Extreme with Living Colour-BergenPAC

Extreme with Living Colour  BergenPAC  Jan 24, 2024

An amazing night of pure energy and power from start to finish.  Its been 15 years since their last album and Extreme made sure they would not be forgotten!  They energized their fans with an electrifying set of more than 20 songs that featured 5 songs from their new album “Six” as well as 5 songs from their massive 1990 hit “Extreme II Pornograffitti”.

Opening the show with “It (’s a Monster)” and “Decadence Dance” before diving into “#REBEL” the crowd was on their feet in full party mode.  Lead singer, Gary Cherone, did not skip a beat  all night as he moved around every corner of the stage as if he were still in his 20’s.   His voice sounds as strong as it ever has.  Rounding out the backing vocals on bass is Pat Badger and without a doubt the main focal point for many is the vocals and guitar work of Nuno Bettencourt.  The harmonizing between the three makes for a perfect blend of the fast and ferocious yet raunchy hard rock songs like “Hip Today”, “Play with Me”, “Get the Funk Out” and the closing number “Rise” which features an incredible guitar lead.  Here once again we witnessed why Bettencourt is one of best guitar players to ever grace the scene.  

Extreme also delivers on the power ballads as good as anyone out there, mesmerizing everyone in the PAC center Wednesday night with their hits “More Than Words” and “Hole Hearted” as well as soon to be classics “Small Town Beautiful” and “Other Side of the Rainbow”.

Extreme gave a little sampling of where their roots come from.  Gary Cherone showcased his Freddie Mercury style mike stand and dance moves as they intro a song withQueen’s “We Will Rock You” and again with “Fat Bottomed Girls” as well as Nuno Bettencourt jamming out with Pat Badger and drummer Kevin Figueiredo covering part of Eddie Van Halen’s Eruption or Bettencourt himself playing pieces of “Cathedral” and the intro to “Women in Love” before tapping his heart and pointing to the sky as the crowd chanted “Eddie”.

Nuno spent a good part of the night talking to the crowd.  He told a story about going to Nashville and overpaying for a handmade one of a kind hat only to see more of them as he continued down the street. This of course had the crowd laughing.   Prompting the crowd, “We need your voices for this one” for “Hole Hearted” with everyone singing along.   He followed it up with some more humor telling everyone they should start a band together and he would manage it.  Over time the band would put out records and eventually have no money as he gets rich from managing.  Nuno’s favorite part of the night was telling the crowd he gets to sit down.  “When you hit 55, sitting down is like having an orgasm”.  He then tells the crowd to sit down with him so we can all have an orgasm together.  Again, he had the crowd laughing along.  It was at this point he launched into the acoustic “Midnight Express” and then was joined by Gary Cherone and the crowd singing along to their hit “More Than Words”.

He spoke high praise for Living Color who opened the show and for Vernon Reid, telling everyone how he wanted to do this tour together for years and asked Vernon, who plays guitar like a lightning bolt ripping across the sky, to reel it back a bit so more of the spotlight would be on him once again had the crowd laughing.

Living Colour started the night off with an incredible set of songs opening with “Middle Man” and closing the set with their huge hit “Cult of Personality” off their highly successful album Vivid.   Musically and Vocally, Living Colour is still at the top of their game.  Corey Glover’s vocal range is without a doubt one of the best in the industry as he moves around the stage with an incredible amount of energy.  Bass player Doug Wimbish, who was part of the Sugar Hill House Band and was part of the hits “White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It” / “Apache” / “The Message” which were covered during the 9 song set and drummer Will Calhoun provide an incredible grove of hard rock with the perfect blend of Hip Hop, Soul and Funk as Vernon Reid reminds everyone how incredible talented he is as a guitarist.

Between the two bands, it was a perfect blend of hard rock, funk, classical guitar, comedy, melodic harmonies equals a great night out and a show well worth everyone’s time.

Review and Photos by Anthony DiMatteo