Review by Gary Hodges. Photos by Jason Rosewarne
A great double act in the form of guitar icons Nuno Bettencourt’s Extreme and Vernon Reid ‘s Living Colour lifted the roof at the Forum tonight. A real explosion of sound and light, shaking up a Monday night crowd of around 800 people.
First up was Living Colour. This concert was yet another stop in their Stain 30th Anniversary Tour. Vernon and band kicked off proceedings with Led Zeppelin’s Rock ‘n’ Roll. A perfect choice and crowd favourite. Singer Corey Glover with his flying dregs was the consummate front man throughout the evening, commanding attention with his on stage antics and extraordinary vocal range (reminiscent of the great Edgar Winter). There was a lot of variation in the pace of their show as the songs kept coming, including the Prince cover ’Nothing Compares to you’. Vernon Reid was relentless in conjuring up a variety of guitar sounds throughout the course of the night. Great rhythm section with Doug Wimbish on bass and Will Calhoun on drums. Doug led the band through a couple of songs, including the Grandmaster Flash classic ‘The Message’ also known by its lyric, ‘Don’t push me cause I’m close to the edge’, acknowledging at the same time that this year of 2023 is the 50th anniversary of Rap. So many highlights. ‘Cult of personality’ from the Vivid album of 1988 was a massive crowd favourite. ‘Glamour boys’ was followed by the Clash song ‘Do I stay or do I go’ with Corey completing the song out in the audience with his wireless mike. Living Colour are a great and important band, still at the peak of their game. Next stop, Perth’s Regal Theatre on the 6th of September.
After a short intermission, Extreme hit the stage with a massive burst of energy. Extreme are in the middle of their Thicker than blood tour of 2023. Nuno was on fire with an extraordinary guitar sound, and singer Garry Cherone (ex Van Halen) was bouncing all over the stage. Incredible drum sound and playing from Kevin Figueiredo, with Pat Badger on bass really filling out the rhythm section. The light show worked with the tempo of the set, with a stage backdrop of a gorilla image heralding the cover of their latest album ‘Six’. And the songs flowed, ‘Decadence Dance’, followed by a short cover intro of the Queen classic ‘We will rock you’. ‘Hole hearted’ was a welcome surprise with an acoustic component in the mix. In actual fact, the set itself was full of dynamics, lurching from Van Halen like rock to acoustic to ballads and solo spots. Nuno relished the spotlight and punctuated the set with some really tasteful acoustic touches and some equally mind boggling electric solo pieces such as ‘The flight of the wounded bumblebee’. ‘More than words’, Extreme’s soft rock acoustic classic from 1991, was performed as a duo with Gary Cherone and Nuno Bettencourt. The audience sang along with Gary’s encouragement, in an extended version of this classic song. Beautiful harmonies to the beginning of ‘Fat bottomed girls’, another Queen cover used as a short intro. At the end of the evening, the band did several encores including ‘Small town beautiful’ and ‘Song for love’ and of course the amazing guitar solo from ‘Rise’ that everyone had been waiting for. Another great band at the peak of their powers, playing very much on the sonic edge. Extreme will perform next, with Living Colour, at Perth’s Regal Theatre on the 6th of September.