Last night on Seth Meyers, Living Colour performed “Come On” from their new album Shade, released Sept. 8 on Megaforce Records. Frontman Cory Glover delivered the opening with calm style: “One of these mornings I’ll have the strength to tell you how I feel / Won’t be afraid of / What’s being said / See, I won’t scream or kneel.” As the song opened up into the chorus, Glover’s vocals fused with guitarist Vernon Reid’s devil-worship solo segments to raise rock-funk hell. And it transcended the less-than-ideal sound mix for hard rock on the Late Night set.
Paste recently spoke with Reid about getting the band back together, “post-racial” America versus Trumpland, and calling Axl Rose out on stage for his lyrics in 1989. Unsurprisingly, it’s been a bumpy ride since then, and since 2009, when Living Colour released their last record, A Chair in the Doorway.
Now, the quartet of metal jazz funkers are enjoying success and a Seth Meyers performance in the wake of the blues-inspired Shade. “We were trying to, hopefully, invoke some colors of the blues in our own way,” Reid told Paste.
With Cory Glover up front and fiery on vocals, Reid on guitar, bassist Doug Wimbish and drummer Will Calhoun, the band went from nailing “Come On” to closing out the night with a web-exclusive rendition of “Wall,” which was the last track on 1993’s Stain.
The lyrics in “Wall” preclude a “post-racial” America: “We hate each other ‘cause of race and religion / We hate each other ‘cause of class and position.” Said Reid on race in rock music:
“That problem is the problem of pre-determining the definition of what black is and what black isn’t. If we wanna go there, we’re talking about things you can’t help, like what shade you happen to be—literally, the lightness and darkness of your skin goes into the equation. To me, it’s like a disease. People harp on rock because they look at it as “white boys with long hair.” But we started this shit, so I love what other people have brought to it. I love where it’s gone; it’s the Sex Pistols, but it’s also Rush.”
Read Paste’s review of Shade here, and check out the band’s bonus performance of “Wall” below.