EXTREME Gets The Funk Out In New Jersey

August 30, 2019, 18 days ago

Rich Catino

gallery hard rock extreme

Those of you who remember the beginnings of Heabangers Ball on MTV, Extreme videos "Little Girls", "Kid Ego", "Mutha (Don't Wanna Go to School Today)" were played often. And, just like many of the other hard rock, glam metal bands, especially from the tail end of the decade, Extreme were misunderstood by the lighter songs like “More Than Words” and “Hole Hearted”.  With that said, I don’t have to tell you that the Boston boys brought a hard edge, and unique synergy, to their stop at the Starland Ballroom on August 23rd. Since the reformation 2006-ish, its original members, singer Gary Cherone, guitar virtuoso Nuno Bettencourt, and bassist Pat Badger reunited along with Kevin Figueiredo on drums since 2007. 

Kicking off with a trio from the kick ass rockin’, varied Pornograffitti album; “It ('s a Monster)”, “Li'l Jack Horny”, “Get The Funk Out”…they meant business. But it was tracks from the album III Sides To Every Story that showed the bands diversity and range. For “Tragic Comic” a smaller second drum kit is brought out, three part harmonies, Nuno on acoustic as the boys lay back and jam. Cherone and Nuno go semi acapella for the start of “Am I Ever Going to Change”, “Stop The World” is a ballady break early on, to a funky groove jam in “Cupid’s Dead”. Bettencourt straps the acoustic back on and shows his skills for “Midnight Express”, back to the electric on “Flight Of The Wounded Bumblebee” where his facial expressions says it all. Always an enthusiastic band live, but Gary is really a star, running around, dancing, interacting with bandmates (giving Nuno the middle finger, with a smile), and the crowd. Cherone is the Freddie Mercury of the genre. The only disappointing part was, again, they only played one from the debut, “Play With Me”. “Decadence Dance”, “Warheads”, and a spot on cover of Queen’s “We Are The Champions” closes a two hour set with a bang and the crowd singing.

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