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LIVE: Living Colour – Perth, 16 Dec, 2018

| 19 December 2018 | Reply

LIVE: Living Colour – Perth, 16 Dec, 2018
Living Colour with Ragdoll – Astor Theatre, Perth, Western Australia
Reviewed by Kevin Curran
Photography by Michael Farnell

Living Colour returned to Australia and were gracious enough to add a Perth date to this tour when lately this seems like a rarity with rock bands. This tour was a celebration of their debut record “Vivid” and its 30th Anniversary

Local support came in the form of Fyrebyrd, who I sadly missed, and Ragdoll who I have reviewed in this past. Tonight they had the bigger Astor Theatre stage to play on and it really benefited this power trio, with an almost stadium sound coming out front of stage.

Guitarist Leon Todd’s guitar tone was something else, with every note of every solo cutting through with precision. Some standout tracks from their debut longplayer “Back to Zero” gained a few new fans in the crowd. Drummer Cam Barrett who I have watched for years in this band, seems to have added even more fire to his playing and was phenomenal.

Cool, calm and collected frontman/bass player Ryan Rafferty belted out “All I Want” to close out a quick and powerful set. You can’t view Ragdoll as just a local opener as they have toured, put the hard yards in and above all else have an international sound and stage presence, they are as good if not better than those who are playing the big festivals. Well-done lads.

Living Colour came out on stage to a great ovation. Having sold out shows in Melbourne, tonight’s Perth show turnout was OK I guess, but the reaction and reception from the Perth faithful tonight was energetic.

There are no weak links in Living Colour. Vernon Reid’s guitar work is something else, Corey Glover’s has not lost a step with age, Being able to do so much with his incredible voice, and I must say he looked very sharp in his white suit.

Doug Wimbish has to be one of the best bass players I have witnessed live. Innovative and groovy as hell, his bass solo was a highlight. I for one am not a big fan of anyone doing extended solos in their set,  but using many effects and a loop pedal, he did a textured ambient bass piece that gave you goosebumps, it was that good!

Speaking of solo’s, drummer Will Calhoun had his moment to shine tonight too, but took a similar approach with using electronic hand percussion and sampling in with his drums to execute a very unique drum solo piece which I ended up enjoying too. It was different and stayed clear of the rock cliché.

Its been 30 years since ‘Vivid’ was released and I’m not sure they could have sounded any better, such was their world class musicianship.

Playing a good selection of tracks from the debut record, the band broke it up by playing a new song called “Come On” which I dare say has a kinda grungy Nirvana riff feel in the chorus, I dug this song a lot and will check out the latest record Shade.

I have to say the crowd tonight in attendance were a very strange bunch, never have I seen such a diverse looking mob, and the behaviour of some around me was peculiar to say the least – the funky track Glamour Boys brought up some entertaining dancing from a couple of oddball characters around me.

Type was a highlight for me with its killer guitar riff. You couldn’t help bang your head to this one. Cult of Personality finished the set on a high but the crowd wouldn’t let that be the end, making a lot of noise for the return of the New York legends.

Surprisingly the band finished the night with a great Soundgarden cover in Blow Up the Outside World. It’s a song they played last time they were in town as a tribute to Chris Cornell, who passed the day before their show, and the song appears to have stuck around in the set

It was pure musical brilliance tonight from Living Colour. If you are a music fan you missed out if you didn’t go, these guys are as good as it gets, outstanding!

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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