Sunday, March 3, 2024
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Extreme Returned to Saint Louis After Nearly 30 Years and Picked Up Right Where They Left Off

Extreme performing at River City Casino Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thryd Eye Photography.

 

–by Sean Derrick

 

When a band doesn’t visit your town for a couple decades you may hear people say the performance took them back in time, and sometimes you agree, and sometimes you don’t. For Extreme’s Friday night performance at River City Casino in south Saint Louis not many would disagree.

Extreme performing at River City Casino Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thryd Eye Photography.

For the first half of the 1990’s Extreme played in Saint Louis many times. When I say many, I mean many. The Boston based rock group made their first appearance in the Gateway City October 11, 1990 opening for Alice in Chains at Mississippi Nights, soon after their 2nd album Pornograffitti came out, and established a solid fanbase here. From then until May 7, 1995 the band played here they played 6 times, opening for everyone from Winger to ZZ Top to Bon Jovi. Their last show here in 1995 was their only other headlining show (shockingly) in Saint Louis prior to Friday night.

This night Veteran rockers Living Colour opened with a solid 40-minute set that really got the audience pumping. Vocalist Corey Glover’s strong vocals led the way, complimented by guitarist Vernon Reid’s lighting quick fretwork and funky bass lines from Doug Wimbish while Will Calhoun kept it all together on the drums.

In Living Colour performing at River City Casino Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thryd Eye Photography.

While the band played the usual fan favorites like “Glamour Boys” and “Cult of Personality” they also did a nice cover of the Prince penned Sinead O’Connor classic “Nothing Compares 2 U”.

In Living Colour performing at River City Casino Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thryd Eye Photography.

While Extreme hasn’t played in St. Louis in nearly 30 years they it didn’t mean they weren’t touring or releasing new material. They have had ten different tours around the world since 1995. But they were a little light in the new music category, only releasing Saudades de Rock in 2008 after 1995’s Waiting for the Punchline. Now they have finally released their sixth album, simply titled Six.

Extreme performing at River City Casino Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thryd Eye Photography.

Guitarist Nuno Bettencourt joked about taking 15 years between each of the last 3 albums and added that they won’t release an album before it satisfies their strong self-critique. They also thanked the sold-out crowd of 1400 for blowing away the perception that a casino crowd can’t rock. (Maybe if they come back soon they can play The Factory, which seems like a perfect fit for this band.)

Extreme performing at River City Casino Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thryd Eye Photography.

The band (Nuno, vocalist Gary Cherone, bassist Pat Badger, and drummer Kevin Figueiredo) came out ready to rock with the thunderous “Decadence Dance” and the aggressive “#REBEL” to elevate the sold-out crowd to a fever pitch.

Extreme performing at River City Casino Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thryd Eye Photography.

Throughout the show Nuno was displaying real life Guitar Hero riffs and ungodly solos. Especially jaw dropping besides the “billion notes” of “Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee” and the ode to the maestro Eddie Van Halen when he dropped “Eruption” into the solo of “Cupid’s Dead”.

Extreme performing at River City Casino Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thryd Eye Photography.

One of the best things about Extreme is the, well, um, extreme variety of genres the band delves into. One minute Cherone is raging onstage with the energy of a rabid funky racoon and the next he sitting on a bar stool with Nuno crooning “More Than Words” which blended seamlessly after the beautiful “Hurricane”.

Extreme performing at River City Casino Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thryd Eye Photography.
Extreme performing at River City Casino Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thryd Eye Photography.

They played a couple of medley’s to touch on as many of their songs as possible. But one bit that was super fun was an added verse from “Mutha (Don’t Wanna Go to School Today)” from their self-titled debut album. Exciting because I haven’t seen where it was played during the previous shows on the tour (Or maybe those people didn’t catch it?). Either way, I liked it as it brought up some fond memories.

In Living Colour performing at River City Casino Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thryd Eye Photography.

Even though this was the first time I had seen the band in over 30 years it was like they hadn’t aged (or maybe that is just my perspective), at least not musically. They still had the energy to go with the fabulous dual vocal harmonics of Cherone and Bettencourt, yet the tightness of a veteran band in lockstep with their onstage brethren.

In Living Colour performing at River City Casino Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thryd Eye Photography.

The night featured seven songs from the new album, and not a one was a bathroom break-type of filler. Start to finish this show was spectacular. Let’s hope they don’t wait another 30 years before gracing the Gateway City with their presence again. But this cozy venue was a nice way to get re-acquainted with, what seemed to be in the early 90’s, an old friend who you haven’t seen in a long, long time.

You can catch the band on tour through mid-March before they head over to Europe for a summer leg, and while you are at it check out the gallery of photos after the setlist below.

Extreme Setlist:

It (‘s a Monster)

Decadence Dance

#REBEL

Rest in Peace

Hip Today

Teacher’s Pet/Flesh ‘n’ Blood/Wind Me Up/Kid Ego/Mutha (Don’t Wanna Go to School Today)

Play With Me

Other Side of the Rainbow

Hole Hearted

Cupid’s Dead /Eruption (Van Halen cover)

Am I Ever Gonna Change

THICKER THAN BLOOD

Midnight Express

HURRICANE

More Than Words

BANSHEE

Take Us Alive/That’s All Right (Arthur Crudup cover)

Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee

Get the Funk Out

Encore:

SMALL TOWN BEAUTIFUL/ Song for Love

Rise

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