Ratt (Pearcy, etc) with opener Great White live in Welch, Minnesota Concert Review

RATT AND GREAT WHITE LIVE: A FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH FOR MIDDLE AGED PEOPLE

Date: February 11, 2017
Venue: Treasure Island Resort & Casino
Location: Welch, Minnesota, USA
Reviewer: Metal Headz Media
Photos: Metal Headz Media

Great White:

It’s amazing what a couple bands from the ’80s can do to a large group of middle aged fans of rock and roll. Mix two hair bands with a bunch of alcohol and you get people trying to relive their teenage years all over again. This past Saturday at Treasure Island Resort & Casino was one of those nights. Ratt invaded the casino for their first live show since the court battles with former drummer Bobby Blotzer, and they brought Great White along with them. Both of these bands have had their fair share of line-up changes, and on this night, one of them had their original singer, while the other did not. Let’s get onto how each of them fared.

Great White (on this particular night) featured original member, Mark Kendall on lead guitar, and long-time members Audie Desbrow on drums and Michael Lardie on keyboards/guitar. They shared the stage with two relatively newcomers, Scott Snyder on bass and Terry Ilous, formerly of XYZ, on lead vocals. “(I’ve Got) Something For You” from their 2012 album Elation started off the night before bringing us back to our youth. Their set consisted mostly of songs off some of their early albums such as Once Bitten, Twice Shy and Hooked. They did manage to sneak in “Big Goodbye” off of 1991’s Psycho City as well. The main thing I noticed as they played their classics “House Of Broken Love,” “Save Your Love,” “Rock Me” and closing song “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” is that the music sounded right but Ilous was lacking the soulful, smoky blues sound that Jack Russell has. By no means am I knocking Ilous‘ singing ability. He did a very admirable job and his vocals fit the music well, but it just didn’t have the same feel as when I saw them open for Whitesnake back it 1987. There was little talk, which left more time to rock, and that’s the way I like my concerts. “Desert Moon” and “Can’t Shake It” from Hooked, and “Mista Bone” and “Lady Red Light” rounded out their time on the stage.

Great White’s setlist:
01. (I’ve Got) Something For You
02. Desert Moon
03. Lady Red Light
04. House Of Broken Love
05. Save Your Love
06. Mista Bone
07. Big Goodbye
08. Can’t Shake It
09. Rock Me
10. Once Bitten Twice Shy

Ratt:

Back in 1985, I bought a ticket to see Ratt in Duluth, Minnesota for their Invasion Of Your Privacy tour. A few weeks before the concert, it was cancelled due to poor ticket sales, as was the rumour. At the time, I was pretty upset as they were one of my top five favorite bands. It was also the only chance I would have seen all five original members play together. Living in Northern Minnesota half my life, there were very limited chances to see your favorite bands play live. Since then, I have seen two different versions of Ratt, but Stephen Pearcy was not on vocals either time. The first time I saw them, original members Blotzer and guitarist Warren DeMartini were joined by Jizzy Pearl on vocals, John Corabi on guitar, and Robbie Crane on bass. The second time was just this past fall at Grand Rocktember IV, where Blotzer‘s new version of Ratt played. I wasn’t overly impressed with Blotzer’s “cover” version of Ratt. There seemed to be no passion since four members had no real attachment to the songs and even Blotzer‘s drumming seemed very sloppy at times. The only time I had heard Pearcy live was at Grand Rocktember III when he was part of the Matthew and Gunner Nelson‘s project, Scrap Metal. He performed three Ratt songs with them that day and sounded pretty rough, so for this show, my expectations of him weren’t very high.

Tonight brought three original members back together on stage — Pearcy, DeMartini, and bassist Juan Croucier. They brought along guitarist Carlos Cavazo who has been with them since 2008 and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso or “The new guy” according to Pearcy that night. “Wanted Man” kicked off the awesome setlist. I noticed right away that the volume was cranked to a new level. It was so loud that I was glad I had brought earplugs along, just in case. Their setlist did not disappoint me one bit. “Dangerous But Worth The Risk” and “You Think You’re Tough” were up next. The band was sounding pretty good, but Pearcy‘s voice has deteriorated over time. There were times he surprised me and I thought maybe he just needed to warm up, but he would falter on the next line. Even with Pearcy not performing his best, I was thoroughly entertained.

The biggest surprise of the night for me was when they broke out “Walkin’ The Dog” off the 1983 six song EP, simply called Ratt. They continued to play songs off their first five full length albums. “Way Cool Jr.,” “I’m Insane” and “In Your Direction” continue the crowd’s journey down memory lane. By this time, the alcohol was taking effect and bringing out the immaturity in some of the concert goers. People were trying to sneak up to better seats. Others decided to stand in the aisles and block the view of those who paid money to sit up closer. There was even one woman who decided to run up to the third row, jump up on a chair and showed the band her bare necessities, if you know what I mean.

Ratt playing “Wanted Man” at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, Minnesota, USA on February 11, 2017:

Ratt – Wanted Man (Treasure Island Casino, Welch, MN 2017)

Ratt live at Treasure Island in Welch, Minnesota on February 11, 2017.

 Ratt playing “You Think You’re Tough” at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, Minnesota, USA on February 11, 2017:

Ratt – You Think You’re Tough (Treasure Island Casino, Welch, MN 2017)

Ratt live at Treasure Island in Welch, Minnesota on February 11, 2017.

 Ratt playing “Walkin’ The Dog” at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, Minnesota, USA on February 11, 2017:

Ratt live walk the dog (Welch Minnesota) 2/11/2017

Ratt Treasure Island Casino. 2/11/2017

“Lack Of Communication” continued the onslaught of hits right along with “Lay It Down” and “You’re In Love” which they blended well with the ending of “Best Of Me” off of their 2010 album Infestation. I was hoping to hear more songs from it since I enjoyed it so much when it was released, but it wasn’t meant to be. In their place, we were treated to more classics like “Lovin’ You’s A Dirty Job” and “Nobody Rides For Free.” DeGrasso seemed to be fitting in nicely and didn’t skip a beat while keeping up with the rest of the band on the quick paced song “Body Talk.” It was great seeing the duo guitars of DeMartini and Cavazo work their magic, but I could tell Cavazo was “ad libbing” the solos he played, which bothered me just a little bit. I was expecting to hear one thing and he would play something else, but that wasn’t going to ruin the evening for me. The band ended the night with “Back For More” and instead of leaving the stage to only come back out for an encore, Pearcy introduced the band, thanked the fans for a great evening and Ratt finished out the night with their biggest hit “Round And Round” before leaving the stage.

Ratt’s setlist:
01. Wanted Man
02. Dangerous But Worth The Risk
03. You Think You’re Tough
04. Walkin’ The Dog
05. Way Cool Jr.
06. I’m Insane
07. In Your Direction
08. Lack Of Communication
09. Lay It Down
10. You’re In Love
11. Lovin’ You’s A Dirty Job
12. Nobody Rides For Free
13. Body Talk
14. Back For More
15. Round And Round

Ratt playing “Round And Round” at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, Minnesota, USA on February 11, 2017:

Ratt – Round and Round (Treasure Island Casino, Welch, MN 2017)

Ratt live at Treasure Island in Welch, Minnesota on February 11, 2017.

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