Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Living Colour & Extreme Sydney, Australia Review - EXTREMELY GOOD

Extreme are a band that haven't toured Australia very often in their 40 odd year career, but the three times that they have done so have been certainly times to remember. The first time they visited was in 1993, when the album III Sides To Every Story was released. I would have only been 2 years old back then, so I had absolutely no idea who Extreme were until later. My introduction to Extreme came at a young age thanks to the original Super Mario Bros Movie from 1993 (that I ironically watched only a few years later), the soundtrack had an all star line up of rock & pop acts of the era from Capitol Records. One of the bands on there was Extreme with an original song 'Where Are You Going', a 6 year old me really enjoyed the track and i've been kind of hooked ever since.

Nuno Bettencourt is an absolutely incredible guitarist and every time you see him live it's always something special. The last time I saw Extreme here, was in 2018 - and they toured Australia with Mr. Big as a double billed act. That concert was also great, bringing Mr. Big to Australia for the first time. But this year in 2023 they brought over American proto-funk band Living Colour. Formed in New York in 1983, Living Colour have certainly made a name for themselves over their long and very successful career which blends of hip hop and funk. Their current members include Vernon Reid (Lead Guitar), Corey Glover (Vocals), Will Calhoun (Drums) and Doug Wimbish (Bass). Will Calhoun is absolutely a phenomenal drummer.

Photo supplied: Cameron Hons
As very seasoned and true to themselves artists, Living Colour and Extreme show how to actually do a world tour properly. So far, Extreme's Thicker Than Blood tour has gone all across America, and it recenly hit Australia as of last week, with a show in Brisbane expected to conclude the Australian tour on September the 13th, before heading over to Japan. Most big touring bands these days don't even bother to add Australia to their so called "world tour" even if they do visit Japan. 
Photo supplied: Cameron Hons
Living Colour have joined Extreme for most of the world tour too, and they're both a great fit with each other. Will Calhoun is an absolute madman. Doug Winbish is probably one of the busiest and most spectacular Bass Players to ever see live. Venon Reid is an amazing guitarist and Corey Glover who has been in the group for a really long time as well still has the best vocal performance. As for Extreme, it is as if they have only been away from Australia for 5 minutes rather than five years. Most touring bands these days hardly ever perform new songs live with only adding 1 new song to the set and then focusing on a load of classic material. I remember when new album tours were a big deal and now most bands these days don't really do that. But Extreme turned it around, and performed pretty much nearly half of the album live with a mixture of old and new songs.
Extreme have a new album out called "SIX" and I recently reviewed it on this site so check that out too. Gary Cherone as usual, is a very energetic frontman, came out with some sort of eyepatch, but still manages to jump around like a 15 year old. Singing clearly and never showing signs of tiredness. Nuno Bettencourt's guitar talent once again is inhumane. I went to this concert with a friend who really also likes Extreme and he was just absolutely blown out of his mind at this show. We both like Living Colour and Extreme so this lineup worked well. Pat Badger also sang a few pieces here and there as well as playing bass, and Kevin Figuerido what can I say. Amazing drummer. 

Photo supplied: Cameron Hons

New songs in the Extreme set included #REBEL, Other Side Of The Rainbow, BANSHEE, Small Town Beautiful and Rise. The new songs sound great and exciting and fit in with the classis really well. The set included hits such as Decadence Dance (oddly enough after the opener, it usually closes the show), an extended version of Play With Me, Cupid's Dead, Rest In Peace, amongst others. Then there was a mixture of acoustic numbers like Hole Hearted, Midnight Express and More Than Words. For both Living Colour and Extreme, the full sold out Enmore Theatre crowd sung along to every word, and guitar parts too sometimes, and of course ending with the highly fitting Get The Funk Out, before the encores. 

Photo supplied: Cameron Hons

Let's hope the next time Extreme and Living Colour come back to Australia again isn't so long. They are both much loved here and are welcome back any time. 

SIX by Extreme is out now. Living Colour are currently working on a new album. 

Living Colour Setlist - Sydney Australia September 12 2023

01 Ignorance Is Bliss
02 Go Away
03 Auslander
04 Funny Vibe
05 Nothing Compares 2 U (Prince Cover)
06 Glamour Boys
07 White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)
08 Open Letter (To A Landlord)
09 Love Rears It's Ugly Head
10 Type
11 Cult Of Personality
Photo supplied: Cameron Hons

Extreme Setlist - Sydney, Australia September 12 2023

01 (It's A) Monster
02 Decadence Dance
04 Rest In Peace
05 Play With Me (opening with We Will Rock You intro)
06 Other Side Of The Rainbow
07 Hole Hearted
08 Cupid's Dead (opening with James Brown's Sex Machine intro)
09 Am I Ever Gonna Change
10 Midnight Express
11 More Than Words
12 BANSHEE (with Fat Bottomed Girls intro)
13 Take Us Alive
14 Flight Of The Wounded Bumblebee
15 Get The Funk Out

16 Small Town Beautiful
17 Song For Love
18 Rise

Photo supplied: Cameron Hons


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