Album Reviews DVD Reviews

Extreme – Take Us Alive CD/DVD

Released by Frontiers Records

Release: Frontiers records on

Genre: Hard Rock

Running Time: 120 minutes

Links: http://extreme-band.com/site/

Lineup

Nuno Bettencourt – Guitars, Piano and Vocal

Gary Cherone – Lead Vocals

Pat Badger – Bass – Vocals

Kevin Figueiredo – Drums

Tracklist
CD 1
1. Decadence Dance
2. Comfortably Dumb
3. Rest In Peace
4. It (‘s A Monster)
5. Star
6. Tell Me Something I Don’t Know
7. Medley: Kid Ego / Little Girls / Teachers Pet
8. Play With Me
9. Midnight Express

CD 2
1. More Than Words
2. Ghost
3. Cupid’s Dead
4. Take Us Alive
5. Flight Of The Wounded Bumblebee
6. Get The Funk Out
7. Am I Ever Gonna Change
8. Hole Hearted

It was nearly 20 years ago when Extreme broke on through atop the Billboard charts with their break through single “More Then Words” hitting #1 on the charts and making the band a household name in the early 90’s. To many the casual listener would never recognize that the band actually had some pretty good music throughout it’s career. Records like “Pornographitti” and “III Sides To Every Story” for instance displayed the bands own mix of hard rock and funkiness. The band reunited in 2004 and went on to release the come back album “Saudades De Rock” in 2008 and gained some critical acclaimed.

Now these veterans are back with “Take Us Alive” a CD/DVD package released by Frontiers Records and the band chose their last date on their tour filmed on location in their hometown of Boston, MA on August 8th, 2009. One of the main reasons I liked the band then was because of the amazingly talented Nuno Bettencourt who’s an exceptional out of this world guitar wizard, and he shows it in bright colors in this pleasant live performance. As far as vocalist Gary Cherone goes, after his brief stint in Van Halen, he was out of the limelight for a while, some never really dug his vocals too much but the truth is that he is a good singer and delivers a strong performance here displaying the chemistry the band still has.

The band opens up the night with the highly energetic classic “Decadence Dance” showcasing Extreme’s high style “Pop Hard Rock” staple that made people take notice earlier in their career. “It’s A Monster” slams you face in with it’s tongue and cheek lyrics and funky colorful mood ala the Red Hot Chili Peppers, a band they have been compared to. The classic “More Then Words” is given a nice touch when the crowd sings most of the song with the band, and after so many years the ballad still stands the test of time as a true classic. The alternative nuance in “Ghost” which comes out of their 2008 release, adds a nice modern and more mature twist to their sound. It wouldn’t be fun without some Extreme phunk action as is exquisitely displayed in “Comfortably Dumb” playing an homage to Pink Floyd as only they could. More Nuno action comes your way on the straight head rocker “Take Us Alive” with a superb fast bluesy funky riff-est and I could smell fire burning from the fretboard after “Get The Funk Out” is set and done.

I have to give credit to Gary Cherone as he manages even in his 40’s to give out quite an energetic performance that brings out the best in the band. The sound is still vintage Extreme and the rhythm bass section of Badger and Figueiredo complements the sound perfect. The production is tight as any release from Frontiers is, and as far as special features there are four videos for the songs “King Of The Ladies,” “Interface,” “Run,” and “Ghost,” from their latest album Saudades de Rock. That’s probably the only thing I would point out, I was a little disappointed that they did not have more special features, but in the end the live performance is really the main event and worth the purchase alone. For a retrospect of the band this would make a nice buy to see the band some almost 20 years later slamming down their magical blend of funk rock they are known for.

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys  8/10

Extreme – Mean Street (Van Halen cover) *Damm Shame is not featured on the DVD because is a sick cover.


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