US-based legends Extreme along with special guests Living Colour, arrived at the O2 City Hall in Newcastle for perhaps one of the most eagerly anticipated rock shows on Tyneside this year. But did the clash of the funk rock titans live up to our expectations? The answer is unquestionably yes.

When you get a band of the calibre of Living Colour opening the proceedings, it is always going to be a special occasion. The group kicked off their set with a homage to Jimi Hendrix on what would have been the late great guitarist's 81st birthday by way of a rousing cover of Crosstown Traffic.

Classics from the Living Colour repertoire came in thick and fast with the likes of Leave It Alone, Love Rears Its Ugly Head, Glamour Boys and fan favourite Cult of Personality all featuring inside the group's 40-minute set. Living Colour also gave a nod to the 50th anniversary of hip hop by way of a medley of tracks from the era, sighting bass player Doug Wimbish's contributions to the genre.

The gifted and versatile US-based quartet were the perfect choice to hit the road with Extreme on this run. And their opening set was the cherry on top of a very strong touring bill.

It’s been six years since the last time Extreme performed in the region, with a show at the former O2 Academy Newcastle in 2017. Only this time, the group returned with a new album under their belt titled Six – their first studio album since 2008's Saudades de Rock. Despite the long gap between studio releases, the group’s fans would agree that Six has been worth the wait. The capacity crowd at the O2 City Hall on Monday evening was a testament to that and the band's staying power.

When you think about Extreme, your mind immediately flashes back to the early 90's, and the group's slew of radio hits and that unforgettable appearance at the Freddie Mercury Tribute at Wembley Stadium.

At the top of the show, those memories came flooding back as the group nostalgically opened the set with It’s A Monster and Decadence Dance from their 1990 album Pornograffiti. The latter was an album which opened the door for the group around the world. In fact, Extreme played on this very same stage whilst touring with their seminal album back in 1991.

Extreme may not have been prolific visitors to the region, but each of their performances in the North East has been memorable. Whether that be their support slot with Bryan Adams in 1992 at Gateshead Stadium or their show at Whitley Bay Ice Rink in 1993 on the III Sides to Every Story tour. But quite often, there have been large periods between return visits. Which perhaps has made each show in the region even more special.

But it wasn't all about the nostalgia, despite there being a healthy dose of it. Extreme's latest album sees the Boston-originating quartet firing on all cylinders. The early inclusion of Rebel at the top of the set showed just how seamlessly the band's current material sits side by side with their greatest hits. The likes of their recent single Other Side of the Rainbow and the hard-rocking Banshee also featured. The group's sound may have evolved from the 90s, but it's the perfect example of contemporary rock without forgetting where the band came from.

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There were occasional nods to Queen and Freddie Mercury, who, of course, were huge influences on the band by way of excerpts of We Will Rock You and Fat Bottomed Girls. Gary Cherone’s energy, along with his heart and soul performance, conjured up images of the great frontmen of yore.

For the guitarists, an audience with Nuno Bettencourt is an unforgettable experience. Nuno’s blistering fretwork excited the crowd all night long, particularly during tracks such as Play With Me. The latter featured on the soundtrack to Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Nuno's eastern-tinged acoustic extravaganza Midnight Express and his electrifying Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee left the O2 City Hall fans spellbound.

There were many highlights of the set, including a harmonious airing of Hole Hearted and a jammed-out rendition of Am I Ever Gonna Change, to name but a few. Of course, the main set would not be complete without the anthemic Get The Funk Out.

On Monday night, there weren’t enough terms to explain how good the band’s performance was. It left this writer flabbergasted. Perhaps you could say their show was More Than Words could describe. In Newcastle, Extreme let their music do the talking. And it spoke volumes.