Get the Funk Out: Extreme & Living Colour on Tour | 02.09.24, River City Casino

Extreme & Living Colour | 7:00 PM | River City Casino, 777 River City Casino Blvd. | All ages | $35+

Children of the ‘80s, rejoice! Extreme and Living Colour, two titans of funk metal who thrived during the hair metal era, will bring their 2024 US tour to the River City Casino this Friday, February 9th.

Formed in Boston in 1985, Extreme released four albums in their original run in the 1980s and 1990s, before going on hiatus for roughly a decade. They eventually reunited for the 2008 album Saudades de Rock, and have consistently toured since. The band is currently touring in support of their sixth studio album, the aptly titled Six. Their first record of new material in nearly 15 years, the album was released in June 2023 through earMusic, a label whose roster includes many other hard rock acts of the ‘70s and ‘80s (Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Skid Row, etc.).

The core of Extreme is vocalist Gary Cherone and Portuguese-born guitar phenomenon Nuno Bettencourt, who have been with the band since its inception. In addition to Cherone and Bettencourt, the band’s current lineup also features original bassist Pat Badger, who played on all six of the band’s studio albums. They are joined by Kevin Figueiredo, who has been the group’s drummer since their reunion in 2007.

To the great shock of this writer, this will be the first time Extreme has played St. Louis in nearly 30 years, their last performance being at the legendary Mississippi Nights in May 1995. Extreme’s first performance in the city was also at Mississippi Nights, during the 1990 tour for their second album, Pornograffiti (a.k.a. Extreme II). This was the record that launched Extreme into international rock stardom, with its ubiquitous lead single “More Than Words,” the Monster Ballad to end all Monster Ballads, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Music videos for “More Than Words” and the album’s other singles (“Get the Funk Out,” “Hole Hearted,” “Decadence Dance”) received heavy rotation on MTV, particularly on Headbanger’s Ball, and the album would eventually be certified double platinum by the RIAA (i.e., over 2 million records sold). Although none of the group’s subsequent albums reached the same zenith of popularity as Pornograffiti, the band has nonetheless maintained a considerable cult following over the years, particularly in Bettencourt’s home country of Brazil, where hard rock and heavy metal has always enjoyed a passionate following.

“But wait, there’s more!” That Hard Rock Monster Hits of the ‘80s compilation CD you bought while watching infomercials at 2:00AM didn’t just have “More Than Words” on it. Skip forward a few tracks and you would surely encounter the funk rock behemoth “Cult of Personality” as well.

Like their tourmates in Extreme, Living Colour are sometimes (criminally) written off as a “one hit wonder.” Formed in NYC in 1984, Living Colour was a breath of fresh air for American hard rock: a band whose members were all Black, who took the tropes of ‘80s heavy metal and injected them with elements of “Black music”: funk, jazz, R&B, rock ‘n roll, etc. The group’s unique musical perspective is also reflected in their lyrics and themes, with many of their songs speaking to the experiences of Black Americans in a way that had never really been done in heavy metal before or since.

Vernon Reid and Corey Glover of Living Colour at Wayback Pointfest, 08.31.19. Photo by Joe Johnson, Crossroad Images.

Living Color has had a remarkably consistent lineup for a band that has been active for four decades: the group still consists of legendary guitar shredder Vernon Reid, vocalist Corey Glover, and drummer Will Calhoun, who have appeared on every one of the band’s six albums (longtime bassist Doug Wimbish joined the band in 1992, and has been with them ever since). Although they will always be best known for their 1988 debut album Vivid, and its iconic lead single “Cult of Personality” (a song that only grows in relevance every year), the group’s discography is full of incredible tunes and every one of their albums deserves a spin.

Like Extreme, Living Colour has consistently toured throughout their long history together, and also like Extreme, Living Colour has only released six albums over a nearly 40-year period. (I will always take the quality-over-quantity approach to album releases myself.) Living Colour was last in St. Louis in July 2022, when they opened for local Pink Floyd tribute band El Monstero at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre. (They also played the 2019 edition of Wayback Pointfest, and our Joe Johnson was there. Check out his killer photo gallery.) | David Von Nordheim

Extreme & Living Colour 2024 US Tour:

*Extreme only

**Living Colour only

02.09.24 – St. Louis, MO – River City Casino and Hotel

02.10.24 – New Buffalo, MI – Four Winds Casino Resort

02.12.24 – Kansas City, MO – Knuckleheads**

02.13.24 – Wichita, KS – The Cotillion

02.14.24 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre

02.15.24 – Omaha, NE – Barnato**

02.16.24 – Quapaw, OK – Downstream Casino

02.17.24 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues Dallas

02.19.24 – Austin, TX – ACL Live at the Moody Theater

02.20.24 – Houston, TX – House of Blues Houston

02.22.24 – Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad**

02.23.24 – Phoenix, AZ – The Van Buren

02.24.24 – Indio, CA – Fantasy Springs Resort Casino

02.25.24 – Wheatland, CA – Hard Rock Live Wheatland

02.27.24 – San Luis Obispo, CA – Fremont Theatre**

02.28.24 – Los Angeles, CA – The Bellwether

02.29.24 – Las Vegas, NV – The Theater at Virgin Hotels

03.01.24 – Farmington, NM – Dino’s Mart & Hideaway**

03.02 –03.07.24 – Miami, FL – Monsters of Rock Cruise*

03.03.24 – Odessa, TX – Ector Theater**

03.04.24 – Oklahoma City, OK – Beer City Music Hall**

03.06.24 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues**

03.08.24 – Orlando, FL – Hard Rock Live

03.09.24 – St. Petersburg, FL – Jannus Live

03.10.24 – Jacksonville, FL – Florida Theatre

03.12.24 – Atlanta, GA – Buckhead Theatre

03.13.24 – Huntsville, AL – Mars Music Hall

03.15.24 – Memphis, TN – Soundstage at Graceland

03.16.24 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium

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