CONCERT REVIEW : Extreme – O2 Academy Glasgow 28th November 2023

Extreme’s legion of fans warmed the frigid air as they endured the biting weather while waiting to get into the O2 Academy on an especially cold night in Glasgow. They arrived early, excited not just by the potential of gaining a front-row seat, but also by the thrilling performance of the acclaimed support act, Living Colour. The amazing roster promised to transform Glasgow’s O2 Academy into a hotspot of pulsating music and adrenaline, a perfect blend of extreme funk and rock and roll poised to radiate the frigid night.

Living Colour rocked the O2 Academy in Glasgow, demonstrating their exceptional musical abilities and captivating stage presence. The auditorium was energised from the time lead singer Corey Glover hit the stage, albeit with a minor delay. His remarkable vocals set the tone for the evening with ‘Middle Man’, which he opened with. During an unplugged section of the concert, Glover demonstrated his vocal range by leaving the microphone behind and asked, “Can you hear me?” The band wowed the Glasgow audience with superb interpretations of classic hits such as “Leave It Alone” and “Open Letter (to a Landlord).” A memorable rendition of Cream’s classic ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ added to the upbeat atmosphere. Living Colour finished their brief but powerful set with ‘Cult of Personality,’ demonstrating their unwavering intensity and enthusiasm. The enthusiastic response from the Glasgow crowd demonstrated the everlasting influence the New Yorkers had on the city.

Extreme grabbed the show at a full Glasgow arena, delivering a performance as spectacular as their King Kong head background. As the lights dropped and the beginning chords of John Barry’s “Hail to the King” from the 1976 King Kong film began to play, the scene was set with the fierce eyes of King Kong gazing down at the crowd. Extreme’s band members—Gary Cherone, Nuno Bettencourt, Pat Badger, and Kevin Figueiredo—took the stage, and the fans erupted in delight. They opened their show with the thrilling “It’s A Monster,” with Cherone commanding the stage and connecting with the Glasgow audience. The band’s enthusiasm level skyrocketed when they began “Decadence Dance,” the legendary opening tune from their 1990 album “Extreme II: Pornograffitti.” The atmosphere was electrifying, with fans leaping and singing along to this popular song, indicating that Extreme’s thunderous rock performance was a pleasant surprise.

Extreme certainly raised the bar tonight with their Six album showcase. Their first single, #Rebel, beautifully featured Nuno’s amazing guitar solos while also emphasising Gary’s vocal power. The band’s dynamic energy created an infectious warmth within the room, effectively removing the chill from outside. The event took an unexpected turn when Extreme led a massive sing-along to their cover of Queen’s renowned anthem “We Will Rock You.” The band next performed crowd favourites “Play With Me” and the deeply astounding “Hole Hearted” in the same high-powered vein. Extreme’s rock skill has only grown stronger with the release of Six, it was obvious tonight.

The band’s riveting performance featured the flawless mixing of new songs Thicker Than Blood, Hurricane, and Banshee with timeless favourites like as More Than Words and Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee. Each song was performed with precision and passion, resonating across the venue and striking an emotional chord with the crowd. The atmosphere reached a peak with the outstanding rendition of Get the Funk Out, which filled the auditorium with enthusiastic audience voices. The sheer intensity threatened to blow the roof off, and even as the band fled the stage, there was an overwhelming desire for more amazing music from this talented group.

When the band returned to Glasgow, they were greeted with a hero’s welcome and a scream of applause when they performed a copy of Eddie Van Halen’s song “Woman in Love.” The band’s performance of Small Town Beautiful was the night’s next noteworthy moment, before they closed the set on a high note with Rise, a favourite from their Six album. The audience couldn’t stop singing along, reflecting the strong affinity they had with the band. The live music boosted everyone’s level of excitement and togetherness. As the band members said their goodbyes, the venue erupted in applause for the amazing performance they had given. This night will be remembered for their outstanding rendition of “Small Town Beautiful” and their enthralling performance of “Rise.”

Tonight was a special night for music fans, a night full with excitement and anticipation. For some, it was a chance to see their idols perform live for the first time, bringing their imaginations to life. Others saw it as an opportunity to relive important memories related with music, translating them into concrete experiences. However, it was more than simply a sentimental walk down memory lane; it reflected the band’s journey of growth and progress. They have elevated their music, reaching new heights and gaining a new generation of fans. Anyone lucky enough to be able to attend this tour is in for a treat, as both bands are certain to capture audiences with their individual styles of rock and roll, ensuring to bring glad smiles to their faces.

Photographs & Review by James Edmond 

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