Sandra St. Victor


Living Colour, The Family Stand, Earl Greyhound and Danielia Cotton put on a show heard all the way in Wasilia.

It was a night of music with a purpose and everyone stepped up.  Here are some of my notes from Wednesday night:

Danielia Cotton.  Not only did she dedicate "Rare Child" to Obama, but she ended her set with a powerful rendition of Prince’s "Purple Rain".

Danielia Cotton


Earl Greyhound.  Here’s a group I’ve heard about, especially taking note after they showed up a few times on the Best of 2007 lists.  Wow.  Basically, they tore it up.  Funny, but it wasn’t in that overt, energetic way that, say, a Game Rebellion or Janelle Monae performs.  It was like their energy came through their sound while they seemed physically reserved.  It’s like they were doing some kind of conjuring.  Like they were 21st century channels for the Hoochie Coochie Man, The Voodoo Child, The Funk Doctor.  Maybe I was entranced by Kamara Thomas (below), looking like Angela Davis with a bass and not afraid to take a wide-legged stance to better ride the groove.  Nice contrast with the flower print dress she wore.

Kamara Thomas


The Family Stand.  Let’s just get this out of the way: The Family Stand never disappoints.  First, St. Victor looked fabulous!  The last time I saw here was at BoldasLIVE last year and, in the interim, homegirl–who looked great then–has been on the Archie Bell and the Drells’ "Tighten Up" plan.  Bravo!  Music-wise, they played favorites such as "The Last Temptation", "New World Order", "In the Name of What?", and "Sweet Liberation".  They also gave us a taste of new material with songs "Definition" and "How I Got Over", a grindy rock groove.  Oh, yes, I’m looking forward to hearing the new album!  And, with a pointed and entertaining twist, they changed their anthem "The Education of Jaime" to "The Education of Sarah".  In fact, Sandra prefaced the song by framing Sarah Palin as the offspring of Karl Rove and Ann Coulter.

Sandra St. Victor

Living Colour.  I have an admission: Wednesday night was the first time I ever saw Living Colour perform.  No, seriously.  I’ve seen every band member in some other incarnation: Vernon solo or with Masque, Corey solo, Will on his projects and Doug with Mos Def as part of Black Jack Johnson.  Individually, I’ve loved and respected their musicianship and know that they’re all great people.  But to see them together as a unit (and to see it right in front of the stage) was a real treat.  For example, though he doesn’t show it much, Vernon can turn on that playful, but real, rock star swagger.  Doug’s masterful in coloring the sounds, and he has a ridiculous effect kit.  It made me smile to catch Will smile as he killed his drum kit.  And Corey is a force of nature.  The set included "Middleman", "Ignorance is Bliss", "Type", "Go away" and "Time’s up" + a few others.  They changed up the tempo and did a nice cover of Tracy Chapman’s "Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution".  The set ended with Corey’s eff you’s to Palin, Guiliani and McCain and his repeated declarations, "We are all community organizers!"  He leaves the stage, and the band continues over this intense rockin’ head nod, which I’m sure they heard all the way in Wasilia.

Will Calhoun

Not sure how much money was raised, but I can tell you that the show did the other thing it was supposed to do: It girded and inspired us for the fight ahead.  As the Obama campaign manager told the audience, we can make a difference in the election if we all just call ten (10) people in swing states between now and the election.  I’ve done it and it’s really easy.  Just go to the Action Center for details.

Unfortunately, I missed openers Viva Mayday, so if any of you saw them, drop a comment here on their performance.

The full photo set from the night is on Flickr, which you can check out here.

Correction: It’s Wasilla, Alaska, not Wasilia.  My bad.

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  • Guy Routte

    I didn’t even see you there Rob. I agree it was an amazing night. I am a Earl Greyhound groupie for real. The other bands are my family, so it was truly a treat to see them all in the same night. Bravo

  • Jimmy Saal

    Now this is why I hated moving to Florida – missing great shows like this (oh, yeah, plus that whole red state thing down here). Thanks for keeping me up on all the great music going on in the Black Rock Nation. Keep up the great work.


  • Thanks, Guy. Yeah, sorry I missed you but, as you can see, I was up front and did not want to lose my spot. We’ll catch up soon. Keep me posted on Renegade Music and let me know how I can support.

  • Thanks for the comments, Jimmy. It was great to see so many BRC family in effect. But, we’re looking for you to scope the Jville scene. There’s probably some cool bands down there. Let me know what you discover.

  • Charlie Jones

    So I was just reading this review of the show, and I happen to have been there also. I figured since I was there the whole time I would fill you in on Viva Mayday. I had never heard of these guys before and was there mainly for Living Colour. Originally i was upset with myself for showing up so early but seeing these guys open up was awesome. They were certainly able to rock out but they didn’t fall into the realm of being too metal. Their best song was “Rebuild”, which was just awesome and did NOLA justice. I found a video they uploaded of the song from the show on youtube, which you should definitely check out if you get a chance.

    They were awesome and started off an amazing night.

  • Charlie, thanks for sharing your thoughts and the links. Will definitely check them out. Glad to get the feedback about their performance.

  • Smoking hot photos, Rob!

  • Thanks, David!