(Live Review) STEPHEN PEARCY BAND - St. Charles, 10/6/23
The Beard & Little Johnny
Good evening, readers, fans, followers, and stalkers of all shapes and sizes. Tonight, marks show #58 and bands #267-268 on our year long The Reviews Never Stop Tour 2023. This evening finds The Beard and co-reviewer Little Johnny once more back at The Arcada for 1980’s MTV darling Stephen Pearcy (better known as the voice of Ratt) along with openers Whiskey Thunder. During the 1980’s, with MTV darlings Ratt, Pearcy had four multi-platinum records and three gold records before leaving the band (for the first time) in 1992.
Over the next four years, Pearcy formed Arcade, (with Cinderella drummer Fred Coury), and Vertex with Al Pitrelli of Megadeth before reuniting with Ratt from 1996-2000. Pearcy would quit Ratt again (over perceived financial inequities AKA “Show Me the Money!”) in late 2000.
Pearcy would rejoin Ratt for a third time in 2006 and then leave again for a third time in 2014. (Readers may insert their own jokes involving a RATT and a sinking ship at this point). (Ed: They need to be eRatticated?) In 2016, Ratt got back together yet again (albeit with a new guitarist and drummer) for the “Back for More” tour (proving it really is extremely difficult to completely get rid of Ratts).
Pearcy has also released several solo records, underwent complete knee replacement surgery in 2019 and battled both hepatitis and liver cancer since 2019. It is a credit that he is even able to tour at all anymore. It is Pearcy’s solo band we will be reviewing this evening, although I expect Little Johnny and I will be hearing a good amount of the RATT classics as well.
First up though Chicago southern rock band ...
Whiskey Thunder is a five piece “cover” band. They were adequate. If this were a local bar on a Friday night, The Beard would consider these guys musically talented enough that he could listen to them as background. They don’t butcher any of their songs, but to be clear, this also ain’t Brit Floyd either.
Essentially, Whiskey Thunder plied the audience with well-known classic rock hits for a half hour. The Beard is not going to slag them, but he also is not going to be reviewing “cover bands.” Little Johnny’s opinion of Whiskey Thunder, “it’s like a discount jukebox.” You have a definite way with the phrase little dude. Grade unnecessary. Cover Band.
THE STEPHEN PEARCY BAND
Stephen Pearcy came out to “Wanted Man,” and it was to be an all RATT set. Pearcy certainly looks more “mature” than during the 80’s MTV era, and his medical issues were evident in his appearance. There’s rock star thin, but Pearcy actually looked gaunt. He still presents himself well though, and like when the Beard saw Ace Frehley, Pearcy struts the stage a bonafide Rock God in his own mind.
“Wanted Man” was more band than voice, but I am attributing that to warm up and actual sound leveling. Second song, “I’m Insane,” Pearcy’s jacket came off, (accentuating his thinness), and it was now time to rock. Honestly, (as the Beard owns no Ratt music), I did not recognize “Slip of the Lip,” or “You Think You’re Tough” (which were apparently hits back in the day).
“Walk the Dog” (which I believe is a Rufus Thomas cover), was rather good, and the band was professional and performed well. Credit to Erik Ferentinos on lead guitar.
During “You Think You’re Tough,” Johnny said, “That sounds like a song that would have played on that show about the old people. You know, Happy Days.” “Wow little dude. You know that show?” “Yeah, it’s the one with that guy who acts like he’s a dude version of Joan Jett always wearing the leather jacket right?” “Uhhhhhhhh…not sure you got that entirely correct but we’ll table it for the moment.”
When zooming in, (for pictures), upon close examination, Pearcy’s legs look like you could snap them like dried twigs. Given the man survived cancer though, he gets a free pass on that one from The Beard. I know firsthand what that shit does to someone, and again I credit that he is still out there performing at all.
“You’re in Love” was the first major Ratt hit I knew and even Little Johnny said, “Hey Beard that one wasn’t bad.” Pearcy had the house lights turned on, and followed up with another classic Ratt hit that I knew, “Lay it Down.” That one, especially with the house lights up, got a good crowd response. “Lack of Communication” and “Morning After” slipped back to the original 5X Platinum “Out of the Cellar” album and admittedly Pearcy had the crowd fully into the show at this point.
“I Want a Woman” was the second track from “Reach for the Sky,” and by this point the Beard had to acknowledge RATT did have a reasonable amount of hair metal hits through the 1980’s. They were not a one and done band. “Back for More” was one I had honestly forgotten about and that was their “fake” closer.
Of course, the band would return to the stage for a short drum solo from Greg Angelo, and “Sweet Cheater” from the original Ratt EP, before finally concluding with (as expected) “Round and Round.” When I mentioned there was no “Uncle Milty,” Little Johnny looked at me like I was speaking another language, but any readers older than fifty know exactly what I meant. (Ed: Umm - no!) The Beard was in his teens back then, so I had to acknowledge the memories.
83/100 then for the memories and Stephen “RATT” Pearcy.
That concludes show #58 and bands #267-268. Although Little Johnny was not overly impressed, he also did not live through the MTV 8o’s era. For the Beard, another never before seen band checked off, and another show on The Reviews Never Stop Tour in the books. It is time to gather Little Johnny and head for home. Remember to read us EVERY Wednesday and Thursday at your home for Metal, The Mighty Decibel. Then check out all the videos on our TikTok page by searching Thebeard0728 Or #thebeardandlittlejohnny
Until next time ...