RATT (featuring Stephen Pearcy)
XXX Hardrive

August 9, 2001
Georgia Theatre-Athens, GA


XXX Hardrive:

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XXX Hardrive has got to be the best damn sleaze rock outfit around these parts. On this night, they opened for Ratt and simply blew the ‘80s has beens off the stage. With equal parts of The Black Crowes, The Stooges and Hank Williams (Jr. and Sr.), lead singer David Carlton Whitehead led the band through a super strong set of their original tunes that came across as much more bristly and hardcore than on their CD. Tonight’s versions of “Smoke And Mirrors” and “Criminal Behavior” were especially intense. XXX even pulled off a powerful cover of Zeppelin’s “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” that had all of the attitude without the pomp of the original. “Rearranged” found the lead guitarist slinging out notes like Slash while he leaped in abandon. His compatriot on stage right, Josiah Baker, stood rooted and brooding as he added southern rock touches via slide or bent notes throughout their performance. The drumming and bass playing was solid and thunderous. After a great cover of David Allan Coe’s “The Ride” that showed the group’s roots, they brought out four strippers to bump and grind as the group beat up the air with the sound and confidence of their closing numbers. XXX Hardrive played this gig to the hilt.

To read the review of the XXX Hardrive CD, click here.

To read a preview of another XXX Hardrive show, click here.

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RATT (featuring Stephen Pearcy):

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Stephen Pearcy on the other hand led the fake Ratt gang on stage with a musically strong version of “Lay It Down,” but his never very appealing voice was especially appalling. He phoned in an eighteen-song set comprised of half covers. His band  (while indeed lost in time) played well, but couldn’t save the show from the incompetence of the frontman. He forgot the words to “You’re In Love” and “Lack of Communication” and continued to drop melodies and lyrics throughout the rest of the show. Between every song was an unprofessional pause that sometimes lasted longer than the given tune before or after it. Occasionally, there was a bizarre sense that he was happily surprised to have the audience cheering him. The strange thing about this was that he seemed at the same time oddly contemptuous that there weren’t more their to worship at his hairsprayed legacy. He routinely said things to the crowd like “What’s your name?” to which he’d reply “Who cares?” The band and Pearcy appeared to be smoking pot onstage. It could’ve been an act, but it may explain the crap that he subjected the people to if it was real. During a couple of songs originally done by Stephen’s post-Ratt band Arcade, a chunk of the paying customers began drifting out of the building which led the “singer” to go into spin doctor mode. He explained to the diehards that at that point “we got the hardcore audience here now, all the pussies went home.” It elicited a cheer from the ones who didn’t care what was happening on that stage as long as it may at some point include a Ratt song. The crowd that did stay really did appear to enjoy the show. They threw their fists in the air during the odd moments when the band was playing instead of just standing there. When they were playing it was usually a Judas Priest, Aerosmith, or Led Zeppelin cover and let me tell you, the only thing worse than hearing this guy sing a song that he wrote is hearing him attempt to sing “Dazed And Confused.” Pearcy’s voice never got better than sounding like a bee bouncing against a window as it tries to escape. He displayed the worst traits of all hair metal. He degraded females in the audience with cracks about how much “pussy” was going to be on their bus that evening. Every now and again, he’d mention what drugs he needed for the rest of his “party.” Without any sense of irony, he celebrated all the same things that caused original Ratt guitarist Robbin Crosby to contract AIDS. The “vocalist” was a sad parody of all that he ever was. If it had been all in good fun, it would’ve been fine, but unfortunately there was a self-importance and arrogance that permeated everything he did. Anyone who takes this type of music as art is off base from the get-go. After all, “it’s only rock and roll.” Most rock and metal fans are smarter than they’re given credit for being. They understand that it’s just a bit of fun. XXX Hardrive gets it and runs with it. Stephen Pearcy should’ve been taking notes as the openers played instead of hiding out in his bus pretending that it’s still 1985. (Chris McKay)

To read a preview article to this concert, click here.

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RATT (featuring Stephen Pearcy) set list (8/9/01)

1. Lay It Down

2. You're In Love

3. Sweet Cheater

4. You Think You're Tough

5. U Got It

6. Wanted Man

7. The Fuck

8. So Depressed

9. Lack Of Communication

10. Get Off My Back

11. Dancing With Angels

12. I'm Insane

13. Body Talk

14. You've Got Another Thing Coming

15. Dazed And Confused

16. Rats In The Cellar

17. Whole Lotta Rosie

18. Round And Round