Extreme and Living Colour at Carnegie Library Music Hall – Homestead, PA – 2/6/2024

The Carnegie Library Music Hall in Homestead, PA, in Pittsburgh’s waterfront welcomed Extreme with support from Living Colour last night, and we couldn’t have been more excited to see the packed-in crowd for the show on a Tuesday evening (though we could have done with out the tunnel traffic and parking challenges, but that’s a ‘Burgh thing).

The evening began just after 8pm when Living Colour took the stage to a seated crowd, but that didn’t last long once the audience realized what the band had in store for them during their quick paced set.

Living Colour features the talents of guitarist Vernon Reid, lead vocalist Corey Glover, drummer Will Calhoun, along with bassist Doug Wimbish, who joined the band in 1992.  Doug adds a history of some noteworthy session work on his lengthy resume that included work with the Sugar Hill Gang, giving the band the opportunity to jam on “Apache (Jump on it),” which always makes me think of Will Smith and Alfonso Ribeiro dancing on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (please tell me you are thinking it too).  But, as you can imagine, that definitely was way to get people on their despite the tight seating in the historic theater.

Add in the “Glamour Boys” and the song that Living Colour is best known for, “Cult of Personality”, which won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1990, and then watch frontman Corey Glover strut through the crowd with his microphone in hand to encourage some fist pounding fun, and we had ourselves a party.

With six studio albums behind them it was hard to see them go after such a short set, but we knew there was much more to come with Extreme following shortly behind them and hitting the stage just after 9pm.

Given that Extreme are regulars on the Monsters of Rock Cruise, Monsters on the Mountain (renamed The Mountain), M3 Rock Festival, and Rokisland Fest, we have seen many performance from the band over the last decade, but last night was really special for a variety of reasons.  For instance, it was the first time I’ve seen them play a two-hour headlining set in decades (which is really hard for me to fathom given how much I love this band), and it was also the first time I brought along one of my children for the ride.

While I’ve been listening to Extreme since junior high school, and first caught them on the road with Saigon Kick back in 1991, my youngest is nearly seventeen and decided to start her exploration of the band with their long-awaited new album Six which was released last June.

So cool to see her taking a dive-deeper into the Extreme catalog than the instantly recognizable “More Than Words,” which included an epic chorus of audience participation, or the upbeat “Hole Hearted” which gives drummer Kevin Figueiredo a chance to jam with his rhythm section partner Pat Badger and sing along with Gary center stage.  (Though she did happily sing along and score a drum stick along with the other young ones down front as they enjoyed the insanely close proximity of the band).

The night offered a well orchestrated blend of old and new with the most touching example being the medley of their new ballad “Small Town Beautiful” with the classic lyrics of “Song For Love.” And, parents proudly announcing themselves as rock ‘n roll families signed up for the band’s VIP experience along with their children to fill in the front row quickly illustrating the multi-generational appeal at the sold-out show.

I must admit that while I enjoy the energetic and slick delivery of frontman Gary Cherone, I was having trouble keeping up with as I worked around the crowd down front. But, after I got my shots in from the balcony (which was equally packed an heating up like a sauna), I sure enjoyed dancing along to my personal favorites like “Get The Funk Out” from Extreme II: Pornograffitti and “Cupid’s Dead” from III Sides to Every Story.

It seems like those albums just came out yesterday but then you realize that we aren’t kids anymore.  In fact, guitarist Nuno Bettencourt joked that they decided as teenagers that they wouldn’t release music unless it meant something to them (in explanation around the many years it took to write and release Six) when he greeted the audience during the show.  And with him taking lead at the microphone for the ballad “Hurricane” following his instrumental “Midnight Tornado,” it was clear that this new release has meaning.

There were other meaningful moments like when the band’s intro music included a cut from Kingdom Come, either intentionally or incidentally paying homage to the recently departed drummer James Kottak, and the explicitly intentional tribute that Nuno gave to guitarist Eddie Van Halen in celebration of his birthday which would have been at the end of January.

Other favorites included the electrified “Play With Me” from that hilarious mall scene in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure mid-set, and the enthusiastic embrace new favorites like the epic “Rise,” which the chose for the finale which kept the band jumping as they fed off the energy from the crowd returning to encore.

And, just when we thought it was over, the band invited us to pose for a photo and Gary jumped into the front row with their fans for the pose, and the entire band greeted the lucky fans down front with handshakes, guitar picks, and well wishes before saying a final farewell.

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You can also show your support by following us @ThePureRockShop on Facebook and Instagram.  Watch for more festival coverage like Rokisland Fest as well as local shows including Metal Allegiance this past month.  And, in March, you’ll find us on the Monsters of Rock Cruise, and in May, you’ll find us at the M3 Rock Festival in Baltimore.

Coverage by Editor and founder Kara Marie Uhrlen on 2/7/2024.  All event photos by Kara Uhrlen and The Pure Rock Shop.  You can also check out another capture from Kara in The Pittsburgh Tribune Review along with writer Mike Palm’s review of the show here.