EXTREME / LIVING COLOUR Kickoff Thicker Than Blood Tour In New Jersey

January 29, 2024, 3 months ago

By Rich Catino

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Second leg of dates for the Thicker Than Blood tour at the Bergen PAC on January 24 in Englewood NJ, which I saw August 2023 at a packed Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ. Great double bill of music that works with a balance of hard rock, funk, and variety. Living Colour three fourths original members, singer Corey Glover, guitarist Vernon Reid, Will Calhoun on drums, and Doug Wimbish on bass since 1993 and the album Stain. Rock stars in style (how great is Glover's jacket and pants), stage presentation reflected the debut album Vivid with bright yellow drums, lighting, and energy. 

The 45 minute set covered the four hits from the debut Vivid, rocker "Middle Man" kicked things off, "Open Letter (to a landlord)" their melodic and often lyrically socially relevant side, and fun "Glamour Boys". Groove laden track "Type", bluesy ballad "Love Rears Its Ugly Head" from Time's Up. Half way through their set Wimbish took the mic, who if you didn't know (like myself), talked about how he played bass on early hip hop classics like Grandmaster Flash songs "The Message" and "White Lines" (with Melle Mel), and "Apache" by the Sugar Hill Gang. The guys jammed a rockin’ medley of said hits with the crowd singing along. 

Extreme continue celebrating the success of the latest album Six released in 2023, playing five songs from it. One of the few like Living Colour, with three fourths original members, singer Gary Cherone, guitarist Nuno Bettencourt, and Pat Badger on bass, with Kevin Figueiredo on drums since 2007. Back and forth between washes of blues/greens and purple lighting, Extreme hit the stage also all guns blazing, hitting hard with "It's A Monster", "Decadence Dance", and "Rebel". 

Cherone a great frontman and singer like Corey Glover, exudes style and energy always on the move, dancing around to the groove. "Rest In Peace" and "Hip Today" are a little more sign of the times from the ‘90s, but they brought it back to the old school with a crunchy medley of songs from the debut, "Teachers Pet/Flesh n Blood/Wind Me Up/Kid Ego" and right into "Play With Me" with Nuno playing that wild solo like its nothing. As with every Extreme setlist they slow things down with a couple acoustic tunes, "Other Side of the Rainbow" from Six as good as "Hole Hearted. 

Nuno takes center stage sits down with acoustic, gives shout out to Living Colour (and has some fun with Vernon Reid as his competition), and his duet with Chrone for massive hit crowd singalong "More Than Words". With "Get the Funk Out" sandwiched somewhere between new rockers "Banshee" and "Rise" it’s clear the new songs fit in well with the classics.

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KELEVRA - "The Distance"

KELEVRA - "The Distance"

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