The Bars Of Our Youth: 9 Lansdowne (Boston, MA)

Living Colour
CREDIT: Seattle Weekly
In the late eighties during my college years, my roommate and I had the goal to hit a dance club every night of the week. I know, lofty aspirations. Forget about becoming a doctor or something meaningful. I needed to dance. My hair needed an outlet to express itself. Luckily for us, going to a school in Boston and living in the heart of the Back Bay left us with plenty of opportunity to hit up the night clubs throughout the city.

A favorite place was to check Lansdowne Street by Fenway. There was about a block or so that was littered with night club after night club. You could find any kind of music to suit your needs: house, punk, you name it. While I went more for house music for my clubbing needs, I did manage to experience other scenes.

Leaning more to the musical stylings of Madonna, I found myself a little in shock that I loved something as "heavy" as Living Colour. They were completely different to me: loud and hard, yet oddly danceable. I totally fell in love with them, well at least with "The Cult Of Personality." You can imagine how excited I was to find out that they were going to perform live at 9 Lansdowne, a club I frequented far too often. I must have used an entire bottle of Paul Mitchell Freeze and Shine to get my hair at an acceptable height and probably spent all my money on neon bicycle shorts or the properly torn acid wash jeans with which to bang my head at this show. Reserving just enough money to pay the cover and have about three Cape Codders, I may or may not have been a little under the drinking age, but no matter: my friend met the door man at summer camp. Yes, that's right. Summer camp. Of course, we were ushered in ahead of the line because obviously we had the right combination of high hair, spandex, and camp connections. Living Colour's performance met every expectation and more. The sound, their spandex, the entire vibe of the night was too cool. Just a big dance floor with a stage at one end and what seemed like a sea of people rockin' out in unison and little ole pasty white me trying to fit in the best I could.

I scoured the internet for information on that particular show and the only thing I could find was a Facebook listing of someone's top 5 or so live shows they saw in the '80s in Boston mentioning Living Colour at The Nine in 1989 which would be exactly when my hair was reaching stellar heights. --A Vapid Blonde

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