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LIB recap: Living Colour rewards the early arrivers

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Living Colour’s Vernon Reid (left) and Corey Glover perform Sunday on Life Is Beautiful’s Downtown Stage.
Photo: Erik Kabik/Retna
Jason Harris

It’s a double-edged sword, going to a festival so early in the day. On the one hand, it’s yours. Crowds are sparse. Food and drinks are easy to come by. And it’s impossible not to have a good view of whatever band you want to see. It’s almost like it’s your own private festival.

On the other hand, when a band as on point as Living Colour plays at 1:30 in the afternoon and delivers one of the best sets of the entire fest, you want a large audience to share that with you.

While small, the crowd was mighty, vibing off the thrash-hop, funk-metal, jazz-punk and whatever else the New York City legends threw our way.

This is not a nostalgia act. These cats can bang. “Middle Man” was hot. “Cult of Personality” was everything you’d want it to be (and to my knowledge the only song in the fest that doubles as entrance music for a WWE wrestler). And A set-closing cover of The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go” was a masterful display of speed and energy, lyrically and instrumentally.

It was a must-see. Next time, get your ass up early.

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