Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Music Of My Youth: Rancid & Ratt


Unlike most people, it's actually more of an anomaly when I don't spend at least one night a week inside some dank venue, watching loud music and slowly chipping away at my hearing. Yet during the month of July, I've almost taken an involuntary sabbatical, choosing instead to focus on finding a full-time job and more writing.

Well, guess what, kids? I'm baaaaack. And as my nature often dictates by overindulging, I'm attending no less than four shows this week. The first two shows of the week were Ratt at Nokia Theatre and Rancid at Roseland, and while the combo may sound like an odd one, both were monumental bands of my youth. In fact, I attribute my conversion to rock/metal music to first hearing Ratt's "Round and Round" as a 9-year-old, spending the summer with my Grandma in a TV-free dacha in Upstate New York.

My love for Rancid, on the other hand, grew out of my admiration of Operation Ivy, but flourished with the gripping hooks on their 1994 watershed album, Let's Go.


Happily, both bands were fantastic. Rancid—in town with headliners Rise Against this past Sunday—ran through all their hits, including "Olympia," which features the chorus: "Hanging on the corner of 52nd and Broadway/Cars passing by, but none of them seem to be goin' my way..." For all of you non-New Yorkers, the reason this line resonates so much is because of Roseland's location—on 52nd, off Broadway. Needless to say, the audience went apeshit singing along, completing the set.

Ratt, on the other hand, were a whole other animal (terrible pun, sorry). Since I was nine when their debut album, Out of the Cellar, came out in 1984, I never got a chance to see them in their heyday—or ever, for that matter, until last night. Disappointingly, the audience was not filled with 40-year-old Jersey chicks in spandex. Rather, the show was an utter sausage fest full of middle-aged dudes in various states of fashion faux pas.

Not that any of that really mattered, because Ratt played just about every song on Out of the Cellar, with singer Stephen Pearcy announcing—almost bemused—that the record was celebrating its 25th anniversary. And though I could have lived without ever hearing "Way Cool Jr." in concert, I will definitely die happier with the experience of seeing them perform the holy trinity of "Wanted Man," "Lay It Down," and the holy grail, "Round and Round."

And being the amateur photo enthusiast that I am, I had to take some photos with my ghetto little point-and-shoot. For more pics, click here.

Also, for those of you wondering: my next two shows are Saviours/Children tonight at Union Pool and the Decibel Magazine book release party for Precious Metal, featuring Brutal Truth at the Masonic Temple. If you see me, buy me a drank.

PS: Here's a bonus video of Ratt performing "Wanted Man."

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