EXTREME // O2 ACADEMY, GLASGOW

Extreme-ly good night at the Academy!

EXTREME
PICTURE BY: DAVID WALA PHOTOGRAPHY

★★★

A cold night in Glasgow and the queue right around the block as the doors open later than scheduled due to the main men giving too much of their time to the meet & greet ticket holders. 

I Get into the hall as it fills and the opener is The Dan Reed Network. It’s energetic from the start, Dan not sporting the plume of hair he used to but, a smoothly shaved head. The funky rock riffs roll out and Dan is pulling some interesting stage shapes, his voice still remarkably good. 

The dreadlocked guitarist laying down some shred and the bass players grooves almost as confident as his ill-fitting waist-coat and overhanging gut.

The band are tight and good performers and they do well in front of a slowly filling hall. It’s a good opener and really enjoyable.

During the break I notice the hall has filled to what looks like a sell-out in anticipation of Extreme taking the stage……just a couple of bodies between me and barrier to the right of centre. This being the 3rd or 4th time I’ve seen Extreme, I know what to expect.

Out they come, straight in to It (’s a Monster) and right from the start the sound is awesome. Pat on bass sporting a waistcoat over a shirt and tie, Nuno in a  thigh length leather double breasted coat and Gary in a waistcoat with a crazy looking bandana/ scarf wrapped round his head.

Over the course of the next couple of tracks, Lil Jack Horny and the crowd pleasing Get The Funk Out Nuno’s Jacket comes off and Pat’s buttons get loosened as they settle into their groove. Get The Funk Out seemed really early in the set but it’s immaculately played and the Drummer is like animal from the muppets flailing around behind the kit.

The gig has the feeling of something intimate, almost pub gig in comparison to previous times I’ve seen them, which is pretty cool, perhaps it’s because I’m so near the front.

Hip Today and Kid Ego are followed by Play With Me which has a top class drum solo and this flows to the acoustic section of the set with the drummer getting out from behind the kit and coming up front for Tragic Comic and Hole Hearted…..Nuno getting another coat on and a hat for the change of pace.

With hat discarded and the rest of the band taking a break Nuno almost falls into Wanted Dead Or Alive by Bon Jovi before saving himself and playing Midnight Express with extended guitar wizardry. All this whilst nursing what seems to be a heavy cold. His on stage banter with the crowd is refreshingly laid back and when he blows his nose on a towel and gestures to throw it into the crowd ribs those who made it only too obvious they would refuse nothing as a souvenir.

Next up Cupid’s Dead, with Gary Cherone serenading the crowd with a quick rendition of Cupid by Sam Cooke as the intro. Nuno’s guitar sound here is phenomenal, thick and guttural but still clear and articulate, great to see Pat Badger doubling the riff on the bass, no slouch.

Then a couple of surprises, Am I Ever Gonna Change from the III Sides album followed by Take Us Alive and then the magnificent Stop The World. Different sections of the crowd shouting for different band members during the short breaks, a large guitarist contingent here specifically to see Nuno Bettencourt, this is the group I fall into but, I’m surprised by how many shouts for Cherone there are, that said I shouldn’t be he is tireless throughout every gig I’ve seen him at and tonight is no different.

The guitarists get their way as Bettencourt plays Flight Of The Wounded Bumblebee leading into He-Man Woman hater and then closing the main set with Decadence Dance.

The Band are chanted back to the stage, like it wasn’t always in the script, to play their biggest hit More Than Words……Nuno bats off a request for Warheads before the band deliver Peacemaker Die and then close with a cover of Queen’s We Are The Champions.

It’s a great gig exactly what every fan wants to see and with the three original members of the band showcasing just what a great unit they were and are along with the current hard hitting drummer it should satisfy all flavour of fan.

After finishing the band get down in the pit and press flesh with their crowd, a great end to a great night.

REVIEW BY: LORNE RALSTON
PHOTOS BY: BAZZA MILLS PHOTOGRAPHY - (DAN REED NETWORK)