Living Colour rocked the intimate stage at the Dragonfly Club on Tuesday, May 27, 2003, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The line up featured Vernon Reid on guitar and vocals, vocalist Corey Glover, Doug Wimbush on bass and vocals, and drummer William Calhoun redefined industrial strength musicianship.
LP and the Martini Brothers both appeared as warm up bands. Living Colour did not hit the stage until almost midnight. Reid dryly retorted, "Yeah, I know, it's after your bedtime". The group immediately shifted into gear with the hard rocker "Middle Man". Glover was animated on stage and projected his vocals over the dense sound of the band.
The major highlight of their performance was premiering new Living Colour material live on stage currently being recorded for their anticipated studio effort. The band treated the Harrisburg audience to selections of their unreleased compositions.
Huddled on stage in discussion, the band decided to perform "Operation Mind Control", the first of four new songs presented on stage, modifying their established setlist. Reid encouraged Glover to, "Wave the flag", and introduced, "This next song is for all America".
Living Colour was energetically charged up for the politically charged composition, which featured the lyric: "Operation out of control / It's a battle for America's soul".Glover stuck the miniature flag into Reid's guitar neck as he tore into a speed-lead solo. Reid later quipped, "Donald Rumsfeld likes a tuned guitar".
"Pocket Of Tears", another outstanding new tune, is a slow, strong rocker that featured a cool groove, which showcased a repeated guitar and drum break. Reid and Wimbush both supported Glover with harmony vocals. Reid ripped on frenetic leads, and Wimbush laid deep choice bass lines.
"This Little Pig" was a second impromptu addition to the Dragonfly setlist. During the early hour performance, members of the audience had been calling out for this particular number, and Living Colour obliged the request. Calhoun attacked his drumkit, giving the song a metal-beat feel.
The melodic "Flying" was the final new number of the concert. This exciting Living Colour original was a powerful, moderate rocker that really clicked with the crowd. Reid chopped at his guitar neck and played fluid leads. Wimbush had the last note and tagged a shuddering bass effect on the coda.
Their major hit single, "Cult Of Personality", closed the performance. Reid's guitar-crunch intro launched the driving beat, which hiccupped with a brief pause for effect. Glover belted out the last stanza as the prolific tour de force climaxed. The dwindled audience made noise in anticipation of their return, but the group opted not to post for an encore.
Brooke Zaras drove from Westminster, Maryland, to attend the show. She stated, "Living Colour would not be the same without fans like Law McMillan"; her brother who had driven in from Jarrettsville, Maryland. These fans had just seen the band the night before at their Annapolis appearance.
Harrisburg setlist: Middle Man * Memories Can't Wait * Sacred Ground * Leave It Alone * Operation Mind Control * Song Without Sin * Pocket Of Tears * Time's Up * This Little Pig * Flying * Open Letter To A Landlord * Type * Cult Of Personality
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beyond the Speed of Sound
Living Colour cranks into high velocity
by Timothy Tilghman