Ratt ‘Back for More’ in return to Buffalo

Thomas Tedesco, Culture Editor

Legendary 80’s rockers Ratt took the stage in Buffalo for the first time in 12 years on Thursday night.

The performance was the first stop of their “Merry XXXMAS” leg of the 2019 “In Your Direction” tour. The near-full capacity crowd of the new and improved Showplace Theater provided just the right vibe for a night of classic hard rock.

Buffalo-based band After Affect opened up the evening at 7:30 p.m. for a half hour set of hard rock covers, followed by fellow local rockers, Hair Nation who did a 45-minute set highlighting 80’s classics from the “hair metal” era, which warmed up the crowd adequately.

Just after 9:30 p.m., the long-awaited moment arrived when Ratt hit the stage. One by one, the five band members appeared on stage and kicked into their popular MTV hit, “Wanted Man” from their 1984 album, “Out of the Cellar”.

While there have been several incarnations of Ratt, this one is arguably the most solid since the group’s heyday. Original singer Stephen Pearcy and bassist Juan Croucier are joined by veteran drummer Pete Holmes, who is from 80’s hard rock band Black N Blue, along with newcomers Jordan Ziff and Chris Sanders on guitars. Sanders and Ziff had big shoes to fill for original guitarists, Warren DeMartini and the late Robbin Crosby. Neither disappointed as they filled the shoes accurately and very well.

Their 80-minute, sixteen-song set featured their most hard rocking songs. The most represented album in the set was “Out of the Cellar” with six of the album’s 10 tracks being played. The highlights of the set included “Back for More” from“Out of the Cellar”, “Lay it Down” from “Invasion of Your Privacy”, “Way Cool Jr.” from “Reach for the Sky”, and their cover of “Walkin’ the Dog” originally by Rufus Thomas.

While singer Pearcy has performed frequently in the area as a solo artist, Ratt has not performed in the Buffalo area since playing with fellow 80’s rockers, Poison at Darien Lake back in 2007.

“We haven’t been around Buffalo in a while I hear. Sorry about that. We decided to put together this Christmas run, because it used to be a tradition of ours,” singer Stephen Pearcy said on stage. “…we said we’d do it again on the east coast so here we are.”

After riling up the crowd, Pearcy added, “Let the games begin!” before launching into fan favorite, “I’m Insane”.

While critics have been critical about his performance and vocals as of late, Pearcy delivered a stellar performance at the Showplace Theater. Throughout the entire set, Pearcy’s strong and unique vocal style were on display as he hit nearly every note and moment from the songs in the Ratt catalog.

If there was a secret weapon in Ratt, it is definitely Croucier. His presence on stage is defined and anchors down the rhythm section with Holmes, setting the foundation for the songs. Croucier also heavily contributes to the backing vocals, which was most notable on the song, “Nobody Rides for Free”.

From the moment Ratt took the stage, to their final bows after playing their signature song “Round and Round”, the band had its finger on the pulse of the audience. They proved to create, sustain and enhance the atmosphere that took place all night in the venue.