Living Colour has released a real gem to its fans with “Live at CBGB’s…”. Having witnessed the stellar Living Colour perform live only twice (on the Time’s Up and Stain tours), I have been yearning to hear more live material from one of the 20th Century’s greatest American rock bands.
This newly-released live show from CGBG’s in New York (1989) does not disappoint. The mix is very clear, and the performance by all four original members of the group (Reid, Glover, Calhoun and Skillings), is phenomenal. Vernon Reid’s mastery of his instrument is demonstrated in abundance on this record, rivalling the live work of any legendary guitarist. Not having the benefit of a studio rhythm guitar track, Reid pushes himself to recreate the lush soundscapes and fierce rhythmic assaults featured on the albums using only his single guitar and masterful use of effects to further embellish his playing.
Will Calhoun and Muzz Skillings illustrate what a great rock/soul rhythm section can accomplish, and Corey Glover’s powerful vocal range is met and EXPANDED (!) on this live workout. He manages to take a few cues from Prince and really belts it out to eyebrow-raising effect on most of the record.
Recorded between the release of the albums “Vivid” and “Time’s Up”, this show features several songs from Time’s Up, not yet released when this show was recorded. “Pride” and “Fight The Fight” are performed in nearly note-perfect form…along with a couple songs that THIS L.C. fan has never heard before.
This recording is a masterpiece, and showcases the soulful and learned capabilities of this exceptional band. If you are a fan of Living Colour at all (especially their early era), you MUST pick up this album.