Artist: Mr. Big & Extreme
Date: Friday June 1st 2018
Venue: Eatons Hill Hotel
Reviewer: Andrew Treadwell
Photographer: Andrew Treadwell – Hang Me On Your Wall Photography
Its been a long time coming for fans of Mr. Big and Extreme. Almost 30 years between visits for Extreme, made for a lot of excitement surrounding this tour. Both bands product of the 80s but the calibre of players made it also a show for the musician geeks and rock heads all alike. Where else on one stage would you have someone who sang in Van Halen, and someone who played bass with the original singer for Van Halen, coupled with the guitar player for pop sensation Rhianna, all the while being bona-fide rock gods in their own right.
Mr. Big took to the stage first. The band made up of Eric Martin, Billy Sheehan, Paul Gilbert and Matt Starr (Ace Frehley Band) in place for the late and much missed Pat Torpey. Starr, by the way is not only a powerhouse drummer, but holds his own in the vocal department as well. He has been with Mr. Big a few years now and really respects the legacy of Pat Torpey and Mr. Big.
The band played a great variety of tracks from their career, which probably confused some of their casual fans but hopefully lit a fire for them to go out and buy the back catalogue. Of course the fans voices over shadowed the band when they busted into “To Be With You”, which the band really appreciated the response.
Highlights were of course the monster bass of Billy Sheehan that got a spotlight in “Addicted To That Rush” and Paul Gilbert busting out the cordless drill in the set, which has to be seen to be believed. Though I do feel Eric Martins cover of “Wild World” could have been replaced with another Mr. Big song, it just didn’t fit. The career spanning set finished with “Collorado Bulldog” and the stage was set for Extreme
After many failed attempts over the years, Australia finally got to see Extreme. Wasting no time busting into “It’s A Monster”, the band were all over the stage, especially front man Gary Cherone, who is a consummate showman, something that is sorely missing from artists of today. It’s like people don’t want to be rock stars any more. The band focused heavily on their earlier albums, and I know they have talked about recording a new album, so lets hope we see them down here again soon in support of that.
Just wanna give a tip of the hat to drummer Kevin Figueiredo. Kevin has been with for over 10 years now, but is still seen as the new guy. Following in the footsteps of drummers Paul Geary and Mike Mangini, he had some big shoes to fill, he not only filled them but went up a size. He did a great, quick solo spot, and it really showed what a fantastic player he is, and the perfect rhythm section team mate for Pat Badger. Songs like “Get The Funk Out” and my all time favourite Extreme song “Hip Today” were played with so much energy, it showed the band still felt they had a lot to prove. Im a huge fan of the III Sides and Waiting For The Punchline albums, so to hear songs from those albums made me so happy. Of course the crowd waited in anticipation for the two sing along songs. “More Than Words” and “Hole Hearted” both got huge responses and the crowd lapped up the attention from the band, as did the band from the crowd.
Extreme said goodbye with “Decadence Dance”, but hopefully its only a small farewell and we will see them soon. Mr. Big hopefully sees how much they are loved here and aren’t strangers as well. The fans spoke tonight, and lets hope the promoters listen and we get more of these great touring packages here soon.