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LIVE: EXTREME & MR BIG – Perth, 8 June 2018

| 12 June 2018 | Reply

LIVE: EXTREME & MR BIG – Perth, 8 June 2018
Metropolis City, Perth, Western Australia
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Photography by Isabelle Haubrich

Extreme and Mr Big share a lot in common: ‘80s hit makers with both hair metal and acoustic mega-ballads, both boast a virtuoso guitarist and neither have toured the whole of Australia before now. Musically, they are quite different, but both thrilled played killer sets and thrilled fans on their first visit to Western Australia.

The unique double header started with Mr Big, who hit the stage running. It’s worth noting that not only is Paul Gilbert a technical virtuoso on guitar, his bass playing offsider Billy Sheehan is his four-stringed equivalent, and both regularly run guitar clinics and are considered the top of their games.

Daddy, Brother, Love, Little Boy showcased a band so pumped up that it was impossible for the crowd to react any way other than to join the party, especially when Gilbert and Sheehan use electric drills to play solos with on their instruments.

Singer Eric Martin apologised for being “about 25 years too late” before the room was transported back to the days of lush power ballads with Just Take My Heart, then provided a poignant moment when they dedicated Take Charge to original drummer Pat Torpey, who passed away earlier this year.

Gilbert’s intro to Green Tinted Sixties Mind shows what great pop writers the band were/are, and in case anyone was feeling too sugary both he and Sheehan showed their considerable talents in extended solo spots.

A cover of Cat Stevens’ Wild World provided an unexpected thrill, before big hits Addicted To That Rush and To Be With You show the sheer diversity of the band – turbo charged juggernaut one minute, sensitive acoustic ballad the next.

 

Extreme had their work cut out to follow such an impressive performance, but it was obvious from the moment they began It (‘s A Monster) that they were up to the task. Six string legend (and ex-husband of our own Suze DeMarchi) Nuno Bettencourt showed that years playing for Rihanna haven’t dulled his rock chops, and he has the perfect foil in funked up lead singer Gary Cherone (who briefly joined Van Halen back in the day).

Get The Funk Out showed Cherone is still fit as a man half his age as he threw high kicks around the stage and did a mini aerobics class, and if their was a disappointment it was that only Play With Me is featured from their awesome debut album.

Their latter work was more funky, as evidenced with Get The Funk Out, Rest In Peace and Tragic Comic, before an acoustic break for mega hit Hole Hearted and a little of Queen’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love leads into Bettencourt’s solo spot.

The volume is re-amped for Cupid’s Dead, Take Us Alive and Am I Ever Gonna Change, but it’s the ubiquitous More Than Words which brings the house down with superb playing and stunning vocal harmonies, and when Cherone invited the audience to sing even the band were impressed at the word perfect amassed chorus they got in response. It was a magic moment that paved the way for the entire audience to rock out one more time with set closer Decadence Dance, proving that cock rock, hair metal, ‘80s metal or whatever you want to call it, is still adored and has an enthusiastic audience – no matter what commercial media tells you.

Shane

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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