Monday, November 24, 2003

Review : 11/23/03 - Living Colour - Coach House San Juan Capistrano
thanks PfunkJazz

LC did a really great set. Fully two hours; no break. The sound was really great and sightlines were excellent. However, Coach House has the all-time shittiest seating arrangement: dinner tables right up to the edge of the stage. Best seats go to first reservatons. I was told by one of the managers: "This is our pure money area. We really discourage that behavior." That's uptitey-whitey in OC, y'know. Still, they were all pleasant and polite and laughed at most of my smart-ass remarks....

Can't say I was really pleased with the selectons. CDs available were Doug's TRIPPY NOTES, COLLIDE-O-SCOPE, Will's HOUSEWORK (solo drum) and something else. I got all these anyway so there was nothing to get. T-shirts were disappointing. The short sleeve tour tee is black with white lettering and all tour stops on the back. Just can't figure a LC short with no color. They were $20. They had (an) olive green fishing hats with black logo for $18 and black knit beanies also. Still no color! The hooded sweat pull-over was black with a med-size logo going across the chest. In-freakin' COLOR!!! I went on and copped that cuz I was freezin' my butt off and it'll be great to have when I'm at the gym. (Fishing hats might work out if ya tie-dye them).

I also met up with Dennis, the gutiar-tech, and chatted with him a bit about the tour. I also stupidly wandered up the stairs where the roadie crew was watching the Simpsons. Walked right in behind Vernon and didn't even see Corey on the couch.

The actual set was tight and sweet. ... Lordy! I'm just not used to reserved seating anymore. I wander all about the room singin' and keepin' the groove. Still, it was a blast.

Here's the setlist (verbatim) I copped off Dennis:

Song w/o Sin
Funny Vibe
Middle MAn
? of When
Operation Mind Control
** something scratched out **
Go Away
In Your Name
Sacred Ground
Love Rears
Holy Roller
Time's UP

I was on the Vernon side of the stage. Tuesday I'll be sticking to the Doug side of things.

"Flying" was termed 9-11 love story and was played with a heavier funk accent. Will loads a click track as it fades and leads into "Sacred Ground".

"Type" added reggae flavor with Vern singing on "Police and Thieves".

"Crosstown Traffic" was the encore. Dedicated to the "designated drivers" by Vernon.

We all agree the set was a great mix of songs from their whole repertoire. The crowd was really into it, though they hadn't got up off their ass to much. They did brisk business at the merch table and the guys came out to do autographs.

Living Colour @ the Coach house Review - San Juan Capsitrano
thanks david
... They opened with Song Without Sin and it sounded great!!!! They next went into Funny Vibe!!! It has been a while since I had herd that one. The other tunes were as follows (not in order): Middle Man, Memories Can't Wait, Cult of Personality (the closer), Time's Up, Lover Rears, Type (unbelievable speed on this one.....went into reggae jam featuring Police and Thieves), A ? of When, In your Name (kicked ass), Operation Mind Control (blows the studio version to pieces) Holly Roller, Sacred Ground, Flying(beautiful and haunitng) Go Away, Ignorance is Bliss, Nothingness (majestic) and Cross-town Traffic was the encore.

The guys seemed to be having a good time. They sounded great!!!! They announced that they would stick around and sign cds. I didn't bring mine and we had a bit of a drive ahead of us but I will be hangin' out in Hollywood on Tuesday!!!

ContraCosta Times - Living Colour at Bimbo's Preview

Rap 'n' roll quartet alive, well, touring
By Yoshi Kato

Like the saying goes, someone surely would have invented a band like Living Colour had it not come about on its own.

Forming in the mid-'80s, Living Colour featured a charismatic vocalist in Corey Glover; a freethinking guitarist, Vernon Reid, whose considerable playing styles range from abstract to introspective to furious; and the two-headed rhythm core of stealth bass guitarist Doug Wimbish (who replaced founding member Muzz Skillings) and powerhouse drummer Will Calhoun. It was a group that, until it broke up in 1995, was a wholly different sum of its considerable parts -- one based in rock, but with metallic, funk, jazz and avant-garde seasonings.

The New York-based quartet helped establish the foundation for the rap 'n' roll movement of the late-'90s and was one of the rare African-American artists to receive modern-rock radio airplay before Lenny Kravitz and Ben Harper and, more recently, the Roots, Black Eyed Peas and OutKast.

"That's the norm," says Calhoun, about Living Colour laying the foundation for the subsequent commercial successes of others. "You have a lot of people who imitate. But there are artists that create a lot of things, a lot of sounds, a lot of ideas."

Living Colour is back to build on its own legacy, which was helped in the beginning by Mick Jagger, who championed the band by producing its first demo and having it open for the Rolling Stones on the "Steel Wheels" tour in 1989. "CollideOscope," Living Colour's fourth album and first new studio effort in 10 years, was released on Oct. 7. And the group is currently on a 12-city North American tour in support of it, making a stop Wednesday night at Bimbo's 365 Club in San Francisco.

