Words by Robert Cavuoto
Ratt is currently on tour this Summer and Fall for their 2019 In Your Direction Tour. It’s a 17 date tour that started in early May and will end in October while covering cities in the US, Canada, and Mexico.
Tonight’s show at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, NJ was about midway into their tour. The band came out on fire and was in touch with their audience’s desire to hear the hits that made them famous. Almost every song performed received some radio or MTV airplay at one point. If you had never listened to a Ratt record, you still would have recognized the majority of the songs from radio alone.
The time-traveling experience covered their three pivotal albums Out of the Cellar (1984), Invasion of Your Privacy (1985) and Dancing Undercover (1986). Highlights of the show included powerful versions of “Wanted Man,” “Body Talk,” “Way Cool Jr.,” and “You’re in Love.” Stand out songs of the night were “Lack of Communication,” and sidewalk surfing favorite, “Nobody Rides for Free.”
Strutting the stage with an air of confidence was Stephen Pearcy. Decked out in black leather pants and jacket, he used every inch of the stage to entertain the audience. He still continues to packs the vocal ability fans expect and dresses the part of a charismatic rock star. Prior to the show, I asked Stephen if there was a period of time with the band that really resonated with him. He replied, “Definitely doing the self-titled EP or Out of the Cellar because we waited so long to get them recorded. We were one of the last bands in LA to get signed, and when it happened we were like; it’s about time! We looked at each other and said were on the same label as The Stones, let’s go. To me, that was definitely a high point. Any band who has success over ten years are the luckiest people on the planet. We never thought it would last a year, let alone as long as it has.
While guitarists Jordan Ziff and Chris Sanderson are new members, they were superb on every song. They put on a fine display of fingerwork during the songs, brought some of their swagger to the stage, and took the spotlight for their respective solos. Chris owned the left side of the stage and Jordan on the right, together they traded riffs and interacting with fans while Juan Croucier and Peter Holmes laid down the backbeat like an unflinching freight train. Juan was a maniac whipping his bass around while running the stage and never missed a beat. He also provided all the backing vocals which helped created Ratt’s original and unique sound.
The band ended the night with their mega-hit “Round and Round” as the final song. It was the perfect Hollywood ending to a rocking night with this wick new breed! The theater was loud, the band looked great, and Ratt continues to remain a no-nonsense Rock & Roll band. Let’s hope the recent chatter in the press about a new CD comes to fruition as it will give the fans something to look forward to until the next tour!