So after a moderate wait of approximately 18 years I was finally able to meet my favorite band and my biggest idol and not only once but on two nights in a row. I’ll try to keep this as short as possible even though that’s pretty much impossible. Without further ado…
Day 1: There had been rumors the M&G would start at 4pm , 3pm or 2.15pm. Nobody knew exactly. Wanted to get there in time so got to the venue with Lailuka around 2pm. What a fun and easygoing person she is. Two fans were already waiting outside the venue when we got there, D and Adz. Such nice blokes. Met a bunch of other fans that day too from the message boards and Extremecast like Vinnie French, Crisiki, Abigail, my new Scandinavian brother Zeb and Baz. Such a joy to finally meet you guys. In the end we had to wait for around 3,5 hours before they let us in but at least we got a glimpse of Warwick Davis (Return of the Jedi, Willow, Harry Potter) driving in his nice car.
Day 2: Didn’t want to wait for another three plus hours this time so I got there around 4. It was still over an hour wait but at least it didn’t take long as the day before.
THE MEET & GREET
Day 1: I’ve never been more nervous in my life. Outside I had had around 10 cigarettes trying to cool my nerves. Didn’t work. When Robby (Extreme’s manager) opened the door for us to get in my leg was shaking and felt like Thumper from Bambi. And there they were. Gary, kFigg, Pat and Rihanna’s former guitarist just standing there. It felt so unreal to see them with your own eyes instead of through a telly or a computer screen. Shook all their hands. I was so nervous I didn’t even think of getting my stuff signed or anything. Can you believe I actually started talking to Gary about the weather in Finland. I still can’t believe myself. Talked to him for a minute then went to Nuno and asked “So are you going to play a good show tonight?”. He seemed puzzled by the question and replied “A good show? I don’t know. Maybe we’ll do a shitty one”. And that was the whole conversation I had with my biggest idol of all time. I could’ve blown my brains out for blowing it. Well, it could’ve gone worse I guess as I could’ve said something REALLY stupid. Had a picture taken with the guys and then went to the front of the stage to wait for the soundcheck. When I realised I hadn’t gotten anything signed (I had like a dozen album booklets with me) I went back to wait for a while for them to have a spare second between having their pictures taken with other fans so I could get something signed but didn’t want to bother them anymore so I let it go.
Day 2: Was first one to get inside for the M&G. Was still nervous but thought it couldn’t go worse than yesterday. My good friend Juha-Matti came with me this time and he was excited as well. Again, shook all their hands and thanked for the amazing show last night. Thanked Pat for throwing his pick in my face during Li’l Jack Horny and he smiled. Gave Nuno a CD full of my own songs and the cover said “To Nuno - Thank you for being an inspiration for the past 18 years!”. He did put it on the table at the time but I’m sure he just threw it in the trash once I was out of sight. Still, at least I gave it to him. Got the guys to sign my issue 1 of The Nuno Newsletter and gave my friend Juha-Matti Lailuke’s Saudades booklet to get signed cause he didn’t have anything and I wanted her to get something signed as well. I had thought of getting Nuno to say something to all Extremecasters on video but since they were short on time both nights, I’ll save that until the next tour.
Day 1: It was so amazing to see them on stage in the flesh. They played Comfortable Dumb, Cynical (which sounded fucking AMAZING), Color Me Blind and a bit of When I First Kissed You. Nuno, Figg and Pat also played this piano song for awhile I hadn’t heard before that sounded like it could be a song from their next album. It was like a mixture of Rock N Roll Man and Peace (Saudade). Beautiful stuff nevertheless. Listened to the soundcheck without earplugs and my right ear is still locked 6 days later. It was worth it though.
Day 2: The band tried to play the first verse of Stop The World but had trouble remembering the chords. Nuno asked us which song would we like for them to play Hip Today or Color Me Blind. I shouted Hip Today cause I had already heard Color at the first soundcheck. They played Hip Today to my enjoyment. Nuno also asked what song we would like to hear them play that evening and I was the first one to shout Warheads because that’s the first song I ever knowingly heard from the band and the one that made me a fan. A bunch of people joined me shouting Warheads as well so they played it couple hours later which made me so happy cause that was the one song I really wanted them to play outside Pornograffitti cause that would make the circle complete since that’s the song that started it all for me.
Day 1: In short the best live performance I had ever seen. At one point the light guys turned the lights way up and Gary said “Are we doing a fucking surgery over here? Turn down the lights.” Funny guy that Gary. Seeing Nuno rip his guitar two meters away was unreal and amazing. I don’t think it’s even now fully sunken in, almost a week later. Since I didn’t realise to get anything signed or get the autographed photo or a tour shirt, Daryll was so sweet and gave me his tour shirt even though I said he earned it. Thank you mate, you’re truly one of a kind. After the show Lailuke, Daryll, Adz and me went down the street to this place to grab some grub. A guy walks in saying “I’ve got a bit bigger order here”. Naturally it was for the band. I got a glimpse of the note and between you and me Nuno wanted some fish ‘n chips.
Day 2: I thought it to impossible but the second show was even better. The band was on fire. At one point Gary threw his mic stand and almost got a photographer pierced with it. Nuno has had trouble nailing Bumblebee in the past but this time he played it absolutely perfectly. What a talent. Since we had shouted Warheads at the soundcheck they played it. But right before the solo things went SNAFU and you couldn’t get a beep out of Nuno’s guitar. While the tech tried his best getting it to work Nuno took the time to say a few words. At one point he said something like “Look at Gary and Pat just standing there, enjoying themselves while I’m having trouble. This is how bands break up you know”. After a few minutes Nuno said to Pat “from the end of the second verse, go!” and they just continued from where they had left off like there was no pause at all. Such professionals. Was privileged to meet couple more nice people from the message boards, junk2funk and nunoid. Wish I could’ve talked to you guys longer but next time then.
I’m sure you’ve read the setlists from these shows already so I’m not going to go into specifics.
TO SUM UP
All in all it was an amazing trip getting to come to the UK after 15 long years. I got to see not one but two absolutely amazing shows and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Thank you so much for all of you who I got to meet and chat with. A special thanks to Lailuke for taking up with me for four whole days and to Daryll and Adam for being the coolest guys ever and giving me the chance to hear you guys jam some Extreme stuff on Denmark St. Seeing and meeting Extreme wasn’t the only highlight of this trip. It made me so happy to meet so many fans and see how nice they all were. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Extreme has the best fans in the world.
Antti from Extremecast - Over and out
Arrived in the mail today. Halo 2 for the Xbox.
The 2nd coming of The Nulips.
Nuno of Extreme and Joe Perry of Aerosmith. Both Boston boys.
Screenshot taken from the recent Hellfest interview found in Youtube. If there’s a guitar lying around, this man can’t keep his black fingernails away from it.
Just finished watching the finale episode of MARRIED WITH CHILDREN. Funny show from start to finish. You don’t get better marriage banter anywhere else. Al Bundy is such a great character. I think as a family man Al even surpasses Homer Simpson himself.
This marked the 63rd show I’ve seen as a whole.
Nuno’s gun in Milan yesterday.
Extreme played in Paris couple days ago. Their warm-up act was called The New Princess. The bassist of that band is Donovan Bettencourt (former Mourning Widows) and I gotta say their drummer had a remarkable resemblance to one Nuno Bettencourt. In other words, Nuno did his Inspector Clouseau bit again. He’s getting pretty good at this disguising business.
Extreme at Hellfest Open Air earlier today.
Arrived in the mail today. TIMESPLITTERS for the PS2.