WHEN they first roared out of New York in the late 1980s, mixing up metal, funk, blues, soul and hip-hop, Living Colour blazed a trail for crossover rock bands such as Faith No More and Red Hot Chili Peppers without ever reaping the long-term commercial rewards themselves.
Their zeitgeist moment has long since passed, but this ferocious four-piece can still rock righteously in celebration of the 25th anniversary of their debut album Vivid, which they revisited in track order, kicking off with their Grammy-winning debut single Cult Of Personality.
Frontman Corey Glover has sensibly ditched the cycling shorts of old now that he has the aspect of a sedate silver-haired veteran. But there was nothing elderly about his possessed falsetto screams nor Vernon Reid’s fiery blues rock licks.
In place of the Martin Luther King samples of Open Letter (To A Landlord), Glover enhanced its gospel credentials with a verse of Amazing Grace and was joined on the uplifting protest chorus by a crowd in impressive collective voice, while there was plenty scope for updating Which Way To America?
The sound in the venue was a little soupy to do full justice to the intricacies and eclecticism of tracks such as the lightning-paced Funny Vibe or their idiosyncratic take on Talking Heads’ Memories Can’t Wait and interest waned whenever they dropped the momentum or headed too far off the beaten track, but there was no denying the overall potency of these mighty players.