Extreme, Living Colour @ Hindley Street Music Hall, Adelaide 8/9/2023

They say trends come and go but class is permanent. Nowhere was that more evident than Adelaide on Friday night as Boston legends Extreme and New Yorkers Living Colour treading the boards.

While both bands MTV heady glory days may be in the past there is no denying the talent and quality on show is aging like the finest wine in the exclusive vineyard. .

Living Colour scream uniqueness is every conceivable way. Whether it’s Doug Wimbish bass slapping, Corey Glover kaleidoscope wardrobe, Will Calhoun disappearing behind a mammoth kit or Vernon Reid fingers a blur along the fretboard, the band are difficult to pin down in any genre other than class.

From the opening drum fill that brings Led Zeppelin’s Rock N Roll to light through to the bands mega hit Cult Of Personality finishing the set, the band are switched on.

Glovers vocals are every bit as powerful and spellbinding as ever as he engages with the audience through Auslander, Leave It Alone and a somber version of Nothin’ Compares 2 U.

I’m loathe to do comparisons normally however these guys are all virtuosos with a unique style at their particular craft that this is what I would imagine the legendary Band Of Gypsy’s would be like today. Swagger, class, powerful and showmen.

Talking of showmen, Gary Cherone leads Extreme with the energy of someone half his age. He twirls, twists, throws mic stands around and hits the notes perfectly with the electric charged music his band brings.

Opening with It (‘S A Monster) and Decadence Dance, the force from the music is like standing next to a plane taking off. Nuno Bettancourt showcasing why he is still one of the most revered and in demand guitarists out there.

A set list the takes in the whole career does bring up newbies like Rebel which grooves so hard it proves this band always had more substance than their now departed big hair and make up peers of yesteryear.

Cherone gets the crowd singing throughout , Nuno gets the girls swooning, and the rhythm section just get the music rocking.

Cupid’s Dead, the enormous and bluesy Get The Funk Out and Banshee have the place rocking as the band sound as good as ever.

However it’s the softer highlights like Hole Hearted and, yes that song, More Than Words that gets the hairs standing up on the back of your neck as everyone to a person belts out the chorus.

There will be a lot of shows you’ll go to this year however I’d bet you find few better line ups of diversity, genre bending, rock n roll showmanship, theatrics, energy and fun than this line up. That’s cause class is permanent remember.

Live Review By Iain McCallum

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