EXTREME – Pornograffitti Live 25 [Japanese edition 2-CD Set]

EXTREME - Pornograffitti Live 25 [Japanese edition 2-CD Set] full

When you figure out that an album like EXTREME‘s ‘Pornograffitti’ – which for many of us defined one of our teenage Summers – turned more than 25 years, doesn’t make you think time flies?
It happened two years ago when the band celebrated the event with “Pornograffitti Live 25: Metal Meltdown”, a CD / DVD concert capturing the Boston band performing the classic multi-platinum Grammy-nominated album ‘Pornograffitti’ in its entirety.

This Japanese release is the only available featuring the entire show on CDaudio. It includes an extra CD with the songs ‘Play With Me’ and ‘Cupid’s Dead’ (in the regular release, only on the DVD-video), simply because doesn’t fit into one single CD.
Additionally, the artwork is different than the regular release.

Maybe you haven’t played your copy of ‘Pornograffitti’ in a while. It was one of those discs that had appealing songs from start to finish, each different from the last. All 13 songs (14 if you include the solo “Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee”) are reproduced in sequence on this live CD release.

The familiar taped intro of rain and piano inaugurates the “funked-up fairy tail” that is Pornograffitti. “Trying so hard to keep up with the Joneses!” begins Gary and and the crowd knows all the words. With Nuno Bettencourt and Pat Badger helping out, the Extreme vocals are nice and thick live.
The sound is beefy goodness, wound up in electric guitar strings. Kicking it on drums, Kevin Figueiredo keeps things pretty close to the way original drummer Paul Geary did it. “Decadence Dance” is sincerely good nostalgia.

Following the vague storyline of the original album, “Lil’ Jack Horny” shows up amidst shimmery guitar harmonics and a funky lil’ riff. The horn parts (tapes?) jack up the funky little guitar number, which carries over to “When I’m President”. Nuno squeaks and squonks while Gary waxes poetic. “So go ask Alice, ah you know what he said? What did he say — remember, I wanna be elected?” Maybe one day Gary, because it is indeed true: just about anyone can be president! Cherone promises that things’ll be different. You can even be in his cabinet!

The funk peaks (obviously) on “Get the Funk Out” which remains as silly and fun as it was 15 years ago (listen for a little bit of a lyrical modernization from Nuno). It’s pure live smoke only slowed down by the obligatory audience participation section.
This appropriately segues into “More Than Words”, which is slightly more than a singalong. Stripped naked of the loud guitars, Nuno and Gary can still harmonize as clean and perfect as they always have.

EXTREME - Pornograffitti Live 25 [Japanese edition 2-CD Set] booklet

“Money” resumes the rock, as Gary bemoans the modern worship of the almighty dollar. Nimbly killing it on both guitar and harmonies, Nuno Bettencourt is a super hero. He does it again on “It (‘s a Monster)”, a stock album track that goes from point A to point B at top speed.
Some real gems start showing up a in steady string from there. “Pornograffitti” possesses some serious funk metal riffage and guitar tricks, performed at an unbelievable level of rock supremacy. Then it is time for the slow jazz lounge croon “When I First Kissed You”. Piano flourishes and Figueiredo on brushes lend it a really pretty dusky sound.

“And now back to our regularly scheduled program!” shouts Gary as Extreme once again puts on their rock and roll shoes. It’s time for “Suzi (Wants Her All Day What?)”, another funky rock combo. Nuno plays some of the fastest licks ever attempted, but that is mere warm-up, for next is “Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee”, the legendary guitar instrumental that re-defined the guitar instrumental for a short while.
There is no time to recover because it’s straight into “He-Man Woman Hater”. This Van Halen-like blast contains some of Nuno’s finest fret abuse.

‘Pornograffitti’ was also a little different, and one aspect of that is that it ended with two ballads. Historically that has been demonstrated as a risky way to end an album, but Extreme pulled it off by using two that were different from any of the others on the CD.
“Song For Love” was a big pompous Queen-like anthem, and you can all but see the lighters and cell phones waving in the air. “Hole Hearted” was the memorable acoustic closing number, great for campfires and rock concerts alike. Live is just as solid as the studio original.

EXTREME - Pornograffitti Live 25 [Japanese edition 2-CD Set] back

Onto to the Japanese bonus CD with its two bonus tracks. “Play With Me” has always been a bit of a novelty, but notable for its sheer velocity and Mozart-a-go-go guitar dexterity. Few players have chops like these.
“Cupid’s Dead” is a set highlight – heavy, funky and progressive at times. Extreme III deserves as much praise as Extreme II: Pornograffitti so it is quite pleasing to have this adventurous track close.

The sound quality on “Pornograffitti Live 25: Metal Meltdown” is excellent with all instruments and vocals coming out pristine and clear. This is helped by Extreme’s musicians terrific onstage set-up sound gear, something that always characterized the band.
Darn, there’s few acts that sound so compact like Extreme does, even more than 25 years after their heyday.
Bravo to Extreme for making this trip back in time a real treat.
HIGHLY Recommended

You’ve seen it first here, at 0dayrox

Victor Entertainment 【VICP-65417 / 8】
『 ポルノグラフィティ ・ ライヴ 25

CD 1:
01 – Decadence Dance (Live)
02 – Li’l Jack Horny (Live)
03 – When I’m President (Live)
04 – Get the Funk Out (Live)
05 – More Than Words (Live)
06 – Money (In God We Trust) (Live)
07 – It (‘s a Monster) (Live)
08 – Pornograffitti (Live)
09 – When I First Kissed You (Live)
10 – Suzi (Wants Her All Day What?) (Live)
11 – Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee (Live)
12 – He-Man Woman Hater (Live)
13 – Song For Love (Live)
14 – Hole Hearted (Live)

CD 2:
01 – Play With Me (Live)
02 – Cupid’s Dead (Live)

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


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