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CD / DVD REVIEW: EXTREME – Pornograffitti Live 25 / Metal Meltdown

| 15 December 2016 | Reply


Label: Loud & Proud Records

Release Date: October 28, 2016

Rating: 10/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

There are albums in your collection that stand the test of time, year after year.  Extreme’s Pornograffitti is one of those albums in my collection.  The songs never get old and there is at least one song that everybody knows when you throw it on at a gathering of friends.  The band went out and played shows to commemorate the 25th anniversary of this classic disc and the Hard Rock Casino Las Vegas show was recorded and is here in all its audio and video glory.  Staying with the format of the original disc, “Decadence Dance” opens the show and we are off and running with killer riffs, pounding bass lines, thunderous drums and vocals we have all come to know and love.  “Li’l Jack Horny” is just as playful live as it is in its original form.  The bass and drums work in tandem to keep the song flowing while the vocals and guitars swirl together in the mix.  “Money (In God We Trust)” really gets special treatment from the drums in the mix, with the percussion punctuating the vocals and energy of the lyrics.  The innuendo heavy “Suzi (Wants Her All Day What?)” bridges a ballad and a guitar solo perfectly by drawing you in with killer drums, chugging riffs, thumping bass lines, and vocals that tie the band and lyrics together.  “Song For Love” is one of those tracks that married the two different sides of the band – the heavier rock feel wrapped around a ballad-esque track.  The song has rich harmonies that live on after the song has finished.  Listening to Badger and Bettencourt play against each other is as fun as watching Cherone and Nuno trade vocal parts.

“When I’m President” takes on a different flavor live, thanks to the call out vocals in the opening.  The guitars chug and swirl through the verses and chorus and soar at the bridge.  The layered vocals demonstrate that not all recorded vocals are studio tricks – it is fun watching and listening to Cherone and Bettencourt play off of each other.  Arguably one of the most popular of Extreme’s songs is “More Than Words” which gets a cool treatment in a live setting with Nuno and Gary taking center stage with just two microphones and an acoustic guitar.  The audience even gets into the mix singing the first verse without any assistance from the duo… Nuno even stops strumming for part of it.  The magic of the original harmonies is here for us to enjoy after all these years.  “It(‘s A Monster)” brings the driving beat and rock punch that Extreme exceled at on each of their releases.  The driving rhythm of the bass and guitars merge in this killer track and elevate the sound of the band and show.  “When I First Kissed You” is a standout performance of the disc, with the band taking on a jazz-like persona, including Pat’s stand-up bass, Nuno’s piano disguised keyboard, and Cherone’s hat and approach to the songs performance.  I fell in love with this song all over again seeing it performed like this.  Nuno is one of the best guitarists to come out of the genre that spanned the 80’s and early 90’s, as witnessed by his playing as guest with other huge performers like Rhianna, Perry Farrell, and Janet Jackson.  We get a little treat and solo from him in the form of “Flight Of The Wounded Bumblebee.”  The final cut from the disc “Hole Hearted” brings together the different sounds and vibes of the disc on a fun live version that shows once and for all how much fun these four guys have on stage together.  The song gets the foot tapping, head banging, and gets you singing on the chorus.

A cool piece of this is not only the intro to the DVD where the band discusses putting together the tour and the undertaking involved in pulling it off, but also the additional commentary from guys like Brian May, Steven Tyler, and a couple appearance from Tom Morello.  “Get The Funk Out” is one of my favorite tracks on the 1990 release and it is just as powerful live, thanks to the strength and cohesion of the band as a live unit.  The rhythm section of Pat Badger and Kevin Figueiredo click perfectly and drive this monster of a track from open to close.  Title track “Pornograffitti” comes alive with killer vocals from Gary Cherone and searing guitar licks and solos from Nuno Bettencourt.  The funk-filled vibe of the band and track are evident at the bridge of this track, as is the tight-feel of the band as a unit.  “He-Man Woman Hater” is a cool track that gives us one more driven rocker to throw into the mix.  The rhythm section drives the track with the guitars and vocals elevating the song even higher, especially when Cherone tosses in all of the original ad libs from the disc.  Two songs on this performance that weren’t on the Pornograffitti disc are “Play With Me” from the band’s debut release and “Cupid’s Dead” from III Sides To Every Story.  The former is a killer track that rose to the top of my favorites list when it came to Extreme’s catalog.  This version is just as much fun as the title insinuates.  The songs playful nature runs through the vocals, into the guitars, and pulls in the drums and bass as well.  Watching Cherone, Bettencourt, and Badger trade-off vocal duties at times adds to the songs depth.  The final track, “Cupid’s Dead,” gets an intro from Eddie Trunk before we are treated to a cool jam session from Nuno, Pat, and Kevin that plays while the credits roll.  Gary jumps in and throws some vocals on top the mix and the disc comes to a fun conclusion.

CD Tracklisting: Decadence Dance – Li’l Jack Horny – When I’m President – Get The Funk Out – More Than Words – Money (In God We Trust) – It (‘s A Monster) – Pornograffitti – When I First Kissed You – Suzi (Wants Her All Day What?) – Flight Of The Wounded Bumblebee – He-Man Woman Hater – Song For Love – Hole Hearted

DVD Tracklisting: Decadence Dance – Li’l Jack Horny – When I’m President – Get The Funk Out – More Than Words – Money (In God We Trust) – It (‘s A Monster) – Pornograffitti – When I First Kissed You – Suzi (Wants Her All Day What?) – Flight Of The Wounded Bumblebee – He-Man Woman Hater – Song For Love – Hole Hearted – Play With Me – Cupid’s Dead






Category: CD Reviews, Other Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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