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Quiet Riot in Connecticut With Pictures

By Debby Rao, Boston Contributor
Monday, July 24, 2006 @ 9:53 AM

At The Fox Theatre at Foxwoods

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This year's summer concert season is proving that 80's metal is indeed alive and well, as some of the top bands from the 80's genre are out on the road bringing their timeless hits to a whole new generation of fans.

During the heyday of the 80's, Quiet Riot were one of the first rock and roll bands to debut metal at the top of the Billboard charts. It has been over two decades since Quiet Riot released "Metal Health" in 1983. The Quiet Riot popular metal anthems "Cum On Feel The Noize” and "Bang Your Head" continue to be played as theme songs on many television sporting events today.

Over the years, the original line-up of Quiet Riot has changed, but the core of the band still remains intact featuring singer Kevin DuBrow and drummer Frankie Banali. Although the heyday of the 80's may be long gone, front man Kevin DuBrow and drummer Frankie Banali are career musicians, that realize through constant touring, and keeping the dream of Quiet Riot alive, the band can still has a very successful career in 2006.

I recently had the opportunity to check out Quiet Riot at the plush Fox Theatre, at Foxwoods Casino in CT. Last time I heard Quiet Riot perform was on The Rock Never Stops Tour at Hampton Beach Casino last summer. It has been awhile since I have seen the band and I was definitely looking forward to tonight's concert.

Quiet Riot hit the stage at 9 PM, opening with "Put Up Or Shut Up" and delivered a power packed set of classic hits. During the 80's Kevin DuBrow was one of the most colorful and entertaining front man to hit the metal scene. Tonight, the charismatic front man Kevin DuBrow, sporting a gold lame suit, is sounding better that ever giving a command performance, to the enthusiastic audience at The Fox Theatre, as the band rolled into "Slick Black Cadillac."

One of the exciting features of a Quiet Riot show is that the band likes to get the audience involved. The party was just getting started as Kevin DuBrow yelled to the audience, "Do you know the words to this song, I want everyone to sing along to ‘Mama We’re All Crazy Now.’” Fans in the back seats made their way to the front of the stage for the sing along.

Tonight's Quiet Riot performance sparked a modern day rendition of the Quiet Riot songs that we have enjoyed for so many years. Part of the re-birth of the sound of Quiet Riot is due to the addition of guitarist Alex Grossi. Alex is no stranger to 80's music. In the past, he has performed with Bang Tango, Beautiful Creatures and Dizzy Reed. Alex has a style and flair all his own that evolved through his love of 80's music. Tonight's concert also proved to be a special homecoming for the former Connecticut based guitarist, Alex Grossi. Alex first met Kevin DuBrow on the "Bad Boys of Metal Tour.” He also performed with Quiet Riot on the 2005 Rock Never Stops Tour, and it was great to see him playing with the band once again.

Highlights of the evening included a song off of Kevin DuBrow's solo album entitled, “Red Light Mama Red Hot." Kevin joked with the audience as he introduced the song, ”This songs is about two hookers from Tennessee." Then Kevin proceeded to ask Frankie,” Why are the hookers from Tennessee?" Frankie replies, “Because they have no teeth!” This song has a great bluesy feel that really brought out Kevin's bluesy vocals, reminiscent of Steve Marriott of Humble Pie. The song also sparked an impromptu jam that featured a dynamic Frankie Banali drum solo, as the band jumped into,” I Don't Need No Doctor", and Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love."

One of the most moving highlights of the set occurred when Kevin DuBrow made a special dedication to late guitar hero Randy Rhodes on the song "Thunderbird." The background of the stage turned into stars, as Kevin sang, "Fly High Thunderbird Fly.” The song was sung with much emotion, as the band paid tribute to their fallen hero.

The Quiet Riot songs that first launched their career fueled the end of the set. The band rolled into,"Cum On Feel he Noize", as the diverse all ages audience, which included a mixture of die-hard Quiet Riot fans and kids seeing the band for the first time, sang the chorus.

As drummer Frankie Banali pounded the skins to "Bang Your Head", one thing was for certain, Quiet Riot still put on a great rock and roll show live show that is fun, and spontaneous. Tonight's Quiet Riot concert proved that the band is continuing to garner a whole new generation of fans that are discovering 80's music for the first time. The 80's anthems such as “Cum On Feel The Noize”, and “Bang Your Head” remain timeless, and know no boundaries. Quiet Riot has a new found attitude and energy, as the band proved in concert tonight that this summer, 80’s music is alive and well.

I had the opportunity to talk to Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali and guitarist Alex Grossi before the show about performing at the Waterstock Festival this summer with Poison, Cinderella, and Dokken, the longevity of Quiet Riot, and how there is a whole new generation discovering Quiet Riot for the first time this summer concert season.

KNAC.COM: Frankie, How are you? It has been a very busy summer for Quiet Riot. The band recently performed at the Waterstock Festival in Des Moines, Iowa. What was the highlight of the concert? Have you noticed a lot of new fans discovering 80's music for the first time, and coming out to see the recent Quiet Riot concerts this summer?

