Saturday, January 17, 2015

Concert Review: Extreme Begins "Pornograffitti" Tour At Mohegan Sun

Boston rockers Extreme rode a three year high as one of the premier bands in the world from 1990 to 1993 due to their platinum selling album "Pornograffitti." Released in August of 1990, the album has sold over 2 million copies and produced two "top five" singles ("More Than Words" and "Hole Hearted"). This year marks the 25th anniversary of their breakthrough album and to celebrate, Extreme are taking the album on the road, performing it live, its in entirety along with many of their other hits.

The "Pornograffitti Live!" tour kicked off last Friday night at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT, but not without its technical problems. The first being an hour wait as the band didn't even finish their sound check before the doors open to let people in. As fans waited patiently in the arena halls, lines began to form as the start time quickly approached. Little did we know that Extreme would not take the stage for another hour hailing "boos" from the audience, until the lights went down just past 9pm in the evening.

The night's festivities began just like the "Pornograffitti" album did with a soundtrack of rain storms and piano keys, before jumping into the hard rocker "Decadence Dance." Lead singer Gary Cherone has noticeable microphone troubles as the audience sang the first two verses of the song. The night belonged to guitarist Nuno Bettencourt as right from the opening solo he amazed the audience with his guitar wizardry. The night finally got on track with the hit rock single "Get The Funk Out" as fans were reliving their youth, singing along to #1 acoustic ballad "More Than Words." Once the band plugged back in, they ripped through lesser known songs like "Money (In God We Trust)" and "It ('s A Monster)." The jazziness of "When I First Kissed You" seemed out of place amongst the set of hard rock gems, but displayed Nuno's skills on the piano, before taking on the "Flight Of The Bumblebee" guitar solo. Extreme's other big hit "Hole Hearted" was the perfect closer of the set as the band and audience sang and clapped along in unison to the song's stomping rhythm.

After a quick cover of Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," Extreme left the stage as a shorted encore presented itself after the late start. Drummer Kevin Figueiredo began the encore with a Led Zeppelin-like drum solo, which lead into one of the band's earliest singles "Play With Me." Extreme seemed more loose and relaxed during the encore as they performed songs from throughout their career, including the fast-paced southern fun of "Take Us Alive" and strikingly epic feel of "Am I Ever Gonna Change." After one last jamming solo from Nuno Bettencourt, the band signed-off with their funk-metal masterpiece "Cupid's Dead." As pre-recorded orchestra music played, fans exited the arena, enjoyed their nostalgic trip back to a younger time when rock music ruled the airwaves.

Setlist: Decadence Dance, Lil Jack Horney, When I'm President, Get The Funk Out, More Than Words, Money (In God We Trust), It ('s A Monster), Pornograffitti, When I Fist Kissed You, Suzi (Wants Her All Day What), He-Man Woman Hater, Song Of Love, Hole Hearted

Encore: Play With Me, Rest In Peace, Kid Ego, Take Us Alive, Am I Ever Gonna Change, Cupid's Dead

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