We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.


Ferocious in four parts—Vernon Reid’s Jimified guitar, Will Calhoun’s defib drums, Doug Wimbish’s chunky bass, and Corey Glover’s soulful holler—Living Colour was never as beautifully loud or as poignantly pissed as on 1993’s funk-metal explosion Stain, the band’s last full-fledged album before its ego-tricky breakup. Whatever pop gloss the Grammy-winning group had spread on its 1988 debut, Vivid—”Cult of Personality” and “Open Letter (To a Landlord)” were Living Colour’s biggest MTV-assisted hits—would be smeared for that rage-glorious finale. “Go Away,” “Never Satisfied,” and “Postman,” Stain’s top-speed outbursts about societal ills, would set the stage for fellow angry young men in Rage Against the Machine—who, unlike Living Colour at the end, were able to get both the kids’ attention and a sweet chunk of their disposable income. Perhaps that’s why Reid, Calhoun, Wimbish, and Glover have casually rebanded for a scattershot world tour: not just to stir the waters again but to test those same waters for a longer-lasting reunion. After all, on their own, the musicians languished in the worlds of art-rock, jazz, and pop—especially Glover, whose solo attempt to cover “Imagine” made him sound more like John Tesh than John Lennon. So rest assured that Living Colour will have something wise to impart tonight—new material is promised in addition to a still-vital back catalog—and will speak its collective mind as majestically cochlea-splittingly as possible. Living Colour plays with Starr Cullars at 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $20. (202) 393-0930. (Sean Daly)