Ratt Live In Pittsburgh

By George Mihalovich, Pure Rock Patroller
Tuesday, December 4, 2001 @ 1:54 PM

Ratt Live At The M In Pittsbur

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Even though it was way back in 1984, I can still recall how Ratt quickly came into the public eye, with “Round and Round” blasting out of car stereos and MTV all across the US. In fact, this very single is one of the few legitimate metal cuts that you will still hear once in a while on mainstream rock radio, but I guess that’s another topic altogether. On the basis of what I heard, I took advantage of an opportunity to see them open a local concert (at the now defunct Stanley Theatre) for Night Ranger. I was duly impressed with the songs and presentation, and particularly lead guitarist Warren DiMartini blazing away in front of a stack of Marshall amps at stage right. I have kept an eye on their career ever since, which of course brings us to the present…

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this show, mainly because it was my first opportunity to catch them in their latest incarnation (with Jizzy Pearl on vocals). I thought it would probably end up being a matter of comparison, and I anticipated something similar to what they were doing just prior to Pearcy’s second departure. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find something a bit different. While arguments can be made about whether or not a band and it’s name is valid without all of the original members (I believe legalities are still pending on that one!) or the old “it’ll never be the same” cliché, this version of Ratt put on an excellent show- slick, professional and energetic, faring very well against some of the other realigned metal acts currently on the circuit.

Whether or not you buy into the new line-up, they seem to mean business, and the band packed quite a punch. The show opened on a high note with “Chain Reaction,” and they were off and running for the night, playing a much broader selection of material than previous gigs since their reunion several years back. “Dance,” “Nobody Rides For Free” and “City To City” come to mind as examples, but for those of you interested in details, here is an album-by-album breakdown of the set list so that you can judge for yourselves (in no particular order):

Walkin’ The Dog

I’m Insane

Back For More

Lack of Communication

Round and Round

Wanted Man

Lay It Down

You’re In Love

Slip Of The Lip

Dance Body Talk

Chain Reaction

Way Cool Jr.

City to City

Lovin’ You Is A Dirty Job

Shame, Shame, Shame

Nobody Rides for Free

Throughout, Warren was in fine form, living up to his guitar-hero status and looking like he hadn’t aged a day. Although some of the material seemed to be a bit of a stretch for his vocal range, Jizzy did a decent job, making the best of things and handling himself well at center stage. John Corabi lent fine guitar and some serious vocal support, Robbie Crane held things down nicely and Bobby Blotzer was solid and seemed pretty darn happy to be back in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Overall, in a venue that is notorious for cutting concerts short, they came on early (with great sound support, I might add), played a lengthy show with a great selection of material, and rocked out with no gratuitous nonsense or excuses. I am not sure of the future for Ratt, but this line-up seems to have potential, and I would be curious to hear the results of a new studio project; it’s possible that what I saw is an indication of good things to come.

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