Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rockin' Out: Ratt @ Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza 05/10/10

They really need to perfect the camera technology on Blackberrys. These pictures I get are the definition of atrocious.

As I've stated before, I've never the biggest Ratt fan in the world. In my opinion, the albums they released during the height of hair metal popularity were always a handful of hits surrounded by filler. The only exception possibly being their debut Out Of The Cellar which is a decent album from start to finish, but otherwise their greatest hits package Ratt & Roll 8191 is really all that you need to cover your Ratt needs.

Last year I got a free ticket to go see Ratt play a headlining show with Extreme opening and gladly accepted. After all, the ticket price was right, Extreme is a really good band (they have a ton of amazing material beyond "More Than Words") and I figured Ratt would be playing a set largely consisting of their hits. After Extreme blew the roof off the place (but ended their set on a bad note by covering Michael Jackson...predictable at the time and downright boring), Ratt had a tough act to follow. As it turns out, 2009 was the 25th anniversary of the release of Out Of The Cellar, so Ratt played that album in its entirety along with hits from other albums. I was shocked at how much I enjoyed their set, but it was undeniably great. Singer Stephen Pearcy mentioned during the set that the band was getting ready to record a new album and that they would be back around next year and would be playing material from that album. This didn't exactly get me excited as I sincerely doubted a new Ratt album would be anything to get worked up about.

Earlier this year, I started seeing posts on Facebook/Twitter and on one of my favorite metal websites, Metalsucks that the new Ratt album was really good. Surprisingly good. I was skeptical to say the least, but after hearing the first single, "Best Of Me" I found myself colored impressed. But this is Ratt. They are known for great singles and boring albums. Well, I then heard another track from the album and was equally impressed with that one, but still remained skeptical. After all, other albums by Ratt have two good songs on them, but are otherwise boring. Then a friend sent me a copy of the entire Infestation album and I couldn't believe my ears. The thing is good, no great even from start to finish. Who would have thought that 26 years after their debut, Ratt would be able to pull a great album together?!?!?! But they have and I applaud them for it.

This past Monday evening, Ratt rolled into town to play The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza. There were openers, but they were local bands that I had zero interest in seeing. This was all about Ratt. I knew they were going to be playing songs from the new album, but I didn't mind because as I mentioned, the new album is actually great. What we wound up being treated to was predominantly their hits from the 80's/early 90's with material from the new album mixed in. And it all worked very well together: "You're In Love", "Lack Of Communication", "Nobody Rides For Free", "Lay It Down", "Back For More", "Wanted Man", "Way Cool Jr." (I don't know why everyone hates this song, I think it is great) and of course "Round And Round" sound great next to newer songs like "Best Of Me" and "Eat Me Up Alive". The deceased Robin Crosby has been replaced by Carlos Cavazo of Quiet Riot fame and he seems to have added a spark to the band's playing. He is a great guitar player and compliments Warren DeMartini, who is also an amazing guitar player, quite well. Overall, I was really impressed with Ratt once again and look forward to seeing them again in the future.

Random side note: Is it just me or do Stephen Pearcy's vocals sort of sound like Megadeth's Dave Mustaine these days?

Ratt with Michael Anthony (Van Halen) covering "Fire" by Jimi Hendrix:

Way Cool Jr./Wanted Man medley:

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