a great instrumentation of Strawinskis Fire Dance Suite - more than 10 minutes long. And this is indeed one of the highlights here. 


Of course we do get an encore, which includes 'Super Collider' a song from the first Stick Men Album named 'Soup' from the year 2010. And we cut off here with the Crimson classics 'Larks'Tongues In Aspic'. No we really can't complain. This has been 2 hours of great and entertaining music on a very high standard. But getting this into the right throat, as we say so, you just need the right musical understanding. But I guess, we all, who are here tonight do have this understanding anyway. 
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get some shots of the audiance (incl.myself :-) taken by Tony from the Stage here

Off Stage Snapshots can be found at the Diary