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Spotlights [Issue # 6 ]
Living Colour:

By Perry B.


Living Colour? They're back? Yes indeed! After a 6-year hiatus and several solo projects by its members the band toured briefly in 2001 and now, after landing a record deal with Sanctuary, are touring again in support of their new album, Collideoscope. And they musically graced us with their presence (and what a presence that was!) at the House Of Blues, Hollywood.

We got there just in time to catch the opening act, Tony C & The Truth: an interesting new band with a very talented vocalist and a good level of musicianship but otherwise lacking a solid direction in their songwriting and general persona (not sure how the turntables added anything, or if yes, what that was, to the sound of the band).

After a long opening set it was time for the masters to hit the stage! As energetic and fresh sounding as ever, and in front of a packed house the band performed material from the new album as well as old favorites. "Sacred Ground," "A ? Of When," "In Your Name," and the September-11th-inspired ballad "Flying" were my favorites from the new record and "Love Rares Its Ugly Head," "Time's Up," and their biggest hit "Cult Of Personality" my faves from their older material.

Living Colour were always known for their sociopolitical framework evident through their democracy-gadfly lyrics and the experimental nature of their music fusing jazz, heavy metal, R&B, electronica, and even Reggae, and they did not fall sort of that characterization, with Reid's caustic remarks about everything, from the economy to the war in Iraq to human rights, and the band’s audio palette adorned with improvisational escapades and real live "special sound effects."

And what can one say about the musicianship of this band, especially live? Will Calhoun and Doug Wimbish are perhaps the tightest and most innovative rhythm section on the planet with Glover's soulful wails and Reid's cacophonic genious completing the picture of one of the most invigorating combos in the current musical landscape.

The only minor note of the evening was the cover of AC/DC's "Back In Black." I still do not understand why they chose to do this cover (it is also on the new album). Glover's Brian-Johnson-imitation-falsetto is indeed weak and the arrangement and overall sound of the song has nothing groundbreaking to offer - very unlike Living Colour!

If Living Colour is playing at a venue near you don’t miss it. I guarantee you it will be one of the best shows you'd have ever seen.i


Collideoscope
Sanctuary

Living Colour Collideoscope


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