Sunday, December 21, 2008


Living Colour
Live August 19, 2005 – The Bowery Collection
MVD Audio

Part of a series of the CBGB OMFUG Masters series, featuring shows recorded at the now-defunct Bowery club, Live August 19, 2005 documents the reunited Living Colour revisiting and paying tribute to the then-endangered (and since closed) stage it often invaded in the 80s. Proceeds go the Hilly Kristal Foundation for Musicians and Artists (whatever that is). That in itself might be enough to make this worth spending your moolah on, but to say it helps to be a fan of the band is an understatement. The group is in fine form, having not lost a step during the breakup years – singer Corey Glover in particular sounds as powerful as he did in 1988. But if you’re not already into LC’s politically-charged riff metal, this performance is unlikely to appeal, especially given speed demon guitarist Vernon Reid’s tendency to s-t-r-e-t-c-h w-a-y o-u-t, whether the tune warrants it or not. (Sacred Ground didn’t really need to be 13 minutes long, did it?) But for those who do dig it, all the hits are here (Open Letter to a Landlord, Love Rears Its Ugly Head, Middle Man, Funny Vibe, Cult of Personality), plus songs that are either deep album cuts or filler, depending on your perspective. Everything is given fiery readings, with sound that’s equal to a good bootleg. If you still have fond memories of rocking out to Vivid and Time’s Up back in the late 80s, this will bring a smile to your face. If not, you probably oughta not bother, unless you’re a CBGB fanatic who wants anything connected to the legend or you want to support the cause.

- Michael Toland

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