Monday, October 5, 2009


Corey Glover of Living Colour - 9/11/09 Mexicali Live, Teaneck, New JerseyLiving Colour

September 11,

Mexicali Live

Teaneck, New Jersey

Middle Man
Desperate People
Elvis Is Dead
Drum Solo
Burned Bridges
The Chair
Young Man
Behind The Sun
Bless Those
Hard Times
Taught Me
Out Of Mind
Not Tomorrow
Cult Of Personality

Encore: Time's Up
Love Rears Its Ugly Head
Should I Stay (Or Should I Go)

I'm not entirely sure why but when I found about this Living Colour show, I had to have it. I dug this band since their debut album and early videos on MTV (back when MTV actually used to feature music videos.) I have their debut, Vivid, as well as whatever their next album was. For about a decade, decade and a half or so, I didn't really listen to them more than once every couple years or so. Never knew a single note of other music they put out. But still I just had to have this show.

Maybe it has a little to do with the fact that the show took place in Teaneck, New Jersey. I used to go there when I was a kid, to 125 Galway Place. (Weird how more than two decades later I still remember that address so well.)
My dad worked for many years in Teaneck when I was growin' up in northern New Jersey and I used to go to the office with him sometimes... maybe a few hundred times, actually.

And then there's the fact that this took place on 9/11. But if it was a show by Living Colour on 9/11 in Houston or Seattle or Champaign, Illinois, it wouldn't have the same appeal to me. But Teaneck, at the former Mexicali Blues Cafe, right in the NYC area..... yeah, this was something I wanted.

And so I got it and here it is. Pretty cool show. After some familiar songs, the show changes somewhat in the middle when they play their entire new album all the way through... good music, I just didn't know it. Who did?! It came out like a few days after this show! I'm now on my third listen and it's definitely energetic and well-written stuff.

One song in the show, a tribute to September 11, has brought me to tears during the second and third listen after I fetched the lyrics for it....


I jumped out the window to get to the parking lot
I'm writing this little song on my way down
Never in my life have I felt a heat so hot
I had to get out

Such a lovely day to go flying
The sky's so clear, the sun is shining
Fate has given me wings
Such a terrible funny thing

I was gathering up my nerve to ask out Carmen
She glanced out the window
Oh my God
The room It went away, now we're holding hands
Just not the way I planed

Such a lovely day to go flying
The sky's so clear, the sun is shining
Fate has given me wings
Such a terrible funny thing
Funny thing

I jumped out the window to get to the parking lot
I'm writing this little song on my way down

Such a lovely day to go flying
The sky's so clear, the sun is shining
Fate has given me wings
Such a terrible funny thing
Funny thing
Such a funny thing
Funny thing
Funny thing
Such a terrible funny thing

9/11 is something that has affected me immensely. Eight years later and I can't watch a single second of footage from that day; I've simply gotta change the channel or turn away or both. It's too much for me and these lyrics are... I don't know exactly but the song brings me to an incredibly staid state of being. The feeling of that horrible day is matched by the music here. The two musical forces behind Living Colour (no offense to Doug Wimbish on bass) -- Vernon Reid on guitar and Will Calhoun on drums -- are... very respectful of the nearly 3,000 who were murdered as well as the countless who have been affected. All of this together courses through me and makes me loathe everything in the world... or at least not understand it. But then who does? What an incredible song.

The audio ain't the greatest
but here's the performance of Flying from this show...

While that part of the show was something to behold, fun surely follows, particularly with Elvis Is Dead which features some sweet sax by guest musician Jeff Smith. And then holy freakin' Drum Solo, Batman. Will Calhoun is an unbelievable genius!

After the playing of the new album, the crowd gets to hear Living Colour's most famous song, Cult Of Personality. Check it out...

Three songs for the encore including a cover of The Clash's Should I Stay (Or Should I Go?) That one's not exactly played as 72 billion people know it and it might take some getting used to but it's pretty cool. Again, have a listen...

Unfortunately, the sound quality is just average. To me, that's not good enough. Well, wait... it is good enough but average is almost disappointing, actually, especially in this day and age of great recording gear. Also, just last night I listened to a show from Buckeye Lake Music Center (not quite a small indoor club) from 19-freakin'-88 and the quality of the Audience recording was a-freakin'-mazing. So why in 2009 is something a little muddy and distant like this is? Oh well. Still it's listenable and better than most of the Youtube vids of this show that I've checked out. And despite it not bein' the crispest Audience source, I've dug three listens of it and I'm sure I'll pull it out again someday to Press Play on once again.

Here's a pretty good "report" on the show....


The Chair In The Doorway is the new hard-hitting album from Living Colour available on September 15 from Megaforce Records. The recording is a colorful pallet of passionate and pointed prose with pulsing rhythms. The eleven tracks are divided between metal tinged tunes with hypnotic hooks and more vibrantly visual pieces that are molded with the band's trademarked melody and multi-part harmonies.

