Ratt is playing at the Medina Entertainment Center in Medina tonight in support of their excellent new album Infestation (reviewed here). Their current lineup includes former Quiet Riot guitarist Carlos Cavazo, so I dug through my archives to show some old Ratt and Quiet Riot memorabilia and some memories from these shows.
The first concert I ever went to was Quiet Riot and Eric Steele in 1984 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. I was only in eighth grade, so my dad took my brother and me at the urging of my brother. It was my first concert, so how could I not be impressed by Kevin Dubrow's showmanship and antics, such as having Carlos Cavazo ride his shoulders while playing guitar? This was near the start of their Condition Critical campaign, so they played a huge number of tracks from that album and Metal Health. I was hooked on live music for life. Thanks, Dad! My dad complained for days about his ringing ears, and took the picture below. It's not the best live shot, but it conveys the excitement I felt at this show.
Quiet Riot hit hard times quickly, of course, and I didn't see them again until the summer of 1993 in Columbus, Ohio while supporting Terrified, and from how the band enjoyed playing you'd never know about their past troubles. I last saw them in Kansas City in 1997, and they still put on a great show. Sadly, Kevin Dubrow passed away 2007 from a drug overdose, and he never is given proper credit for both his skills as a singer and for enlightening a whole new generation of metalheads like myself.
Another one of my first concerts was Ratt in 1985 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with a young Bon Jovi as the opening band. Other shows I saw around this time were Deep Purple and Giuffria, Dio and Rough Cutt, Kiss and Dokken, Bryan Adams and Kim Mitchell, and the legendary 1986 Iowa Jam with Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, Dokken, Metallica, and Armored Saint. Ratt was touring in support of Invasion Of Your Privacy, and Bon Jovi had released 7800º Fahrenheit earlier in the year. Bon Jovi got a huge response from the crowd, and you could tell they would become stars. Ratt blew me away playing all of their killer early material, and their stage setup with ramps and tons of lights was impressive to me. In retrospect, this was probably the best time to see both bands. I have old concert shirts from these early Quiet Riot, Ratt, and Bon Jovi tours - I'll post some pictures if I can ever find the storage box! I thought I was so cool in junior high school with my concert shirts because some pretty girls would always ask me about the Ratt concert.
I didn't see Ratt again until 1997 in Kansas City on their first reunion tour with Stephen Pearcy back singing, and I honestly don't remember much about this show. I used to see Stephen Pearcy and Bobby Blotzer occasionally after shows in Southern California, and they were always very friendly. During the time when there were two versions of Ratt touring, the Stephen Pearcy-led version played at The Rock in Maplewood in late 2001 I believe. I hung out with the band that night backstage and on the bus, and everyone was having fun and in good spirits despite the pending legal issues over the name. This was a great show, and Stephen and the band were in fine form. With a great new album and a stellar lineup, Ratt should be geared up for an outstanding show tonight!
Ratt will be appearing tonight, Friday, May 14 at the Medina Entertainment Center in Medina. Support will come from Knight Crawler.