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  • Axl Rosenberg


On Thursday night Vince and I got to go see Living Colour perform their soon-to-be-released new album, The Chair in the Doorway, in its entirety, for an audience of maybe fifty people in a small rehearsal space in Brooklyn.

Needless to say, it was friggin’ awesome.

This was a true fanboy moment for us. As kids, we obsessively studied every note of Vivid, Time’s Up, and Stain (which remains our mutual favorite LC offering, popular opinion be damned). Now here we were, with the band’s friends, family, and some other lucky members of the press, in a room so small that no matter where you stood you were pretty much in spitting distance of the band, getting to hear their album before anyone else, played live by the band. Not just blasted over some speakers. Living Colour knew how to do their listening party up right – they even supplied free ear plugs for everyone (“We’re still really loud,” vocalist Corey Glover announced after the completion of the opening song, “Burned Bridges.”).


Of course, the whole thing would have felt anti-climactic if the album sucked – but luckily, it doesn’t. Like all of Living Colour’s best work, The Chair in the Doorway is musically diverse, challenging, and, oh yeah, rockin’ as all get-out. Highlights included the heavy grooves of “DecaDance,” a super-bluesy cover of Little Annie’s “Bless Those,” the emotional semi-ballad “Taught Me,” and the catchy as hell “Method.” It was also great to finally see Door‘s first single, “Behind the Sun,” played live, in all its gentle, falling-rain-like finger tappin’ glory. I’m working from memory here, so it’s hard to give vivid descriptions of each track (no way in hell I was taking notes while the band was playing ten feet in front of me), so for now, you’re just gonna have to believe me: these songs rule.

Actually, you don’t just have to believe me. “DecaDance” is currently streaming here, while the equally heavy “Out of My Mind” is streaming here. “Behind the Sun” – which the band dedicated to the survivors of Hurricane Katrina – can be downloaded for free here, and you can watch a video of the band performing the song at the listening party here (it’s not embeddable).

And, while we’re at it, here’s a video of the band playing “Bless Those” at a previous performance:

IMG_0135When the band was done playing the album, a young voice near the front shouted out “ONE MORE SONG!” Turns out it was the son of drummer Will Calhoun. “What do you want to hear?” guitarist Vernon Reid asked. While at least one attendee had the gall to request “Cult of Personality” (indulge in clichés much, dude?), Calhoun the Younger asked for “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”

“That’s not even our song!” Glover protested. Then the band started to play the song anyway. “You’re gonna indulge this behavior?” Glover asked Reid.

This was a truly intimate, familial, once-in-a-lifetime experience, and Vince and I were incredibly happy to get to be a part of it. The Chair in the Doorway comes out September 15 on Megaforce; we can’t recommend it enough.


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