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Living Colour celebrates a "Vivid" anniversary

For Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

Living Colour prides itself on looking forward. But for the 25th anniversary of its debut album, "Vivid," the barrier-breaking black rock group is allowing itself a to enjoy a bit of nostalgia.

"It does feel like 25 years in some ways, and it's nostalgic, but in the grand scheme it also feels like two years ago," says drummer Will Calhoun, who co-founded Living Colour during 1984 in New York City. "It's still a little bit surprising when you get our there and you meet people and discover that you had an impact on their lives and that the music's been around that long.

"And it's a good feeling to listen to that record now and feel as an artist that it's still credible and it still sounds current. That's a very major effort we put towards that."

"Vivid," which was partly produced by the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger, was certified double-platinum and peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200, while the single "Cult of Personality" won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance. Living Colour was also named Best New Artist by the MTV Music Video Awards.

The group, which split up in 1995 and reunited in 2000, continues to record new music -- recently a new version of Robert Johnson's "Preacher's Blues" for its next album. But for now it's playing "Vivid" in its entirety, which Calhoun calls "fun" and considerably different for Living Colour.

"It's interesting to start the show with 'Cult of Personality' 'cause normally we end the show with 'Cult of Personality,' " says Calhoun, 48, who releases a new jazz album, "Life in This World," on May 14. "But it's great, man. It's great...[18.00] It's nice to play 'Vivid' top to bottom. We're sticking to the samples and the sounds and the tempos and playing the record as is.

"So here we are playing 'Cult' and 'Middle Man' and those songs again, down as the album is recorded, and having a laugh, playing 'I Want to Know' and having a laugh and playing 'Glamour Boys' and thinking about those days being in a recording studio and Mick Jagger producing and stuff. It's pretty cool."

Living Colour performs Friday, April 12, at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30. Call 248-544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.

Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

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