Say what you will about More than Words and Hole Hearted, but when Extreme came out in 1989 with their first album, and Pornograffiti in 1990, they had a refreshing twist on the hair metal bands of the day. Their blend of funk, with horns, and Nuno’s guitar playing put them head and shoulders above their contemporaries, such as Winger, Slaughter or Poison.
I saw them a number of times live, including headlining at the Eagle’s Club right after Pornograffitti was released, with Alice in Chains opening, before Alice in Chains broke big. One of the two times I saw Alice in Chains, and it was already clear that Layne Staley was in the throes of the heroin addiction that would later kill him, as Alice in Chains performance was awful, and they were booed off the stage.
Extreme live was a different story – Gary Cherone’s energy is infectious, and Nuno’s guitar playing is absolutely amazing. I’ve seen them in everything from a small club to an arena, and they always rocked the house. I always swore I wouldn’t be one of those old guys who goes to concerts of the bands he followed in high school, but I may have to make an exception for this one.