Nuno Bettencourt performs sitting down after busting his knee on Monsters of Rock Cruise – but still nails the Rise solo

Nuno Bettencourt recently injured his knee playing basketball on the Monsters of Rock 2023 Cruise. However, despite a little self-consciousness at having to perform seated, the Extreme virtuoso gamely hammered through the band’s set the next day.

Clips of yesterday’s (May 4) MOR performance show Bettencourt – never one to take a backseat in performances – positioned upfront on his chair, armed with his Washburn N4 signature guitar and seemingly suffering no impediment to his playing ability. At one point he joked with the crowd, “I guess I can play sitting down!”

Nuno’s solo on Extreme’s comeback single Rise left guitarists’ jaws on the floor a few months back and it’s a challenging part at the best of times, let alone performed live with a leg injury. However, Nuno nonetheless hits his groove when the time comes, executing a flawless rendition of the monster guitar solo.

Set closer Get the Funk Out also shows the band in fine fettle, with frontman Gary Cherone looking unjustly spry for a man in his 60s – and still sounding good, too.

At the end of the clip, Bettencourt hobbles off on crutches, but after giving a wistful glance to the crowd, tells the assembled: “Thank you so much. Once again, I apologize.” It would seem from the clip that the vast majority of those in attendance would deem it an unnecessary apology.

Footage has also emerged of the guitarist sustaining the injury – perhaps one of the disadvantages of being on a cruise with fans wielding smartphones – in a ‘rockers vs cruisers’ basketball game. The guitarist is forced to leave the game in a wheelchair and was later photographed moving around with the aid of crutches. 

The injury has come at an unfortunate time for the band, as they gear up for the release of new album Six next month. Indeed, their previous Monsters of Rock Cruise show was Extreme’s first public outing with the new material, including Nuno’s first live performance of the Rise solo – this time performed standing.

In other recent Nuno news, the guitarist has criticized the lack of coverage he and the rest of Rihanna's band received during the singer's Super Bowl performance, saying, "The hell with the NFL for not giving any love to the band".

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar,, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.