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Taken from National Rock Review (Aug 01, 2019)

Living Colour at the Riverside Newcastle

Living Colour turns back the clocks at the Riverside Newcastle as they vividly retrace their beginnings.

by Adam Kennedy


Living Colour: Vernon Reid and Corey Glover. PhotoCredit: Adam Kennedy
Living Colour: Vernon Reid and Corey Glover. PhotoCredit: Adam Kennedy


Living Colour paved the way throughout the late 80s/early 90s during somewhat of a funk-rock renaissance alongside groups such as the Dan Reed Network and Extreme. Such was the influence and importance of the band's seminal debut release that Rolling Stone included Vivid in the 'The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time'.


Last year marked the 30th anniversary of the group's double-platinum debut record and subsequently, the New York based quartet are presently touring the world relentlessly whilst celebrating this important milestone. The cornerstone of this landmark concert being a live performance of Living Colour's debut album in full - a rare treat indeed.


From the moment the four-piece takes to the stage with set opener Ignorance and the classic Cult of Personality, the fans sing every word wholeheartedly from the off. Not that Corey Glover needs any help tonight, his voice is in astounding shape and has aged just like a fine wine. Glover effortlessly hits the sustained high notes of Open Letter (To a Landlord), whilst simultaneously wowing the Tyneside audience.


Vivid itself is quite a complex piece of music. You just have to peer over the edge of the stage to see the size and scale of the effects boards at the feet of guitarist Vernon Reid and bass player Doug Wimbish to get the impression that this is no ordinary stage setup. Of course, tonight's show is delivered flawlessly with much enthusiasm and with studio precision.


Living Colour: Doug Wimbish. PhotoCredit: Adam Kennedy
Living Colour: Doug Wimbish. PhotoCredit: Adam Kennedy


Highlights of the show being the incredibly funky "Middle Man", the infectious "Glamour Boys", along with the up-tempo "Funny Vibe". The latter of which features some blistering fretwork from Reid. Tonight Vivid sounds as fresh and as relevant as it did back in 1988.


Performing the album in its original running order results in the almost 60-minute Vivid segment of the show concluding with the fast and furious Which Way To America? The cherry on the top of tonight's musical feast being an encore airing of the bands hit single Love Rears Its Ugly Head.


Living Colour: Will Calhoun. PhotoCredit: Adam Kennedy
Living Colour: Will Calhoun. PhotoCredit: Adam Kennedy


Tonight if you asked the Tyneside audience what's their favourite colour? It would definitely be Living Colour.


Such was the strength of tonight's bill that special guests Wayward Sons have actually headlined this very room only last year. The packed out crowd in attendance are certainly getting a lot of bang for their buck this evening.


With no time to waste the five-piece belted through crowd-pleasers such as the incredibly infectious Alive, Don't Wanna Go and the band's anthemic debut single To The End whilst also teasing a couple of tracks from their forthcoming sophomore album including new single The Jokes On You and Black As Sin. Wayward Sons will be back in Newcastle later in the year alongside Black Star Riders and are not to be missed.


US-based guitar slinger Jared James Nichols got the evening off to a great start with a ferocious blues-rock set featuring fan favourites such as Last Chance, Don't Be Scared and the incredibly catchy Baby Can You Feel It.


In the second half of the set, Nichols highlighted the versatility of his musical pallet as he gave the crowd a taste of what is to come with his latest Planet Rock playlisted single Nails In The Coffin. The latter of which showcased a new side of the artist which we've previously not seen, and it certainly impressed.


With only 30 minutes to make his mark Jared James Nichols moved mountains, quite literally, as he closed out his set with the classic rock anthem Mississippi Queen.



 
 

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