The two-time Grammy-winning band's restart began with Calhoun and Wimbish. The duo have a drum & bass unit called Headfake and were working on an album with guest vocalists. One was Glover, who also participated in some live Headfake dates. Headfake played with him at New York's famed CBGB club in December and brought Reid on board as a surprise special guest.

So almost three years ago, a reunited Living Colour played four of the group's songs, including its signature number "Cult of Personality." The audience was overjoyed, and the former bandmates agreed it was time to collaborate once more.

"It was a process working together again as Living Colour. Not a grueling one, but it was a process, because our heads were in a lot of places" with all the members' individual music projects, Calhoun says, during a phone call from New York. "We went through a sort of writing curve where we wrote maybe four record's worth of material before getting to 'CollideOscope' stuff. ... We had to get back into a team concept, which is what Living Colour is."

"CollideOscope" features two recognizable covers among its 15 tracks -- AC/DC's "Back in Black" and the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows." Along with Aerosmith's "Walk This Way., The AC/DC classic was an unlikely fixture in the Harlem of Calhoun's youth.

"Outside of the early hip-hop or the inner-city communities, a lot of people don't realize that when the DJ thing just starting to take off, there wasn't a party where 'Walk This Way' and 'Back in Black' weren't spun," he says. "So we have an older, '70s connection with that song, outside of being fans of the band."


• WHO: Living Colour, with Tony C and the Truth
• WHEN: 8 p.m. Wednesday
• WHERE: Bimbo's 365 Club, 1025 Columbus Ave., S.F.
• HOW MUCH: $20
Bimbo's Website

FW Weekly : Collideoscope Review

Living Colour
(Sanctuary Records)
By Ken Shimamoto

When the members of Living Colour rip into AC/DC's "Back in Black" in the middle of their new c.d., Collideoscope, the effect is jarring. Almost as jarring, maybe as the times toward the end of their initial run when they shared stages with the Rolling Stones and Guns 'N Roses. Here were these NYC brothas with sensibilities broad enough to encompass rock, jazz, funk, and hip-hop, proudly playing the shit out of metallic rock like they owned it. This was metal, but with a difference. The wildest flights by guitarist Vernon Reid (from Ronald Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society) could veer into the out-of-control atonality of Sonny Sharrock, Corey Glover's voice was more melodic than your average metalhead's shriek or growl, and the supple interaction between the riddim section -- drummer Will Calhoun (a Berklee alum) and bassist Doug Wimbish (Sugar Hill Records' house four-stringer) -- was about roll as much as rock. Living Colour with mainstreamers like the Stones and GNR? What the funk?

These guys have specialized in socially conscious roar and thump since their breakthrough Clear Channel/MTV hit "Cult of Personality" (although their sophomore c.d. Time's Up was a

stronger statement), and they continue in that vein here with tunes like "Operation Mind Control" ("It's the battle for America's soul") and "Nightmare City." The shadow of 9/11 hangs over Collideoscope like a pall. "Flying" trumps every other song inspired by that day, eschewing jingoistic claptrap and focusing instead on the human dimension of the tragedy.

"? Of When" addresses "homeland security" paranoia, while "In Your Name" calls out the makers of the "war on terrorism" with more subtlety than either Dylan's "Masters of War" or Ozzy's "War Pigs."

More to the point, Living Colour can still deliver the musical goods. Reid takes a back seat to nobody in the shred sweepstakes, Glover's lost none of his impressive range or leather-lunged power, and the Calhoun-Wimbish engine room alternately pounds like a jackhammer and careens like a runaway locomotive. As Glover sings on "Choices Mash Up," "This is what you want, this is what you get."

HearSay - Living Colour Collideoscope Review

What set Living Colour apart from other rockers of the early ’90s wasn't their skin color, but their smarts. Both lyrically and musically, they crammed more ideas into their best songs than most bands ever had, period. At times, though, the end result buckled under the weight of all those jazz, hip-hop and experimental flourishes. Collideoscope, their first CD in eight years, is a clean, focused distillation of everything Living Colour does best. The dabbling in non-rock influences is present, but doesn't get in the way of the fresh, crisp rocking going on.

The 9/11 attacks still weigh heavily on their minds, giving their social consciousness a platform. "Operation Mind Control" and "Choices Mash Up" (the latter quoting Public Image Ltd.) torch mass media, while "? of When" and "In Your Name" do the same to militaristic foreign policy. In the middle of all those big statements, however, comes "Flying," a deeply felt ballad about two lives lost on that day that steers clear of sappiness or simple-minded sentiment. The two covers make sense for the band, but for different reasons. On one level, four black rockers doing AC/DC's "Back in Black" seems like an obvious choice, but where a band like Fishbone might play it for irony, Living Colour plays it straight, virtually note-for-note at that (and proving for any doubters that they can still rock out). Their take on the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" is a vehicle for guitarist Vernon Reid and bassist/beats and ambiance guy Doug Wimbish to dig deep into their bags of sonic tricks. They still get a little preachy and melodramatic here and there, but if this is any indication, the other volumes of stuff they recorded at their reunion sessions ought to be well worth the wait. --

Grade: B

By Mark Reynolds

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