Gig review: Extreme at O2 Academy Leeds

Extreme at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Neil Chapman
Extreme at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Neil Chapman
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Watching and reviewing a rock band who’s career spans over 30 years can sometimes be a bit daunting. The questions that were running through my head as the show crept up: Will they still be as good as they were back in the day? Will they still sound the same? Yes. They did.

Admittedly for me, the show was one of pure nostalgia, and a visit to the past some 25 years ago. Kicking off the show with Decadence Dance from Extreme II: Pornograffitti, they delivered their all there and then, and kept giving as the night went on.

Extreme at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Neil Chapman

Extreme at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Neil Chapman

Funky, thunderous baselines, drums that didn’t skip a beat, Nuno Bettencourt’s wailing guitar just as good as the day the songs were written, and Gary Cherone’s voice sounding powerful and ageless.

Almost 30 years on they still have ‘it’. The spark. The passion. The stamina.

Over the course of the show, I couldn’t tear my eyes and ears away from the energetic rock poses and the massive sounds that surpassed my extremely high expectations.

All of them, including Pat Badger and Kevin Figueiredo, seemed to have boundless energy that most bands today simply don’t have. They knew how to put on a rock show. They played all of the classics, which is pretty much what the crowd ordered; with an abundance of style and aplomb. And the attitude that took them to the heights of fame decades ago.

The last track started playing, their biggest hit to date, ‘More Than Words’ rang out across the O2, and everybody in that room sang out. I have never seen a crowd of that size sing a song back to a band and blow them off of the stage before – it was literally the highlight of the evening, watching Cherone and Bettencourt stare out in amazement, even pausing briefly just to listen to us all.

By far to date, that was the best rock show I have seen.

Gary Numan is touring with his new album and will be appearing in Hull and Sheffield.

Interview (with audio) – Gary Numan: ‘When Savage got to No 2 I properly cried like a baby’