Review by Paul Davis, Photos by Sean Larkin
It’s the ‘Pornograffitti Live 2014’ tour and as that title would suggest, Extreme are celebrating their multi-platinum second album by playing it in full. It’s a sizable if not sold out crowd, there’s some glum looking touts outside selling at half the box office price.
The lights go down, ‘Decadence Dance’ is first up and Gary Cherone can relax for a while as the word-perfect crowd do his job for him. By the end of the opener, guitar virtuoso Nuno Bettencourt has already taken centre stage for the first time. Three quarters of the band that recorded the breakthrough album are here, with drummer Paul Geary having departed in 1994. Geary now runs a company that is responsible for the management of Alter Bridge amongst others.
Some bands when doing the ‘classic album in it’s entirety’ thing mix up the running order, some have even played their album back to front. For Extreme though, this is Pornograffitti as it was recorded all those years ago. ‘L’il Jack Horny’ is followed by Cherone’s rapped intro to ‘When I’m President’.
The wider public might know them more for the huge worldwide hit ballad ‘More Than Words’ but for the fans ‘Get the Funk Out’ is more representative of the album. It’s only the unique nature of the show that sees this featuring so early in the set. That ballad follows with the crowd again in good voice. As Nuno takes a little time to chat it turns out that while many here owned Pornograffitti when it was released, there’s also a large number in attendance who weren’t even born in 1990.
The tempo is raised once more with ‘Money (In God We Trust)’, ‘It (‘s A Monster)’ and the title track from the album before the lounge style ‘When I First Kissed You’ sees the guitarist switching to piano. After ‘Suzi (Wants Her All Day What?)’ the stage belongs to Nuno Bettencourt for ‘Flight of The Wounded Bumblebee’, the intro to ‘He-Man Woman Hater’. ‘Song for Love’ and ‘Hole-Hearted’ bring things to a close. The latter is followed by a snippet of ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’, a nod to their influences and if their peak can be pinpointed, it has to be appearing at the Freddie Mercury tribute concert with over one billion viewers worldwide.
Pornograffitti is done and the band depart but no-one wants to go home as the chants of ‘Nuno’ ring out across the darkness of the Academy. The encore serves as an opportunity to visit the rest of the Extreme catalogue, before the band depart following a night of wonderful celebration of their finest moment.