One man. One packed concert hall. One big load of '80s-era sleaze-rock. If I believed in guilty pleasures, this show would certainly qualify.---
The thing is, I don't think any pleasure should be guilty. We like what we like, and why apologize? And when hair-metal bands ruled the pop music universe, RATT was the one band that somehow stuck with me while I dismissed the likes of Poison, Great White or Bon Jovi.
As any Ogdenite of a certain age will tell you, hair-metal was the soundtrack of the town for a long time, including the period of the mid-'80s when I lived there. And "cruising the 'vard" in a jacked-up truck, listening to cock-rock and subscribing to Circus magazine were, as memory serves, prerequisities for high school graduation.
Looking around the pretty packed Depot Tuesday night, it was clear those high school graduations were long ago; I'm nearly 40, and I was one of the youngest folks there. I actually heard one woman explaining to her friend that "60 is the new 45." But let's give the older crowd props for getting out on a school night--the large audience would have filled Urban Lounge five times over.
The show itself? Pretty straightforward, and pretty damn fun. It was two hours of non-stop hits, with an occasional new cut from RATT's new Infestation album. Singer Stephen Pearcy still sounds like he did 25 years ago, and has avoided bloating as he aged ala Motley Crue's Vince Neil. Guitarist Warren DeMartini (what a great name) remains a fine player from the Eddie Van Halen school of melodic riffs and fast fingers, and new member Carlos Cavazo (famous as the guitarist for Quiet Riot) was fun to watch in the spot once manned by Robbin Crosby, the hulking guitarist who died in 2002. And I'd like to personally thank both the band and drummer Bobby Blotzer for sparing us a drum solo.
Among the cavalcade of hits performed: show-opener "You're in Love," "Lay It Down," "Slip of the Lip" and, of course, the show-closing hit that made RATT stars way back when, "Round and Round." No power ballads, no cheesy synchronized dance moves like Warrant, just a gritty rock show spanning two hours.
No way I'm going to feel guilty about enjoying it.