Released: 2010, Frontiers Records
After 13 years away, and several not-so-well-regarded efforts (VAN HALEN III anyone?), early ‘90s rockers Extreme reunited in 2008, for a new album (SAUDADES DE ROCK) and a world tour. TAKE US ALIVE (CD & DVD - this review is on the CD only) documents that trek with a tour-ending stop in the band’s hometown of Boston.
From the electric opening of fan-favourite” Decadence Dance”, it’s obvious that Extreme’s members have lost none of their talent in the years since the group disbanded – Cherone’s vocals are as powerful as ever, Bettencourt’s wizardry with the guitar is still unmatched, and Badger and Figueiredo are as solid a rhythm section as you’ll ever find. As a performing rock band, Extreme is about as professional as it gets. The band rips through a well-balanced set that is heavy on classics but also shows off four songs from their new album. As a live album, it’s as hot as it gets, the hometown crowd is into it and singing along, the band is on fire and the big hits are played.
Standouts, oddly enough, are the four new songs, “Star”, “Comfortably Dumb”, “Take Us Alive”, and “Ghost”. You can tell that the band is really digging on playing their new material for an appreciative crowd. As expected, the crowd really gets into it for the big hits like “Hole Hearted”, “Get The Funk Out” and of course the lighter-waving ballad, “More Than Words”. What more can be said? It’s all here for the Extreme fan, although some of the lesser known songs don’t quite come as well as others (I’m looking at you “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know” and “Am I Ever Gonna Change”).
What it boils down to is that TAKE US ALIVE is the live album that Extreme fans have been waiting for – for almost 20 years. So why the average grade? Easy – I just don’t like a lot of Extreme’s music. For fans though, this is an easy 5/5 and a must-have collection.