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Desert Star Arena; Stateline, NV; 09/02/99

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

It's a five hour drive from Rough Edge's hometown of Ventura, California to Stateline, Nevada but - with the lure of some great 80s metal, a little gambling and some boozin', it wasn't hard decide to make the trip.

After Great White's set, however, we were beginning to wonder if we'd made the right decision. Although vocalist Jack Russell explained that he was suffering from the flu, and, in fact, that his doctor told him that he shouldn't perform that evening, it was no excuse for the rest of the band.

Great White played a lackluster set that waded ploddingly through their collection of near-hits. Their set was capped off with an encore, obviously, of their biggest hit, "Once Bitten, Twice Shy." The band should take note, however: Another hit, "Rock Me Through the Night" received a much better reception from the audience and would have made a better encore.

Although they occasionally sang along and pumped their fists to the hits, the audience seemed less than wildly enthusiastic by Great White's set. It was okay - it just wasn't great. It was as though the band were just finishing a tiring tour and couldn't wait to get off stage.

Ratt scored a little better. The band came out with much flashier energy, ripping through some of their lesser known material and really pounding it on with their hits.

About ten minutes into the show, however, it was obvious that vocalist Steven Pearcy was high on life ... or something. Pearcy threw himself wildly across the stage, blurted out long streams of unintelligible statements to the audience, and often had to stop between songs to ask the other band members what song was next. He didn't forget lyrics during the songs and, in fact, belted them out with precision and style. However, at the end of the show - after the rest of the band had left the stage to await the encore - Pearcy stayed on stage, yelling and screaming and slapping high fives with the audience. Finally, the rest of the band gave up, came back out and delivered the obvious Ratt encore, "Round and Round." Note to Ratt: Much like Great White, the band should consider changing their encore song from the expected "Round and Round" to the powerful "Lack of Communication," which kicked the audience's ass about three songs from the end of the evening.

Was the evening a success? Sure. Despite the fact that Great White was less than impressive, Ratt was pretty damn good. Oh, yeah - and I won $30 playing blackjack - how can that be anything but a success?

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Copyright 1999 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:16 -0400.