In 1989, Living Colour were on top of the world– a bonafide hit song received tons of airplay in “Cult of Personality”, and the band, back home in New York, played their old haunt CBGBs. Professionally recorded, the show saw release sixteen years later.
One thing about Living Colour live is the enormous amount of energy they bring to the stage– this is never really captured appropriately on record. The best example of this is “Middle Man”. A fairly muddling song on album, it explodes in live performance here. Likewise, powerful performances of “Funny Vibe” and “Open Letter to a Landlord” (feautring an extended intro a superb lasst chorus with guitarist Vernon Reid dropping out and bassist Muzz Skillings picking up his line).
In addition, several then-new songs made appearances at this show– a bunch were destined for their next album, “Time’s Up”, like “Love Rears Its Ugly Head” (getting a fantastic reading here that captures the energy of the piece better than the studio take does) and a somewhat overly forceful “Solace of You”. In addition, two songs that never surfaced on an album (“Soldier’s Blues”, “Little Lies”) are on this record. While neither is exactly fantastic, it’s nice to hear “new” old material.
Something stops me from giving this five stars, probably because I’ve seen them do better shows live (if they come anywhere close to you, check them out!), but this is a fantastic disc. Recommended.