Rockin’ out to RATT in Atlantic City, NJ on a Saturday night, it doesn’t get much better than this folks. When I walked into the Hilton Casino, headed straight back to the theater and saw all the fans in line, I knew we were all in for a great night of RATT n’ roll!
Our ticket said general admission but the doorman was seating all of us scattered about the theater as if we were about to see a play. It was now a few minutes after 8 pm, the lights began to dim, and I ditched my seat to go up front and center. After all this was a RATT show, I’m not sitting down for this. Eddie Trunk from VH1’s “That Metal Show” came out on stage to rev up the fans. He chucked a few t-shirts into the crowd and yelled out something to the likes of “whoever is sitting down, come on up front…” and that was it, the entire room bum rushed the stage and within seconds RATT was right there in front of us. Now we are all elbow to elbow raising our arms in the air with our hands in the “rock on” pose.
They started off the night with “You’re In Love”. The crowd went wild, myself included. Stephen Pearcy wearing a motorcycle type jean jacket and studded black pants with an iron clad belt buckle fronted the band just like he did “back in the day”. His voice is just as powerful and unique as ever. Warren DeMartini kept his old school style. He was playing his “axe” like he was born with it in his hands. Still amazing, a real crowd pleaser, and a true natural. Carlos Cavazo was rippin’ on his red and white Gibson “Flying V”. It was a pleasant surprise to see he was still using that model of guitar and certainly hadn’t forgotten how to play it. He has an animated style when he plays. You can tell by his face that he feels the music right down to his core. Robbie Crane is a talented “high energy” bass playin’ fool. He was hard to photograph, just as any good bass player would be. He doesn’t stand still and his long black hair stays securely in his face while he thrashes his head about. You can tell he is a man on a mission when he is playing and he gets the job done well. Bobby Blotzer still does not “miss a beat”. The Hilton stage made it hard to see him, I was told from a reliable source that he wasn’t using his own kit he was using the one provided by the Hilton and this didn’t make a difference as far as performance was concerned, he banged on those skins like nobody’s business. Put him behind any drum kit and watch him go. He is a true pioneer in the rock world playing his drums for decades and has been a constant member of RATT all this time.
As the show progressed, so did the intensity. A real highlight was when Cavazo, Crane, Pearcy and DeMartini lined up tight in a row at the very front of the stage and rocked back and fourth in unison. It made for a strong stage presence and a bunch of screaming chicks (including me) but, did we expect anything less? There weren’t any lulls, they kept us rockin’ through 17 songs including older tunes such as “I Want A Woman”, “Lay It Down”, “Way Cool Jr.” and “Round and Round” just to name a few. They also played “Take A Big Bite”, “Best of Me” and the popular “Eat Me Up Alive” from the new album “Infestation”. Most of the show was video taped and we were informed that it was for the new video “Eat Me Up Alive”. So whoever was “in the house” got to be part of the filming of a live video! Just one more perk to being at this RATT show! These guys are full of surprises, energy and talent. It’s a must see show.
I had the pleasure of participating in the “Meet and Greet” after the show. This was a real treat. I have met a lot of rockers in my time. Some are rude and obnoxious; some won’t give you the time of day. Not these guys, I commend them on how they interacted with their fans. They took the time to sign autographs and take pictures. They hung around and made small talk with everyone. It was quite pleasant to see that not only are they still rockin’ out and packing venues but they are a “class act” as well; props to RATT for keeping it alive and doing it with style.