Bulgaria in Brief: 2 April 2004, Friday.
US rock prodigy Living Colour staged a concert in Sofia's Hristo Botev Hall Thursday evening. Thousands went wild to the mixed sounds of metal, rock, funk and jazz. The quartet, established in New York 1984, is the only metal band with all-black lineup to have hit big time.
Pic of Corey Glover
Living Colour Rips Up Toad's (from www.allaboutjazz.com)
By Scott H. Thompson
New Haven, CT
February 26, 2004
Oh sh-t! Forgot all about it! Rockers Living Colour are at Toad's Place in New Haven tonight. Can't find anyone home for a last minute late night. Oh well, their loss. A quick zip up the road and I'm there.
Toad's Place is a legendary rock club located right smack dab in the middle of historic Yale University territory. The Rolling Stones kicked off a recent tour with a surprise concert there. Everybody from Dizzy Gillespie to U2 has graced the cozy club's stage. Tonight though, it was that black punk funk pack from New York - Living Colour. As a matter of fact, Living Colour taped one of their “live” videos at Toad's.
Did I mention one of the ripping-est guitarist in the world was a main reason not to miss this show? Guitarist Vernon Reid is just incredible. Hendrix smiles when he plays.
But where was I?...oh yea...find a parking space. Then, a brisk walk down the tree-lined street dotted with Yalies and locals and up to the hallowed ground of Toad's. (www.toadsplace.com)
The opening act was finishing up their set. A long wait as they exchanged the bands' equipment. Wait, wait, wait. Man, I'm getting old. Why can't they start these things at 7:00 p.m.? That way you get home by 9:30 and asleep by 10. Ha.
Suddenly, the strobe lights kick in, the drums rumble, the guitar cries with feedback...and we're off to the races! Living Colour leaps into action. Hard. Driving. Thundering rock!
The opening attack was the Jimi Hendrix Band of Gypsys' “Power of Soul”. I'm in heaven.
“We spent a year and a half writing and recording four albums worth of material. ”
– Will Calhoun on CollideOscope
Lead singer Corey Glover grabbed the microphone, “We were supposed to be here three months ago...but a huge snowstorm...and we were stuck in New York City.” Glover sported a “Fuc- Bush” T-shirt. His voice - stronger than ever - his energy - leading his men into battle. (Glover played a lead role in the Vietnam War movie “Platoon.” He was also a VJ on VH-1 back in '94.)
Guitar slinger Vernon Reid had the whole audience jumping up and down in unison with him as he blazed away. His dreadlocks flyin'. You could tell Vernon and Corey were having fun, smiling leaning on a shoulder. (Vernon was born in London, but raised in Brooklyn. He spends leisure time mastering the harmonic theories of Ornette Coleman.)
Bassist Doug Wimbish stalked the stage...dreadlocked too. Hailing from Hartford, Connecticut, he had family in the crowd. Wimbish has worked with everyone from Jeff Beck to Busta Rhymes.
Drummer Will Calhoun was powerfully funky. Dreadlocked. He's recorded or toured with a diverse crowd from Jaco Pastorius to Herb Alpert.
Living Colour's discography is: Vivid (1988), Time's Up (1990), EP Biscuits (1991), Stain (1993), Pride (1995), remastered Vivid (2002), CollideOscope (2003).
These guys were together from 1983 to 1994, then split up for about six years and then reformed - to benefit our musical/physiological needs. Living Colour released “CollideOscope” recently and featured songs from that CD this evening. Very nice.
“We spent a year and a half writing and recording four albums worth of material,” drummer Will Calhoun says about “CollideOscope,” the band's first studio album in ten years. “It was a long drawn-out process, but I think we needed to go through it to make the right record.”
From one screamin' rippin' cut into another, Living Colour gave a great performance. These guys are back and in fine form. Power funk rock. Each player is so great at what he does. They make a fine band. Don't miss 'em when they're in your neighborhood.
P.S. My ears are still ringing.