And the celebration continues! Last summer, Living Colour embarked on a tour to simultaneously celebrate the 30th anniversary of their third album Stain and the 35th anniversary of their debut, Vivid. Last week they started touring again to keep the party going, and they stopped at the Tally Ho Theater in Leesburg, Virginia.
Living Colour formed in New York City in 1984. The band has remained largely intact over its history, with the only change in personnel occurring when original bass player Muzz Skillings left the band and was replaced by veteran musician Doug Wimbish. So the current lineup of Corey Glover on vocals, Vernon Reid on guitar, Will Calhoun on drums, and Doug Wimbish has been playing together since 1992.
This time around at the Tally Ho Theatre on Jan. 25, just like last year, the opener was the Alan Scott Band, who played a great set of their own originals. They’ve opened up the last three times I’ve seen Living Colour and they always deliver.
When Living Colour took the stage to start the show, singer Corey Glover made the announcement that the show was focusing on their Stain and Vivid albums. With that, that band opened with the song “Go Away.” The set, this go around, is a lot longer than that of the summer tour and the first eight songs were all from Stain.
The first deviation from the music of Stain was a cover of Bill Withers’ song “Grandma’s Hands.” This is only the fifth time the band has played this and it was awesome and unexpected. The follow up to that was “Open Letter (to a Landlord).” Then the band went heavily back into Stain, including a full version of “Hemp.”
Watch the official music video for “Open Letter to a Landlord” by Living Colour on YouTube:
The band pulled out all the stops for the best version of “Wall” I’ve heard to date. After the sound wrapped up, Corey Glover introduced bass player Doug Wimbish. He stepped back as Doug talked about playing bass on early rap and hip hop albums in the ’80s. Doug did a lot of session work for Sugar Hill Records. The guys then broke into a medley they called “Doughop.” It started with a killer version of Melle Mel’s “White Lines (Don’t Do It)” that led into The Sugarhill Gang’s “Apache.” They wrapped up with Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five’s “The Message.” Living Colour have done some incredible covers but this was one of the best!
Living Colour picked back up on their own catalog with “Glamour Boys.” They played a few more songs from Vivid & Time’s Up, including a drum/percussion solo by Will Calhoun, who has Virginia ties, according to Corey. The band played one more cover, The Clash’s “Should I Stay Or Should I Go.” The final song of the evening was a short version of “What’s Your Favorite Color? (Theme Song).”
Living Colour shows are some of my favorites. It’s like watching a family on stage. Vernon and Corey pick on each other, Will keeps the peace, and Doug is just out there doing Doug Wimbish things. Go see this band if you have the opportunity.
- Go Away
- Ignorance Is Bliss
- Leave It Alone
- Mind Your Own Business
- Never Satisfied
- Grandma’s Hands (Bill Withers)
- Open Letter (to a Landlord)
- This Little Pig
- White Lines (Don’t Do It) (Melle Mel)/Apache (The Sugarhill Gang)/The Message (Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five)
- Glamour Boys
- Love Rears Its Ugly Head
- Cult Of Personality
- Should I Stay Or Should I Go? (The Clash)
- What’s Your Favorite Color? (Theme Song)
Here are some more photos from Living Colour performing at the Tally Ho Theater on Jan. 25, 2024. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Marc Shea.