Take Us Alive

Written by: PP on 03/05/2010 21:21:25

Funky hard rockers from Extreme may be more associated with the late 80s and early 90s than anything recent when talking about noteworthy releases, but that hasn't prevented them from putting together a 17 track live album recorded in their hometown Boston at the famed House Of Blues venue on August 8th 2009. It was the final concert on the band's East Meets West tour, and they were determined to do something "really special for our hometown fans that were there for us since the beginning... the club days". Judging by the crowd reaction throughout the record, mission accomplished.

"Take Us Alive" features a nice cross-cut of material dating from the first records all the way to their most recent album to the extent that you could call the setlist more or less the best of Extreme. For those not in the know, Extreme reference bands like (early) Aerosmith and Van Halen, so their songs are a perfect fit in a live environment because of the way they love to expand by travelling in every direction at large venues. And that's why the production is so key in making "Take Us Alive" such an enjoyable album even if you're not an Extreme fanboy (or is it fanman, since they are so old?). The crowd is well audible in the mix, singing along and cheering at the end of the songs, and the music itself is among the most crystal clear recordings I've heard on a live album to date. Much kudos to whoever recorded and mixed the album, they clearly knew exactly what they were doing.

Highlights on the record are not surprisingly the singles, "Star", "More Than Words" and "Hole Hearted" among others, as these are the ones that create the most crowd response, though their hometown Boston audience is loud throughout the record. Normally I would think thrice before recommending a live album to people other than the particular band's own fans, but because of the sheer quality in songs and production, plus the superb setlist spanning throughout Extreme's career, I don't see why "Take Us Alive" couldn't be a good introduction to Extreme; for actual fans of the band, the interaction between the band and the audience is also going to feel like one of those "I wish I could've been there" moments.


Download: Star, More Than Words, Hole Hearted
For the fans of: Aerosmith, Van Halen
Listen: Myspace

Release date 23.04.2010
Frontiers Records

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