Living Colour

Monday, September 21, 2009| by Will Chen

Over the weekend, I got a chance to see Living Colour who I hadn’t seen since ’93 when they were supporting their Stain album. I’ve seen so many shows over the years that I can’t even remember them all, but I must admit that these days I don’t get out as much as I used to. That show, in ’93, was something I’ll never forget as it’s a rare occurrence to see a band in which each member is an absolute master of their respective instrument. In anticipation of the show I downloaded the band’s new album The Chair in the Doorway, a surprisingly good album given their ho-hum previous release Collideøscope (which marked the band’s reunion after a decade long hiatus). In some ways, the album is a rebirth of the band picking up where Stain left off genre jumping from blues to metal and everything in between. The band's growth and willingness to experiment is most apparent by the incorporation of some electronica elements perhaps inspired by Will Calhoun and Doug Wimbish's 1998 Jungle Funk project.

I was wondering if the band still had it. While these guys certainly aren't elderly, they're not the young guns branded into my memory. My worries were completely set to rest the second the band took the stage. From the first beat of Desperate People, the opening song, to their encore of Elvis is Dead the show absolutely rocked. Not only was the playing fantastic, the band somehow looked almost as youthful as they did back in the day playing with a focused yet playful intensity. In an age where virtuosity is downplayed and at times even made fun of, Living Colour prominently features four masters who aren’t afraid to flaunt it and do it with style (and ease).

Living Colour remains one of the most underrated hard rock bands of all times in my opinion. If you get a chance to see them live don’t miss it. Also, the band will be appearing tonight on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

 

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