By Chuck Cox
My work schedule got a little goofy this week because of the weather, so I was afraid I was going to have to miss Ratt at House of Blues. Thankfully, I was able to get there just one song into the band’s performance.
Much to my surprise, the place was absolutely packed. Apparently the draw of the original Ratt lineup, along with former Quiet Riot guitarist Carlos Cavazo taking over for the late Robin Crosby, was enough to bring out the head-banging masses on a Wednesday night.
And while lead singer Stephen Pearcy is limited to more or less “talk-singing” these days, it didn’t matter one bit. The band played a solid, 90-minute set packed with several of its catchy 1980s hits that now fall into the “classic rock” category.
Ratt’s one of those bands you forget has so many recognizable songs until it starts rattling them off for you, one after another — “Wanted Man,” “Lovin’ You’s a Dirty Job,” “I Want a Woman,” “Givin’ Yourself Away,” “Way Cool Jr.,” “Back For More,” “Lack of Communication,” “Lay it Down,” “You’re in Love,” “Body Talk,” and “Round and Round.” Ratt obliged the crowd with each of those songs, and even left off one or two, like “Dance.”
One of the cooler things about Wednesday’s show was the enthusiasm of bassist Juan Croucier, who looked like a guy who had won a chance to play with his all-time favorite band for a night. The dude was way into it, which was infectious and entertaining to watch.
For my 1980s pop-metal loving heart, seeing bands of that era at smaller venues will never get old. When the video for “Round and Round” with Milton Berle in drag was spinning constantly on MTV nearly 30 years ago, I never thought I’d be seeing Ratt play — with Quiet Riot’s guitar player, no less — in front of such a relatively small crowd.