Extreme Pornograffitti Live 25 Review
Extreme celebrated the 25th anniversary of the release of their multi-platinum selling, grammy nominated Pornograffitti by playing the album in it’s entirety during a concert at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas. Although the gig took place last year, the full show will be released on CD, DVD and BLU-RAY in the UK on 14 October as part of the Metal Meltdown series.
First things first. Am I the only one kinda freaked out that it’s been over a quarter of a century since Get The Funk Out first blasted it’s way into our consciousness? In fact, I think I first heard the song on BBC Radio 1 during Steve Wright’s afternoon show. Actually, now I think about it, whatever happened to the likes of Mr Angry and Gervais the Hairdresser after the show ended? Where are they now???
Sorry, I digress…
Despite having formed over 30 years ago, the band’s lineup remains pretty much the same as it was then. Gary Cherone is still up front on vocals, Nuno Bettencourt continues to mesmerise on guitar and Pat Badger still drives the band along on bass. Paul Geary replaced original drummer Kevin Figueiredo back in ’06. So there’s no doubt that this is very definitely the REAL Extreme we’re watching here.
From a music point of view Pornograffitti Live 25 doesn’t contain any surprises, obviously! If, like me you bought the original album back in the day, listening to Pornograffitti 25 Live is like slipping on an old pair of shoes. Instantly familiar, comfortable and timeless. The funny thing is though, the band themselves had to step outside their comfort zone for this performance, because there are songs on the album that they had never played live before.
“It was a great thrill to perform Pornograffitti in its entirety. Some of these songs were never played live before so we had to go back and relearn them for the tour. The album was a watershed moment in the bands career…it’s when we came in to our own and it will always be special.” – Gary Cherone
So given the need to go back and learn some of their own songs, what we have here is a performance which is anything but a band just going through the motions. From opening track Decadence Dance, Garry Cherone and the guys grab the audience by the scruff of the neck to lead them on a 76 minute blast through the album which defined their career. And they seemed to revel in the occasion as much as the Vegas audience.
There are obviously some pretty big highlights in the performance. Get the Funk Out, More Than Words and the awesome Hole Hearted are songs which comfortably sit in the ‘rock classic’ category. But the concert as a whole is full of the energy and passion you’d expect from a band in their prime. If you love rock music it’s worth watching just to see Nuno Bettencourt alone. Virtuoso is a term used all too loosely to describe musicians, but is perfectly apt for this man. Oh to have a tenth of his talent…
Which brings me to this galling reality – I WASN’T THERE. Just another gig in a long line of gigs that I couldn’t attend. So I guess you could say that since I couldn’t be there, this recording is a pretty darned good consolation prize. Extreme were the last of the great hair metal bands, and Pornograffitti kinda marked the end of that era as grunge changed rock music forever. But what a way to go. What a way to go…
Pornograffitti is available to buy on CD, DVD and BLU-RAY from 14 October. We suggest you do!
1 Decadence Dance
2 Li’l Jack Horny
3 When I’m President
4 Get the Funk Out
5 More Than Words
6 Money (In God We Trust)
7 It (‘s a Monster)
9 When I First Kissed You
10 Suzi (Wants Her All Day What?)
11 Flight of the Wounded Bumble Bee
12 He-Man Woman Hater
13 Song For Love
14 Hole Hearted
15 Play With Me*
16 Cupid’s Dead*
* Songs do not appear on the audio CD