BANALI: It's all good with Quiet RIOT in 2006. We continue to tour throughout most of the year as usual. The Waterstock date is Des Moines was a great experience and especially so because we were able to share the stage once more with our friends in Cinderella who we toured with during the summer of 2005, as well as seeing all the guys in Poison who have always been really great to QUIET RIOT. No downside, nothing but music and fun!

KNAC.COM: In 2005, Quiet Riot performed on the Rock Never Stops Tour with Cinderella, Ratt, and Firehouse. Was it exciting to be working again with the guys from Cinderella at the Waterstock Festival again this summer?

BANALI: Yes, of course. Cinderella is one of the best bands of the genre and always a great band to experience live. Above and beyond the music, Tom, Jeff, Fred, Eric, their tour manager Larry, everyone on their crew is just a pleasure to know and work with. They are a class act in a classless business.

KNAC.COM: Quiet Riot still continues to have a large fan base in Europe. How do European Festivals differ from playing to U.S. audiences? I hear that European metal audiences are incredible. Do you enjoy performing in Europe?

BANALI: We were scheduled to perform at the aptly titled Bang Your Head festival, but the date was contingent on what our tour schedule would be around that time. Sadly it was impossible for us to make the schedule work. We would have loved to be able to play "Bang Your Head" at the Bang Your Head Festival!

KNAC.COM: It has been over 20 years since the release of "Metal Health " in 1983. What is like tuning in on sporting events on television today, in 2006 and hearing "Cum On Feel The Noize", or "Bang Your Head? When you recorded "Metal Health", in 1983 did you ever think those songs would remain so timeless, and popular?

BANALI: Well, it's always great when friends call me up to say that they heard a QUIET RIOT song at some sporting event they attended or were watching on TV, and especially when it's played in association with the Super Bowl, but for me personally, I got more excited when I was at a baseball game years ago and they played James Brown's "Get On Up...."

I am very grateful to the fans for keeping some of our songs alive after so many years. It's one of the things that make playing the songs live worthwhile.

KNAC.COM: Hi Alex, It is great to hear that you are performing again with Quiet Riot. How is the Quiet Riot Tour going?

GROSSI: Everything has been great, the shows have been lots of fun, bands sounds great, good times!

KNAC.COM: Do you see 80's music making a comeback this summer? It seems like this generation of music fans are discovering bands like Quiet Riot, Poison, and Cinderella for the first time, and are coming out to see some of the 80's bands perform this summer.

GROSSI: I have seen a good amount of younger people in the audience, I wouldn't call it a "comeback", I just think that between all the VH1 exposure and the fact that the shows are just about having a good time, as is the music, people just want to have fun.

KNAC.COM: Alex, You have performed at many Metal European Festivals, how do the metal audiences in Europe differ from American audiences?

GROSSI: There isn't that much of a difference when it comes to this particular genre of music, whether it be Holland or Hartford, the fans come out because they love the music, not because it has been force-fed to them, which makes them all pretty much the same. Rock/Metal fans are very loyal!

KNAC.COM: In 2005, you performed on the Rock Never Stops Tour with Quiet Riot, Cinderella, Ratt, and Firehouse. I know the RNST did very well. Any special highlights from the RNS Tour?

GROSSI: The RNS tour was a lot of fun, seeing CINDERELLA every night was great, those guys are the real deal, Tom Kiefer and Jeff LaBar are killer guitarists. It was also great to hear Bill Leverty (FIREHOUSE) play every night, he is a great guitar player and a great guy. I got to make a lot of new friends, and play almost 70 shows! My favorite show was San Juan, Puerto Rico. They went fucking nuts!

KNAC.COM: Alex, You will be returning to your hometown of CT soon, to be performing at the Foxwoods Casino on July 12.with Quiet Riot. Are you looking forward to your homecoming?

GROSSI: It is always nice to play in places where you know people, and it is great to see my family. So yes, I am looking forward to it!

KNAC.COM: How did you get to work with ex Motley Crue front man John Corabi on his re-make of the Motley Crue hit,” Home Sweet Home"? Any news on when that CD will be released?

GROSSI: John just called me one night and asked if I could come into the studio and track the solo. One hour later, I was in there doing my best Mick Mars impersonation! The track came out great, it was produced and mixed by Fred Coury (Cinderella). As far as a release date, I know it is coming out on Versailles Records next year. I would check their site for the specifics.

KNAC.COM: Quiet Riot are one of the first metal bands to emerge out of the 80's genre and still have a successful career today in 2006. I know Kevin Dubrow and Frankie Banali are very dedicated musicians. What have you learned from performing with Kevin and Frankie on the road with Quiet Riot?

GROSSI: I have learned a ton from Frankie and Kevin, both onstage and off. They run a very tight ship, and it shows. Just look at the tour dates, that is what enables QR to still do what they do today, there are certain aspects of this business that you will never get to experience at MIT or Berklee, and QR have shown me a lot of it.

KNAC.COM: Alex, What can the Quiet Riot fans expect to see from Quiet Riot on the road this summer?

GROSSI: Just shows, shows and more shows. Check out www.FRANKIE-BANALI.com for anything QUIET RIOT, and you can find me @ www.ALEXGROSSI.com or www.MYSPACE.com/ALEXGROSSI

Click on the thumbnail shots for large pictures.

Photos by Deb Rao

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