By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jul 07, 2024 at 7:21 AM Photography: Dan Garcia

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On the final night of Summerfest, New York hard rock legends Living Colour made one of their perennial visits to Milwaukee performing a mix of hits, originals and covers to a big crowd at the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard.

Living Colour
Singer Corey Glover (above) and guitarist Vernon Reid (below).
Living ColourX

The band – which includes original members Vernon Reid on guitar, singer Corey Glover and drummer Will Calhoun and longtime bassist Doug Wimbish, who has also been a member of Tackhead and the Sugarhill Records band – played for about 75 minutes.

Though they’ve performed here pretty regularly in recent years, with a Summerfest show in 2021 and a State Fair gig in 2018, plus indoor gigs in 2023 and 2016, I haven’t seen Living Colour since its Milwaukee debut at the UW-Milwaukee Union Ballroom in 1988.

Frankly, though their hair – and mine – is much greyer, they haven’t lost a step.

In addition to playing their biggest hit, “Cult of Personality,” they also did covers of the Prince-penned Sinead O’Connor hit, “Nothing Compares 2 U” and MC5’s “Kick Out the Jams” plus Wimbish was featured in a medley of Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five’s “The Message,” “Apache” and “White Lines,” on the original recordings of which he played bass.

Drummer Will Calhoun was featured in a drum solo and the considerable talents of singer Glover and guitarist Reid – whose fingers remain lightning fast – were on display throughout the set.

There was no encore.

Living Colour
Bassist Doug Wimbish (above) and drummer Will Calhoun (below).
Living ColourX


  • Middle Man
  • Leave It Alone
  • Ignorance Is Bliss
  • Bi
  • Funny Vibe
  • Kick Out the Jams
  • Pride
  • Nothing Compares 2 U
  • Open Letter (to a Landlord)
  • White Lines (Don't Don't Do It) / Apache / The Message
  • Glamour Boys
  • Love Rears Its Ugly Head
  • Type / People Make the World Go Round
  • Cult of Personality
Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.