Review By Darren McIntyre Photos By Scott Anderson
Extreme is a hard rock band from Malden, Massachusetts originally formed in 1985 when Messrs Cherone & Bettencourt got together and started writing songs. They caught the attention of A & M who signed them on the spot, they delivered their debut album in 1989. The boys brought us their blistering album Pornograffitti which was a mixture of soul, and funk with real classic elements of rock music that really brought them to mainstream attention. The album was certified Gold in May 1991 and double Platinum in 1992, the boys have brought us 6 studio albums, 2 Compilation Albums & 2 EPs, tonight the boys roll into Glasgow on their Thicker Than Blood Tour, please strap yourself in as I walk us through this blistering 24 strong setlist that will take us all the way and then some –
Extreme, the iconic rock band known for their virtuoso musicianship and high-energy performances, took the stage at O2 Academy in Glasgow, delivering a night that will be etched in the memories of fans for years to come.
From the first chords of the opening number to the final encore, Extreme showcased their musical prowess and undeniable chemistry. Gary Cherone’s vocals soared, effortlessly capturing the audience’s attention and drawing them into the band’s sonic universe. Nuno Bettencourt’s guitar wizardry was on full display, leaving the crowd in awe of his technical skill and innovative solos.
The setlist was a well-crafted journey through the band’s extensive catalogue, blending classic hits with tracks that showcased their evolution as musicians. From the off the boys entered the stage like the all-conquering heroes as they greeted this sold-out crowd with their opening salvo “It’s A Monster” Extreme demonstrated their versatility, seamlessly transitioning between hard-hitting rock and heartfelt ballads.
We upped the tempo with the awesome “Decadence Dance that really got the crowd on their feet and just brought the place to life as we cheered and punched the air as the boys strutted around the stage and brought back the songs of their heyday that just brought smiles to our faces, as the crowd cheered wildly the boys hit us with an uppercut in the form of # Rebel that just delivered a killer guitar growl that was followed by colossal drums as K-Fig brought the groove to the O2 tonight.
The place was rocking and rolling as we watched in awe as Gary pounced around the stage like a caged animal as he swayed, jumped and brought sheer expression to this excited audience as the boys rolled through the back catalogue with the epic “Rest In Peace” through to the rasping guitar driven beast that is “Hip Today”, Gary & Nuno both chatted to the crowd and thanked us for coming out to rock with them tonight, we held our breath as the guys ripped into a medley of their hits with “Teacher’s Pet”, “Flesh & Blood”, “Wind Me Up” and rolling into the blistering “Kid Ego” as the crowd went wild as the boys delivered wave after wave of scintillating riffs coupled with a pounding rhythm section that was pulsing through this incredible venue tonight.
The boys took us back as they dropped in a classic groove with the Queen Intro “We Will Rock You” that just strolled into “Play With Me”, we tasted another new track in the form of “Other Side Of The Rainbow” which let the crowd feel another new song from their monster new album “SIX”, acoustic strumming chords filled the entire hall as we sang at the top of our lungs and really let the boys know we were here and here to stay(for the night at least), the energy in the room was intense as the crowd were feeling the depth that the boys were reaching to bring us a night of unforgettable rock n roll that was going to be with us for a long time.
We were treated to a cool mid-section of classic tracks like “Hole Hearted”, and “Cupid’s Dead” as the place stood still before Nuno emerged with his six-string weapon in hand and just shredded out with a colossal solo that just brought this place to life as we watched in awe as he strutted around the stage and threw out monster riffs that delighted us no end, the hits kept on rolling and the bassline was getting us all worked up as Pat who for most of the show strolled around the stage with his trademark cowboy hat and dropped epic grooves all through the night.
During the show the boys brought out a mini drum kit as Nuno ripped up the stage with his epic acoustic licks that just took us to another place as we tasted another new track “Thicker Than Blood” which was a sleazy rock n Roll beast that just whipped us into a frenzy and let Gary & Nuno really deliver a full-on star-studded setlist that just rolled off the tongue and had us wanting more, Nuno brought out his acoustic guitar and just wanted to jam with us and let his fingers do the talking as we watched in awe as this guitar genius ripped up the playbook and gave us what we came for, slick, crisp guitar licks that filled every corner of this swelling venue.
Punching a hole in the evening came in the form of “Hurricane” that rolled into crowd favourite “More Than Words” which is Mine & Ruth’s song when we first met(aw I hear you say), stopping for a second again to thank us for our loyalty and support we again hollered loudly as the boys stood and watched the crowd sing back to them and really get into this epic gig that just allowed us to feel the boys and their energy pouring from the stage.
As we strolled to the business end of the night we were treated to another medley in the form of “Take Us Alive / “That’s Alright” before Nuno stood in the middle of the stage and dropped the spellbinding epic monster that is “Flight Of The Wounded Bumblebee” that let this crowd feel the musicianship pouring from the stage tonight, I will say that we were given a masterclass in musicianship from these 4 gladiators as they slayed us with an eruption of sound mixed with epic lyrics that just let us know that Extreme were back in town and ready to party.
The boys brought up the tempo with the foot-stomping, bassline driving beast that is “Get The Funk Out” which really got this place on its feet, we were watching something special tonight as the boys just sizzled tonight and gave us one hell of a show that will take some topping, as we waited in wonderment as to what was next, we need to wait no longer as another new track hit home as they delivered a soulful ballad in the form of “Small Town Beautiful” that again rolled into enchanting “Song For Love” that got the crowd involved and just took us back in time and finished off a colossal night of soulful rock n roll from these boys from the USA, we might have thought we were finished, not a chance as the boys returned to the stage to deliver the epic monster that is “RISE” which rocked the house and left us wanting to stay for longer let me tell you.
The stage presence of the band was magnetic, with Cherone engaging the crowd with his charismatic banter and infectious energy. The connection between the band members was palpable, creating a dynamic atmosphere that resonated with both long-time fans and newcomers alike.
The production values at O2 Academy complemented the band’s performance, with impressive lighting and visuals enhancing the overall concert experience. The sound quality was superb, allowing each instrument to shine and giving justice to Extreme’s intricate musical arrangements.
As the night reached its peak, the audience found themselves caught in the whirlwind of Extreme’s music, dancing and singing along to every note. The encore left the crowd exhilarated, a testament to the enduring appeal of Extreme’s timeless sound.
In conclusion, Extreme at O2 Academy in Glasgow delivered a concert that was more than just a musical performance; it was a celebration of a band that continues to defy expectations and leave an indelible mark on the rock scene. If you missed this show, you missed an unforgettable night of pure rock magic.
Gary Cherone – Vocals / Acoustic Guitar
Nuno Bettencourt – Guitar / Acoustic Guitar / Backing Vocals
Pat Badger – Bass / Backing Vocals
Kevin Figueiredo – Drums / Backing Vocals
It’s A Monster
Rest In Peace
Teacher’s Pet / Flesh n Blood / Wind Me Up / Kid Ego
We Will Rock You (Queen Intro)
Play With Me
Other Side Of The Rainbow
Cupid’s Dead with Eruption intro
Thicker Than Blood
Am I Ever Gonna Change
More Than Words
Banshee with Fat Bottomed Girls Intro
Take Us Alive / That’s Alright
Flight Of The Wounded Bumblebee
Get The Funk Out
Small Town Beautiful / Song For Love RISE