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RATT Live In Houston, Texas At The House Of Blues With Photos!

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Monday, June 3, 2013 @ 5:18 PM


Pearcy Stumbles Through An Otherwise Stellar Musical Performance

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RATT-N-ROLL baby! I have been a huge RATT fan ever since waking up in my buddy's house one morning in the summer of '84 and seeing the video for "Round And Round" playing on MTV (yes, they used to play actual music videos). I went out and bought the album that day and a few weeks later they came through Oklahoma City, where I lived at the time, as the opener for NIGHT RANGER. My buddy and I went to the venue the afternoon of the show and were the only ones there when the band's tour bus drove in. We met the entire band that day and I got my Out Of The Cellar album fully autographed, even by the tour manager Wally.

Fast forward now almost 30 years later and I was completely stoked when RATT announced 2 shows in Texas (Houston & Dallas) on their way to Rocklahoma. My enthusiasm was fueled by the fact that this would be the first performance by RATT in Houston since long time bassist Juan Croucier had rejoined the rodents, something that I had always wished would happen before the band finally called it quits.

The show was set for the House of Blues in downtown Houston and the opener for the night was local Houston rockers LOVE AND WAR. I've gotten to know these guys pretty well over the past few years, and they have had the distinct pleasure of opening for some great 80's bands. Y&T, UFO, Geoff Tate's QUEENSRYCHE, RATT, LILLIAN AXE and the real QUEENSRYCHE, just to name a few. These guys are a perfect fit for shows like this and they didn't disappoint the crowd with their 30 minute set of songs from their CD, Up The Annie, like their namesake song, "Love And War", "Hungry" and "Six Feet Under".

https://www.facebook.com/upannie

Finally at 9:00, the near capacity crowd was treated to a heavy dose of RATT-N-ROLL as the band took the stage to the tune of "Wanted Man". From there, the band rolled through an 18 song set of RATT classics from the band's early catalog. There were no songs played off of their most recent release, Infestation, preferring to play everything from the release of "Nobody Rides for Free" and back. In fact, the band played 7 of the 10 songs from the epic Out Of The Cellar release during the show. The band musically was in perfect form as they performed such classics as "I'm Insane", "You're In Love", "Back For More", "Lack Of Communication" and "Lay It Down". The exquisite dual guitar work of Warren DeMartini and Carlos Cavazo was impeccable, Bobby Blotzer was a beast on the drums and having Juan back in the band made a huge difference, both in sound and vocals. The backing vocals were spot on and it was like he had never left. In fact, he seemed to carry Stephen Pearcy for most of the night, which turned out to be a good thing.

Speaking of Pearcy, this was the one negative of the entire night. He stumbled (not literally) through the entire set, messing up the lyrics in some fashion as near as I could tell to just about every song except "Round And Round". And the screwups fell into 3 basic categories: He sang verse 2 lyrics mixed in with verse 1, he forgot words completely or he made up new lyrics on the fly. It made it quite difficult and at times very frustrating for those of us that wanted to sing along with the show. Several times during the set he appeared to be completely lost as to where they were on the setlist, calling out for a song twice when it wasn't yet time for it ("Lay It Down"), and once called for a song that they had just finished playing ("Body Talk"). After that gaffe, he retreated back to the front of the drum riser and appeared to just zone out for a minute or so, saying nothing, just standing there before the rest of the band came over, laughing and patting him on the shoulder. After he came back to Earth he admitted to the crowd that "someone gave me some good pot before the show". If pot was the only thing he was on then it had to be some of the best shit EVER. Don't get me wrong, I love the guy. He has one of those unmistakeable voices in rock and you know it's RATT when you hear it, but he needs to either get a teleprompter or he needs to lay off the smoke until after the show. Far be it from me to begrudge him a toke or two, but damn, if it affects your onstage performance then it's time to rethink when you choose to ingest the stuff.

Stephen did mention a couple of times that the band was trying to make another RATT record, and once followed it up with the comment that it depended on Bobby's ski schedule. Look up the word 'dysfunction' in the dictionary and you will see a picture of RATT there. Okay, maybe not, but this band has got to be one of the most dysfunctional ever, but when they put things aside and play, you get a kick ass rock-n-roll show that's hard to beat.

All things considered, it was still a great show and it was awesome to see Juan back! Let's hope for some new RATT-N-ROLL soon!

Setlist:

  • "Wanted Man"
  • "I'm Insane"
  • "In Your Direction"
  • "Lovin' You's A Dirty Job"
  • "You Think You're Tough"
  • "I Want A Woman"
  • "Walkin' The Dog" (AEROSMITH Cover)
  • "Givin' Yourself Away"
  • "Way Cool, Jr"
  • "Nobody Rides For Free"
  • "Never Use Love"
  • "Back For More"
  • "The Morning After"
  • "Lack Of Communication"
  • "Lay It Down"
  • "You're In Love"
Encores
  • "Body Talk"
  • "Round And Round"
www.therattpack.com

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