24 September 2003
The Garage, London
The Garage is a small venue for a big comeback like this tonight and a crowd of people unable to get in to the sold out venue had gathered outside hoping someone might arrive with an elusive spare ticket. Inside it`s hot, very hot and by way of support there`s just a DJ.
Suddenly Living Colour appear on stage tinkering with equipment and the crowd go nuts. New album Collideoscope has only been out three days and it`s apparent throughout that the majority of the audience haven`t heard it, particularly by the shocked expressions of appropriate set opener Back In Black. I spotted a couple of fans in AC/DC shirts staring in disbelief. Corey Glover effortlessly handles the Brian Johnson high pitched vocals.
The frantic Time`s Up is next and the band are already clearly enjoying their return to London with smiles all round. Vernon Reid announces that there`s a new record out and we`re going to hear a lot of it tonight and with that they kick in to A ? Of When. I have to say I find the production a bit odd on the record but tonight, with the best sound I`ve ever heard at a Living Colour gig, the new songs really make sense. I actually found myself wanting them to play more new stuff rather than the old classics.
The familiarity of Middle Man had the crowd bouncing along again. Vernon Reid appears to have reigned in his excessive playing of past Living Colour live performances and sticks to what`s needed. He remains pretty static throughout with a new double dreaded hair cut which resembles Predator.
Back to the new material and the debate continues on whether Flying and it`s Sept 11th references is emotive or a bit sick, though I`ll go for the former. Sacred Ground see`s Doug Wimbish making all kinds of weird noises on electronic pads and it has to be said he was a revelation tonight. Back in the day he was always seen as new boy, but tonight he really took centre stage with his commanding presence and flawless playing.
Nightmare City sounds like something Bad Brains might have done on record and live it takes on a new life even seeing most of the metallers bopping along to it`s heavy dub grooves. Towards the end a guest saxophonist joins the band for a solo and the sweaty smokey atmosphere certainly gave off the right vibe.
The crowd go wild for massive hit single Love Rears It`s Ugly Head and Corey Glover needn`t have bothered singing. Likewise the Talking Head`s cover and first album favourite Memories Can`t Wait goes down a storm.
This Little Pig is personally dispensable to me being a aggression for aggressions sake, though the same can`t be said for Glamour Boys with it`s African funky vibe. Type is played at practically double speed and Corey amazes us with his speedy Everything That Comes Around… refrain.
Of course Cult Of Personality is the one everyone wants to hear and the place goes mental, though there`s still time for an encore of Hendrix classic Cross Town Traffic.
A big thumbs up to Will Calhoun on the drums as I haven`t mentioned him yet, mainly as I could only see the top of his head, but his top drawer playing didn`t go unnoticed.
A welcome come-back then and one with an eye fixed firmly on the future given the concentration of new material. Come back soon!
Living Colour Set List:
Back In Black / Time`s Up / A ? Of When / Operation Mind Control / Middle Man / Flying / Song Without Sin / Trance / Sacred Ground / Nightmare City / Love Rears It`s Ugly Head / Ignorance Is Bliss / Memories Can`t Wait / Pocket Of Tears / This Little Pig / Glamour Boys / Type / Cult Of Personality / Cross Town Traffic