jakub | October 2, 2023

EXTREME PLAYED TO A SOLD-OUT CROWD AT ZEPP HANEDA IN TOKYO, JAPAN, ON SEPTEMBER 27, 2023


 

 

On a steaming hot evening, rock fans from across Japan converged on Zepp Haneda in Tokyo to witness Extreme’s electrifying performance. Extreme brought their “Thicker Than Blood” tour to Tokyo with their new album Six, which was released in June 2023 after 15 years! The album has been critically acclaimed, and we were eagerly awaited their show.

Their last visit to Japan was in 2016. With starting Japan tour in Sendai, they already played in 5 cities and 6 nights, and that night was the last day of their Asian leg. Of course, all Japan shows were sold out! The new venue Zepp Haneda was built in 2020 and is located near Haneda Airport. It is a clean and good venue for rock concert.

Extreme is an American rock band formed in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1985. They have released six studio albums and sold over 10 million albums worldwide. It was a powerful comeback after some ups and downs over the years. I attended their concert almost 30 years ago when they were on III Sides to Every Story tour if I remember correctly. I was very young, and it was an unforgettable experience because their live performance was just brilliant. Therefore, photographing them was a huge honor for me and I can’t thank you enough to the all the people who gave me this special opportunity.

Extreme took over the stage 10 minutes past 7 p.m. They immediately bursted into the first song “It (‘s a Monster)” off of Extreme II: Pornograffitti (1990), which instantly got everyone moving. It was hard to find a good space to photograph them because the photo pit was very narrow, and the venue was fully packed. The first song of the same album “Decadence Dance” and the killer tune “#REBEL” from their latest album Six followed. The audience was in a rapture! It’s unbelievable that I saw their live 30 years ago. I’m not joking: They are more energetic and getting better!

Gary Cherone’s powerful vocals and stage presence were as impressive as ever. He was always running around the stage and paying attention to the audience from the front row to the second floor. It’s obvious he’s been continuing to train hard. I have tremendous respect for him.

After “Rest in Peace” from III Sides to Every Story (1992) and “Hip Today” off of Waiting for the Punchline (1995), the band delivered a fabulous medley from their self-titled debut album Extreme (1989). Their set list was well curated. It was a best mix of classic hits and songs from their latest album Six, with showing their huge respect to Queen, Eddie Van Halen, James Brown, and more. New songs sounded cool in their live performance. Gary was a great showman to entertain the audience. I’m sure you were able to enjoy the show even if you didn’t know any of their songs.

After call and response of Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” fun song “Play With Me” from the first album Extreme was played. We were so excited by their high-octane performance. Now, it was time to slow down. There was a change of scenery. A mini drum kit was set in front of the stage for Kevin Figueiredo and Nuno played an electric-acoustic guitar with a cool hat on. In the middle of “OTHER SIDE OF THE RAINBOW” off of Six, Nuno moved to the center of the stage and Gary played Nuno’s white guitar on the right side. I believe it was very rare. The next song “Hole Hearted” was so touching and heartwarming. Everybody was singing along. I felt happy to be there.

Nuno Bettencourt, the guitar hero, showed his exceptional skills in every tune and wooed the audience through the show. My favorite part of the night was his acoustic guitar solo of “Midnight Express” off of Waiting for the Punchline. His play was phenomenal. I wanted to listen and watch him forever! Of course, their most popular song and the heartfelt ballad “More Than Words” from Extreme II: Pornograffitti was impressive too. The audience sang along with every word, and we felt like a family.

I have to mention that we were surprised to hear the powerful voice of the bassist Pat Badger. He took all the backing vocals. The crowd gave him a cheer every time he sang with his rich and strong voice. In addition, the virtuosity of the rhythm section of Pat and Kevin was noteworthy. Pat’s groovy bass lines and Kevin’s solid drumming created the perfect rhythm and provided the backbone for Extreme’s unique sound, which was a brilliant mix of rock, funk, and metal.

They closed the main set with exciting “Get the Funk Out” and the audience’s enthusiasm reached a fever pitch. No one wanted this to end, and the band came back to the stage soon. For their encore, Extreme played two beautiful ballads, “SMALL TOWN BEAUTIFUL” and “Song for Love”, then finished off their set with furious new tune “RISE”.

After that, Nuno thanked to the audience and asked them “I would like to ask you a favor. Can we shoot your video for our new song?” How could we say no to Nuno? Of course, yes! Then “THICKER THAN BLOOD” was played and the crowd went absolutely crazy! They finally ended the 120-minutes set with “HERE’S TO THE LOSERS” and expressed thanks to the audience, all the stuff, and the promoter.

Tokyo was treated to a night of great rock music. Extreme’s performance was nothing short of spectacular. We will never forget their pure rock ‘n’ roll energy, exceptional musicianship, phenomenal skills. Believe me, they are at the top of their game. Be sure to check them out when they come to your area!

 

Extreme:

Gary Cherone – Vocals
Nuno Bettencourt – Guitar, Vocals
Pat Badger – Bass, Vocals
Kevin Figueiredo – Drums

 

 

Set list:
1. It (‘s a Monster)
2. Decadence Dance
3. #REBEL
4. Rest in Peace
5. Hip Today
6. Teacher’s Pet / Flesh ‘n’ Blood / Wind Me Up / Kid Ego
7. Play With Me (Intro: Queen’s “We Will Rock You”)
8. OTHER SIDE OF THE RAINBOW
9. Hole Hearted
10. Cupid’s Dead (Intro: James Brown’s “Sex Machine”/Sam Cooke’s “Cupid”; Middle: Van Halen’s “Eruption”)
11. Am I Ever Gonna Change
12. Midnight Express
13. More Than Words
14. BANSHEE (Intro: Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls”)
15. Take Us Alive / That’s All Right
16. Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee
17. Get the Funk Out

Encore:
18. SMALL TOWN BEAUTIFUL / Song for Love
19. RISE
THICKER THAN BLOOD (Song played from tape, lip sync, video shooting)
HERE’S TO THE LOSERS (Song played from tape)

 

 

 

 

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