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Live In Chicago, May 2010

Review by Greg Olma

It has been a few years since I have seen Ratt in concert so I was pretty excited that they were not only coming back to Chicago but they were also doing it on the heals of their newest release Infestation.  This is the first new material in over 10 years and it was worth the wait (see CD review in this issue).  Stephen Pearcy and the guys made it also special by playing to a sold-out house at the intimate Cubby Bear in Wrigleyville (across from the legendary Wrigley Field).

Ratt made sure that they hit the crowd with a one-two punch of “You’re In Love” and “Lay It Down” from Invasion Of Your Privacy.  It’s great that they started with some familiar tunes to get the crowd going.  Although the next song was “Lack Of Communication”, they were quick to start playing new material.  “Take A Big Bite” was the first of many track featured from Infestation and it was clear that this new material fits in nicely with the older hits.  Reaching into their back catalogue once again, they played “I Need A Woman” which surprisingly sounded fresh.  That may be because the new tunes display that old sound and feel.

Greg Olma
Greg Olma

They only played one track off of the criminally ignored Dancing Undercover.  “Slip Of The Lip” is a great tune but I wished they would have given us more like “Dance” or “Body Talk”.  Oh well, It’s not like they didn’t play a boat of tunes.  Going back (or forward as it happens) to the new record, they launched into a rousing version of album opener “Eat Me Up Alive”.  That song captures Ratt in their full-on best.  It’s great that they can produce quality material like that so late in their career.  I guess since they played something brand new, they had to go back to something old so they went way back to 1983 with “You Think You’re Tough” off the Ratt EP that started it all.  Those older tunes just reminded me (and most of the crowd) of a fun time in our lives.  No recession, jobs, or bills, just Ratt blasting out of our car stereos.

Greg Olma

I was surprised that the guys played “Lovin’ You’s A Dirty Job”.  That track is off of Detonator which is an overlooked album.  I was happy to see that on this tour - they were giving fans something from their full body of work with the exception of their 1999 self titled release.  Since they were out promoting Infestation, it came as no surprise that they played another track called “Last Call”.  I was surprised at how many people knew the words and were into this relatively recent tune.  Even though this may be a future hit, many of the fans came for the older songs and Ratt was more than happy to oblige.  “Back For More” was next and I was surprised that it was only the second song off of Out Of The Cellar that had played to that point.  It was such a huge album that I figured they would really be playing a lot from it.  Next up the band played one of my all time favorite Ratt tunes “Nobody Rides For Free”.  It is a soundtrack song from Point Break but it also appears on their first greatest hits record.  It’s a great song and I’m really happy they have kept it in the set for so many years.  Hitting us with another great cut, they quickly played “Way Cool Jr”.  I always liked that song and they still perform it as if it is a new tune. 

Greg Olma

To finish off the show, the guys decided to go for a double shot of first and last.  What I mean by that is that they played a couple of new tunes sandwiched between tracks from Out Of The Cellar.  They closed the set with “Wanted Man” followed quickly by “Best Of Me”, “A Little Too Much”, and finally “Round And Round”.  They did not play an encore but really I could not think of a song that would have made sense.  They played pretty much every one of their bigger hits with a set list of 17 songs; you would be hard pressed to say that they did not deliver the goods.  The show was a great reminder that older band can still cut it live and that the new material is not to be missed.  I can’t wait for their next show and I would whole heartedly recommend seeing Ratt when they “infest” your town.


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Greg Olma

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 3 at

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