Friday, May 19, 2006

Living Colour - Melbourne Thursday 18/05/2006

Metro Melbourne

Two times in three days, Doug, Will, Corey and of course Vernon have rocked my world. Tuesday I saw the Living Colour storm hit town with a torrential downpour of hard rock. Last night the hurricane swirled through the Metro in Melbourne for what was another mind blowing musical display by the fella’s from New York.

Last night I hit the town with three others in tow, my main man Big 'Mad Dog' Dan, Jo and Theresa. All three like Living Colour (thanks to me), not their number one band, but they like the music.

Now what can I say that I didn’t in my previous review? (Don’t forget to read the Tuesday review it is awesome) Can a band really put on a completely different show within a short space of time? An everyday band would just produce a carbon copy of their first show. True musical genius’ would mix it up with passion, power and pumping songs, and that is exactly what the Living Colour genius did last night.

Gear once again kicked things off and did a great job, their catchy riff’s got some cheers from the crowd and so they should they were pretty cool, but no matter how good they were people were waiting to see the four men that CBGB’s introduced to the world, LC!!!

The Living Colour set began with a truly Aussie touch, the unique sounds of a didgeridoo played by an Aboriginal fella, who I will call Mr Smith. Mr Smith was really good with that hollow tree stump, how he got two sounds at the same time out of that instrument is beyond me, maybe he had a backing sound playing at the same time, I don’t know, but I will assume that he was making all the sounds, and what sounds they were, it was unexpected to see him play but a great touch.

He worked the crowd perfectly to prepare them for the Living Colour hurricane I mentioned earlier to hit, and hit it did. The legends of rock came out with a energy packed cover of AC/DC’s Back in Black from their Collideoscope album. Much better than the original and they know it.

The set list comprised of:

  • Back In Black
  • Wall
  • Ignorance Is Bliss
  • Funny Vibe
  • Type
  • Memories Can’t Wait
  • In Your Name
  • Sacred Ground
  • Bless Those
  • Postman
  • Ausländer
  • Flying
  • Love Rears Its Ugly Head
  • Times Up
  • Cult Of Personality
  • Middle Man
  • Tomorrow Never Knows

Mixed with the set from Tuesday night, what a compilation, WOW!!! Some special comments about the songs played. I think just after Flying was the time that Will Calhoun came to play, much like Tuesday he kicked off a drum solo to end all drum solo’s. He was sitting in a bright orange shirt that oozed the vibe that he was there to rock our worlds. He did nothing but that and now I know that nobody is better. He went wild, he went crazy, he beat those drums with such force, vigour, passion and precision that the entire crowd just stood back in awe. He managed to not only play his kit but also mix in other songs at the same time, Mr Calhoun I salute you.

After he finished his set he stood, praised the crowd and tossed his well-beaten sticks into the crowd. This is where my main man came into his own, Big Mag Dog Dan, 1 metre back from the stage, nonchalantly stuck his hand in the air and the stick stuck to the grip of his strong hands. A white-knuckle grip followed, as he was not letting that little piece of wood leave his hand for anything. What a catch it was!!! See the ceremonial passing of the stick at this link.

Bless Those was a new Doug Wimbish bass-based special that I personally loved. Very funky and very Doug. Plus there was a new aspect to this song that shocked me, Doug sung, my view was that he had a deeper voice than Corey and really he did a tremendous job. He also did some magic work in the finale where he worked that ‘freaky long’ bass to the extreme. Before these concerts I had respect for Doug, but after the shows I have a new respect for him, he is just so talented, and passionate about his music among other things. Seeing people in their element like Doug is on stage with his instrument brings out the best in others. The positive energy and aura he expels through his persona and craft radiates to others and he personally did make me feel alive inside. Doug, I told you last night when you came down to the crowd that you were a god, its true. Thank you, hope your feeling better too.

Now Vernon, Vernon, Vernon. Last night he was the ladies man, he tried to work the girls, not sure how much luck he had but he tried (oh who am I kidding all musicians get the ladies). Once again Vernon Reid provided proof as to why so many ‘in the know’ rate him as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. He twiddled and fiddled and worked the guitar like a dream. Not much I can say about Vernon other than he is, in my eyes, the best there was, there best there is and the best there ever will be.

Corey as the initial song suggested was back, Back in Black. Dressed in a black shirt, and pants he was ready to take this crowd on a journey, a journey to the depths of vocal excellence. Flying, in memory of the innocent 9/11 victims, he show cased some vocal extremes, as he did in pretty much every song. Corey Glover pumped from loud and hard, to hip-hop, to soft, to simply talking. He is the perfect front man for Living Colour; he has the right blend of talent and showmanship to compliment the unlimited instrumental talent of the rest of the band. He even gave Vernon a hand on his guitar last night, which was pretty cool too.

The concert ended with Tomorrow Never Knows where all members of the band and Mr Smith (the didgeridoo fella) got up and all jammed, Doug stood out for me in this part (no disrespect to the others), he was just on song.

The band saluted the crowd and walked off to the cheers and amazement of the adoring fans. It was a top night had by all and 2 hours of Living Colour class. Would do it all again in a heartbeat. Maybe they can make all my dreams come true and do a special gig, with Fishbone, Bad Brains, Urban Dance Squad, Faith No More and throw in Red Hot Chilli Peppers for a bit of fun. No matter how good that would be it wouldn’t take away from the memories of last night, thanks guys!!

What’s your favourite colour baby? LIVING COLOUR!!!


marg said...

Great reviews - have you considered a career in journalism?

Anonymous said...

Onski, I thought I was the biggest Living Colour fan in Australia, but you may have pipped me....However I only got to see them once in Sydney. Extremely jealous that Melbourne got them tree times with clinic thrown in!

Fantastic Review, albeit a bit biased....You and I know they are the best band in the world.