May 2, 2017 Ratt Roll Into The Paramount Huntington, NY 4-26-17
There is the age old saying that you cannot keep a good man down, but in Ratt’s case, it should be more you cannot keep a good band down. With history that dates back over four decades, the band, once known as Mickey Ratt, went from grimmy night club to packed out arenas by the time 1984 hit. One of the 80’s first Glam Metal styled bands to pop up on the scene out in Hollywood, California, Ratt distinguished themselves on a scene that became a parody of itself with their own raw sound.
Some may say that Ratt transcended the scene, thanks heavily in part to their Lead Vocalist Stephen Pearcy; a gruff, distinct performer who while may have not had the range of others, made up for it swagger. Then of course, there was the smooth guitar work of Warren DeMartini and the late Robbin Crosby, dirty bass of Juan Croucier, as well as crashing drumming of Bobby Blotzer. In enough words, these guys had personality and it showed as they climbed charts with 1984’s Out of the Cellar, 1985’s Invasion of Your Privacy, and 1986’s Dancing Undercover. Enough reminiscing on the past, where have the boys of Ratt gone in 2017? Well, there has been their share of ups, downs, twists, and turns through the years. Last uniting for a studio album in 2010 with the impressive Infestation, since then, there has been reunions, splits, and reunions again. In the saddle again, Pearcy, Demartini, Croucier, and Guitarist Carlos Cavazo return on their Back For More Tour 2017.
A pleasant surprise for fans, the band has sustained a messy legal battle with former Drummer Bobby Blotzer in recent years, leaving the idea that Ratt was all but done. Thankfully not true, with respect to all parties involved, as they split into two bands, the Pearcy version of Ratt in all honesty is the more intriguing one. In fact, it is so intriguing, the few shows announced have been packing out venues left and right as they plan to keep it going through the summer. Kicking it all off, Ratt made a visit to The Paramount out in Huntington, New York on Wednesday April 26th. One of a few carefully selected shows, Long Island clearly responded to the announcement, filling out The Paramount nicely for an evening of Ratt & Roll.
Before laying it down with Ratt, New York City based Rock band The Cringe would act as direct support for the show. An independent Hard Rock band, The Cringe has been at it for over a decade now, releasing a total of five studio albums in that time, including 2015’s Blind Spot. A band of seasoned vets, The Cringe are fronted by Singer/Songwriter John Cusimano and rounded out with an all-star cast including Lead Guitarist James Rotondi (Air, Mr. Bungle), Bassist Jonny Blaze (Crash Moderns, Alice Smith), and Drummer Shawn Pelton (Sheryl Crow, SNL Band, Bruce Springsteen).
Having shared the stage with everyone from The New York Dolls, to Alter Bridge, to Mötley Crüe, joining up with Ratt was an exciting proposition for The Cringe and Long Islanders welcomed them with open arms. Coming out with conviction, they fired it up with original songs such as “Anything You Say,” “Don’t Know Where I Belong,” and “A Little More Sleep.” Sounding impeccably tight, one would never think The Cringe is essentially a part-time band. Continuing on, Cusimano displayed a strong voice, tons of energy, and a flair for the spotlight as they blasted into “On and On” and more Pop Rock “I Can’t Walk.” Completing their tight opening set, Cusimano entered the crowd, engaging with fans as he sang their rendition of Thin Lizzy’s classic cut “Jailbreak.” All around a fun Rock-n-Roll band, Cusimano’s beloved wife, famous Cook Rachael Ray, may be the biggest Cringe fan, but Long Island challenged as a close second judging by the positive reactions.
That in mind, cheers came pouring down as the lights dropped before the band shuffled onto the dimly lit stage to rock “Wanted Man.” Going even more wild, once the lights came back up, Pearcy appeared, microphone in hand and sounding as good as ever. From there, it was a colorful trip into the past of Ratt with “Dangerous but Worth the Risk,” “You Think You’re Tough,” and their memorable version of Rufus Thomas’ “Walkin’ the Dog.”
Continuing to blast the crowd with their classic cuts including “Way Cool Jr.,” “I’m Insane,” and “In Your Direction,” they displayed the same style and finesse as they did three plus decades earlier. Pearcy was very interactive with his brothers on stage while oozing sex appeal moving about the stage singing his heart out. Then there was DeMartini, who spoke through his guitar hitting all the precise notes while Croucier jammed away, swinging his bass, full of energy and excitement. As for Cavazo, he was the perfect complement to this musical trio along with Jimmy DeGrasso who kept the beat in line behind the kit.
While the action remained on the performance, Pearcy knew where the real fun took place as he engaged the crowd, playful, funny, and pleasant. Rattling the room with favorites such as “Lack Of Communication” before “Slip of the Lip” and “Lay It Down,” just when it could not possibly get any better, more easily recognized tunes followed. As stated, Ratt fans are not fairweather followers and it was clearly obvious by their enthusiastic reaction each time a new song began. Such is the case with “Lay It Down,” “Lovin’ You’s a Dirty Job,” “Nobody Rides for Free,” and lustful “Body Talk,” all tracks which saw spectators shouting the words back to Pearcy.
Taken back by the audience, Pearcy thanked everyone from the bottom of his heart for coming out to the show. Responding with more cheers, after hearing a list of Ratt classics, it came down to only two, and everyone knew exactly what was coming. Taking down the lights again, the floor began to shake as unforgettable guitar opening of “Back For More” began. Soon lighting up the room with cellphones in the air, catching some video of the song, minutes later,it all came to a peak with the final song, the one and only “Round and Round.” Irrefutably Ratt’s biggest hit ever, everyone saved their best singing voice until the end, bouncing all over and chanting the chorus in unison.
Simply a show filled with pure energy, Ratt showed they still know how to rock a crowd. Their song selection was impossible to deny, as they touched on nearly every corner of the golden years of the band. That is not to say fans would have turned their nose up to newer Ratt music, in fact, many are eager to know Pearcy, Demartini, Croucier, and Cavazo plan on putting out some new tunes very soon. Until then, they will hit some festivals and venues around the USA. So anyone who counted Ratt out or thought they were finished, as Pearcy told CrypticRock back in January, “It’s not over until we say it’s over,” and fans are grateful they are back for more!