Prior to Living Colour’s first of two performances at Chicago’s classy City Winery, activists from the local chapter of Black Lives Matter urged the audience to join the fight for social justice. The message was met mostly with cheers, though there was still a heckler who could be heard, suggesting that the group’s message of unity, equality for all and never judging someone by simply the way they look is just as timely as ever.
Perhaps its no surprise the players went onto to influence similarly innovative acts such as Rage Against The Machine, Lenny Kravitz or Sevendust, and after a night that echoed the hunger of their CBGB beginnings, there’s potential to sway yet another generation.
In fact, those subjects were equally prevalent on material presented from the forthcoming album “Shade,” which will mark the New Yorkers’ first studio recording since 2009. Along with preserving Living Color’s commitment to shaking up the lyrical landscape, the band also kept right in step with its unconventional blend of alternative metal, hard rock and funk throughout nearly two blistering hours.
And much like the group’s late ‘80s/early ‘90s ability to attract everyone from club kids to inaugural Lollapalooza attendees to Rolling Stones fans finding their seats, the early show audience spanned Mohawk-sporting punks, sweater-bearing senior citizens and practically everyone in between. However, those differences instantly dissolved as the foursome blared through “This Little Pig,” “Ignorance Is Bliss” and “Love Rears Its Ugly Head” with the fury of guys half their age, while seat-climbing front man Corey Glover had no trouble coaxing everyone to their feet during “Cult Of Personality.”
Beyond their own material, Living Colour also displayed its seemingly disparate muses, which included Marvin Gaye’s “Inner City Blues” (accompanied by Chicago’s own Anne Harris on violin), The Clash’s “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” and James Brown’s “Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine.” Perhaps its no surprise the players went onto to influence similarly innovative acts such as Rage Against The Machine, Lenny Kravitz or Sevendust, and after a night that echoed the hunger of their CBGB beginnings, there’s potential to sway yet another generation.