Living Colour brought their funky rock show to the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for a night of live music that spanned a 30-year career. And like a fine wine, this group from New York just keeps getting better as time goes by. During this concert, the musicians were at the top of their game, filling the venue with a “Funny Vibe” that turned up the heat on a chilly night.
The band opened their set with “Ignorance is Bliss” — though every fan in attendance was certainly in tune with Living Colour’s views on politics, racism and strife between classes. The songs that followed were tight, powerful and masterfully played — a trademark of the GRAMMY Award-winning band’s concerts. Of particular interest was the cover of “Who Shot Ya?” by Notorious B.I.G. This number, more than any, spoke to the increasing frustration felt by many across the nation. The audience responded accordingly by putting their hands up along with Living Colour in support of the message.
Vernon Reid, the band’s founder, proudly displayed his prowess as a guitar player with fancy fretwork and infectious riffs. He also mugged for the crowd, which made for a great night of live music photography. Missing from Corey Glover’s performance was his skin-tight neon colored body suit. But that didn’t matter; he looked dapper in a suit and tie and his voice sounded as great as ever. His vocal range remains impressive, a combination of aggressiveness and grace. Keeping the beat behind a sea of drums, Will Calhoun proved to be a heavy-handed yet precise timekeeper. He was also able to stick it to the fans in the best way possible with a remarkable drum solo that supercharged the crowd. Traditionally, the bass player acts as the backbone of the band, shying away from the brightest parts of the spotlight. But in the hands of Doug Wimbish, this musician and his four string instrument often took center stage, putting one half of rhythm section front and center in a lead role performance.
Living Colour played for nearly two hours before closing the set with “Cult of Personality,” the song that propelled them into rock -n- roll immortality. Though calendar read 2015, the band remains just as vivid as they were in 1988.