Heralding from New York City, Living Colour (Corey Glover-vocals, Vernon Reid-guitar, Doug Wimbish-bass and Will Calhoun-drums) formed in the 80's. Living Colour's unique urban rock blended free-form jazz, funk, hip-hop, metal and punk and their lyrics were often caustic and cautionary in pointing out injustice and racism in America.

Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones saw their potential and produced their early demo tapes with two songs appearing on their smash debut album Vivid. Their anthemic "Cult of Personality" won a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1989. Today, Living Colour is back with a vengeance touring in support of The Chair In The Doorway with a stop at Mexicali Live in Teaneck, New Jersey on September 11, 2009.

The venue's compact stage was packed with gear as both Vernon and Doug made full use of effect pedals and digitally driven enhancements. Calhoun's yellow drum kit was impressive and at one point Reid joked that Will has the Cadillac of drums. Behind the stage was a screen with visual displays that recorded shots of the band in bleeding colors, capturing their movements, and adding to what was already a very vivid stage presence.

Living Colour opened with the massive sounding "Middle Man". Vernon was cool and collected as he pulled concise, colorful chords from his black guitar. Wimbish was technical, too, using a variety of techniques such as tapping and thumping his fingers over the bass strings while mixing in rapid pulls on the neck in a dragging motion. Will, a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, was the driving force behind the band with his bold beats and tricky time-keeping.

"Desperate People" was daunting with demanding drumming, soulful stirring singing and intense instrumental exchanges. The song flowed into "Type" that blended rapid fire rhymes, roaring riffs and a dash of reggae effects.

Reid acknowledged the date (9/11) and dedicated "Flying" to those who died and were impacted by that fateful day. The song soared on Glover's silky vocals and the instrumentation went from spacious to haunting. The tune took a quick turn into David Bowie's "Heroes" bringing it to an even higher level.

Living Colour was edgy and engaging. Corey easily coerced the crowd to sing the refrain "everybody" and "Elvis is Dead", which included a sassy sax solo from guest player V Jeffrey Smith of The Family Stand. The sax was countered by Calhoun who was ever commanding on the kit.

"Elvis is Dead" segued into Will's solo that was daunting and included the use of an electronic drum pad to produce strange sounds and beats that were befuddling but beguiling. Returning to the kit Will used LED lighted sticks that emphasized his speed and motion.

The band took a quick break and returned to the stage announcing that they would be doing something different at this show by playing their new album in its entirety and sequence. "Burned Bridges" was bold with brash build ups and edgy effects. "The Chair" melded metal with menacing meandering. "DecaDance" was caustic with crashing chord structures.

"Young Man" was a rocking rant with racing rhythms followed by "Method" - a methodical and moody piece. "Behind The Sun" was feisty and funky and featured some harmonies. "Bless Those" - a personal favorite off the new disc - was reflective and robust with a catchy repeating refrain. From our perspective, the crowd quickly connected to this tuneful track.

"Hard Times" started off pretty but quickly turned to power packed pulsing prose. "Taught Me" was a mid-tempo melodic muse followed by "Out of Mind" with its thunderous time-keeping twinged with metal guitar tones and threatening bass lines and lyrics. "Not Tomorrow" had a slightly swamp feel to it with soulful singing, saucy string work from Vernon and smoky rhythms.

Living Colour closed their set with an animated version of their anthem "Cult Of Personality" which is still a passionate and powerful piece. "Time's Up" started with the sound of clocks that quickly collided into fast and furious fret work filled with frightening rhythms. "Love Rears Its Ugly Head" blended funk and metal and moved through a number of moods. The third song of the encore was the classic "Should I Stay (Or Should I Go) by The Clash - a cover that was featured on Vivid. Living Colour's interpretation was creative and crazed and left the crowd craving more.

Opening for Living Colour was Phantasm a young three-piece from Philadelphia. Phantasm was eager and energetic. Their set was a mix of high speeds and styles. Their songs melded metal with a punchy punk attitude with lots of changes.

The guitarist who handled lead vocals had a wide range and could hit high notes. The trio was very animated in their movements and music. At one point, the bass player was jamming and standing on the bass drum. Their thunderous tunes had theatrical moments and generally they were able to engage the crowd who were eager to see Living Colour.

by Rich and Laura Lynch,

09-11-09 a.k.a. 9-11-09 a.k.a. 9/11/09 a.k.a. 09/11/09 a.k.a. 09-09-11 Mexicali Blues Cafe

Download The Show Here

(320 kbps)

Part 1 ♦ ▬ ♦ Part 2
Recorded & Transferred By Bob Pitlak
Lineage: Zoom H-4>wav>Usb>Pc>Cd Wav>Traders Little Helper>Flac

In Remembrance of September 11, 2001

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the living colour. Excellent band

one says one number and the other another
but they were set at the same time. Hmmm...

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated